Welcome to the second spotlight on one of the 26 bands/artists that will appear on the POST/POP vs Cassette Culture Collaboration Compilation (PXP006). I aim to have one of these interviews every single day so by the time we release the album at the end of March you will know each band initmately! Next up is MORMON GIRLS. POST/POP is really representing Canada recently, as we are also releasing a tape for Kestrels in March. The song in question is ‘City Lights Scream’ and I picked it out of many great songs they have. Here’s the interview…
Hello! You are one of the 26 bands chosen for the POST/POP X CassetteCulture compilation. Congrats and thank you for letting me use your song. Just so everyone can know a little about you, who are you?
We are Mormon Girls. Tyson Wiebe (bass/vocals), Dave Banman (guitar), Jon Vornbrock (drums), and I’m Mick Hayward (vocals/guitar)
Where are you from? Somewhere exotic? Are there any nice record shops there?
Mick (MH): We are from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada — Not so exciting. Farms and feedlots… there’s a river! Dave was born in Mexico. That’s definitely more exotic than Lethbridge.
As for record shops, we have one and lucky for us it’s really great — Blueprint Entertainment. Mike, who runs the joint is crazy supportive of our local scene and he gets in some wicked listens.
Tyson (TW): Plus, Adrian and Ryan (from our favorite band, Advertisement) both work there.
What genre would you pigeonhole yourself into? Y’know, if I had a gun to your head! (There’s a slim chance that in the future I may have to point a gun to your head due to sleepwalking)
MH: Gun to my head, eh? We were described as ‘Nu-Gaze’ in a recent review because of the shoegaze element, but there’s an indie rock and post hardcore influence that is there too. ‘Pigeonhole,’ however, makes me think of generic genre type so… alternative.
TW: Can’t believe you said “eh”. Stop stereotyping our country! If it were 2003 we’d get lumped in with emo. I’d say we are indie rock though.
I’m bored of bands telling the world what their musical influences are SO, what are your non-musical influences? (people, movies, art etc)
MH: Music is a huge influence obviously, but for me personally when I write non-musical influences are just as important. I’m super into film and reading (Kerouac, Burroughs, Vonnegut. The weird stuff.) I find myself writing songs that have been influenced by a feeling I got watching a movie or reading a book more often than when I listen to music. I thought of the band name at 4A.M. after a night of drinking, so I guess drinking too?
TW: I’m a big comic nerd so that influences me subconsciously I’m sure. Comic artists/writers that inspire me: Rick Remender, Andy Diggle, Steve Dillon, Robert Kirkman, Jock, Ryan Ottey, Warren Ellis, Matt Fraction, Brian Michael Bendis, Neil Gaiman, Scott Snyder, Grant Morrison and, of course, Alan Moore.
How did you find out about this collaboration/compilation and what made you send me your songs?
MH: Tyson works in a library and I work at a bank during the day, so the downtime is full of emails back and forth about ideas and things we find on the internet. He is definitely the more productive one and finds great blogs and opportunities.
TW: Norwegian Blue just re-emerged as a cassette/vinyl only label last summer. I found a bunch of like-minded individuals in the /r/cassetteculture thread. When an opportunity to contribute became available, I jumped on it!
You are in a dusty room. Time hangs heavy in the air. Before you is an ancient table, carved from a twisted tree that once stood proudly atop a lost mountain. Upon this great table is a gilded envelope. You open the envelope slowly, knowing that it will give you the answer that you have been waiting for ever since you started this journey. You have lost many friends and gained untold enemies along the way. All for this. This moment. You carefully remove the parchment, feeling the edges until it draws blood. You notice not, as your eyes flicker across the page. Your blind companion, so loyal, even though you traded his eyes for safe passage and a mixtape, brings his ear close to your lips and asks you the question. “What did the letter say?” and your answer is……
MH: It said nothing. There was a sketch of an eyeless man on the paper.
Do you listen to tapes yourself? Do you think there’s a future for the format?
MH: Honestly, I’m just starting to again. When I was a kid I nearly wore out a couple of my Dad’s that I stole from him. Beastie Boys – License to Ill, Green Day – Dookie and Nirvana – Unplugged were the hard hitters for me. The resurgence of vinyl is definitely one I have fully embraced and now that cassettes have some steam again it’s a great way to hear independent bands for a reasonable price. Price-point aside, it sounds pretty sweet. I don’t think it will go as far as vinyl has again with major label distribution, but it should become a viable and more widely used format of independent music.
TW: Yes and yes! My most recent purchase is Tears For Fears – Songs From the Big Chair. Bought it for $.50 at the thrift shop! Cassettes will always be around because people love the human touch of the format. People like Bart Records/Revolution Winter in Calgary, Alberta; Ritual Tapes in Louisiana; Fleeting Youth and Graveyard Orbit from Texas; and now, POST/POP from London, won’t let this format go down without a fight.
As the t-shirt from Bart Records says, “Hometaping is Saving Music.
What’s the one thing people should know about you before they listen to your track?
MH: I wrote “City Lights Scream” when I was 17. It’s probably the first ‘good’ song I wrote and it has gone through some weird stages to make it to the final version. It’s nice to take the older songs I wrote as a solo artist and bring it to the guys to make it a Mormon Girls song by adding their parts and style. Now we are starting to have consistency with the new songs we are writing. It’s great.
TW: Mickey and I recorded an acoustic version of this song in my living room, circa 2009-ish. We were drinking heavily and he kept stomping the floor and shaking the mike. We have a copy of that somewhere.
What’s the one thing people should know after they listen to your track?
MH: We have more! Our EP “The Farm Sessions” is out on a random selection of coloured cassettes that can be purchased at www.norwegianblue.bigcartel.com and it has 5 tracks including “City Lights Scream.” We’re also working on new material! A new track, “Bears II,” will be available in April on a compilation we are putting out with Norwegian Blue Records, which is Tyson’s brainchild.
TW: After we recorded the acoustic version of City Lights, I turned it into an indietronic remix and auto-tuned the hell out of Mick’s voice. We have a copy of that somewhere too.
Thank you Mormon girls! Below are the other interviews from the bands on the compilation. Have a read and get ready for the March release!