Photos by Ryan Kelly. Words by Bryce Rudow and Mollie Woods. Like many hip young couples, they enjoy going to see live music performances. These are their stories:
Communication is the key to any great relationship, so instead of trying to co-write a full review of the grand spectacle and sonic massage that is Warpaint/talking all over each other about possibly disparate topics, we decided to interview one another about the show, the band, and somehow, James Blake. Enjoy!
Bryce: I don’t know why, but I noticed each individual band member more than I usually do when seeing a group live, whether it was Emily Koka’s stage presence, lanky Theresa Wayman’s charmingly passionate guitar playing, Jenny Lee Lindberg’s absolute destruction of the bass, or drummer Stella Mozgawa’s…how do I put this…grooviness. I kept catching myself wondering who of the four was my favorite. Who was yours, and more importantly, why is it that with this group we feel compelled to even have a favorite? Is it because they’re all women? Because they are all very unique in how the present themselves?
Mollie: I don’t think playing favorites has anything to do with gender. Favoritism is everywhere: you pick your favorite athlete from your team’s lineup, hell you even pick your favorite athletes from each team and put them in a fantasy league. Teachers have favorite students, parents even have favorite children even if they may not admit it. It’s just about whomever you gravitate toward, and for me, that’s Theresa (especially post guitar solo). Although at times I feel drawn to all of them. I think it’s a side effect of the fact that they’re all very good musicians playing songs that I enjoy hearing.
Mollie: Speaking of their guitarmanship (or guitarwomanship), did you notice how impressive both Emily and Theresa were?
Bryce: How could I not? I assume that Emily writes most of the lead guitar riffs, which are uniquely intricate on their own but which are truly put on display when she contorts her fingers to play them as she cooly croons overtop it all. And I’m pretty sure that during Theresa’s shredding guitar solo, there were a few seconds where I considered leaving you and running off with her to make tons of hair metal babies. But it was only a few seconds, I swear.
Bryce: Apparently the bass player’s husband is a filmmaker and he made a documentary about the new album. If you could think of a hypothetical situation that you’d love to see in the film, what would it be?”
Mollie: I’d like to see how they deal with conflicting opinions about where they’d like to go with their music and how they deal with conflicting approaches to how they create music. There’s a lot of eclecticism in their sound, sometimes even within the same song, and I’d love to see how that sausage gets made. But don’t forget that Theresa Wayman is dating James Blake. If I could pick any hypothetical situation to watch, it would be a Real World style night-vision recording of them under the sheets, if you know what I mean.
Bryce: I do.
Mollie: “How did you like their post-Warpaint new music, like their second to last song in the encore?”
Bryce: I loved it! I know we disagree on this, but I think Warpaint are at their best when they’re shying away from their Drop Electric-y sprawling, howling tracks and embracing the fact that they know how to infuse rhythms and percussive melodies into the darkest of songs. They’ve always had a few hip-shakers in their catalog, but that one had me daydreaming for a future release that takes full advantage of Jenny Lee’s bass skills and Stella’s ability to construct intricate rhythms inside simple song structures.
Bryce: As you’re aware but our readers probably aren’t, Warpaint will be playing at Bonnaroo this year, which we will be attending. Would you fill in the blanks in the following statement: “I am ______ excited to see them at Bonnaroo now because ________”?
Mollie: I am more excited because I bet the sound will be better/different/less fuzzy than in Black Cat (and I’m pretty sure Emily Koka agrees; I caught her giving the sound guy the evil eye on more than a few occasions). I also think they’ll be quicker to loosen up, as it took them a few songs to get going. That, and I assume that at Bonnaroo I will be wearing something fun on my head, which is always a plus.
Mollie: This is a bit off-topic, but did you notice that there were barely any cell phones being help up during this show? It was so pleasant! Why do you think that was?
Bryce: I think the genre/style of the band, the demographic composition of the audience (mostly older), and the fact that they put on a very fluid-but-not-flashy show helped keep the iPhones down. Plus DC is a city full of nerds—us included—that don’t know how to behave when pretty girls are in front of them.