Photo by Michelle LoBianco a/k/a @brooklynelitist, and as always, if you wanna skip the commentating and get straight to the exclusive interview with the band just scroll down past the jump…
A knee-jerk reaction to first hearing the name “Pop Music Fever Dream” could be to think oh must be another bunch of pop-culture fixated arch-ironist Situationists who self identify as “the sound of scatter-brained chaos" and "what anti-capitalism feels like" and "like Mission of Burma, but gay”…
…prone to releasing EPs with titles like Songs For Promoters and songs with titles like “The Internet (And Other Modern Observations), Vol. 1” and “It’s Not That Serious” full of nervy circuitous monologues delivered in a Laurie Anderson meets Louie Anderson adjacent voice alternating with straight-up punk rock hootin’ and hollerin’…
…with twisty elliptical phraseology like “most of the words I sing-talk don’t actually mean a thing it’s just anthropomorphized pathological methodical dictation of a didactic dualism between nothing and everything and nothing at all” but here’s the thing we’re come to realize about Pop Music Fever Dream and that’s that they’re TOTALLY IF NOT DEADLY SERIOUS with what we’re going to call their "intelligent party jams" a/k/a IPJ’s (new genre alert!)…
…as made abundantly clear at PMFD’s highly visceral live shows where lead singer/shouter/fabulist Tim Seeberger is prone to literally crawling up the walls as they and their bandmates attack their instruments with the pent-up mania of a sect of ascetic mystics let loose and it’ll all make you wanna dance like Crispin Glover in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (if you need proof check out a couple of the live video clips below)…
…in support of songs that elevate the everyday absurdism of daily life into a state of spiritual enlightenment while not forgetting to attend to our baser desires, i.e., moving to/being moved by mutant nü-wave disco-punk thus making Pop Music Fever Dream a combo who fully live up to their chosen moniker with the off-kilter, nervy nervous, head-in-the-clouds energy of a manic street preacher proselytizing in purgatory that heaven can only reached by breaking the bonds of hegemonic musical genres & heteronormative gender identities…
…and religion analogies aside this all sounds a lot like the psychological concept of "self-actualization" which you surely learned about if you ever took a PSYC 101 class and studied Maslow’s Pyramid representing human needs ‘n’ desires in the form of a five-tiered pyramid with base physiological needs occupying the pyramid’s base level which if fulfilled leaves time to pursue higher-level desires like safety and security, belonging and love, self-esteem, and finally, if you’re lucky enough to get to this point, “self actualization…
…aka “living according to one’s full potential” aka “becoming who you really are” and I’ve got a feeling PMFD would agree the best pop music ticks off all these levels of need as well from the baseline physiological/emotional fulfillment derived from catchy tunes, driving rhythms, and appealing sonics all the way up to music being used to will a better self and a better society into existence…
…so no wonder PMFD’s new single “Abraham Maslow” is named for the pyramid’s creator, opening with the primal sound of a pulsing drum pattern that starts at a resting rate before ramping up gradually to a panic-attack gallop overlaid with an overdriven, driving bassline and pounded-out power chords and highwire-walking fretwork and if you’re not pogoing around your room by this point we dunno how to help ya…
…over which numerous needs ‘n’ desires are enumerated from baseline fundamental needs like good health and repose (“I don’t know if we can hang out / I’m kind of always sick / And I don’t know how to get some rest / I wanna crawl out of my skin”) to more elevated longing for attaining one’s true potential and gaining insight into the significance of our existence (“I don’t know all the answers / ‘Cause I don’t know what to ask / And I don’t know how death works / And it’ll be the death of me”) and when it comes to the song’s genesis Tim tells us:
"I wrote this song in Sept. 2022 when I felt like my life was falling apart. I was sick for basically the whole summer and hadn’t written a song since April. I just needed to do something with my life and write music again because everything was stripped away from me. I had the chorus in my notes app and thought it would be funny to write all these one-liners for the verses, so I just wrote a song that’s pure fun…
…the bridge is about the many experiences I’ve had where I go to talk to someone about my problems in earnest and then they diminish my issues by saying they’re not as bad as theirs. Those conversations are beyond annoying, so I had to immortalize that feeling in a song. I thought it was a throwaway track but people really seem to like it, and the way we play it live has quickly turned into one of the band’s favorites."
