Josaleigh Pollett, The Lionelle, Fox Van Cleef | Buzz Blog
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Josaleigh Pollett, The Lionelle, Fox Van Cleef



Very active weekend full of locals concerts across the state, shows al almost every venue showing the summer music season is in full swing.

--- For me I made my way to 8th East and hit up the show at New Song Underground this past Friday, featuring the singing songbird Josaleight Pollett, the heavy blasting sounds of The Lionelle, and the mesmerizing rock of Fox Van Cleef. Like most places it was sweltering hot but each played through the heat and the sweat to bring those who showed an awesome performance. And in the midst of all this I got to interview all those performing, along with lots of photos for you to see.

Josaleigh Pollett

Gavin: Hey Josaleigh. First off, tell us a little about yourself.

Josaleigh: Well, I'm seventeen, going to WSU and trying to make good music. Ha.

Gavin: What got you interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?

Josaleigh: My parents have always been very musical. I grew up with The Flaming Lips and Frank Zappa and the Beatles constantly playing around me. My father was always in a band and my mother was always singing. I've always loved Joni Mitchell as well.

Gavin: How did you first get started performing around?

Josaleigh: Mostly just friends with connections. I go to a lot of shows at local venues, and I started getting recognized, and setting myself up with shows.

Gavin: Why did you choose to go solo as opposed to forming a group or being in a band?

Josaleigh: I'm always doing different musical collaborations, and I'm singing and playing bass in a band called Eyes Wide Open. I just love the ability to play and practice on my own time that being a solo artist allows, so I usually prefer it.

Gavin: Being a solo act, do you prefer more intimate shows or larger crowds, and why?

Josaleigh: It depends on the day, really. I love small shows with friends and families most, but I do enjoy attention from large crowds of strangers. I mean, who doesn't? Ha.

Gavin: How have things gone for you recording the upcoming album?

Josaleigh: Slowly. I've been procrastinating, but finally finished it. It's a little rough with the home recording thing, but I'm proud of it.

Gavin: Do you prefer the DIY approach to things, or is it something you've just grown into doing?

Josaleigh: If I had the money to be in a studio, I would be. I'm not very good with levels and mixing and all that jazz. But there is something about being able to say I produced it all myself that I adore.

Gavin: You're currently unsigned, will you look for a label to put the album out on or just do it independently?

Josaleigh: Independently, for this one. I'll keep my options open, but it's not a top priority at this point.

Gavin: A little state-wide, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?

Josaleigh: I love it. It's surprising that such good music comes out of our area. I love so much of it. Sometimes I feel the ego stuff get in there, though. It's very competitive.

Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it better?

Josaleigh: Practice! Ha!

Gavin: Who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?

Josaleigh: I love Fox Van Cleef, and it's not just because they're friends of mine. Their music is fresh, yet rootsy, and something I've never heard before. I love it. I also love Will Sartain's stuff, and S.L.F.M. That's Jessica, and she plays the Ukelele. She's amazing.

Gavin: What do you think of the current trends in music that are getting radio play today?

Josaleigh: I prefer not to listen to the radio. Blog radio occasionally, but I'm not familiar with the trendy stuff. It all sounds the same to me.

Gavin: What's your take on file sharing these days and how it affects you as a musician?

Josaleigh: I allow my stuff for download sometimes, because I think it's necessary to get it out there, but I really think if you love a musician for their music, you should support them and just buy a CD.

Gavin: What can we expect from you the rest of the year?

Josaleigh: My album, The Body Of Water, comes out July 20th. I'll be promoting that and my musician friends. Hopefully I'll be playing a lot while still going to school.

Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to promote or plug?

Josaleigh: I'm having a CD release party at Kilby Court on Monday, July
20th with Fox Van Cleef, John-Ross Boyce, and Josh Seppich. Wonderful musicians that I am fortunate to know, and would love if we had a good turn out.

The Lionelle (Jeff Adams, Tate McCallum, Sheyn Love & Wes Johnson)

Gavin: Hey Tate, first off, tell us a little about yourselves.

Tate: Well, we are a rock band from Salt Lake City, Utah who seem to be followed by black clouds.

Gavin: What got you interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?

Tate: My brother Quinn really wanted to play guitar, and started messing around with our dad’s acoustic guitar, so of course- I wanted to learn too. The musical act that had the biggest impact and influence on me was Led Zeppelin. I now play a Gibson Les Paul (electric guitar) because Jimmy Page plays one.

Gavin: How did you all get together and form The Lionelle?

