Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Another trio's first time in Ithaca! This time is the blown out noise-rock of SHOPPERS. It's members are heavily involved in the DIY community in Syracuse - from music to records, shows, and more - and put their punk ethics on the road regularly. Other than that, we'll let their music and words speak for themselves. We've heard fantastic things about their live show from many reliable sources so, come out early and don't miss their 2:30 set at BIG DAY IN this Saturday at The Haunt.  Anyone wanna grab Meredith a vegan slice from Pizza Aroma?

IU: When and how did the three of you come together as Shoppers?

Meredith: Josh and Kari had been best friends for years when I moved to Syracuse.  When Josh and I started dating, Kari and I naturally became friends and decided to start a band together, without Josh. We looked around for a different drummer because Josh was already in bands, but eventually we gave in and started playing as a family.

IU: Tell us about your latest LP, "Silver Year" and the processes you went through:

Meredith: That's kind of like, 'You just had a baby, tell us about the processes you went through'-- I can't possibly know everything that happened, I can't describe the celestial things that went on inside of me, but I can tell you that I got fucked, walked around with it inside me for about nine months, and eventually forced it out.

Josh:  We all went down to Miami on tour and recorded a long play record released on Drugged Conscience and Feeble Minds' collective dime.  Kari did like four bass track overdubs and I was a one-take dynamo in the studio (our friend Brian's parent's guest room).  Then Meredith recorded a half hour of noise to drown out any potential fuck-ups.

IU: Any highlights from your fall tour?

Josh:  Seeing TENEMENT in Madison, WI.  Everyone that booked a show for us and put us up took really great care of us.  Kari made a point to pee in as few toilets as possible.

Meredith: I had my first tour birthday at Bartertown Diner in Grand Rapids. I drank keg beer in a restroom and we ate pecan cake.

IU: When we had the guys from Thou up earlier in the fall and they had some great things to say about you all. How often have Thou and Shoppers connected on the road?

Josh:  We've just played with them once in Alabama, but they visited Syracuse this past Fall as well.  Powerful band.  It's great to see a real-deal metal band made up of punk kids that actively reject the idea of big money package tours and stick to booking their own tours and releasing their own records.  Real kindred spirits.

Meredith: I think we should connect more, because Thou is an incredible band made up of profoundly kind people. I am a huge fan. Playing our show with them in Birmingham was a highlight of my life, I have a giant version of the flier hanging above the table in my work room to remind me of that night.

IU: When you and I were first talking about getting Shoppers up this way, I noticed that, at the time, Shoppers had a mimimal online presence with just a Tumbler site. Since then, you've added a Bandcamp site but to my knowledge Shoppers has still skipped on Facebook and other social network sites. Was this an active decision?

Meredith: I think that's silly. Nobody would 'like' us. We only have a Tumblr because I am obsessed with that site and use it every day to talk about fashion and satan and girls with my friends. We give out our mailing address in our zines, I would rather get a letter in the mail.

Josh:  We're just pretty lazy about things like that.  As long as there's a place for people to hear our music, that's all I think is really needed.  The kids that want to see us on the road will find a way.  Everything's accessible with a simple Google search now-a-days anyway.

IU: What other projects are you and the other members of Shoppers involved in?

Josh:  I front a band called White Guilt and drum in a band called Hunger Pains.  I sling vinyl online and in the real world with my label, Feeble Minds.  Kari lives in Brooklyn, which is a project unto itself.

Meredith: I do a fanzine and run a vintage clothing shop on Etsy. I'm always doing a hundred things and trying to learn three new skills at any given time, so most of the "projects" I'm excited about right now are things like learning how to make bread, starting a baking club with my friends, giving people haircuts, and sewing costumes.

IU: Tell me more about Badlands and your involvement there:

Josh:  Meredith and I are part of a small collective of individuals that help co-operate the space.  We also live right upstairs!  We both utilize the space for shows and other fundraising events.  We're now officially into our second year of operations and things are only going to get better from here.  If all goes as planned, we'll be moving into a much larger location and we'll be expanding the in-house distro to have the city's first real punk record store.

IU: In addition to Big Day In, where are you guys heading out on the road this winter?

Josh:  Right after Big Day In, we're heading down to DC and back.  Then we're traveling to the west coast during our first month-long trip in January.  Here's hoping we don't kill each other!

Meredith: We may also be out for a bit around Boston Ladyfest in February, but I'm not sure yet!

IU: What else can we look forward to in the new year from Shoppers?

Meredith: We're putting out a split 7" with Panzram, who are one of my favorite bands ever. We're going to Europe in the fall. I hope to break out of my disabling depression, get out of bed, and write another record.

Josh:  I hope we write, too.

IU: Any final thoughts on Big Day In or words to those coming out?

Josh:  Just another great reason to go visit Ithaca!  It's always been one of my favorite destinations but now that there's a burgeoning scene in addition to all of the beautiful scenery.  I'm looking forward to playing the Haunt.

Meredith: Please, someone bring me vegan slices from Pizza Aroma.

Don't miss Shoppers live at Big Day In on December 3rd at The Haunt (702 Willow Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850) with the likes of Algernon Cadwallader, Parts & Labor, Summer People, SIRS, HotChaCha, Megachurch, The Sidekicks, and more! 12 band, 10 hours, $5. Doors open at noon and music starts shortly after.  As with all IU shows, this event is ALL AGES!