Interview: Owl Like Creature


On Thursday, I had the pleasure of speaking with Christopher Wallace and Andrew Pendergrast of Owl Like Creature about their project and upcoming EP release.

W: Can you tell me how long you have been playing, and when you started Owl Like Creature?

C: I started when I was 19, back in 2009, so I’ve been doing this for about 6 years. I started out recording with headphones, and just figuring out music in general. It just kind of grew.

W: Did you call yourself Owl Like Creature then?

C: I went through so many names! It was like, 21 Century Daydream, or Sailing Day… I was just going through names like crazy, but I finally decided on one.

A: It goes with the hat!

C: Yeah, I normally wear this owl hat at shows. It keeps me nice and cozy.

W: Do you have any major musical influences?

C: Yeah. I listened to a lot of Japanese bands, especially one called the Novembers; strictly their shoegaze/hardcore stuff. And then Radiohead. Who are my influences? I listened to a lot.

A: It may not be a conscious influence, but I can always hear a little bit of Eliot Smith, especially with the D tuning and finger style.

C: Yeah, Eliot Smith, definitely. And another Japanese band, Asian Kung-fu Generation. They’re really cool. They’re like the Beatles of Japan. And yeah, the Beatles too. A lot of influences.

W: So, you are working on a new EP currently. What is the name of that?

C: Actually this one is self titled. It is the EP I really want people to listen to, because after all these years of not knowing what I’m doing, I feel like this is the one that starts to define Owl Like Creature. And I got Andrew to play keyboards!

A: Yeah! When he asked me about it, I had heard him play live shows before. Then we got into recording, and he has a really cool DIY approach to recording that I super dig. So it was a lot of fun. It was a chance for me to do something a little different.

W: Can you tell me about your content, like what you write about? Especially for this project.

C: Oh man. Well, a lot of bad memories, like past bad stuff… Like ex-roommates and falling out with friends, and also personal experiences. Insomnia, depression, and all around stuff like that.

W: Do you feel like that’s a good way to release those?

C: Yeah, definitely. If I can’t feel sad then I don’t know how I can continue living, as weird as that sounds. But you need that emotion, that’s what I think. I’m not saying you need it all the time, but it helps my writing a lot.

W: So are you planning an album release show?

C: Yes, next month. It’s going to be at The Sea Lab, where Andrew’s other band, The Sea Lab- who you should totally check out, they’re amazing- basically has their headquarters.

A: It’s a DIY venue in DC that has shows pretty regularly. Actually we have a show there tomorrow with The Sea Lab.

W: Do you help run that?

A: I help, barely. The guitarist lives there, and he definitely does most of the work around the place. But we practice there, so sometimes I help with shows.

W: Are there other good local DIY spots you like to play?

A: The Bathtub Republic is a cool one, Above the Bayu is one of my favorites. There’s been a rotating set of music loving residents who have always been willing to throw shows there. It’s really cool, there have been a lot of great shows.

W: Do you feel the DC scene has been very supportive of this project, and your other musical endeavors?

A: The DC DIY scene does not get nearly enough credit. I mean, you think of a place like Philly as having a great DIY scene, but DC has it too. There is always a great turnout at DIY shows. The scene is awesome, and I encourage everyone to go out and get involved with it. That’s how we met.

C: Yeah, I moved here from Greensborough, NC and thought, I’ve got to be a part of this local music scene, so I went to a random show at The Sea Lab.

W: What are some favorite local acts that you like to see or play shows with?

C: Well definitely the Sea Lab! I can’t express that enough. I  like you guys, the Meer. And what was your old group? Wind Divine!

W: Can you tell me about the writing/recording process? Andrew, what was it like to work with Chris?

A: He had these songs totally written when I came in, so it was like, how are we going to change the texture of these songs? It was a lot of exploring different settings and figuring out what effects to use. I just got a new keyboard that I’m totally in love with, so it was a fun way to see what it could do in a different setting than my band.

W: What would you say is your favorite… Do you like performing, recording or writing?

C: I’d say it’s probably writing. Performing is fun, but I’m always stressed out. I just want to do it, and have fun with it, and have it be over. And recording is like a kick in the ass sometimes. But I have a lot of fun writing, because it’s like putting a puzzle together. Order of preference would be writing, performing, recording.

