Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with The Peach Kings

Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with The Peach Kings

Last year I spent a lot of time in Texas. I was in and out of Houston all fall long. I didn’t get a lot of time to spend checking out the local music scene, but there is always Austin City Limits. Anyway, this band is Texas-born, and while they live in LA, they got started in the Lone Star state. Paige Wood and Steven Trezevant Dies (love that name) are in the process of recording a new EP. A single has been released… and it’s good. Better yet, it’s great. The EP will be released on vinyl, which is unique… and equally as awesome as their music. The sound is a blend of rock, soul, blues, and “gypsydelic”. Don’t worry, I ask them about that in the interview. It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to The Peach Kings. I love that name, too!

I love the name. Where did that come from?

(Paige) It originated after an awesome hike in the woods in northern California. After the hike we were all extremely thirsty and before we had water, Steven offered me a bite of this delicious peach. Long story short, we came to the idea that our music should be like offering a ripe peach to your ears. And kings give and receive gifts all the time.

Tell me a little bit more about the new EP.

(Steven) It’s called “Handsome Moves” and it has 6 songs. A couple are some of the first songs we wrote and a couple are newer. They are all songs we have been playing live for a while now, so they will sort of have dual lives now that they are being put to vinyl.

(Paige) “Handsome Moves” was born in our house in Los Angeles. Like with making any album it becomes more important to you, over the process, to treat it right. It’s like meeting a beautiful woman and not wanting to mess it up.

There are only 6 songs on the new EP, but do you have a favorite. My favorite is Fisherman.

(Paige) I would say that I have established a bond with certain moments in each track rather than individual songs. That was also a fun part of the process for this record because we obviously connected with the parts of the songs when we wrote them, but then when we were recording them, we had to learn to let go and let the song will speak for itself. Does that make sense?

(Steven) I really love how Like A Stone came out, which relates to what Paige said. The recording process really changed the vibe of that song for the better in my opinion. When we play it live it has a much heavier crunch to it, but we stripped it down to its quintessential groove and it sounds totally amazing in the recording.

You are releasing the EP exclusively on vinyl. Not a lot of bands do that. What if I don’t have a record player? Can I still get the tunes?

(Steven) Yes, you can. It’s gonna be available as MP3 as well. Do yourself a favor and go buy a record player.

(Paige) It has been one of my long time goals as a musician to start making vinyl and this group of songs reached out to us and created so much excitement around them that we feel so lucky to be able to make it. A big part of what makes vinyl special is that it lasts and gathers character. To us they have more value a physical product.

Tell me about your relationship with Shane Richard.

(Steven) He is a friend who we met in Oakland, California where he was living and working out of his studio next to a hometown chum of mine. Paige and I moved to LA about 3 years ago and started doing The Peach Kings full-time, which involves tapping all the resources we have in our contacts for all sorts of reasons. When we were deciding on how to go about doing the album art for “Handsome Moves” these past few months, we hit up Shane who is also back in LA and thankfully he wasn’t too busy to do it.

(Paige) We were really drawn to his work as soon as we saw it. He has an outspoken affinity for California and he draws most of his inspiration from that and music. Steven’s brother owns a piece from a series based on CA that is amazing. He only works with something like 17 colors in all his pieces, and his line work is something to get lost in.

The V MAGAZINE stuff is pretty cool. How did you get involved with that?

(Paige) Our manager at the time called us the night before and said that Drew Barrymore wanted us to come to a party the next day to take some photos. So we showed up, obviously, and it was awesome.

(Steven) Yeah, I definitely felt like we snuck in.

You play at Harvard & Stone a lot. Is that your favorite venue?

(Steven) It’s definitely one of the best bars in LA. It’s big and vibey, the drinks are well made, and it’s always free to get in.

(Paige) It’s so well lit that everybody looks like they are walking around in Instagram.

What is the best concert you have ever been to?

(Paige) The Dead Weather played at the Palladium like a year ago. It was so exciting and the energy was so good when we walked in Steven politely charged through the crowd to get me a view. And even though I still had to stand on my toes the whole time, it was really good.

(Steven) We had a show the next night so they put us in high spirits for that gig. They had a real powerful chemistry going that we channeled.

You guys are all over the popular social media platforms. Who manages all of that content?

(Steven) We do. We entered an unsigned band competition through Alternative Apparel last year where one of the requirements was to build a viral buzz, so they showed us where they would be pulling data from and it was like 30 different social platforms. That was a kind of shove into the social sphere that forced us to create content and a web presence (we ended up winning that contest). Since then we have realized that more focused attention on a core group of sites is ultimately better for everyone.

(Paige) We have always been adamant about personal communication with anyone attracted to our music, and the longer we do it and the more interest we have, the more important it is for us to read everything that comes in. A fan is always somebody who has value to us, so we treat them accordingly.

Who writes the lyrics?

(Paige) We both do. Sometimes together, and sometimes individually. Sometimes we will be cooking in the kitchen and out pops a melody that eventually becomes a song.

Can you describe “gypsydelic”?

(Steven) It’s more of a funny word than anything else. I think it’s pretty self explanatory. It sounds kind of like a magic carpet taxi service.

When will the video for Fisherman be ready?

It is being released today! It is being premiered online by Interview Magazine.

Paige is from Texas. Steven is from California. How did you guys meet?

(Paige) We met in San Francisco and the first time we hung out we went hiking. Then the second time we hung out and played acoustics together we wrote like 3 songs in a day.