…but despite the song’s refrain which goes “what I do know / is that I don’t know / what I need” it turns out that when I sat down to talk to Tim, Carmen, Domenico, and Nicole for the aforementioned interview-cum-free-flowing-convo they were actually quite articulate re: their needs and desires and about PMFD’s ongoing quest to create a space for shared self-actualization in the form of primitive slam-dancing rituals and transcendental musical release… (Jason Lee)
Writer, vox, rhythm guitar:Tim Seeberger
Lead guitar, vox: Nicole Harwayne (Uncle Pizza, Survey Monkey)
Bass guitar, vox: Carmen Castillo (Spare Feelings, Eevie Echoes & The Locations)
Drums, vox: Domenico Bancroft
Production, mix: Nicole & Tim
Engineer and master: Nicole
PMFD on the current state of the New York scene:
Tim: So I would comfortably say the scene is popping off.
The Deli: It feels like it’s the next musical golden age for New York, like we’re moving into the new Meet Me In The Bathroom era or whatever, or already there, as someone who’s been around since then.
Nicole: It’s cool to hear that. I’ve only been in New York for 2 years and I was feeling that too. It’s cool to have it confirmed by someone who’s been here longer.
Carmen: I read Please Kill Me a while back and like, just like got so charged by it because it feels like that now. And also it feels like that across disciplines too. There’s a lot of bills now where there’s comedy, drag, music, theater…
Tim: Yeah, it’s not just music that’s popping off right now.
Nicole: Comedy is going really well, drag performance.
The Deli: Like the Wednesday night shows they have at Purgatory [Whoopsie Wednesdays]. I’ve only been once but it was mind-blowingly good.
Carmen: Yeah, since Hazel started booking. Shout out to Unintelligible Screaming.
Nicole: Hazel’s a force of nature.
Carmen: It feels sort of parallel to, like, when Velvet Underground was rising up and it was in conjunction with [John] Vaccaro and Andy Warhol, all of that visual art, at the same time.
Editor’s note: Quoting from warholstars.com, “Vaccaro’s gender-bending absurdist stage productions during the 60s and early 70s were a cornerstone of the gay movement and instrumental in the development of off-off-Broadway. He brought drag out of the closet and on to the stage. Many of the actors he used were also used by Warhol in his films.”
Nicole: I think it always goes together. Creative people hang out with creative people. It’s not a discipline thing. It’s just like if all your friends are doing cool shit, you want to do cool shit too.
PMFD on being “queer as fuck” which really should be the title of a new Showtime series:
Tim: It’s cool because, this movement specifically, is queer as fuck. It’s progressed so far from where it started in the late ‘90s and early 2000s to a place where so many people are represented across the board—or maybe represented is not the right word—but this movement is centered directly around queer and trans artists. It’s so cool that it’s happening in this very organic fashion. It’s just, like, this is who’s at the forefront. And it’s amazing. I’m really glad to be a part of it and glad that PMFD is in that sphere. I didn’t know if that was ever going to happen.
PMFD on transitioning from a solo act to a full band:
Tim: I think once the band, once I found everybody to play with, it felt like, “Oh, this can really be something, you know?” I wasn’t plugged in while I was playing solo. I’m actually kind of happy because if things had gone really well, or even more well, playing solo, personally, I don’t know how I would have handled things. But I’m so glad I found Domenico, Nicole, and Carmen. It’s been perfect timing. I knew at some point I wanted this to be a band project, but they came along at just the right time.
Nicole: Even when you were solo, the influences you always talked about were band projects. It feels so much about—even when you were working on your own—about the connections between the different parts, and the live feel of it.
