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Viva Phx Q & A: The Soft White Sixties

Aaron Eisenberg, Octavio Genera, Ryan Noble , viva phx, viva phoenix, arizona music festival, arizona events, phoenix, live music, interview, band interview, downtown phoenix music festival, phoenix new times, stateside presents

San Francisco rock ‘n’ roll and soul band The Soft White Sixties released its debut LP, Get Right, earlier this month.

Arizona residents have the chance to see the band live two times this week. The four piece will perform at 10 P.M. at FilmBar on March 7 as part of Viva Phx. Plus, West Valley residents or TSWS super fans can see the band for free at Salty Senorita in Peoria on Saturday, March 8 at 5:30 P.M..

Read The Spec‘s interview with The Soft White Sixties…

Very first concert you attended and a memory from it.
Aaron Eisenberg: The Grateful Dead at Stanford University in 1988. I was three months old so memories are foggy.
Octavio Genera: Tom Petty. Him playing “You Don’t Know How it Feels” by himself with harmonica and guitar and all 15,000 people singing with him.
Ryan Noble: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts at the San Joaquin County Fair. I loved her. I had her record I Love Rock and Roll. Wore it out on my Fisher Price record player.

If you could have any musician (dead or alive) as a mentor, who would it be?
Aaron: Maybe someone like Peter Green or Mike Campbell — musicians that can play something simple and even if you know what the notes are, you still have trouble making it sound the same.
Octavio: Elvis Presley. I would love to talk to him.
Ryan: Perhaps I would choose Stevie Wonder. To me, he expresses love and positivity in a way that is so funky and the groves are so good, you actually want to agree with him.

Very first concert you played and a memory from it.
Aaron: My school’s talent show when I was in the sixth grade. A couple friends and I did a drummerless cover of Blink 182‘s “Dammit.
Octavio: First concert I played was when I was a freshman at UC Davis. I remember feeling better than I had ever felt before.
Ryan: The first TSWS show was at Cafe Du Nord with Love You Moon. A memory I like is spelling out the name of the band on Joey [Bustos]‘s bass drum face with vinyl letter stickers on the dance floor before the show. It was our first artifact and it felt like we were officially underway. Joey’s still got it up there, too. It sort of ties our shows together, visually.

Artist you would most like to collaborate with or have produce your music?
Aaron: I’d love to have Jonathan Wilson or Jeff Lynne produce one of our records.
Octavio: Jonathan Wilson or Jimmy Iovine.
Ryan: We are all talking about how good the new Queens of the Stone Age record sounds. Yeah, Josh Homme would be a blast, I bet. I really dig Jonathan Wilson’s style as well.

How do you spend a typical day when you’re not touring or busy recording?
Aaron: If I’m home, I’ll probably spend some time at my Rhodes with a spliff and a coffee, maybe work on some demos. Basically a variation on the same stuff I’d be doing if we were touring or recording.
Octavio: Playing music..boxing…cooking…golfing.
Ryan: Shipping expensive turntables, getting weird in Ableton, hanging with Heidi, strumming, reading.

One artist or album you could never get tired of listening to?
Aaron: I think The Jackson 5‘s “I Want You Back” is as perfect as it gets on all levels – songwriting, recording, performance – that song will never get old to me.
Octavio: Tom Petty.
Ryan: James Brown. Never gets old. Also, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel.

Earliest music-related memory you have?
Aaron: I remember the Full Moon Fever record being on quite a bit in my house growing up, so I have a very early memory of my mom holding me and dancing to “Free Fallin” in our living room.
Octavio: My mom cleaning house on saturday mornings and singing rancheras.
Ryan: My father’s turntable and records. He showed me how to operate it when I was about three. Heavy-ass 70’s headphones with a heavy coiled black cable.

Nicest thing a fan has ever said, or given, to you?
Aaron: We played a big NYE party in Denver this last year, where marijuana was legalized throughout the state at midnight. A good friend/fan of ours made us a pipe with the band’s logo engraved in it, making that not only one of the nicest things a fan has ever given us, but also one of the most appropriate.
Octavio: “Your music makes me feel good.”
Ryan: Well after our show last Friday, our friend John Moore (who booked us for our third show in SF) said he would pay $80 to see us play. That was a nice thing to say.

Interesting fact about your newest release.
Aaron: We got vinyl….whaaaaaaaaaaaat…..
Octavio: Roll Away” was recorded all live in two takes.
Ryan: It is available on March 4, HOLLA.

Xperience you will never forget.
Aaron: We opened for the Hives at the Fillmore back in December, which is a pretty memorable thing in and of itself already, but it also happened to be Ryan’s birthday so we all ended up getting pretty loose as the night progressed. Watching him stage dive into the same crowd we just opened for during the Hives’ set really sealed the deal on the whole “unforgettable” side of things. There’s footage of this somewhere, maybe on our Instagram (@thesoftwhite60s).
Octavio: Playing the main stage at Outside Lands.
Ryan: I immediately think of a day when we found ourselves on a rooftop in the East Village. It was the 4th of July and we had just driven to NYC from Washington DC. We had to skip the Baltimore show because most of the city was suffering from a serious power outage. But it was a magical sunset up there, warm out, rooftops all celebrating around us, fireworks, our first time in NYC together, the skyline, hugs, hi fives. Incredible moment, for sure.

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