The up-and-coming LA boy band talks night drives, inspirations, and the redemptive experience that is a concert where musicians and fans can come together and bond over the shared emotions at the core of being alive.
Weathers have a lot going for them. On February 7th, the four-piece LA-bred band of mostly newly minted 21-year-olds lit up Brooklyn's Knitting Factory with their tightly wound pop-rock, which takes notes from the 1975, M83, and Cage the Elephant while adding its own flavors of millennial existentialism. It's the kind of music that you can dance all night to or blast on a long drive while contemplating the inner workings of human existence. Their introspective lyrics spread the message that it really is okay not to be okay, while infectious drumbeats touch upon on the kind of stylization that's launched boy-bands before them to stratospheric stardom.
Popdust met up with them before the show to talk about night drives, inspirations, and the redemptive experience that is a concert where musicians and fans can come together and bond over the shared emotions at the core of being alive.
POPDUST: You've said you felt you underwent a big change after releasing your first music. What kind of change was it—was it a personal or sonic thing?
CAMERON BOYER: All of the above. You can hear it in our older stuff like "Happy Pills" and "I Don't Wanna Know." We were babies when that stuff came out, fresh out of high school, and we felt like we were someone else's project. After "Happy Pills," we decided to take some time off and wrote music for like a year and a half—which was terrifying, because a major label had signed us and we were telling them, hey, we're gonna change our sound.
That period led to Kids in the Night, which we feel like is a good representation of who we are as people, and will be for a long time.
POPDUST: What caused those changes?
Early on we had this rule where all the songs had to be dark and kind of creepy. But over time, we all kind of realized that we didn't want to flounder around in our darkness, if that makes sense; it's not a fun place to be all the time, especially creatively. We still wanted to have some of those darker tones lyrically, but we also wanted to have fun onstage and let loose and have the music reflect a new, more positive attitude while still keeping who we are through our lyrics.
POPDUST: Is there any specific role you imagine your music playing in people's lives?
CAMERON OLSEN: It could be pretty cool to have kids that listen to us now feel like, hey, Weathers was the soundtrack of our high school experience.
Weathers - Problems (Video) www.youtube.com
POPDUST: Your song 1983 is a love letter to driving in cars, which is such a classic teenage experience. Do you have any favorite car songs?
CB: Nightcall by Kavinsky. It was my number one most listened to track of 2017, I think.
BRENNAN BATES: Night House by Joywave was one of my recent favorites. It's very much a driving song—as well as Outcast by Mainland.
CB: Somebody Else by the 1975 is great too, and Midnight City by M83 is a go-to. I read that they wrote that song specifically based on the feeling of driving through Los Angeles at night.
Kavinsky - Nightcall (Drive Original Movie Soundtrack) (Official Audio) www.youtube.com
POPDUST: Can you talk a bit about your songwriting process? Who comes up with what?
COLE CARSON: Usually there's someone on a computer who's creating the base of a track, and on top of that we start humming melodies, and once we have a track and a vibe we add lyrics.
CO: A lot of Problems was created outside, without instruments, playing catch with a football—we just came up with a concept and lyrics.
CB: Olsen and I worked together on the album, but we've also been writing a lot together as a group.
POPDUST: I love how you guys often emphasize honesty in your songwriting and interviews, especially with mental health. Why is honesty important to you, and what's its role in your music?
CB: If you're not honest with yourself, then who are you? You have to be honest with yourself if you're going to create anything, otherwise it's all going to feel fabricated.
BB: Honesty is a huge part of communication in any kind of relationship, with a loved one or a fan or a friend. Creating this music and building that connection with people is a different kind of communication to harvest, and honesty is a huge part of that.
POPDUST: You've written songs about very personal themes. Is it ever difficult to perform them, or do you find it cathartic?
CB: The only song that gets tough to sing is Secret's Safe with Me; that one's really personal. It's not actually about me—it's about someone else—so that gets tough.
CC: Most of it feels pretty natural. We're proud of the things we've been through that make us who we are. Everybody is going through similar stuff, so it's pretty rad that we can go up there and be like, we're exactly the same.
CB: The first time we ever played any of these songs live was when we headlined the Troubador. Seeing people singing I'm Not Ok, we got that feeling that they're all probably singing about something totally different—but it's helping them just as much as it's helping us.
Weathers - Secret's Safe With Me (Audio) www.youtube.com
POPDUST: Have you had any especially meaningful interactions with fans?
