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What I Learned at Bandcamp: Bouquet

Bouquet, Bandcamp, interview

Los Angeles duo Bouquet is comprised of Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs and Max Foreman. The minimalist, goth pop group has been playing music together for two years and is set to release its debut EP, In A Dream, on March 10.

As a preview to the EP, single “Stacks on Stacks” can be streamed on Bandcamp.

The Spec interviewed the duo, read what they had to say below…

Tell us a little about yourselves…
We both grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area (Carolyn in Berkeley, Max in S.F.). Even though we had unknowingly crossed paths a few times in the Bay, we finally met each other in L.A. through mutual friends. We bonded immediately over our love of post-punk music.

How long have you been making music?
CPR: Together, two years. I started drumming in 9th grade.

MF: I studied piano in my childhood, and began making my own music around 10th grade, when I met other kids who were playing in punk bands at the time.

Who/what are your influences?
CPR: I’ve been deeply tripping on Laurie Anderson, Daphne Oram, and Laurie Spiegel: composers who construct a comprehensive environment, illuminate synesthetic relations between the aural and ocular. The poets H.D., Rilke, and Wislawa Szymborska are huge. My heroes are bell hooks and Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

MF: I have always been fascinated and inspired by artists who repurpose technology, such as White Noise, Brian Eno and Maryanne Amacher. More broadly, I look to artists who make an effort to remain unflinchingly personal and honest in their work. James Baldwin is big in this category.

What is your favorite song you’ve released and why?
MF:Stacks On Stacks” was a very fun piece of music to work on. It was one of the first songs we made together and it was just so different from what we had done outside of the band. It was exciting to see that piece of music come alive.

CPR: Mine might be… “Over Mountains.” I originally wrote the lyrics from the perspective of a friend who was going through some psy-drama with a crummy ex, but as we continued to perform it, the meaning morphed (or revealed itself?) into a personal narrative, after all – not so much about social dynamics, as interior.

Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
CPR: At the moment, just trying to finish a handful of music videos. We’re planning to tour next month and as much as possible. There’s almost an album’s worth of songs ready to be recorded. That’ll just take some coordinating. I’d like to work with a choir. I’ve got a possibly impossible* multimedia performance in mind.

*probably impossible because of location restrictions.

MF: Just seeing where things go from here! We’ve been writing new songs, building on what we have, trying to create an immersive experience. I think video will continue to play an increasing role in that experience.

What musicians or bands do you look up to?
MF: The Velvet Underground, Kraftwerk and Sly & the Family Stone are particularly important to me, for the musicality of their work and because their music presents the world as they saw it in their own experience, with all of the joy, irony, and excesses that inhabit those worlds.

CPR: Ditto! Besides my musician friends, who are ceaseless founts of inspiration, I also love the “don’t-call-it-a-comeback” artists whose catalogs stretch decades, and still continue to release good music: Yoko Ono, The Cure, Patti Smith, Maher Shalal Hash Baz, Joni Mitchell, Sparks.

Why do you make music?
MF: Music has always been a method for channeling my curiosity, energy, and subconscious feelings into something tangible and shareable. It is a profound feeling that would be impossible for me to communicate any other way.

CPR: I mean, besides feeling bone-deep affinities towards melody and lyric, smashing Patriarchy is a big reason — trying to dissect it with the softest cuts. This agenda might not be immediately perceptible in the songs, but it’s the reason they exist.

One Comment

  1. “psy-drama with a crummy ex” has a great ring to it! lots of sweet soundbites like “smashing Patriarchy is a big reason — trying to dissect it with the softest cuts.” (:

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