W: What are your future plans for Owl Like Creature?

C: I’ve been working on a couple of new songs. I’m trying to explore different genres. I’m really into shoegaze, and jazz. Expect to hear more weird stuff. I’d like to record another EP with more people involved… I’d love to have a full band, I just have to find the right people.



by Wanda Perkins


Interview: Owl Like Creature

Interview with a DC label: Split Tape

Split Tape

A few weeks ago at Flying Fish Coffee in Mt. Pleasant, I sat down with Sam Phillips and Aaron Ginns. Sam Phillips is the Co-founder of Split Tape, and Aaron Ginns is a member of numerous bands signed on the label. Split Tape has a reach all over the country, and even some bands from Western Canada. Sam Phillips is also a musician, and his band Dayze is signed to Split Tape.

JO: What is it like to play in a band that’s on your own label?

SP: Easy (haha) I don’t have to talk to myself about stuff, you know? And the other guy in the band is also one of the people that runs the label. His name is Tyler Schroder, it’s convenient.

JO: Tell me about the DC music scene

SP: It’s definitely one of those things that you have to be in to fully experience.

AG: People often get the wrong vibe about what Washington DC is, and think that we are people who just hang out at The Mall, and monuments all the time. That’s not necessarily the case, there’s a real culture here. There’s definitley a history here with DC Punk, you know Fugazi and company,

SP: That’s one of the most popular punk bands in the DC area, why not Iron Cross, or something like that? (laughter)

AG: I think it’s kind of evolved to be a very heavy on the D.I.Y. spectrum of things. which I think makes it unique and interesting. There are house shows going on all the time, there are people promoting themselves, it’s got a do it yourself kind of feel and it creates a perfect community.

JO: Well, that’s great. So, tell me what it’s like to have a label in DC

SP: The only thing that makes it easier is record stores being here, and other resources like that. Most labels just need the internet, it doesn’t matter where you’re based. You have to be based somewhere with people. We probably won’t still be in DC in 5 years, but we always have DC roots The reason that I run a label came from growing up in DC. Around 14 or 15, I used to go to record stores in Adams Morgan and look at stuff. It got me into the whole vibe of what that is and what it’s about. I wanted to be a part of it, and it didn’t seem like something I couldn’t accomplish.

AG: I think that’s kind of a DC D.I.Y. thing, it empowers people. Being in a band, or playing shows, or even owning your own record label doesn’t seem like a far fetched thing. Because of the D.I.Y., there’s no hierarchy. The people are just people, the only difference between you and I is that I’m holding a guitar, or own a record label

SP: I literally said that yesterday (laughter)

AG: I think that’s a great by-product of the D.I.Y. community.

JO: Do you think there’s a strong sense of community in DC?

SP: Yeah, you know the other day we were dropping off posters for a show, and two of the stores we went into I’ve known both of the guys. They’ve worked there for a couple of years so it’s nice to walk in and know them. It’s cool when people know each other and obviously know other people who are into the same kind of stuff. Even if it’s not the same kind of music.

JO: I’ve noticed that a lot too. In DC it doesn’t matter necessarily into the music, you still support it. Live music is a very big thing in every major city, but I’ve seen how enthusiastic the scene is here. Do you feel like DC music is growing right now?

SP: I’d say it’s growing again. It definitely hit a peak in the 90s, and early 2000s. Back when Dischord was a big deal, and all those bands. After the 80s movement of punk here, but then it kind of died off.The only person I can think of who came from DC in the early 2000s to now is Wale, the rapper you know? (laughter). I don’t know what else existed here then, but around 2010 it had a resurgence.

JO: What advice do you have for bands trying to break into the DC scene?

