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Where Is My Mind?: Soars

- by Q.D. Tran

Lehigh Valley’s Soars are made up of Chris Giordani, Anthony Perrett, David Kresge and Brianna Edwards, and just released an impressive self-titled debut album via La Société Expéditionnaire. (You can read The Deli’s recent review of it here.) Having graduated from Lehigh University, I was very excited to pick the brains of the fledgling four-piece about there local music scene and couldn’t help gettin' the skinny on the haps in the Valley where I spent many evenings listening to music and consuming cocktails of toxic substances. Oh college - where did the time go? Well, it was a lot of fun catching up on life in the Valley. Glad to hear that their local music scene is on the rise.

The Deli: It seems that you hold a lot of pride in coming from the Lehigh Valley and its part in shaping your sound. Do you plan to always make it your home or would you like to move somewhere else eventually? If so, where?

Chris Giordani: I have no plans on leaving anytime soon.

Anthony Perrett: I would like to move out west at some point where people are a little less hostile.

David Kresge: LV for life. Or maybe I'll go out west and be hostile to Anthony for a few weeks, so he misses home and moves back.

Briana Edwards: I just kind of want to live on a mountain. If it happens to be close to the LV, then so be it. For now, this is home.

TD: There are a lot of colleges in the Lehigh Valley. Do you think that they add, subtract or don’t affect the local music scene at all and why?

CG: Not affect.

AP: There's really no affect at all.

DK: You have to define the scene. If we're talking about heavier indie/punk/hardcore/noise, there's almost no spill over. It might be too underground for them to find.

BE: It's unfortunate that a lot of what goes on with the type of music we play or listen to in the Lehigh Valley is somewhat unknown to most people. DIY spaces have always been an integral part of the local music scene here. Jeff the Pigeon, Muscle Beach, Secret Art Space…all have contributed immensely. However, it's difficult to reach out to a kid who's just moved here to attend Lehigh and has no idea that there are some really great things happening in the area. It's been an issue for a long time. I think there are probably a bunch of college students who would want to be involved but they just don't know what's going on.

TD: You’ve only been playing out live for a short time. How has the experience been in comparison to practices with just the four of you?

CG: It's been quite wonderful.

AP: Very natural.

DK: Exciting. It feels great to be able to present this to people and get their reactions and impressions. I wasn't sure people were going to get what we were doing, but I've been proven completely wrong on that.

BE: It's been really exciting for all of us.

TD: Who would you be most stoked to share a bill with?

CG: Goodnight Stars Goodnight Air. Lower Berth.

AP: PYRAMYDS.

DK: Einsturzende Neubauten.

BE: Rollerskate Skinny.

TD: Do you want to be a band that spends most of your time on the road or would you rather spend more of it in the studio?

CG: 35% Road, 65% Studio.

AP: The studio, because that's where we are vikings!

DK: Wherever there's less of an acrid smell of urine.

BE: I'm sure a healthy mix of both would work for us.

TD: What are your current day jobs (or night jobs) besides playing music?

CG: I mentor folks with varied degrees of mental illness.

AP: I manage an organic foods department in a Wegmans grocery store.

DK: I run a staffing service, helping people find jobs.

BE: I work at a local farm to table restaurant.

TD: What was the first album that you ever bought and first concert that you attended?

CG: Album: The Fat Boys, Crushin'. Concert: Ray Charles.

AP: Album: Queen's greatest hits. Concert: The Black Crowes.

DK: Album: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Concert: Public Image Limited

BE: I'm not sure if I remember the first album I ever bought. I liked some funny girl groups though like The Bangles. We also listened to a lot of Pink Floyd. I distinctly remember listening to the Chicago 17 tape a lot too. The first concert I went to was INXS and Public Image Limited. I was in sixth grade. It was pretty great!

TD: What non-musical influences affect your music most?

CG: My job is a big one.

AP: Each other.

DK: Visual art, especially Rothko. I write soundtrancks in my mind while i'm watching certain movies. Death and loss, negative emotional impact. Listening to repetitive and rhythmic industrial sounds or natural systems. I think other music informs my writing process the least.

BE: Experiences, relationships, the people around me are usually big influences.

TD: Growing up in relatively close proximity, did you come to Philly much for shows?

CG: Absolutely.

AP: Of Course.

DK: Going to punk shows, we mainly stayed in the LV unless my friends and I went to the Troc for a bigger concert. We had no knowledge of Philly DIY spaces back then. I wish we would have. Later, I came down 2 or 3 times a week for R5, Khyber and Nick's shows years ago. Philly has always had an interesting scene. Now more than ever. KFN has solid booking and has picked up the void that the Khyber left. R5 church is always great. The Strapping Fieldhands shows were some of the best memories, though. Can you tell them to play out more?

