Q) how did you come to name your band naomi punk?
It was a drag name of Travis’. Abstract moniker. Super loaded (“what does punk mean?” etcetera). Doesn’t tell you how you’re supposed to think about it.
Q) do you really appreciate primitive internet?
Haha. A lot of people think about internet presence for a band or art project as being a promotional thing, but that can end up giving off a pretty trashy vibe for something that doesn’t deserve a trashy vibe. “Myspace” etcetera. We’ve just always approached being on the internet as being a component of experiencing our band visually, rather than as a way to advertise or get our name out there or whatever. We don’t care about having a cool web presence so we can convince you to come to a show or get our record, and if people think that our website is too unprofessional or whatever, then they probably won’t like us anyway.
Q) Why did you choose to have links to throbbing gristle – discipline
and madonna – like a prayer hidden at the bottom of your website?
We like those artists. Those videos are really cool! Conceptual game-changers. We wanted to share.
Q) What were you listening to around the time you recorded the feeling?
“It’ll End in Tears,” by This Mortal Coil. We wanted to make a record that wasn’t just a random group of songs, and that TMC album sounds so insane. That album is so unconventional in sequencing and arrangements. We aren’t even really into a lot of the songs on it necessarily, but there’s something daring about it that is unique. I mean, we’re punks, we’re in a punk band, but we aren’t making punk music, at least the way a lot of people think about punk music, you know? Which is sort of the whole challenge of this band, tackling pop music in an earnest way without leaning on familiar conventions. TMC pushes you out there.
Q) what is the inspiration behind the art direction for the feeling?
do you consider naomi punk a mixed media project?
Yeah, in a way it is. Visual and psychic space is so relevant for experiencing music. Visual context. Black and white is cheap for photocopying, so we’ve made everything like that (flyers and zines and stuff) by ourselves for a while now. We make flyers for all our shows, originally because nobody else would. A lot of our visual sensibilities developed over time in connection with our band’s evolution. Not that we’re performing with choreographed visuals at our shows, which is something people might expect if they’re told they’re seeing a mixed media project.
Q) how did the video for “burned body” come together?
We sort-of knew Robin Stein from shows, and from his artwork. Ian from Couple Skate told us that he had talked to Robin about doing a video for us and that Robin was super into it, and we were really pumped. Robin had this idea where he wanted to cut up a bunch of B&W photos and mess with them, and he was really into respecting and building on our band’s visual culture, and he basically did it on no budget because he was into the music and wanted to help us out. When he explained his concept to us we had no idea what it was going to look like, but it turned out so rad. He is a genius.
Q) what is your are your three favorite music videos?
None of us really follow a lot of music videos, but some cool ones we like: “Shadow” by Dunes, “Faithful” by M. Women, “Kokomo” by Black Dice.
Q) what is the music scene where you grew up like?
We grew up a little bit far out, in Western Washington, east of Seattle. The closest place for us to see shows was this place called the Old Firehouse. The people who started it and the bands that played there have built a really cool and positive punk culture that inspired us to start bands and try to accomplish something far-out. When I (Travis) was 13 I saw my first show there, which was the Blood Brothers and the Gossip, and maybe Chromatics? My friend told me that all those bands playing that night had hung out at the Firehouse when they were teenagers, and had started their bands at the Firehouse, and I was so inspired because I thought I lived in the middle of nowhere, and there were just these insane-looking queer punk people totally thrashing for a ton of freaky looking teenagers. It was so far out compared to anything I thought was in existence.
When we were playing in bands at the Firehouse as teenagers, everybody’s band seemed like a crazy noise thing selling sharpie-made t-shirts and stuff. Our friend Gio used to put on this monthly happening called ‘Fun Collective’ at his parents’ house in the woods in Fall City, and everybody’s band (like 12 or 13 bands usually) would play in his basement, or in the bathroom in the basement, and it seems even more trippy thinking about it now. It sounds totally generic, like some teenagers getting drunk in the woods playing punk rock, but it totally wasn’t that vibe at all. Everybody’s band was so good, and crazy, and everyone was being such a weirdo. It wasn’t part of any larger movement in underground culture I don’t think. And it was sort of hilarious, but also so cool. In a way it felt totally isolated from cool stuff that was happening outside. That weird community was / is important to our contemporary mentality.
Q) what is the song that most influenced ‘The Feeling’
“The Kick Inside” by Kate Bush
Q) what is an instrument you would like to learn?
Cello has super deep tones, so would be ideal!
Q) what are you plans for the rest of the year?
Touring everywhere, smoking cigarettes with Mac DeMarco, working on some crazy new music.