SP: Oh okay, so for bands trying to break into literally ANY scene, this is super important. You should record your set. Play it to yourself, with your phone or whatever, or something. Record it, listen to it, and if you get bored at any point, go back and work on it until you like all of it. Make sure whatever you’re doing, you think it’s good. Don’t assume it’s close enough and other people will like it because they won’t. Also, if it’s not there in a band, you can either keep going and flounder around, or probably end it and try something else. A lot of things I see are people that get along really well, I know a lot of bands like this. We got along great, but that didn’t matter. We just didn’t work together musically. I think you need to find the people you work with the best musically, not necessarily your best friends. Work with them, refine it, play it over and over alone. Show other people after it’s perfect for you. Also, if you’re on a label, don’t expect the label to do 100% of your promotion. It’s like a 50/50 deal. You have to promote yourself.

What are your favorite local spots to play?

AG: I like the places on U Street. Velvet Lounge, DC9, that’s what I think of when I think of staple DC places. We were walking down U Street yesterday, looking at these places from the outside, you wouldn’t even know there was a music venue in there. It’s these plain buildings, I’ve got a strong adoration for these dive bar type places. There’s a real culture to them and the real DC music being played inside.

Split Tape records is based in DC and at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Split Tape is owned and run by Sam Phillips and Tyler Schroeder.

Split Tape:

Sam Phillips’s band:

Sam Phillips solo:

Aaron Ginns:

Interview with a DC label: Split Tape

Interview with PAIN!


Interview with Timmy Pain, of Pain!

By Jeff Orrence

Last Friday I got an interview with Timmy Pain, to talk about the local music scene, performing, and the future of punk rock. Here’s what he had to say:
J: Tell me about the local music scene.
TP: It’s got too many cliques. Too many people are cliquey. I do believe there’s a lot of good people, and a lot of bands trying to help each other. The problem is, it’s too cliquey. We need to expand

We need to accept people that aren’t necessarily our style, or our type of music, this that and the other where we are sandboxing ourselves by playing with just the same bands, and doing just the same things, when we can go out and play with other rock bands or hardcore bands or metal bands. Or metal bands playing with rock bands.

Like I said, two years ago we played with Black Veil Brides and it was a packed place. We got shit for doing it because we are a punk band and they’re not. I’ll be honest we played with a band before that was supposed to be one of the biggest old school punk bands ever, and they were more assholes. Actually, Black Veil Brides was appreciative, and nice to us.

They were like, ‘Dude it’s so cool to have a real punk band on the bill’, and their fans freakin’ loved us. It grew our fanbase. So, unless punk rock goes out, and goes to other bands and plays in different places and places we don’t normally play, we are killing our own genre. We aren’t spreading punk rock, and people don’t get to hear it.
There are a lot of boys and girls, kids that don’t know what Bad Religion is, Face to Face, or Alkaline Trio, because they’ve never had anyone stick it in their face. When you play with a band like Black Veil Brides or Mushroom head (etc) you are putting it in their face. If you’re good, and you’re fun, the kids will grasp onto it and then they’ll start looking. I had the parents of the kids who came out write me saying things like, ‘Oh this is so cool, now my kids are checking out the misfits’, and old stuff like that.

Imagine how many kids saw a horror punk band like PAIN, and we aren’t 100% punk rock, we do have a lot of metal in us, some of the new style to us, but at our core we are a punk rock band. We’re just fun, and that’s what you want to be. There’s a lot of good (local) punk rock bands out there, Sonic Creeps, Last Call Hooligans, that are willing to play with bands other than punk rock. That’s what is going to keep punk rock alive, not playing with your little clique because you’re too cool to play for, you know, Three Doors Down or some shit like that, you know? I don’t give a crap. There’s a lot of rock and roll bands on the radio, and their fans just don’t know what good music is. When you show it to them, like we played with Sevendust, 9 Point and Taproot, those kinds of bands. Their fans loved us because we were different.

And that’s the thing, a lot of these bands should go and do that. Play with these other radio rock bands to get the exposure, but also to get punk rock out there. Anybody who says that’s a sellout is fucking stupid, because Rancid is on the radio right now, I guarantee you, and every punk rocker in the area has got a Rancid patch on their butt, so, I’m just saying, we need to get it out there, and we need to stop being worried about what someone is going to say about how cool or uncool it looks. In the end, it’s not about how cool or uncool you are.
It’s about how much fun you’re having!-

For more merchandise, tickets to shows, and information about PAIN!,  check out their website:
Interview with PAIN!