In the middle of me kicking back and doing little-to-nothing over the weekend, I attended a few shows on Saturday night. The end of my evening involved checking out the Creator's Grid over at Metro Bar, which you definitely should check out the next time one of those comes around. But before that, I peeked my head into Urban Lounge for an early show featuring UFO TV, Hot Vodka and Slow Season. We chat with the two local bands here today, with photos for you to check out from the show.
Hot Vodka (Durell Williams, Logan Griffith and Andrew Aldridge)
Hot Vodka on Facebook
Hey guys, first thing, tell us a little bit about yourselves.
I’m Andrew and I am from New Hampshire. I moved to SLC in 2010.
I’m Logan, I’m from outside of Baltimore, Maryland and I moved to Salt Lake almost seven years ago. Pretty much moved here to go to the U and snowboard as much as possible.
I’m Durell I’m from the Bay Area California. And Sean, our bassist, just left for the Navy last week.
When did each of you first get into music and what were your favorites growing up?
I played in the elementary school band, so I guess that was when I technically got into playing music. I had a drum set in high school until my brother pawned it when I moved out. Growing up, my dad was always listening to Talking Heads, Pearl Jam, Alanis Morissette, REM, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and a lot of bluegrass.
I was always into music and grew up listening to stuff like The Offspring and Sum 41, but my dad was always playing rock’n’roll, so I've always been super into Pink Floyd, the Doors, the Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers and all that. I started playing some drums as a kid than ended up picking up the guitar and took some lessons back in middle school, but I slowed down and didn’t play much for a while after that. Living with Andrew here in SLC, we had a couple guitars in the house and started playing together and getting back into it.
When I was a kid, my family listened to a lot of R&B and soul. They had an organ and a cheap pawn shop guitar and I just plucked the strings and messed around. I didn’t learn to play guitar until I was 18. Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Bad Brains and At the Drive in are my influences as a kid and until now.
How was it for each to break into the local music scene?
We met T-Coy (Max Pain & The Groovies) through skating. We had a small show at a garage and him and The Groovies showed up; we talked after, and got a show together at Urban Lounge. We owe everything to them.
Yeah, for a while we were throwing house parties and playing for our friends and playing at friends' houses and stuff, but that night those guys invited us to play with 'em, so thanks!
When did the four of you first meet each other and become friends?
We met about six years ago, and have been close friends ever since.
Yeah, I think the first time I met you guys was outside of the liquor store. I bought you guys 40s because you weren’t 21 yet, haha.
How did you end up forming Hot Vodka?
Andrew and I have been living together for the past few years, and had been messing around on guitars and drums and stuff for a while. Eventually, Durell told us he played guitar too, and we just started messing around together on a regular basis and eventually started writing some songs. After doing that for a while Sean was pretty much just like “Hey, I used to play bass, I’ll go get one.” And then showed back up with a bass guitar and sat down and literally in one night wrote all of these bass lines for the songs we were playing. We were like “Wow, what the hell!”
What was the major influence to playing as an alternative band?
Everything we listen to plays into it a bit, but really I think one of the biggest things was we all pretty much grew up skateboarding in the ’90s and watching the same skate vids and listening to the same music, so that’s kind of the deep roots. I got way more into the classic rock jam stuff, but these guys have gotten me way back into it, and we’re pretty much always watching old concert footage of like Primus and Pearl Jam, and it’s just too sick.
How was it for you writing music as a four-piece band?
It's really pretty mellow. We’re always playing, whether it’s just me and Andrew in the basement or by myself or with other friends or whatever, so I’m at least always trying to come up with riffs I think are cool. I think Durell is pretty much always doing the same with Sean. And whenever one of us have something we think is cool, we’re pretty much just like, "hey guys check this out, let's try to put this together," or "what do you think" and just share ideas. Lyrics pretty much come from our own time, though.
What's it been like getting out and playing shows throughout the city?
No matter where we play, we have a blast. We’ve played small shows in our basement for our friends which is
how we essentially started. But when we play at other venues around town, like the Urban Lounge, it’s really exciting. We try to play as many shows as we can because it’s always a good time.
Playing music with each other has been just the most fun, and anytime we get to play we’re hyped, no matter where or when or whatever. Playing in front of people is too fun
Back in February, you released your debut self-titled EP. How was it for you putting that together?
