photo by Johnny Ramos
Natalie Durkin (TribeLA Magazine): Give your band a Tagline.
Pony Curtis (guitar/vocals in Forget Your Friends): Down till we’re underground.
Charlie Kennedy (vocals/guitar in Forget Your Friends): Forget Your Friends, but don’t Forget About Us.
J. Peters (bass/backing vocals in Forget Your Friends): Heavy and hypnotic.
Adam Jackson (drums/samples in Forget Your Friends): California Newgaze.
ND: What got you started in music? What is the Reason you are where you are today?
PC: I got started in music when I was in middle school, my older brother had some friends in bands and I always thought it was so rad, once I started doing it for myself, I fell in love with it, there isn’t any other way to express myself that is as rewarding as grabbing a idea for a song out of the air and making it my own, I’m pretty much a junky for music…the whole band is.
CK: I actually moved to California in 2011 to pursue my dreams in creating music professionally when I met Pony and Jay at the studio for my audition to join the band and since recording “Antarctica” with Forget Your Friends, we’ve continued to progressively build our sound to bind the colors in our heads into music that we consider, Newgaze. Our hope and belief in the music we create together has kept us inspired because we each equally care deeply about our California Newgaze sound and want to offer a new style that music lovers can relate with.
JP: Hearing music for the first time and other bands. As soon as I got into music I knew that’s what I wanted to do. So I pursued it and haven’t looked back since.
AJ: I’ve always been heavily around music from an early age, started in school marching bands working my way up to touring the country… kind of a trip haha. [On the reason he is where he is today:]When I stopped telling myself ‘I can’t’.
ND: What effect (Influence) do you hope to have on us?
PC: I hope I can influence people to side step out of their box, check out of life’s busy [mess] for a while and just vibe out to some jams.
CK: I’m hoping that we can invite everyone to enjoy our sound as we don’t really fit in with any specific genre, but we would wish for a universal audience to be open to hearing what we’re bringing out in to the music world. We want to influence a certain common ground for everyone to have different reasons for liking us instead of catering to what is normally accepted by society and essentially, what is expected. We want to break the binds of tradition and reach out to everyone who may want or need a release from the real world, but who can still rock out in our dream world of aggression and nirvana.
JP: Hopefully positive and insightful.
AJ: I believe you have to see us first hand to understand that..
ND: What do you do when you’re stuck (Blocked)?
PC: Time…if I force something it never comes out as rad as it would’ve if I would of just let it materialize naturally, I gotta check out sometimes and it’s always totally helpful, I play music ‘cuz I love it, so if I’m not feeling it I accept that and take a few off.
CK: I try to make a great escape from reality by letting my mind feel all of the pain and emotions that we sometimes hide from even ourselves. I’ve heard that if you’re having a hard time trying to remember something, the best thing to do is to think of something else. So I try and apply that to my writing, if I feel like nothing is coming naturally, I stop entirely and make a great escape, then come back to it with new inspiration.
JP: Take a break and walk away. Wait for the energy to return, it always does. You can’t force creativity.
AJ: I focus creative energy on other projects in between so if it’s music I’m having a creative block with I focus on filming/photography and vice versa.
ND: What fires you up and gives you Energy?
PC: The sun, I’m a sun sign so if I’m feeling [bad] I just go lay in the sun for a bit, it always recharges my energy for sure….and passion tea no sugar extra ice from Starbucks.
CK: Life! Feeling alive and having HOPE gives me energy. I try to surround myself with positivity because sometimes I lose track of what life is supposed to mean, instead of just living in the moment where we should be inviting every opportunity that may come our way!
JP: Performing. There’s no feeling like taking the stage to fans who are waiting for you or discovering you for the first time.
AJ: My fans, most definitely.
ND: Can you share a Little known fact with us?
PC: Redheads cover only about 2% of the population. If you’re like me, a blue-eyed redhead, then you only cover about 1%; making myself one of the rarest humans in the world….so you’re welcome for knowing me.
CK: I was a Junior Olympian swimmer at one point in my life. And now I hate getting in pools all together.
JP: Ummmm. I’m allergic to apricots. If I look at one I’ll die.
AJ: Trumpet was the first instrument I started with as a child. I was a band geek!
ND: Where is your favorite place in Los Angeles? Where would you take visitors? If you could defend the city in one sentence to someone who doubts it, what would you say?
PC: One of the best parts about LA is the music shops & record stores, you can find any & everything & I know you can find anything online but hunting for a record or guitar in person is always much more satisfying! LA is basically the internet in real life, you can find whatever you want at just about anytime, you just gotta [work] to find it.
