Interview: Culture Shock

Published on 7 November 2022 at 11:20

1: How did you decide on the name, “Culture Shock"?
Travis: We were brainstorming names and it just came to me randomly, like a shock you could say. It has a flow and I think it fits for what we're trying to do. Culture Shock is the state of panic a foreigner might face in a different country. I can't remember but I had some kind of interest in it for a while.
Ben: Yeah I think one day were jamming and Travis just said "How about we name ourselves Culture Shock! We didn't hesitate and changed our profile info immediately

2: What inspires you to create?
Travis: To be honest, there are times of laziness but I always end up coming back to music. I would say maybe the love of it. I also believe that when you take something like music and stick with it, it sort of ends up as an extra limb. Music is as natural to me as breathing air; not a day goes by where I don't think, conceptualize, or do something musical. You wear it like a birthmark, it can hidden but it's always there poking at the surface. Even when you're sick of it, want no more, and decide that's it, it always comes back. In a sense, you don't pick it, it picks you.

3: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be in a creative profession?
Ethan: Find the perfect balance between practice and breaks. When I was a child learning how to play drums, I was basically forced to learn it, or well it’s how I felt. I ended up giving up on drums for a while because I just felt crushed for so long into it. But later on I got back into it, and that was satisfying. I practice more than ever now, even when I can’t practice at school I air drum or tap my desk. Find your time to practice, and when you do, go all in.

4: Do you feel open minded about what you listen to? Do you like going out of your comfort zone?

Travis: Generally yes. It's always good to give a song a listen. I find that if I find something that confuses me, I try to understand it. By understanding what the art is trying to do, you get a better appreciation for it. So in short, yes I like to go out of my comfort zone.

5: What outlets do you find out about music from? (Record stores, magazines, samplers, etc.)
Ethan: My outlets vary quite a bit. I remember not too long ago I stumbled across and ad on Spotify, and it was of a small band called D.C. Wolves. Next think you know, I’m listening to their whole discography. Another one I find is whenever a small band I appreciate is out playing gigs at a bar or something. I’ll keep an eye out for their name and look them up a bit later. It’s amazing to hear small bands building because I can relate to them so much. It’s always super nice to simply listen and support them
Ben: Usually I find music from spotify, more specifically the Release Radar and Discover Weekly playlists. I found a song from a small project called The Damn Straights on my Release Radar. Check out their song Blow It Up, definitely worth a listen. But I've also started listening to bands because my friends show them to me. For a while my friend Jackson kept telling me to listen to Dead Poet Society... All. The. Time. The only reason I didn't love them was Jack's vocals, but then I listened to .swvrm. and that changed real quick. Another one he's shown me is a band called Big Spring, which I loved immensely when I first heard them.
Travis: Mainly streaming services and the occasional recommend from a friend. I don't go to record stores too much due to the fact I ain't got that much money. My main buys though are books.

6: What is your favorite format to listen to music on? (CD, Vinyl, etc.)
Ethan: That’s a good question really. I absolutely LOVE the sounds of record crackling and whatnot, and I love the idea of going on a long drive alone while throwing a CD into the car. It’s really hard to decide on one. But when it comes to usefulness, I usually look my songs up on YouTube or downloaded files.

7: How do you feel the internet has impacted the music business?
Ben: It's definitely made it easier to gather an audience. But it still takes A LOT of luck to get your music, or even your name in general, in front of people who want to listen to your music. All of the advertisements still go to bigger bands, so for a smaller artist you have to make friends. Make connections to communities and get yourself known. Or, that's the idea at least.
8: Who was the first band/artist that became your favorite band?
Ben: The Black Keys. I started listening to them about 8 months before their album 'Let's Rock' came out, and they've always been my favorite ever since. Before them I wasn't really a musical person. They're the reason why I started playing bass.
Travis: Hands down Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. I met a kid who would not shut up about Nirvana. After 5 days of this nagging of Nirvana he played me Smells Like Teen Spirit. I was blown away to say the least. I had never heard anything like that prior to that moment. Not too long later, I would get my first guitar and 5 years later and I'm still going at it. I can't say that Nirvana is my favorite band anymore (that might go to Zappa or Pink Floyd) but I still love and appreciate their music and the impact on me.
Ethan: Red Hot Chili Peppers hands down. My family have basically become a cult towards them. Seriously, (with the exception of me and my younger sibling) everyone in my family has gotten a tattoo of the logo somewhere. I’ve loved them since I was a kid and I remember my older brothers own actual albums of theirs. Seeing them back too made my little heart warm.
9: If you could open a show for any artist, who would it be?
Ethan: With how many bloody concerts the Chili Peppers have been booked for, and since it’s been my number 1 band since I was a kid, I would kill to open for them. It would be my first ever concert, and an amazing time being able to see the legends themselves. That right there is something right out of a dream.
10: What was the inspiration for your song “Lying For It, Dying For It”?
Ben: I wrote this song the one time I was paying attention in history classes. I remember my teacher was going over financial hierarchy and what your social status was based on how much money you have. He was telling us about what rich people would do to make more money from the poor. And I thought "Hey, rich people still lie for more money to this day. And the people they take it from would die for even a fraction of what these rich people have." Some people who are higher up in society still take advantage of people they see as below them, and I knew that it was as relevant of a topic today as it was over 500 years ago.

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