BE: Yea, big time. I eventually moved there and lived for six years. It was a natural progression for me. It still feels like home in a lot of ways.

TD: What are your thoughts about the Philly indie music scene and the music coming from it? Any acts that you really dig?

CG: I personally have been away from it for a couple years, but Tickley Feather was always my favorite. Now, Arc in Round, U.S. Girls, Social Junk.

AP: I've been really into My Mind lately.

DK: In the last few years I've been liking Technician, Serpents of W.I.S.D.O.M., Charles Cohen, Northern Liberties. Search out the Hair Loss record, as well.

BE: Tickley Feather for me as well although I don't think she lives there anymore. Chris would always talk about her as would other mutual friends in Philly. It was right around when I first started to record 4-track stuff on my own. I had no idea what I was doing…still don't. I was a single mom hanging out at night and recording with some random gear. It was kind of crazy for me to hear about this girl from Philly who was also a single mom and doing the same thing and doing it really well. I'm excited to hear what she does. I'm also a huge fan of U.S. Girls. She seems really patient and thoughtful with how she records and I like that.

TD: Where are good places for Philly bands to play in the Lehigh Valley?

CG: SAS & Burners.

AP: Muscle Beach.

DK: Secret Art Space, since it's haunted by the ghost of Chris Rejec.

BE: I guess it would depend on the band. Secret Art Space and St. Bernard's are both good. I like doing shows in Kutztown. There are lots of good vibes out there.

TD: You’ve used the term “depressed pop” when talking about your music. Are you generally glass half full or glass half empty kind of people?

CG: Both given the day.

AP: We're a bunch of happy dudes.

DK: Like Vonnegut I am a cautious optimist that actually loves humanity, masquerading as a pessimist. But it is a real challenge to write anything happy. As far as music is concerned, I'm wired for sadness, negativity, brutality, catharsis.

BE: Totally depends on the day, or the hour. I'm all over the place.

TD: Do you love or hate “Allentown” by Billy Joel?

CG: Hate.

AP: Like the song. Hate the city.

DK: Awful song and totally nonsensical since he got all the details wrong. Yet the mayor at that time gave him a key to the city. Hilarious.

BE: Isn't that song really about Bethlehem? Come on!

TD: Have you ever been to The Funhouse in Bethlehem? Is it a place “where fun people meet and party”?

CG: Yes and I have no idea.

AP: Yes. It used to be.

DK: Yes, that was the epicenter for garage rock in this region.

BE: Yes. It's a place where we need to work on doing some covers of Love and Rockets songs on Monday nights after practice.

TD: Does the head shop Utopia still exist in Easton? Have you ever been there? If so, what did you buy?

CG: Not sure if Utopia is still there, but I remember buying whipits and a tie-dye there 16 years ago.

AP: I think it’s still there. I'm sure they probably sell disc golf frisbees there now. Years ago I bought a one hitter there. Now I would more than likely buy a disc golf frisbee there. Maybe a wraith.

DK: I hate hippies.

BE: Oh yea, I bought a wooden bowl there once. It was great! I'm gonna go in there this week. Thanks for the reminder.

TD: Lehigh or Lafayette?

CG: Double Decker.

AP: Chris Kelly.

DK: Football may be the worst sport imaginable. They should take the pads off and play in a field of broken glass.

BE: Football is great! We're more Penn State fans here though.

TD: What are the coolest and lamest acts that you’ve ever seen on a bill for the Bethlehem Musikfest? Any acts that you’ve seen live there that standout in your mind?

CG: I think I saw The Supremes there at some point. As for the lamest, my mind floods.

AP: I think the pan flute players on Main Street fall under both categories.

DK: I've walked around Musikfest a lot over the years, but never actually gone to a concert. The last time I was there I almost got into a fight, so I think I'm cool on that place for a while. Seems to be an event that people go to thinking they can drink as much as humanly possible and act like complete imbeciles. I did play Anti-Music Fest last year, so it does inspire something.

BE: I usually just go to Musikfest to eat. I can probably tell you more about the food vendors I like there. I do like watching the polka bands, and I can get kind of into zydeco too! Oh and that creepy guy who plays all the medieval tunes rules.

TD: Who do you think we should be looking out for coming from the Lehigh Valley music scene?

CG: Lower Berth, Tile, Oxygen Destroyer, Dark Circles, Ninjessa.

AP: Eskandalo.

DK: I'm stoked to hear Tile's new record. Tim Brignole plays wonderful experimental drone music, but will remain in the shadows by choice. Ninjessa is straight up one of the best riot grrrl bands I've heard and their recent tour was a success. I can't wait to see what they do next.

BE: Bad Temple.

TD: What’s your favorite thing to get in the deli?

CG: Tea.

AP: The Rachel.

DK: "Not Vegan"

BE: Nitrates.

(Photo by N. Krebill)

 

 

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Soars
Soars