Tim: From day one a lot of my influences have been like Sonic Youth, Mission of Burma, Hüsker Dü, Beat Happening, a lot of the Our Band Could Be Your Life bands. Reading that book was crazy to me. That opened me up to a whole new world, just listening to a lot of those bands and growing up listening to bands like mewithoutYou. Just very noisy, diverse, sonically diverse bands.
PMFD on shaming Deadhead shamers and appreciating the art of improvisation:
Nicole: You know, not to expose you in an interview, but one thing that made it click a little bit for me was when you were like “I’m a Deadhead.” I love the Grateful Dead too. People like to talk shit about jam bands, but the thing jam bands do that’s cool is that it’s so much about listening and so much about the moment. And I feel like our live shows are really fun because we do pretty much the same thing.
Tim: Yeah, 100%.
Carmen: What we do is such in the moment music. I think it keeps getting better, the better we get at playing together and communicating and stuff.
Tim: Yeah, you can put this on the record. I don’t care, like, people can shut the fuck up, The Dead are cool! I will say that with my full chest.
Nicole: I was just being kind of silly!
Tim: I’ve always had the thought in the back of my head that I kinda want to be like the Dead—where you never know what’s going to happen, everything’s going to be different. I’ve talked to a lot of people and they’re kinda like, “Yeah I don’t really know what, like, what your whole deal is. I only know that it goes on the whole time.” And I’m like, “Yeah, that’s kinda the vibe.” I don’t really want you to know.
Nicole: That last Purgatory show was a great example of this, honestly. We played a bunch of songs and we know how to play them. But there was a lot of sort of looking at each other and, like, “How do we play this right now? How do we play to this audience? What do we do?” And I feel it was really explosive and improvisatory.
PMFD on the value of theatricality and stage blocking:
Carmen: To that same point, I’ve been geeking out lately over Nicole and that performance in particular. It gave me an epiphany about you as a performer. I went to acting school, that’s the world I come from, but Nicole has a better sense of space and audience relationships, and knowing just what a moment needs in performance, than a lot of people I know with four year degrees in that kind of thing.
It’s so fun to improvise and just sort of play off her. She’ll talk about having a sense of the space: “Oh, if you’re here, I think it would be most visually appealing if I was over here.” And it is what is really visually interesting. And there are all these highbrow concepts about stage performance being like architecture, the role of tempo. It’s what we’re already doing essentially, to elevate things and I really dig that. Tim’s performances have always been super super theatrical as well.
The Deli: That was true even when I saw you solo.
Tim: Yeah, that’s where I cut my teeth. I’ve been comfortable with performing on a stage for a long time. I grew up playing in school bands. I grew up in a religious setting, so I was playing on the worship team every week. So I was on stage a lot. But to go into the solo setting, I didn’t even really think about that all so much. But there were definitely tweaks along the way. Like that whole thing of me running out of the room during “The Internet,” during the solo, didn’t happen for a few shows. And then when I came up with it, it was like “Oh, that’s it.”
PMFD on odd musical pranks involving Debussy and Tom Jobim:
Tim: But the most fun part about the whole conversation around what happens on stage is that, when Nicole and Carmen talk about that, I’m not really involved in the conversation. And I just trust them. There’s a great example from when we played Rockwood Music Hall. It was booked as a solo gig originally and we got moved to a different space. They had an upright piano in the room where we were playing and so Domenico was like, “I’m gonna play “Clair de Lune.” Tell them we need to use the piano.
The Deli: Really?! You’re the drummer for the band and you have Debussy’s “Clair De Lune” just ready to go?
Domenico: I have enough of it down for people to recognize oh, that’s “Clair De Lune.” That’s all you need!
Tim: During this one part, when we play the song "Content" [an upcoming single and/or album track] the ending is this whole freak out part where we let loose and get very No Wavey, maybe go into “Maps,” and when we lose it, we’re gonna stop playing and Domenico’s gonna go play this. And fully behind my back, Carmen is like, “hey, we’re all gonna play "Girl from Ipanema" instead.
Domenco: We didn’t tell Tim. And then Tim announced that I was going to play “Clair De Lune.” But we didn’t!
