Friday, November 09, 2007

Mini-Interview: Princeton

Local indie pop act Princeton is one of those groups whose music you pretty much like from first listen and then start evangelizing to all of your friends.

They’ve only been playing out for about half the year, but dozens of music sites have already written about them and they’ve snagged several noteworthy opening slots, such as this Saturday at The Echo with Saturday Looks Good To Me.

We checked in with Princeton’s Jesse Kivel to find out more.

RFSL: Hi, Jesse.
Princeton: Hey, Joe.
RFSL: So, the band is primarily you and your twin brother, right?
Princeton: Well, not really. The main core of the band has been me, my twin brother, and our friend Ben. We rotate around that core
RFSL: Ah, cool.
RFSL: How long you been together?
Princeton: Well, it's hard to say. We have been making music with Ben since we were little, but Princeton itself I would say officially started about a year and a half ago when we went to London. It was our first time all being together for an extended period of time. But we have only really been out playing consistently since June
RFSL: It seems like you've gotten a lot of attention since then.
RFSL: I mean, opening for acts at The Troubadour like Au Revoir Simone and then Saturday Looks Good To Me this weekend at The Echo. That’s great.
Princeton: Well, that's nice of you to say. Yes, we have been very fortunate with the opening slots we have gotten. We honestly couldn't believe we got [Au Revoir Simone]. So sometimes it feels like we are doing really well for ourselves. Other times, it feels like we are playing shows for the bartenders!
RFSL: So, you said you've been playing music since you were little with your friend Ben. What made you decide to formally make it a band?
RFSL: And when you said, "I'd like to make this kind of music," what kind of music were you thinking of?
RFSL: Or did it start more naturally?
RFSL: (Sorry. That's three questions. Pick whichever are most applicable.)
Princeton: Well, with Ben… the second we bought guitars we wanted to start a band. The problem was, we sucked. But that problem never really stopped us. I remember, I could barely play a d chord and Ben would write all the songs on keyboards and I couldn't sing in tune. It was just horrendous. And we would be so excited when we finished a song and would run to our parents to play it. They would always be very encouraging, but it must have been just awful
RFSL: You started playing out in June. When did the EP come out?
Princeton: Well the EP has been circulating since last September, but it never really came out. It has always been just cd-r's. And when we made the first copies we were all still in college at separate universities, so we never played any shows to support it. So, in a way, it’s never been properly released
RFSL: You just made that at home?
Princeton: Actually, we recorded it in London in Ben's flat. We had brought our mbox from home and a mic to just mess around. But after awhile we got really excited about the songs and decided to make those demos our cd.
RFSL: It sounds great. Really immediately likeable stuff. I like every track.
RFSL: Any plans to record more soon?
Princeton: Thanks. Actually we are recording right now, in our house. We are in the processing of getting our garage soundproofed, but until then we have converted Ben's bedroom (once again) into a makeshift studio. I don't know what it is about Ben, but we just love to use his room for recording.
Princeton: But on this recording there are a lot more instruments and drums and all of that stuff.
RFSL: So, you're opening for Saturday Looks Good To Me on Saturday. If that show were a movie, I'd say it had perfect casting.
RFSL: You familiar with their music?
Princeton: Haha. Yes, very. I think Fred is amazing and their work is just really strong. I thought it would be a great fit for a show and in addition, the other band on the bill (Cryptacize) is probably one of our favorite bands of the year, so we really couldn't be more pleased.
RFSL: Cool. I'm really bummed that I've got to miss it.
RFSL: I have the worst luck catching you guys play, I swear...
Princeton: Haha, I know I feel like every show you have planned on going to something has come up. Well, we have some shows in December that I feel like you will have to go to!
RFSL: Ha. Yeah, definitely. So, what's next for you? You're recording... Any tour plans or residencies or what not
Princeton: Um, we have been talking to some venues about residencies and we are also looking into some possible touring opportunities. Nothing is official yet and the truth is we are trying to take the next two months easy to finish the next recording and then we are going to see. But I can say that the next recording we are doing is an EP based on the Bloomsbury group and we are all very excited about it
RFSL: You mean the English collectivity of loving friends and relatives who lived in or near London during the first half of the twentieth century whose work deeply influenced literature, aesthetics, criticism, and economics as well as modern attitudes towards feminism, pacifism, and sexuality?
Princeton: Haha. Exactly.
RFSL: Excellent.
Princeton: Yes, actually we are doing four tracks, each one on a member. We’re doing Virgina Woolf, Leonard Woolf, Keynes, and Strachey
RFSL: Great. When are you planning on having that ready?
Princeton: Matt and I are writing two songs a piece for it.
Princeton: My goal was to finish recording by December. So hopefully in March.
Princeton: And hopefully we will start playing the EP out in January. The goal was to make it the first part of every show. The EP the whole way through (all 4 songs). But we will see
RFSL: Cool.
RFSL: So, last question for you...
Princeton: Okay.
RFSL: Who are you listening to (in town or in general) these days?
Princeton: Well, locally, I think Parson Red Heads are great. Other newer bands we enjoy, again I would say Cryptacize, Vampire Weekend, Black Dice, Panda Bear...We actually end up listening to so much old music it's hard to say!
Princeton: For older groups, I’m listening to a lot of Sam Cooke, Scott Walker, Jorge Ben, Smokey Robinson, a lot of old Hawaiian records from the 20's...just a bunch of stuff. I know Matt is never not listening to The Kinks.
RFSL: Cool. Well, that's all I've got, man.
RFSL: Thanks so much for your time. Hope the show this weekend goes great.
Princeton: Cool. It's been good talking with you

- The Indifference Curve MP3


Blogger Lady C said...

Hooray! I love Princeton. I really do love you Radio Free Silverlake!

3:28 AM  

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