Tate: We all met in 2003, at a non-profit multimedia school called Spy Hop Productions. We were all into recording and more importantly- rock music. Years later, January of 2006 actually- I called up these five friends that I had always wanted to play music with. We recorded that first practice, and the results got us really excited about band dynamics.

Gavin: Early on, what made you go from having six members to just two?

Tate: I wasn’t ready to be a songwriter and band leader yet, I guess. I hadn’t quite put my finger on the specific idea that I wanted to pursue, musically and lyrically. I had a lot to say, but just wasn’t sure how to say what I meant and felt. So I kind of let the band dissolve, drummer Ryan Thatcher kept insisting that we keep writing.

Gavin: What was it like for just the two of you working on the Oh! The Little Bee EP?

Tate: I knew how I wanted everything to sound, and Ryan being an incredible drummer and percussionist helped make that possible. I really loved making his awesome 1930s Gretsch snare drum sound like it was a pre-recorded drum loop or something just really “gated." Jeff Adams (bass player) recorded and mixed the EP, and lent a hand with playing bass on two of the songs.

Gavin: How and when did you get the other current members into the band?

Tate: Well Jeff Adams and Wes Johnson were in the original line up, plus keyboardist
KJ Paulani of A Cassandra Utterance, so when it came to time to release the EP it only seemed natural to have them help out with the show and contribute to making it sound like the record. From there, I had realized that I wanted them in the band full time, because being in a “two piece” band gets kind of lonely.

Gavin: What was it like for all of you developing the sound of the band from there after all the changes?

Tate: Well for me, I knew I couldn’t just look at Ryan when we were about to change from one part to the next. I couldn’t be lazy, I had to count in my head while singing, and play rhythmically in time- something that was a challenge for me, seeing as I have never been a singer before. I imagine it was kind of boring for Wes a lot of the time, seeing as a lot of the songs early on were just written with one guitar in mind. So he would have to play along with what I was playing, without making it sound sloppy or if he did too much lead work- it might have not sounded like the record.

Gavin: How was it working as a full band on Oh! The Company We Keep?

Tate: Oh man… Not as easy as the EP was. It was hard for everyone to know their place, me included. The Lionelle started out as “my” band but I eventually had to realize that these songs wouldn’t be that interesting if it weren’t for the band itself. Some very humbling moments… The drums and bass took about a week to record; guitars and vocals took several months. Finished mixing and mastering it about a week before the release date… Gianni Skolnick and Matt Mateus (who helped us mix it
at Counterpoint Studios) and the band wanted to kill me.

Gavin: What was the reception like for it, and how do you compare it to the EP?

Tate: You know, this town is quite hard to read into. You have to take opinions with a grain of salt, never knowing how heart felt they really are. Luckily, Slowtrain Record Store has always been a huge support for the band. They let us release our EP and LP in their store. They have a pretty big influence on people looking for new music. They have helped spread the word (on both releases) and that has made for a positive response with both the EP and LP. I believe the online blog Forest Gospel compared the EP to the LP by saying I took the skeletal structures of the songs found on the EP, and turned them into full-scale monsters… Okay it wasn’t that word for word, but something along those lines. I feel the same way, because the EP was intended to be an ‘acoustic’ EP, shedding different/softer light on our current songs before I found the right approach to making the music I wanted to make.

Gavin: What brought about the decision to join up with Sound Vs. Silence?

Tate: Sound Vs. Silence is a Seattle/SLC based label run by two guys, who happen to love our music, and music in general. Over the past few years, I have maintained a friendship with Tyler AKA “Lucky” and we just got to talking one day… Want to know a secret? When I was in high school (not too long ago, I guess), Sound Vs. Silence was pretty big in this new, post-hardcore scene, and I always dreamt of having my band at the time sign to the label and tour endlessly. And live happily ever after. Little did I know.

Gavin: Is there any work on a new album being planned, or are you mainly playing around for now?

Tate: The writing process for the new record is almost complete. All the while, we’re still playing one or two shows a month. We hope to release the new record by the end of the year. Oh, it’s entitled Shipwreck. Get it?

Gavin: A little state-wide, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?

Tate: I think people are afraid to create something new, especially in Utah, where everything you see is cookie-cutter. Whether its pop we are talking about, or metal, or cool-kid indie dance pop- people only create what they can trust won’t fail. That’s a problem. However, some people here in town have made amazing art by putting their faith into their voices and instruments. I think that is great. Kilby Court is going stronger than ever. Band Of Annuals is no longer known as a local, I have crossed state lines and found the name Band Of Annuals mentioned in a buzz-worthy manner. East Broadway is a constant party, Slowtrain can be thanked for this.

Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it better?