CB: There's a fan who's printing out pictures and stickers to post around Vegas before our first headline show there, and other fans that are making T-shirts for us.
CC: Some fans have gotten tattoos of songs that meant a lot to them.
CO: Someone got Shallow Water, and someone got Take In the View from 1983.
CB: Someone last night asked me to write Nice 83 Vibe on a napkin so they could get it tattooed.
POPDUST: That must be wild—knowing something that you wrote will be on someone's body for the rest of their life.
So you just released a song called Dirty Money. Does that come from a place of personal frustration with capitalism, or is it about something else?
CB: The song has nothing to do with money at all, believe it or not… When you're in a band and you're young and you've got fans, it's easy to lose yourself a bit. The song's about battling egoes and the inner demons that come with being in the industry.
Dirty Money (Visualette) www.youtube.com
POPDUST: Has it been difficult to maintain a sense of self? Have you felt any disjointedness between who you are performing and backstage, or is the transition more fluid?
CB: Onstage is the only place I feel like I get to really let loose. Otherwise, I'm usually pretty quiet or awkward, I don't know. It's really only onstage that I let go.
CC: When I'm onstage I'm definitely a lot crazier than in person.
CB: You really let it shine through the playing of the drums. You let the music do the talking.
Eden Arielle Gordon is a writer and musician from New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @edenarielmusic.
POP⚡DUST | Read More...
- THE PERFECT STORM: We Corner The Dead Weather For One of ... ›
- Watch: Rising LA band Weathers talk letting loose and maturing as a ... ›
- Watch Weathers Get Down to Their Latest Single "The Night is Calling" ›
- Weathers Live Performance & Interview - SXSW 2016 - YouTube ›
- B-Sides On-Air: Interview - Weathers Talk "Happy Pills", Formation ... ›
- Weathers - Interview - YouTube ›
- Josh Weathers ›
- Weathers Tickets, Tour Dates 2019 & Concerts – Songkick ›
- Weathers Highlight Mental Health & Acceptance on 'I'm Not OK ... ›
- Weathers - Happy Pills - YouTube ›
- Weathers Tour Dates 2019 & Concert Tickets | Bandsintown ›
- WEATHERS (@weathersband) • Instagram photos and videos ›
- WEATHERS (@Weathersband) | Twitter ›
- Weathers - Home | Facebook ›
- Weathers (band) - Wikipedia ›
- WEATHERS ›
A cultural misunderstanding may be responsible for Shein's swastika necklace scandal...but it's still an awful company
Popular fast-fashion retailer Shein came under fire this week for selling a swastika necklace on their website.
A Chinese company, Shein has become well-known for their inexpensive clothing and accessories, often featured in so-called "haul" videos on YouTube. Shein has since removed the necklace from their site and issued an apology. But screenshots of the faux-gold necklace—listed for between $2.50 and $4.00 as "Metal Swastika Pendant Necklace"— quickly spread on social media, with users expressing their disgust at the apparent insensitivity to what that symbol represents.
To everyone we’ve offended, we’re really sorry... https://t.co/rm6TCgx99K— SHEIN (@SHEIN)1594381498.0
Earlier this month Shein was called out for cultural insensitivity after listing Muslim prayer rugs—some featuring an image of the sacred Kaaba in Mecca—as "Fringe Trim Carpets" for decorative use and for selling traditional Southeast Asian dresses modeled by white women and renamed to remove cultural signifiers.
Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.
Villains always have the best outfits.
From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.
Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com
But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.
Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.
Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.
Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com
Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.
As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.
History of Nazi Chic
For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.
The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.
Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it
Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.
The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com
Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.
Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.
Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com
Nazi Chic in Asia
Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.
A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.
In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.
OF COURSE. i.imgur.com
That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.
In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.
So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?
The answer is not so black and white.
On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.
But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.
Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.
- Nazi Chic? ›
- 'Vanderpump Rules' star Stassi under fire for 'Nazi Chic' photo ... ›
- Opinion: why there's nothing cool about the Nazi chic trend ... ›
- Asia's disturbing embrace of "Nazi chic" is prompting a nonprofit to ... ›
- Stassi Schroeder Criticized for Sharing 'Nazi Chic' Photo | PEOPLE ... ›
- Nazi Chic: The Asian Fashion Craze That Just Won't Die - VICE ›
- Nazi Chic – Aesthetics of Evil – Medium ›
- Amazon.com: Nazi 'Chic'?: Fashioning Women in the Third Reich ... ›
- 'Nazi-chic': Why dressing up in Nazi uniforms isn't as controversial in ... ›