By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
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By Christian Schaeffer
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The Los Angeles four-piece Warpaint crafts haunting dreampsych with iridescent harmonies and filmy reverb, but don't label it an all-girl band: The quartet comes from the Thurston Moore school of rocking out. Back in August, we caught up with the charming, hilarious Mozgawa before the band's show with Javelin at the Luminary Center for the Arts. Warpaint returns to town this weekend in celebration of its first full-length, The Fool.
B-Sides: How many tracks on the new album were you involved in writing?
Stella Mozgawa: I guess all of them, in some respects. Even if there was an origin of an idea, we all expand on that and try and make it a collaborative, democratic process where everyone feels comfortable with what they're doing and feels that they've expressed themselves if they have an idea about the way that a song should be arranged or any changes or moods. We're all open to listening to each other's points of view.
Do you have a favorite track off the new album?
I probably have two. One of them is called "Bees," which is a song we've been doing live a fair bit since the beginning of the year. And there's another song hopefully people will like as well called "Shadow."
Do you think you've been pigeonholed as a band after that brilliant [self-titled] EP?
Initially when a new band comes into your consciousness, you want to categorize them as a listener and a consumer — "Oh, this would go really well with this half of my record collection, or I could listen to this on a mix with these other bands." I suppose in some way every band gets pigeonholed; even if they're eclectic they're going to be pigeonholed as an eclectic band. There's definitely a film of frequency on the EP that people relate to. It's very reverb-y and submerged. To have control of your environment as a music lover, you have a natural tendency to say, "Oh, this sounds a lot like this band or that band." I feel like every band naturally goes through that; you shouldn't be irate about that in any way. Once you put something out in the world it's going to be critiqued and minimized into something people can understand.
Do you have any especially horrific tour vices?
Ooh, a vice? I guess drinking is a big common vice for most bands. Your performance is very dependent on how many beverages you consumed that evening or the prior evening. That's one thing you learn pretty quick — if you want to have a good show, don't get wasted. Things like smells in the vans, you know, different foods and different chemical reactions of scents in the van. People like to eat kimchi, which I think is delicious, but it does produce a particular mood in the van. That's something we have to be really aware of. So I would say food and drink would be a major vice — or the control of those two elements. For the most part we're pretty responsible, and we care about each other's comfort. That all just comes with experience. You go out on the town, and you have a drink with your friends, and you have a day to recover. On tour, there's no time to regenerate your brain juices.