Interview by Sally A. Edwards.
Photography courtesy of Laundry Day.
I’ve done my fair share of interviews. Some I’ve waited hours for, not being able to make a move just in case the star of the show arrived. Hungry? Thirsty? Who needs sustenance when there’s an interview to do. Fact of the matter is, the star in question would’ve ordered a drink and joined me or even, taken a bite of my sandwich. It’s all happened before. In most cases, the stars are just as anxious, or excited or hungry and in need of rehydration as we are. It’s just the schedules and expectations that aren’t considerate of this. The spreadsheet is not equipped for a human’s ultradian rhythm. The accountants checking the boxes and essentially running the show have no idea the toll this stuff takes when they checkout at EOP and go to the pub or home to their family.
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So why should artists get entangled in complicated paperwork involving likenesses, ownership and percentages when technology has evolved into a creative oyster? Why should artists endure unhealthy schedules?
The world has been in turmoil for quite a long time now and the axis feels off-kilter. Far too many artists and creatives have had their work consumed effectively for free. Feeling blue? There’s a song for that. No plans today? Head to a gallery. Just want to chill? Dare to stream. There are only so many rehashes, remakes and remixes or re-releases we can all take. Replaying is replaying. The labels and distributors are now laughing all the way to the bank with their back catalogues. Nostalgia went off-to-the races during the pandemic, musicians competing and taking surprise winnings like the Olympics with royalties piling up for the already successful. PRS is in a nostalgic loop that’s starting to feel like a twisted binge-worthy plot with an antagonistic soundtrack.
It comes back to ultradian rhythms. The world is about forward motion and evolution. Relatively recently scientists have only discovered that the continuation of learning is a good thing. Growing neurones is entirely possible and also a good thing, and guess what? They’ve studied what happens to the brain with simulations like listening to music and those results will light you up – literally. So music is good, reading is good, para-socialising, IRL socialising is better and new experiences are particularly excellent.
And guess what? That’s a business model.
So a solution?
Meet protagonists, Sawyer Nunes, Jude Ciulla-Lipkin, Henry Weingartner, Etai Abramovich and Henry Pearl aka H.P known collectively as Laundry Day, a five piece from New York City. The five embody the spirit of defiant, true artists meets old school music biz.
They’re as DIY as you can possibly imagine – which means they can relish in their all important autonomy. They support and encourage each other. They even drive themselves on tour. When was the last time you saw the singer or drummer parallel park the tour bus?
Sawyer, Jude, Henry, Etai and H.P are ridiculously talented and committed. They display an openness and kind of bond that is truly rare.
Having been so busy, I only downloaded one new album in a month recently – I pay £10 per month for music. That album was Laundry Day’s “Younger Than I Was Before”. A rich, self-produced, self-released, 17 tracks, nine skits, sweet spot jackpot.
Apple, can you send that money direct to the band, please?
Back to interviews. They are indeed an art and I am still practising. I can’t tell you how many I’ve done, but I can tell you this was the first time I’ve interviewed more than four people. I can also tell you, there are quite a few interviews I rank up there as the best and this one jumped up the leaderboard. This band could teach a lot of bands and people in general a thing or two.
We met over Zoom. In England the sun was setting and the temperature falling, in NYC the band gathered round a laptop in Etai’s basement where the album was made.
Sally: I’ve got a bunch of questions. Some are fun…You ready?
Sally: Henry, please, can you introduce Etai, including his best good deed?
Etai: Oh, wow. Getting it right into it.
Henry: All right, well, this is Etai, drummer extraordinaire. The man with the best style in the band and the man with the best health habits in the band. The yogamatic. He’s all around just a magnificent human being.
Etai: I love you, man. That was good. Thank you for that.
Jude: That’s so sweet.
Sally: Okay. Etai, can you introduce H.P and describe his stage presence.
Etai: H.P is a man who wears many hats. Dearest friend, extraordinary bass player. He was sitting in my geometry table on one of the first days of high school, and I knew for some reason, this is a man I’m going to be soul bonded with for life. He is my rhythm section brother and that means we literally have achieved this kind of telepathy where we can communicate our instruments. And I would say it carries on even when we’re not sitting behind our instruments. Sometimes I can read a face so well from this man. He’s very, very expressive and he just has a big heart that teaches me how to love, honestly.
H.P: Oh wow! Oh wow! [H.P hugs Etai]
Sally: Awww! [laughs] H.P, how does the telepathy work with regards to smoothie ingredients?
H.P: Oh, I…
Etai: In reference to smoothie ingredients, how does the telepathy work in regards to smoothie ingredients? Well, we both show up with like the same smoothie cups sometimes…
H.P: Yeah. Yeah… It’s more the nose. The nose can tell. You smell some ginger, you smell some kale, you know. And then in my mind though, I know he’s got like some flaxseed in there…
Etai: Right. And he didn’t even have to ask me. He just knew.
Jude: Is that what you had in mind for that question?
Sally: This is a BLAG interview. It goes anywhere.
Jude: Okay? We’re down.
Henry: We like that.
Sally: Okay, Sawyer, are you ready?
Sawyer: I’m ready.
Sally: Please can you introduce Jude and describe his most notable saying and best trait?
Sawyer: Jude. We met on the first day of high school. He is my singing brother as well. He sings upfront with me. He’s a musical genius. He knows exactly what he wants. He’s determined. I would say his best traits are he knows how to have a good time even when everything’s stressful. And he’s just that person that could bring you back down to the ground when you feel like you’re lost in the clouds.
[Jude back fist bumps Sawyer]
Jude: I’ll take that.
Sally: Nice for bonding, on top of the fact you’re already really well bonded.
Jude: Yeah. We keep bonding more and more.
Sally: Yeah. Okay. H.P, can you introduce Sawyer including most notable habits?
H.P: Most notable habits for Sawyer. Don’t be afraid. No, no, no. All right.
Henry: An exposé.
Sawyer; Don’t be afraid is how you also know.
H.P: Yeah. Here to my left, we have the multi-talented and extremely empathetic and understanding, Sawyer Nunes. He’s got the voice of an angel. And one of his most notable habits is that he’ll even if he’s going out on the block just for a little walk, he’s making friends, and he’s dressing fine.
Sawyer: Yeah. Okay.
Etai: You got the Hulk smash green beans on.
Sally: Jude, can you introduce Henry and tell us his best trait?
Jude: Henry’s best trait…
Etai: There are none.
Jude: No honestly… For me and him, it always comes back to the humour. I mean, we have a lot of serious moments, but this man is in my eyes, the funniest person in the world.
Etai: I agree.
Jude: He’s capable of a lot of other things, but that’s all I really care about, the jokes. [fist bumps Henry] So that’s all I know. He’s the funniest man.
Henry: That’s that’s all I needed to hear.