(Steven) Paige had just moved from New York and I was going to University of California, Berkeley at the time. She responded to a craigslist ad for a room in my brother’s loft in SF. Pretty fateful.

You guys currently live in LA. Isn’t the LA music scene extremely competitive?

(Steven) As far as getting gigs and making fans in LA, no, it’s not super competitive because there are so many venues and people and scenes you never run out of people to meet and fans to convert. Fortunately for us we have a pretty wide appeal, so there are so many opportunities for us to grow here. The most competitive part is once you cross over into the music licensing side of the industry.

(Paige) Since our influences come from so many different eras, we feel like that has helped draw in a wide variety of listeners. In other words, it’s nice that we don’t immediately identify with a genre because we aren’t competing with a single scene. Plus having fans like Winner Casablancas, who comes to our show on his birthday and takes photos of himself breakdancing in our t-shirt, validates our reasons for being here.

Are you going to release any more singles off the EP or just Fisherman?

(Paige) At this point we only have a few weeks to go.

(Steven) Thieves & Kings is another song that is off of “Handsome Moves”. Those 2 should be enough to hold you over.

I am digging the Thieves & Kings video. Who produced that?

Our really good friend Paul Trillo, who has not only got an awesome and creative imagination, but he also has the skill to bring it to the screen.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you on stage?

(Steven) At a show in LA, I busted a string and like an idiot, I didn’t have a backup guitar. Thankfully another bands guitar player popped out with his axe and handed it to me. I started strumming away and I guess I hit a kill switch on it somewhere so the sound just stopped. I tried really hard to fix it but I couldn’t… At first I thought I had broke this guys guitar.

(Paige) It was my first show of Warped Tour and the trip through the heat and humidty made the necks and tuners on my guitars freak out. So as I am realizing that my guitars will not stay in tune, the sunscreen on my face has run into my eyes and blinded me. As I turned to my drummer, he looks at me and mouths that I should put my sunglasses on because apparently I had smeared mascara all over my cheeks and eyes. To make matters worse, I later found out that all the bands on the tour that I looked up to, were at that first show.

The EP comes out this September. Will you guys be touring in support of the new release?

Yes, we are trying to handle that.

Spotify has simply changed the way I listen to music. In your opinion, how have services like that changed the way people absorb music? Better yet… how has the Internet changed the way people absorb music?

(Steven) It’s definitely created a market for singles rather than albums, which is another reason why we want to make a vinyl, to keep the integrity of the whole. When people find a new band it’s very rare that they are going to buy the bands whole album before listening to it. You look up the band on YouTube or Spotify and see which track has the most plays and then explore the bands repertoire from there. And as far as absorbing it, it kinda goes without saying that the more information you bombard yourself with the less you actually retain. We are talking about weeklong attention spans, so it’s up to us to keep putting stuff out there to keep people on the hook.

(Paige) Everyone has their own style to discovering music and the Internet lets you explore that. We think that it’s better to release little bits at a time more frequently because we understand the sort of A.D.DJ that is so easy to get when using something like Spotify.

What bands are you listening to right now? Anything new I should be paying attention to?

Our friends band The Record Company has been doing a lot in a very short time and they are starting to get some big opportunities. Worth keeping an eye on them.

The EP only has 6 songs. Why did you limit it to only 6?

(Paige) This goes back to our philosophy of releasing little bits of content more frequently to keep people curious about what’s coming next. We feel like it’s better to leave people craving more, rather than feeling overwhelmed. Also this group of 6 feels so complete to us, it’s hard to imagine what other song we would include.

(Steven) Another reason has to do with the mechanics of a vinyl record. When you talk about how much music you can fit onto a vinyl you have to make a tradeoff: the more minutes of music per side, the lower the sound quality of those songs. Keeping each side less than 16 minutes gives us the fattest grooves, which allows for the deep low end and the bright chimey high end to be loud and clear. 6 songs, each under 5 minutes, equals the highest fidelity possible on a 33rpm record.

I just saw the cover for Fisherman. That is a creepy cover. Can to elaborate on that a little bit?

It looks like it’s some dude or chick in a sandblaster suit posing for a photo. It does have a sort of alien/spaceman/deep sea diver thing going on, which is why we like it so much. You have to keep staring at it because it is so ambiguous, kind of like the subject in Fisherman.

You guys are currently unsigned. Are you actively seeking representation? What will a label be able to help with if you are signed?

(Steven) We are actively trying to do everything for ourselves, which doesn’t mean that we don’t have people working with us. We have manager named Paul Stewart, who is a veteran in the industry, and is there as a support for us when we are charting new territory. As of now we are a size that we can manage, but if we start getting much bigger a label would definitely be able to help with a distribution deal or get us piggy backing onto a bigger bands tour, something like that.

Are you going to have a release party for the new EP?

We plan on having several. We hope that everyone does the same.

After the EP comes out, what’s next for The Peach Kings?

(Steven) We have already started recording another EP with Mophonics that will mostly be new material. It’s hard to put a timeline on that but hopefully we can have something ready before the holidays.

I haven’t seen you guys live… yet. When you come to Phoenix, let me know. What can a fan expect to experience during a live performance?

(Paige) It’s fresh and exciting each show for us. If there’s something that is out of the ordinary, we try to incorporate it.

(Steven) Sweat and beautiful people.

Thank you so much for doing this. I’m a big fan! In all of the interviews I do, I always give the artist the last word. Go.

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