Tim: I had no idea. So I walked off the stage and they all just started playing “Girl from Ipanema.”
Carmen: Yeah, Nicole was playing. I was singing.
Tim: It was so funny and it worked perfectly. Switching over from being solo I was a little unsure at first. I don’t know how this is gonna go, just the whole presence of it, with these other people on stage. But then at Rockwood it became immediately known to me, “Oh, yeah, I don’t have to worry about what anybody does on stage.”
Now I make this joke sometimes, when we get on stage, that we all form into one collective brain cell. We all have two brain cells left and one of them goes into this! There’s this one collective brain cell on stage, and whatever happens, happens. There’s been moments when me, Carmen and Domenico have had this fully blanked out look on our faces, staring really intensely, and Nicole will look at us and be like “I don’t know what’s going on…but okay!” The live performances are so special at this point.
Nicole: It reminds me of one of the most formative performances I saw growing up which was Wayne Shorter, the legendary jazz sax player, with his quartet. And it was crazy to watch. This dude who’s a legend, one of the best musicians of all time, where the rest of the band was clearly, like, How do we make this dude look like an asshole? How do we play our instruments such that he looks dumb and doesn’t know what to do?”
And it never worked the whole time! He would shoot them looks like they were rowdy little kids. It was so incredible for me to see. You could see the conversation happening. And it feels that way sometimes with us too because, even though we’re not playing super improvisatory music, we’re doing improvisatory stuff. And so it’s all a question of, number one, how do I make Tim look cool? And, two, how do I make Tim look like an idiot? And, three, how do I make the show and us look good. And it all kinda ties together.
PMFD on having things go wrong in the right way:
Tim: I love that. I mean, famously, my ethos on many things that happen in the band is that I love things that are “bad,” so if things go wrong I’m totally cool with it.
Nicole: But weirdly enough, stuff rarely goes really wrong. It’s kind of crazy.
Tim: It’ll go wrong in a good way. With that ethos in mind, I think things usually go wrong in a good way. I’ve definitely tried out stuff without telling everybody.
Nicole: I didn’t even realize you were climbing on the risers at Purgatory at first!
Tim: I tried doing that at an earlier show and it didn’t work. So, when I got there, I was like, I am making sure that bar stool over there is free. I am leaning over and know how to do this, I know what to grab on to that will not break the fucking banister. I made it happen and it was so much fun. I’ve always had a dream of doing that. I have more shenanigans I want to pull off with climbing things.
Nicole: Was it Rockwood where you ran in the middle of the street?
Tim: Rockwood was crazy because I had a megaphone on me. I was running in the middle of what was not even stalled traffic, but active traffic in the street. I was just like, “Come into my show. I’m psychotic!” Right there on the sidewalk I actually got someone to come it.
Carmen: We got so many people coming in later, during the end of our set at Rockwood, that we played “Abraham Maslow” again as an encore.
Tim: It was like paying homage to the time that Vampire Weekend played “A-Punk” three times in a row. I was like, we’re playing this again!” They did that on their Father of the Bride tour. And I was, like, I’m logging that one in my head, guys.
And, look, I’ll be the first to say it. I can be a bit of a control freak. I have a clear vision for how things should go. But then at the same time, it ends up somewhere else. But that’s why it works. The three of us do a lot of our own shit in different ways, and are really creative people in our own ways. So I think it’s good that we’re always like, “Can we try this? Can we try that?” or we just try something on the spot at a live show.
Domenico on drunken meetups and being a drummer-as-third-instrument in demand:
The Deli: Since this started as a solo project, can we go around and tell how each of you came on board with Pop Music Fever Dream?
Domenico: I worked in a bar in Manhattan called Milano’s Bar. And my coworker Diana knew Tim. Love Diana, shout out to Diana! And I saw something she posted on Instagram that was, like, my friend’s looking for musicians to play with them. And I asked her if I should reach out to Tim, and I did, and then I went to one of Tim’s shows at Heaven Can Wait and we met. And I was very drunk. I was very drunk before I came. I had friends in town, and I went and saw them, and then I…yeah, uh, and so I don’t really play drums, that’s something. I play guitar, and I can play bass.