Tate: Musicians need to try harder to reach out to people with sincerity, and show them it’s all right to listen to things that aren’t played on the radio, or sound just like Vampire Weekend or M.I.A, or even worse- have a cool “Myspace layout”. Oh, and quit auto-tuning your voice. And people need to trust music again as a loud, in your face, poetic approach to life. It’s not meant to be background music. Really listen to what you’re listening to.

Gavin: Who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?

Tate: The Continentals. We all agree that this band of 15/16 year olds is amazing. Next, the Pleasure Thieves. I just heard a few songs in their practice space, and I was so into it. It got me excited. Patter Stats will be releasing a new record soon; they are such great musicians, and amazingly sweet dudes.

Gavin: What do you think of the current trends in music that are getting radio play today?

Tate: I don’t really have a problem with radio. The music that gets played on the radio, was written to be on the radio. And what’s wrong with that? I’m just happy knowing that in comparison between The Lionelle and like Nickleback we are probably making more money per sale. However, they have a lot more sales than us. Which is fine by me. I love my day job, I love living with my parents, and I don’t hate myself for writing shitty songs or having a shithead haircut. And I get to make my music on my own terms, and that is my ultimate goal.

Gavin: What's your take on file sharing these days and how it affects you as a musician?

Tate: I’m not sure if I would say that file sharing hurts us, right now. If we were Metallica… If anything, file sharing (for now) really helps get our name out there. I think Radiohead has found the perfect middle ground of all this debate on file sharing. People should have a conscience to support their favorite artists, and buy music. But making a product reasonably priced is the ticket.

Gavin: What can we expect from you the rest of the year?

Tate: Well we’re doing a week long tour in August, with a kick-off date on August 6th at Kilby Court. 7PM. And hopefully, like I said earlier, our new record
Shipwreck will be out by the end of the year. Hopefully by fall.

Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to promote or plug?

Tate: Um, come to a show. Buy a CD. Give Jeff a high five.

Fox Van Cleef (Erich, Matt, Dustin, Jesse and Chase)

Gavin: Hey guys, first off, tell us a little about yourselves.

Matt: We are like dysfunctional parents that stay together for the kids. Our kids being our songs, that being said our songs can come out a little fucked up but we did our best. Hell it's hard being a parent. Especially when you have four other spouses to please.

Dustin: All of us are absolute nerds. All about tabletop RPG's (Cthulhu, D&D, Serenity) video games, old cartoons and of course spaghetti westerns.

Erich: Really we just play rock and roll for fun. We party and laugh a lot.

Gavin: What got you interested in music, and who were some of your favorite acts and musical influences growing up?

Dustin: I always looked up to the older folks who were plucking strings and playing keys, when I was a kid. There was always such an amazing and unexplainable energy that was oozing out of these people as they played, and I wanted to give that off too. My biggest influences growing up were Johnny Cash, Paul Simon, Fleetwood Mac, Sheryl Crow, Velvet Underground, Semisonic, Muddy Watters, Frank Sinatra and as I grew my tastes did, now I love jazz, big band and swing, country, hip hop and all sorts.

Matt: The Spice Girls got me interested in music mainly cause I was going through puberty. After that it was the Beatles. Also Dave Grohl’s drumming influenced me heavily. I wouldn't play music if it wasn't for my good friend and fellow musician Spencer Reed. And experimental Hip-hop keeps me interested in drums.

Erich: What got me interested in music was hearing my dad play the guitar as a kid. I picked up his guitar, and along with the piano lessons I was given as a kid, I slowly taught myself how to play music. I was very heavily influenced by a lot of different bands, such as At The Drive-In, Weezer, mewithoutYou, Fugazi and plenty others.

Chase: Some of my greatest influences have been The Doors, DJ Shadow, and Tool.

Gavin: How did you all get together to form Fox Van Cleef?

Dustin: Chase, Jesse and I were high school friends. Chase and I were originally playing with another drummer and I guess Jesse must have taken pity on us and decided to come jam ha.

Gavin: What was it like for you guys to develop your sound into the psychedelic/alternative vibe you've got?

Erich: It was more or less natural, I suppose. All in all, we play by what feels right. We strive for self-satisfaction, not for a particular style or anything. I don't think we intentionally decided this is exactly how we want to sound, other than it's exactly what felt right at the time we wrote these songs. I'm sure we'll develop into something different further along the way.

Matt: We love all kinds of music; did a lot of drugs and just fucked around.

Gavin: You've been together for about three years and do everything DIY. Do you prefer it that way or is it more something you've grown accustomed to?

Chase: Right now we just want to get our music out there. By producing the album ourselves and giving it away for free we hope to just get the name and music out there.