It was a new experience, for sure. Besides shitty iPhone recordings, we had never recorded before,
and therefore had never heard our music without having to play it live. One of Durell’s co-workers and friends, Byron Joseph, has a little recording set up in his kitchen. We dragged all of our gear over and start recording. Byron was super helpful, easy to work with, and didn’t charge us anything to record because he knew we were broke. Thanks, Byron.
What was the reception like to it when it was released?
Well, all of our friends said they liked it, but then again, they are our friends, so they could have just been being nice. We were able to book some more shows after we actually had some music out, so we took that as positive feedback.
You just barely finished another EP earlier this month. When will you officially release that one?
We linked up with Mike Sasich at Man vs Music Studios here in town. His recording setup is unbelievable. We just finished up, so hopefully soon. Once we figure out the album art and that sort of stuff. We have some shows coming up in June, so we will probably try to line it up with one of them.
CD’s soon and hopefully a small run of vinyl down the road.
Are you looking to tour down the road or mainly sticking to Utah?
We are trying to play shows in other cities and get our music out to other places as much as possible. It’s just tough trying to write music, get it out, and then try to find bands and venues in places we wanna play to people who probably haven’t heard us before. We all have separate work schedules so it's hard for guys to get off work for a tour. I really want to, though! It’s a lot to work with as a band who hasn’t even been together for a year yet, but we have hopes and I’m definitely trying to work on a small west coast tour in August. We’re taking applications for band managers ha.
Were also taking applications for a new bassist, even though we have a system that will work without one for now.
What are your thoughts on playing the show with UFO TV and Slow Season?
Should be a good time! I don’t know them personally but the UFOTV dudes are homies and it’s pretty much always a good time playing at Urban and playing with new bands and meeting people. Also, though, Sean joined the Navy a while back, so him leaving has kind of always been looming over us. And he just finally took off last week, so it’ll be our first time playing live without Sean there or without a bassist. We’ve been working on the sound, though.
What can we expect from you guys over the rest of the year?
More music. Hopefully, a full album.
Write some new songs, play as much as possible and keep having a good time!
UFO TV on Soundcloud
Hey Holland, first thing, tell us a little bit about yourselves.
We are young, and like to have fun. We play music, skateboard, and travel around. We all have things going on. Art is the only thing that survives time, so making as much of it as possible is the main goal.
When did you first get into music and what were your favorites growing up?
My mom introduced me to everything since I can remember; she bought me a little fender when I was seven. The first thing I can remember in life was watching Jimi [Hendrix] play Woodstock, and the first song I understood was "A Hard Day's Night" by The Beatles. The play on words in that song made me realize why people even write songs, so that whole time period formed my opinion on music.
When did the three of you first meet each other and become friends?
Middle school, been jamming together for a solid seven years maybe even eight. Skateboarding is how I met all my friends, that's the way things go.
What made you decide to originally form Red Telephone?
Colton had a drum set and I played guitar. We just wanted to learn, it's a never ending process and there have been many names. The first one was Lilly E. Gray, and then Red Telephone and now UFO, same lineup since the start of things.
How was it for you playing around SLC and getting the band out there?
It's fun. We get asked to play, and we play. We have been playing around these parts for a while. Keeping the dream alive is the best way to get out there.
What made you decide to switch names to UFO TV?
These guys from Boston were not down so we changed it. You can guess their band name, haha. It's just a name.
How is it for you writing music as a trio, and what influenced the psychedelic tone?
13th-floor elevators, anything we are listing to we try to make our own, shows that we go to rub off. We have gone through many phases. It's always evolving. Everyone brings something to the table, we reflect ideas, we take our time. There's no rush to writing; it's a natural process. Just let it happen, ya know.
You have a lot of demos online at the moment, are you looking to make an album anytime soon?
We have a full album on Bandcamp
; go download it!!!
Do you have any plans to tour outside of SLC?
Yeah, just some little trips to play some shows and record in San Diego and Los Angeles. Who knows, it's a surprise.
What can we expect from you guys over the rest of 2016?
A lot of recordings and some shows we are playing Kilby Court on June 8 and Urban Lounge with our boys Petyr
on June 13. That's gonna be a really good show, come lose your mind.