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Viva Phx Q & A: Vertical Scratchers

viva phx, viva phoenix, arizona music festival, arizona events, phoenix, live music, interview, band interview, downtown phoenix music festival, phoenix new times, stateside presents , vertical scratchersSimply put — “Vertical Scratchers is a compact musical ensemble that travels in a van and makes a sound which can be heard when you are in proximity of them.”

The two Scratchers Christian Beaulieu and John Schmersal will travel from California to Arizona to make sounds for fans at Hard Rock Cafe at midnight, as part of the Viva Phx.

Read The Spec‘s Q & A with Vertical Scratchers…

Very first concert you attended and a memory from it.
My parents took me to see Peter from Peter, Paul, and Mary. It was pretty intimate for who I perceived him to be since we had some of their records at home. Like less than 40 people in a pub-like setting. He performed a song that I have never heard since but remember vividly. Had a memorable sing-along chorus and winding story-like verses. Think I was nine.

If you could have any musician (dead or alive) as a mentor, who would it be?
Impossible question. Jimi Hendrix? Mostly I’d just really like to see him play and if that meant he was doing that three feet from me, all the better. I think he’d been a fun person to talk to as well. I’m not really saying I aspire to play like Hendrix mind you.

Very first concert you played and a memory from it.
It was my high school band Sunken Giraffe. We played at this club that we would play many times again called Balloonz in Miamisburg, Ohio. They later just changed the name to ZOO and re-used the letter from BALLOONZ to make up their sign. The promoters name was Rich Mattress which, I’ve always thought would make an excellent porn star name. It was us and another band, Liquid Draino, that went to our high school. I’m still friends with all of these people. Tyler [Trent], the drummer from Brainiac was also in Sunken Giraffe. There were long instrumental sections in some of the songs and I was just the singer so, I would stand there really awkwardly during these sections and just stare at people in the audience like a statue with an agenda.

Personal truth that fans would be surprised to know about you.
I sleep about 4 hours a night.

How do you spend a typical day when you’re not touring or busy recording?
It’s pretty random, I actually spend most of my time doing just those very things because that is what I enjoy spending my time doing. I like working. Otherwise, I like to hang out with my wife, I’d say and just laugh and talk about stuff.

One artist or album you could never get tired of listening to?
Piper at the Gates of Dawn by Pink Floyd. You do have to leave records alone though so that this can be a maintained love I believe. I can’t listen to anything all the time. In fact, I spend a great deal of my time not listening to music.

Earliest music-related memory you have?
My father used to play the guitar and sing “House of the Rising Sun” to me when I was very young before bedtime. The song sounded so haunting and mysterious. I had no idea it was about a brothel.

Nicest thing a fan has ever said, or given, to you?
I received several paintings that are from fans that I really cherish .

Interesting fact about your newest release.
It’s a girl.

Xperience you will never forget.
Playing with and befriending members of the Sun Ra Arkestra.

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