Erich: Well, I suppose a little of both. I don't think we ever considered doing it any other way, but it definitely feels a lot more satisfying to say we're doing things on our own than having someone else do our dirty work.

Matt: I absolutely hate setting up my drums. If you want to do it for me, for free, be my guest.

Gavin: How was it for you recording the Cigarettes, Terrorism, Etc. album?

Matt: Stressful, stressful, fun, stressful, tiring, and worth it.

Chase: A lot less drama than we expected and no one killed anyone else. Success!

Gavin: What was the public reaction like to it once it was released, and how did you take it?

Chase: People seem to be responding to it very well. I think people are a lot more willing to listen to your music if you just give it to them for free.

Dustin: It sounds like everyone really digs it. People love all the movements and chaos and different elements, its been cool the way people respond.

Gavin: Are there any plans for a tour to support it, or are you mainly playing around Utah for now?

Chase: The focus if Utah at the moment. As soon as our drummer is off probation we will be going on a tour through the west.

Matt: We will tour for sure, once the man gets off my back for speaking my mind and enacting my free will. Down with victimless crimes. Fuck the war on drugs.

Gavin: A little state-wide, what are your thoughts on the local music scene, both good and bad?

Dustin: I love the music scene in Utah, always have. There is some amazingly talented musicians that have been untapped. This place is a secret goldmine of all genres of music.

Erich: I love it, honestly. Even the “bad.” The sheer amount of diversity alone is just awesome. More and more every day I keep seeing fresh local acts that blow my mind. There's lots of very enthusiastic and incredibly supportive musicians out here in Utah, and I'm pretty thrilled to be apart of it.

Gavin: Is there anything you believe could be done to make it better?

Matt: More people need to get involved, cover charges need to come down especially when we aren't getting paid.

Erich: Ah, if 18-year-olds could get into bars, that would definitely help! It's difficult to mesh the bar scene and the all-ages scene together with that barrier there. Young kids can't come to the bar shows, older people aren't thrilled about going to all-ages places if they can see us at a bar later. But other than that, the music scene, from my point of view, still has a lot going for it.

Gavin: Who are your favorite acts in the scene right now?

Erich: Ah man, too many to name! Loom, Gaza, Reviver, Tolchock Trio, Silver Antlers, Josaleigh Pollett, The Lionelle, The Naked Eyes, the Auto-Pirates, God's Revolver, and so many more... there's so many good bands around, and there are so many I've yet to see.

Matt: Labcoat is the shit. Check 'em out, they're like us but better. It's alright though, cause they're a lot older then us.

Chase: As far as local bands go I think the Auto Pirates, The Naked Eyes, Josaleigh Pollett, and The Futurists, have a very genuine and sincere vision to offer.

Gavin: What do you think of the current trends in music that are getting radio play today?

Erich: As far as mainstream radio goes, I really don't follow it that much anymore. It's something I simply don't care about, and really have no opinion of. If people want to listen to it, that's just fine with me. It's become awful commercialized, which can't last much longer with so many new independent musical outlets available to people. The internet is just exploding with blogs and bands sharing their music. Independent radio is waving their proverbial middle finger at popular music. The mainstream airwaves don't really seem to jive with how things are going.

Chase: I only listen to KRCL as far as the radio goes so I really am not up to date with the trends. If it's good it's good.

Gavin: What's your take on file sharing these days and how it affects you as a musician?

Erich: Personally, I think it's great. It's a whole new form of distribution, of which we've only seen the tip of the iceberg. You'd be hard pressed to find a musician who doesn't enjoy the fact that people can listen to their music from anywhere in the world whenever they want to. Things are changing and I think it's fantastic.

Matt: File sharing affects everyone in a positive way, art shouldn't be forcibly bought and sold. You can't put a price on my soul... but if you want to help me out, then thank you.

Chase: There is no way around it. Deal with it and be creative.

Gavin: What can we expect from you the rest of the year?

Matt: Hell if I know, I think we're on Twitter.

Dustin: Ha, lots of shows, the release of the album and so much love it will smother you.

Erich: Lots more shows, hopefully more songs. Hard to say. We mostly take things as they come.

Gavin: Is there anything you'd like to promote or plug?

Erich: Check out our website, Give our tunes a listen, or just download our EP for free! Also, support local music, get out and go to a show! Listen to local radio! Enjoy life!

Dustin: Burt's Tiki Lounge, Kilby Court, New Song Underground, Liquid Joe's and all the other great local venues! Wes Johnson at Archive Studios, and Ogden Underground; it's the best fucking liquor there is.

Matt: Just check our page, oh and Josaleigh Pollett is a bitchin' folk arist. Come to one of our shows when she's playing.