By Jade Salazar
Amazing art, incredible music, unlimited drinks, delicious food trucks, free cab rides and even an after party, all happening tonight and all to help a great cause. The Art Museum of The Americas will host its annual Art After Dark event this evening at the OAS museum on 17th and Constitution.
Art installation “Fusion” will be on display, DC’s own DJ Shea of Mixtape will spin music and up-and-coming Dangerous Muse, a New York based electronic rock group that incorporates performance art and film, will provide party goers with an exclusive premiere of their new music video “Fame Kills.” Nellie’s is sponsoring the event and is hosting an official after party. An assortment of DC food trucks will also be there for your late night eating pleasure. If that is’nt enough, Uber has also teamed up with AAD to provide free cab rides under $20! If you are going farther than $20 gets you, Uber will give you a $20 credit for your ride. So basically, everything you could imagine or dream of at one event.
Yesterday, in the midst of all the excitement, Brightest Young Things got a chance to speak with Dangerous Muse’s frontman Mike Furey about his music, new album, new music video and the amazing performance they’re planning for tonight.
BRIGHTEST YOUNG THINGS: Can you tell our readers a little bit about your music and your performances and where you have come as a band?
DANGEROUS MUSE: Sure. We began as an electronic dance group and over time we have evolved to become more of an electronic rock group which involves more infusions of electric guitar and electronic bass. We still stay true to our electronic dance group roots but we are stepping that up by bringing more and more instrumentation into our productions and into our live shows. As you’ll see tonight, we’ll have a full live band of electric guitar, bass, drums and I won’t be playing piano, but that is now being integrated into our shows as well. Before, I said we were experimenting with these elements but now it’s a more fully formed sound and fully formed integration.
At live shows we also integrate projections and that is why what we are going to do tomorrow night is going to be a really nice meeting of the worlds. Art After Dark does a lot of projections and as a band we do a lot of projections so it will be a great image to explore. I’m really looking forward to that. Our projectionist, Mojo Videotech, is coming down with us and he will be showing original artwork that will be projected and before and after our performance and he is a fully integrated member of our live production as well.
BYT: I also heard you’re premiering your “Fame Kills” video, directed by Eric Miclette. Can you tell me about that and why you have decided upon this event for the premiere.
DM: I really think this music video is a perfect combination of art, fashion and music which has always been part of Dangerous Muse’s mantra. Dangerous Muse has been more of a lifestyle than anything else so it’s multi-faceted. This music video incorporates current fashion and current artwork and of course our music which is current. It is actually going to be an advanced screening. We are not even putting it online yet so this will be an advanced screening of the music video at the museum and then it will be available online following this event. So not only is it a beautiful venue but it is just something special to be in Washington DC and be around fans that have been following the project for a really long time. We have been meaning to play a show there and have not been able to get there recently so in a way it is kind of a bonus gesture for fans.
BYT: Speaking of all your facets, I know you have done a lot of work with the fashion industry. You did work with Fashion’s Night Out and you designed a t-shirt for H&M’s Fashion Against AIDS line. What was that experience like and what are your future plans for incorporating your music and the fashion industry?
DM: Well, it’s great because incorporating fashion into what we do creates an additional window for people to view the project. I love the idea of investigating music through art and through fashion and investigating fashion through art and through music. So in a way, the perspective of the work is through these windows but is not necessarily the subject itself.
We did a collaboration with H&M and designed a t-shirt that was available across the world and at all the locations of H&M. That for me was a way to expose the project to people who are obviously caring about an important cause and mixing it with fashion. It was a way to engage people in a way that was politically and socially conscious and also fashion-conscious. It was also a way to push things forward musically and collaborate with amazing musicians and performers like we did for that campaign. That sort of began a snowball effect where we started collaborating with more and more designers and creating original pieces and incorporating those pieces in the work that we do whether it is more artistically based or music based.
The project has evolved a lot and a lot of people have asked if this is moving in the direction of a solo project but these collaborations have really blossomed into an even larger collaborative effort. We have a chain now that is made up of not just the band itself but people who collaborate with art direction and other artistic styling. Love Bailey is someone that is going to be doing a guest performance on stage with us tomorrow and he also is an integral part of the styling and art direction of the music video. We are also working with a dancer named Penny Wren. She does modern dance and is classically trained and she will also be performing with us tonight. Both of those people make guest appearances in the music video so you will have an image of what the project looks like on film and then also be able to see it in the flesh since they will be joining us on stage.
BYT: Yes, I was told your live shows were much more performance art based. I am excited to experience it.
DM: We are moving into a much more avant-garde type performance. That is exciting because every performance that we do is unique. We don’t repeat anything. So if you come to a performance now, you see something that is in the moment and of the moment and only that moment. I guess that same can be said for all live performance but each time we get on the stage we are wearing something different, we are doing different dance movements and there is always a gesture that is specific to that moment. It is so crucial and exciting for me to know that the production will always be engaging. I feel like I can say that because I am not just talking about myself, I am talking about a collection of artists that are coming together and really busting their ass to make entertainment.
BYT: I know you have just released your EP “Red” so I am interested in what the fanfare has been like surrounding that release. I also read that this is the first EP of three that will all go into creating a full length album. Where are you in that process?
DM: The first EP is very true to our electronic dance roots. The second EP is more in a rock direction. I say rock loosely because it is something you have to hear to understand where I’m coming from. It’s tough to describe music but it definitely involves more guitars. Then the third EP is more ballad based. It’s three difference expressions and three different sides of the experience that all come together to form one whole. Organizing the release of the full length album in this way makes sense to me because it clearly defines the different sides of me in this project. I think a more traditional gesture or one that would be more accepted would be things that are all similar sounding. Not to say these are not similar sounding because it is the same voice but it is coming from different places. My interests vary and I think your interests vary too. I think that is something that is definitely a part of this generation. Having multiple interests and things that inspire you and liking different types of music. The three EP’s explore the idea of different variations of expressing thoughts and expressing music and they all fit together like sides of a shape or reflections of light. At the same time, it also appeals to our attention span as well. As much as our interests vary, so does our attention span so I think the release fits nicely in many respects.
BYT: I know you have this great performance coming up at Art After Dark. We are really excited about the event and excited about your show but I also wanted to see what is coming up next for the Dangerous Muse.
DM: Oh yes, I was going to tell you we have just finished production on our second EP. We do not have a release date yet but we will let everyone know when that is going to be available soon and a lot of the work for the third EP is finished. There is one song in particular we are working on right now that I would like to be included so we are working on finishing corrections on that.
BYT: Well thank you so much for your time. Is there anything else you would like your fans to know or our readers to know or anything else you would like to say about tonight’s performance?
DM: This performance comes after a string of performances before the Fall begins and that sort of makes it a finale to a series of summer performances. Those began by co-headlining Pride Fest in Milwaukee with Amanda Palmer and then going on to Knoxville Pride to play our first show in the south which was amazing. It was really fun to see people’s response to that performance. After that, we did a line for Calvin Klein’s new jeans line. The line has been a large part of many of our performances and they actually sponsored part of the wardrobe for the music video that will be premiering tomorrow and they also gave us pieces to be wearing tomorrow so we’ll be rocking some Calvin Klein looks. It was nice to really have a variety of summertime performances and be able to express those different sides through fashion and music and now we will be able to express it through art. We are really looking at our performance as a finale to summer and to our performances and we are so happy to do it at such a great venue and in DC since we haven’t been there in a little while. We are looking forward to reconnecting to the people who have been following us since the beginning and also reaching out to new people such as yourself.