The Deli: Amazing! So this is the first band, the first time you played drums in a band?
Domenico: This is the third band I’ve played drums in. The other two were very short stints. Out of necessity. Kind of like this was too, really. And I was fully drunk enough that I thought that they weren’t going to contact me again.
Multiple bandmates: I had no idea.
Domenico: That’s a testament to something! Like being a bartender for 10 years. And then Tim reached out and said, “So I think I have a bass player, and a guitar player. You want to play drums?” And I was like, “Sure.”
Tim: It ended up falling into place perfectly.
Editor’s note: Domenico is a sick drummer and an unusually modest one to boot.
Nicole on making cool stuff with cool people:
Nicole: My other band, which like Tim and PMFD started as my own solo project, is called Uncle Pizza. I met Tim at an Uncle Pizza show, I think, because you wanted to chat with Sam [Sumpter] for Bands Do BK, right?
Tim: Yeah, I emailed Sam around that time. I was like, “Hey, what’s up? I really want to get involved in the scene.” And she was like, “Come to this show!” And it was an Uncle Pizza show at The Nest, R.I.P.
Nicole: We played there so much. So we met there and Tim was like, “I’m in like a post-punk band.” And I was like, “Cool. I like post-punk.” I hadn’t been in New York that long. I’m from California. I was in Portland, Oregon before moving here. That’s where I went to college. Domenico was also out there too, but we didn’t know each other back then.
So I didn’t think much of it. And then, I don’t know if I followed you immediately or not until later. But somehow I ended up seeing some video edit to a song where it looked really cool and I was like, “Oh shit, nevermind. Maybe this band owns ‘cause they look sick as fuck!”
Tim: It was probably a TikTok I made. When I was committed to it my TikTok game was on point.
Nicole: But then I saw they were posting, like, “I need a band…for my band.” And I was like, “Cool. I just wanna play music with cool people and make cool stuff.” So I’ll see what’s up.
And it went really quickly. I was maybe, originally, going to play bass. But Carmen’s a way better bassist than I am. And I think I’m pretty good at guitar so it works out. And I feel like it’s been, you know, good chemistry and all the great stuff you need for a band.
Carmen: It’s not a crazy thing to say that Nicole is probably the best guitar player in the scene. I’d wager to say it.
Tim: Oh, thanks! [laughs] But yeah, there’s a reason Nicole is playing guitar.
The Deli: It’s amazing to see a new band click like y’all do, so soon after coming together.
Nicole: It’s so random. I think we have a similar really good chemistry in Uncle Pizza. But it’s a band with one of my best friends from college. And we went through a whole bunch of different people before we landed on our rhythm section—who we love, and the chemistry’s perfect—but it didn’t just happen. One of the craziest things about PMFD is that we did just simply get lucky. We talked only to one other bassist, who is also lovely, but the fact that it barely took any effort at all, of a certain kind, to find four people who really get it is crazy.
Tim: We were practicing for our first gig as a band. We didn’t have Carmen yet so Nicole was playing bass for it. And I remember just sitting at the bar after soundcheck, just the three of us, chatting, and we had so many similar shared experiences–with our music, the scene, everything. And I was like, “Oh my God, this is going to work.” And then once we brought Carmen in, we knew we had it. I remember the quote-unquote audition we had with Carmen that was basically just a rehearsal.
Carmen on making an outré entrée into the NYC queer punk scene:
Carmen: I think it makes sense to start back at this Crush Fund show I went to in November. I’d just gotten back from San Francisco. And it was one of the first drag-punk show hybrid things that Hazel had booked [at Purgatory] that included a few drag artists I knew from either the theater scene or whatever, who were performing. So I was really jazzed to go. And I’d heard about Crush Fund from afar.
In San Francisco I’d been doing this new rock musical written by a bunch of folks who had backgrounds in the DIY punk scene there. So while I was there doing that show, I had the perfect opportunity to go to see a lot of drag shows and punk rock shows. So it sort of put a battery in my back to try and start something of my own back in New York.