CK: I love this cafe called Happy Days Cafe because they’re open until 2am and make the best stuffed churros in the world where they have vegan and gluten free options!
JP: Definitely LACMA and probably a show at The Whisky A Go Go with a walk down Sunset to see the weirdness. And for any doubter I would say, “how can you doubt a city that dreams so big and wears so much leather.”
AJ: I think if I have any plans to take you anywhere, it would have to be to one of my favorite restaurants Lee’s Tofu. Not only is the food good but the waitresses are kinda rude, it’s great lol. LA offers so much importance from its diversity and culture so don’t knock it til you try it you feel me?
ND: Briefly chronicle your creative process. How do you like to Make art?
PC: Usually it’s morning or night, I can’t seem to catch inspiration mid day for some reason…but it always starts on my acoustic guitar, I will get random melodies and guitar ideas stuck in my head and kick em around with the band see if anything sticks.
CK: I love writing songs first on my acoustic guitar and even recording a tune that I’ve had in my head during the day and building from that. We all write together so it’s really fun when we each vibe on an idea and expand something that wasn’t really there expect for in our heads, into reality.
JP: Creativity is a hard thing to describe. I love hearing other artists speak about how they write their songs, most have the same answer, it just happens, you pick up your instrument and it happens.
AJ: To be honest I always love going in with no plan to my writing process. Whatever is happening naturally in that moment is what excites me. Most importantly believe in what you’re creating, always.
ND: What is coming Up?
PC: We have a new 4 track EP we are about to drop on oktoheart records this fall/winter it was recorded at Big Bad Sound in LA as well as Wormhole Studios in Canyon Country, CA. We had Alan Day from the band Four Year Strong fly out from Boston to produce it & Roman Marisak for engineering/mixing, we are so excited to share it with everyone!
CK: We are releasing an EP by the end of this summer that I couldn’t be more excited to share because the songs mean the world to us and I really feel like this is the sound we’ve heard in our heads for all these years of being a band together.
JP: A lot I’m sure, we never stop. We have an album coming out later this year, SPELLS, and we will be hitting the road soon to promote that.
AJ: Definitely some more music videos, new music for sure.
🔮 #SPELLS // Available everywhere 12•01•17 // #Itunes Pre-Sale starts #Halloween 10•31•17 // instant download of our new single #Bravelight with preorder!🌙 •••• 1.California Gloom 2.Comfortably Uncomfortable 3.Rumors 4.Bravelight •••• Produced by: @alanxday Mixed by: #RomanMarisak Recorded at: @bigbadsoundla & @wormholestudios Mastered at: Coda Sound. ————- #ForgetYourFriends #fyf #fyftheband #californianewgaze #Newgaze #okto #oktorecords #oktoheartrecords
ND: Describe your Style – musically and otherwise.
PC: We are a California Newgaze band, our style is like Shoegaze grunge with a heavy alternative punk vibe…we feel like with our sound, we are in our own place stylistically, that’s one of the reasons we spell “Nu-Gaze” like “Newgaze” it’s not the traditional way people are used to seeing it, but we really love how the people that are into us totally get and understand the movement, we are pretty much the first band on Instagram to start tagging Newgaze…so we totally feel like it’s ours and the fans’ own little cult, most of our shows are with bands we don’t fit in with but we love it.
CK: We are Newgaze/California Newgaze which is a harder/darker tribute to shoegaze. My style is always all black everything, yet with some metallic or glitter to accompany: I feel like this also describes our sound haha.
JP: Musically, we are a grinding buzzsaw of mass distortion and spacey undertones. Heavy and hypnotic.
AJ: I really love when I hear different interpretations of how fans creatively perceive us. We’ve been told we sound like if Deftones and Slowdive had a baby… yep that pretty much sums it up haha.
ND: What is the best advice you’ve received and the best advice you can Impart on us?
PC: To not get caught up in outside expectations, set your own bar, success is what you make it, just do you.
CK: It’s simple, but the best advice that I go by is still to “Follow Your Heart,” and as hard as that is to do sometimes, it always keeps me in check and keeps me going.
JP: You only live once, take chances, so don’t look back and say “I wish I did that”. Just go out and do it.
AJ: ‘Don’t be an idiot’… Changed my life.
ND: Any Closing words?
PC: Stay Gold.
CK: Winter is Coming.
JP: Thank you for the opportunity to answer these questions, some I’ve never even really asked myself.
AJ: Yes, we always love meeting new fans and existing fans so next time you see us at a show come say hi!!
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