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C V L T S : S T A Y W E I R D

C V L T S is a band. We recommend listening to them after your pot food starts kicking in.You will be taken to a meditative state where anything is possible. Tender Validations interviews C V L T S member Josh Thomas.

© Barrett Emke

TV: Have you been playing music for a long time?
JT:  we have, but not together.  gaurav played drums on a few recordings with me when i was in between bands, and we recorded a few weird covers for compilation albums under different band names, but we really didn't start writing together until june of 2010.  gaurav was moving out of town.  before he left, we got together for a few afternoons and made up wordless, drumless songs on whatever instruments we could find in my basement.  the recordings from those first two afternoons came out two months later on AMDISCS, the album is called LVST.

TV: Who is in the band, and what does each member do?

JT:  gaurav - clavinova, keyboards, live electronics, ghost vocals, etc.
josh - guitar, vocals, recording, editing, live tape loops.
brian (joined us after BLACK HOLE, HI FIVE) - keyboards, noise, atmosphere.

TV: When and where did C V L T S get started? Is there any meaning behind the name?
JT:  june 2010.  kansas city metro area.  we just wanted to find a short word that wasn't already being used.  we gave up after a while.  then we started replacing the letter U with V (as in "PVNK"), and we settled on C V L T S because we could get the .com, et al.  when we started the band there were less than 10 results in google for the word CVLTS.

TV: For folks who are unfamiliar with your music, how would you describe it?
JT:  dreamy, no-wave, melodic, discordant, pain management, ghost secrets, danger pop.

© Barrett Emke

TV: An excerpt from a post on the Decible Tolls back in June 2010 reads:

“the untrained eye reading this blog and a few others will see CVLTS and get all excited and shit, thinkin’ they’re going to hear some sweet Cults pop music, then CVLTS decimates them with nasty brain burning jams and dude is then all like “aaah what the fuck?””

Is this intentional? Are you riding on the wave of something that has already gotten internet attention from traffic-heavy online music blogs such as Pitchfork? (Which came first: Cults or CVLTS?)

JT:  unintentional.  we didn't know there was a band called cults when we bought in june 2010.  we didn't know there was a band called cults until that blog post.  a few weeks ago, i finally looked them up and listened to their 3 songs on bandcamp.  i don't think they totally suck, but it reminds me of the music in car commercials.  sorry cults.

TV: BLACK HOLE, HI FIVE EP is a project that included a 30-run limited-edition hand-painted cassette tape each with a unique vintage picture postcard as the cover. What inspired this project, and what kind of response(s) did you get from people?

JT:  we've been pretty spoiled by reviewers, i can't think of any reviews of that tape that were bad, it seems to be pretty well received.  the physical copies sold out in about 30 hours.  the artwork for the project was all remi's idea.  he's the guy that runs atelier ciseaux.  gaurav had been talking to him for a while, and he really liked LVST.  we liked everything he'd ever put out, and his packaging is always amazing.  when he asked us to do it, it wasn't hard to say yes.  remi got the postcards at a thrift store in paris, and the tapes are old tapes of random length that he painted black.  he erased what was on the tapes and dubbed our album on them.  we wrote, recorded, and mixed BLACK HOLE, HI FIVE in one weekend.

TV: In the age of the internet, it seems as if music and bands happen more like a tidal wave then say the waxing and waning of the moon. Some would say music has become too accessible and therefore disposable, or easily taken for granted. In your opinion, what are the positive and negative side effects of the technological age of music?
JT:  the positives are that we can do all recording, mixing, mastering, distribution, merch, booking and press without much help.  i don't really see too much downside to what's going on right now.  it's harder to make money selling music now because anything you want to hear can be found for free, but i think being able to do so many things yourself offsets that.  we don't have to pay for studio time, booking agents, video editors or public relations people because we can do all that ourselves.  in the before-time, you had to sell records to make sure you at least broke even, and most of the times the labels, studios, video producers and agents made more money than the bands.  now we can make music that costs us nothing, and we can give it away on bandcamp and not lose money.  i think this is a really good time in history to be making counterculture music.

TV: You have a song called Pizza Reality. We LOVE pizza, and to us it seems your song is conveying the message that the reality of the pizza may be sadder than the pizza itself. Are we off track here?
JT:  we came up with that song title while we were taking a break from recording BLACK HOLE, HI FIVE.  we were watching the science channel, coming down from a trip, and i cooked a pizza.  the smell, the heat, the taste, we were instantly transported from drug reality to pizza reality.  it's not a bad reality to be in.  and if you play air drums to the song, it makes it seem less sad.

pizza reality by C V L T S

TV: What are the top 5 bands you are listening to on heavy rotation these days?
JT:  earthmasters, young heat, outer limits recordings, black tambourine, yuppies

TV: Tender Validations strives to connect people in more personal ways by means of dying art forms: post mail and mix tapes and conversations. Thanks for taking the time to connect with us! Any final words?

JT:  be excellent to each other /\/\/\/\  be weird.

C V L T S - Flooded Forest / Microrangers from AAVV on Vimeo.

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