Because up ‘til then I’d been pretty successful as an actor, doing off-Broadway stuff and whatnot, but nothing creatively that was mine. So I was looking to meet people at the show. I met Nicole, plus made friends with everybody in Crush Fund too, and told her I was looking for a project. And that was when she mentioned she was starting to make some stuff with Tim. We started messaging. It took about a month and a half before I made it over to play with them.
Tim: I got sick during that time to my credit.
Carmen: By the time I played with them I didn’t realize they were talking to another bass player as well. I knew all the tunes already, so it was basically just like a rehearsal. And not to toot my own horn but I’m a really good bass player.
Domenico: This is now an open secret!
Carmen: And then I realized later that it was kind of an audition and I was like, “Oh!” And me and Nicole were already friends at that point. So we took the subway home together and I was like, “This is really awkward if they don’t let me in!” And then a couple weeks before the Arlenes show Tim messaged me that I was in.
The Deli: This wasn’t too long ago?
Tim: It really came together in the last six months. The long and short of it was I put out a call on Instagram that I needed people. And then Nicole and Domenico responded, we made it happen. And then Nicole, not long after, was like “Oh yeah, how about Carmen!”
Nicole: Well you [Carmen] seemed cool and sure of yourself, which is how you know someone’s probably good at their instrument, right? Plus it’s very important to me to be a kind force in the scene. I think it really matters that there are people who are, like, “Oh, you don’t know anyone. Come join us!” I think if I can be that person for folks, that’s all that matters. Carmen was cool. Carmen seemed on her shit, so like, come play in this fucking band.
Carmen: I also should mention that early on, when I’d first moved here, some of the first people to embrace me were part of the Brooklyn trans punk scene. Especially Saoirse from The Dilators. We became really fast friends, and she was one of the first people to encouraged me to make music and all that stuff. So that’s a big, big reason why I had the confidence to start pursuing being in bands again.
I grew up in DC. And my sister, Flora, fronts MAAFA, the Afro-progressive hardcore band that’s in the city now. I grew up going to her psychobilly bands shows in DC, like at the Black Hat and Rock ’n’ Roll Hotel and stuff like that. I was like 11 years old in the pit with a six inch mohawk. And then I pivoted in adolescence to more of a theater thing.
But I was still keeping my chops up, playing, and when I got out of college there was a niche that opened up for actor-musicians—a lot of plays and musicals where the actors play instruments—so that was my thing for a few years. But there was still that void of, like, I wanted to be playing music music, right? So during that time, after going to college in New Jersey, I was just nomad-ing at different places, finding acting houses that would hire me, before finally landing in New York when I started transitioning. That was about two years ago.
On the trajectory from pre-PMFD to PMFD 1.0 to PMFD 2.0:
Tim: I’m originally from Long Island. Suffolk County, South Shore. Amityville. I was going to shows when I was like 15. There’s a venue out there, the Music Hall, that we played at once. We got paid zero dollars, but it’s a famous hardcore venue.
I also went to a lot of gigs in the city when I was a kid, seeing indie bands at Terminal Five, at Summerstage, wherever. Then went to college in California for two years. That happened. Then I came home and went to school in the city, went to Baruch for two years. That was really cool. Moved away to Massachusetts during the pandemic to be a reporter. Whatever. That stunk. Broke my wrist, moved home to my parents. Got surgery.
The Deli: That’s a trajectory!
Tim: Yeah, yeah, it’s a wild one. And then, like, this brings us to like August or September 2021. My best friend Seth was living in Sunset Park. He’s a New York native. And then he was like, “Yeah, I’m making more money working at a restaurant than you are right now as a part-time reporter. And I was like, “Cool, maybe time for a change.”
I moved in with him around Halloween weekend 2021. For years, since around 2017, I’d pretty much thought to myself, “I’m not really cut out for anything but music.” Not in a negative, demeaning way but more a “this is what I wanna do” thing. I was already starting to write songs when I was in California. Once I came back home my genres hopped around a little bit. I was like, let me write indie pop, you know, let me write C86 jangly twee pop, and so on.
And then 2019 was basically the pivotal year for PMFD becoming a project. I got Logic on my laptop, started diddling around. I put a speaker mic straight into Logic with a little shitty Behringer interface, and just typed on my little keyboard drums and then that was it. I had the name and the logo before anything else. And then basically within three months I wrote “Control” fully formed—which is the craziest thing, because for the longest time I was also, like, “this song is cringe, I’m not putting it out.” And then I wrote what became “Good Feelings Forever” and then what became this yet-to-be-released song “Content” and then the pandemic happens.
But when I moved to city in late 2021, I was like, “Fuck it, this is it. This is the time. I’m in the perfect space. Let’s just do this, I don’t fucking care that I don’t know anybody. I’m just going for it.” And that’s how I started the solo era, which started in February of 2022. I played 12 shows that year which was nuts. Learned a lot and got super sick in the meantime. And then around the end of 2022 I thought, “It’s time for a full band. I want to do it.” And that’s how this all came to be.
On A Queer Friend-Making Battle of the Bands Royale:
Tim: The first catalyst for everything was the Uncle Pizza show, and then next the Queer Battle of the Bands at Dave’s Lesbian Bar on April 22nd. We were in that and came out on top. It was a really wild, crazy day. We played to 200 or 300 people. It started thundering and lightning right as our set started and it was at a beer garden. I watched everybody come in the side door as we started playing, it was like, “Oh, okay.” That was the best show we’ve ever put on.
Nicole: I think all of us being pretty fried may have helped in a way. It was a long day.
Domenico: I had to go to work after!
Carmen: We could only make a practice work the day of the show, for rehearsing the cover we had to do for the final round.
Domenico: So everyone was pretty out of it, totally manic maybe.
Tim: And we absolutely ripped that day. It was a really fun atmosphere, alongside so many amazing queer bands. And everybody planning shows with each other after.
Nicole: We’re going to be playing with Talon. We’re playing with AVATAREDEN. [editor’s note: these shows have happened; the clips included here are from the single release party at Wonderville a couple nights ago this past Sunday. Besides PMFD the show also featured AVATAREDEN and Cohort B and it was a real barnburner. Check out the clips above and below.
Carmen: Yeah they were the first and second runners up.
Tim: So it was like a really cool moment of queer joy. And again, it was just part of further opening up people to the music. Because my goal has always been—I mean, yeah, it’s cool making money off of music and I think everybody wants to have a sustainable career—but I want to expand the palette, the musical palette of the general public.
And to have that opportunity in front of that many people, and to keep getting that opportunity, is really amazing. ‘Cause I just want people to listen to crazier, weirder shit and they may as well start with us.
Carmen: It restored a lot of my faith too. Because I feel like at Battle of the Bands you sort of expect something that’s very not “fever dream poppy” to win. Nothing too out of the ordinary. And also, I think it deserves to be said that all of us share intersections and identities that wouldn’t always necessarily be accepted in a lesbian space. So that meant a lot to me in particular.
Nicole: It’s a real credit to the Dave’s community.
Carmen: It is a credit to the community! Shout out to Dave’s, and shout out to the judges.
Tim on achieving self-actualization…?
Tim: It was a beautiful day. And to be able to be up there–me as an AMAB non-binary person playing with two trans women and a cis straight guy in a fucking band together–with a bunch of queer people in the audience–it really dawned on me, oh this is really what it’s going to be. It’s going to be queer people playing on stages. It’s going to be a lot of queer crowds and straight people who are down for the cause. It’s felt really good that if this is what the next however many years of my life is going to be like. I am so fucking down with it.
I like that we’re one part in something that’s bigger than us–something that a lot of people have worked to make happen before me, and a lot of people are going to help with in the future. So I’m excited to see where it goes. You know, like, we have no idea where the treachery will be! (laughs) But we’re hoping it goes well. Optimistically.