Category Archives: Notable Conversations

Interviews

When We Met – “Lift Off”

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When We Met band members Bryan and Melissa are getting very busy very quickly! Portland Notes managed to catch the dynamic duo between gigs and rehearsals for a quick email interview. When We Met has just released a new single “Lift Off” – and they’ve included a link to a free download in this very article! These two artists are a blast to talk to – with varied musical influences, humility, and a fantastic sense of humor, they offer a full band experience! Locals in fact and at heart, this couple will surprise you with their audio power!


Congratulations on a stellar week! You just had a gig on Friday 1/29, you were featured on Robert Richter’s Local Roots show, AND your song “Things We Talked About” was just played at a Blazer game for thousands of fans! How are you feeling right now? Is it overwhelming to have all these eyes and ears on you?

When-We-Met-02Bryan: This is all FANTASTIC!! …we’re “walking on sunshine” Kelly. It’s not so much of an overwhelming feeling, it’s awesome! We had such a great show at The Firkin Tavern! It’s one of our favorite dive bars to play at. I ran sound for all the bands, including our own sound. I’m a team player and a music lover myself, so I want all the bands on the bill to sound incredible. When there’s no “sound person”, I’m always the one to step in and get things setup. I’ll lay out everything ahead of time, troubleshoot any problems, adjust levels and EQ. I got a lot of props on how great everything sounded! We are really grateful for all the support we’ve had throughout our short music career. Including all the radio support from Radio Hot Tub, 94.7 NRK, KPSU, Anarchy Radio and recently being played on Robert Richter’s Local Roots show! We are thankful, humbled, and honored. Hearing our song at the Blazer game was absolutely unbelievable! It kinda blew my mind… I wasn’t expecting it at all. I immediately took a picture of the big Moda screen that had our band name and name of the song being played and sent it to Melissa. Such a cool thing to happen while watching the game with my little nephew Joey!

Melissa: Yes, we work really hard and it is neat when you see it pay off! I’m super happy and grateful.

Alternative electro-rock, eh? What bands would you say have been your greatest influences?

Melissa: I have been very passionate about a lot music. But I feel like when I discovered the “Indie” genre, bands such as Modest Mouse and Pinback, I was the most inspired to make music myself.

When-We-Met-01Bryan: I’ve taken in inspiration from all types of music genres, ever since I can remember. If we go back to when I started playing music in my first band in high school, I would say Alternative Rock from the 90’s: Nirvana, Radiohead, NIN & Smashing Pumpkins. There were also local Portland bands around that time like Heatmiser (Elliott Smith), King Black Acid & Everclear that I all got to see live at La Luna. I also enjoyed bands like Sunny Day Real Estate, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Dead Kennedys, NOFX, Beck, Jane’s Addiction, TOOL, Red Hot Chili Peppers, G n R, Led Zeppelin & The Beatles.

How DID you two meet, and how do you work so well together?

Melissa: We met at a rock show at The Wonder Ballroom. With that being said we encourage single folks to come out to our shows, it’s a great way to make a connection!! We work well together because we respect each other as people and artists. Bryan is my biggest cheerleader and I hope he can say the same for me!

Bryan: So lucky we met When We Met…LOL ~And YES, we make a great team! From singing Sesame Street songs to “You are my sunshine”, to PUNK Rock, our musical tastes are constantly evolving and inspiring everywhere between and beyond. Melissa and I split up much of our duties and team up on things as well.

I love your blog – you don’t just talk about your gigs, you address music issues and talk about your emotional experiences through the journey that is When We Met. What topics can we expect to see?

Melissa: Thank you! I was apprehensive to make that page public and do get a little nervous when I make entries. But sometimes I just feel like sharing. The blog tends to be my thing, but I like to include Bryan. Typically I will read my entry to him for any feedback. We like our content to be a collaboration. The next couple entry’s are focused on the use of the term “female bass player” and my project I started at one point about bass with a focus on women.

Bryan: Collaborations are always the best…More blogs for the readers and other bloggers soon to come!

How do you describe your music – what kinds of things would you expect an audience to FEEL, to THINK about while you play?

When-We-Met-02Bryan: Our music is mixture of natural and electronic elements. It’s a touch of earth, water, fire, wind blended with the cosmic storms and spacial frequencies. We tend to appeal to a wide audience. From little kids to teenage lovers… To young & old Punk Rockers to a group of elderlies known as “The Greys”. We make music to dance to, music to sing to, music to love to, music to rock and trip out to. And music that could soundtrack your souls. WWM writes about real life and imaginary stories. One song might mean many different things to many different people. Music is so powerful how it can impact our lives and set the moods of our adventures.

Melissa: Well said, Bryan. As far as live performances go, I try to give out fun, good energy and hope to receive it back. I really love playing, and hope that it translates into something that connects with people.

What’s next for When We Met? I hear you have a show at the Roseland? Do you have any ideas who you might play with? Who do you most want to play with in Portland?

Melissa: We want to play with Hustle and Drone and Modest Mouse!!

When-We-Met-03Bryan: We just finished recording, mixing, and mastering our new song “Lift Off” in the studio. Just submitted it to PDX POP NOW! Hoping it will get voted to make the compilation and perform live at their festival this year. Fingers crossed! Not sure who we’re playing with at The Roseland Theater yet. Only one other band is being selected to play at this amazing art event. We’d like to play with anyone who’s likeminded, respectful, fun, creative, serious, team player and real with no egos, just confidence and talent and a little humor 🙂 We are starting to record a full length album.


Download their new single here: http://www.whenwemet.band/lift-off

They have 3 shows coming up:

Wednesday, March 9 @ 7:00 PM – ALBERTA STREET PUB
1036 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR
Robert Richter’s “Local Roots” show… Broadcast on KMUZ-FM 100.7 in Salem!

Wednesday, March 30 @ 7:00 PM – ROSELAND THEATER
10 NW 6th Ave , Portland, OR Presented by RAW Artists!
TICKETS: http://www.rawartists.org/whenwemet

Saturday, May 7 @ 8:00 PM – DANTE’S
350 W Burnside, Portland, Oregon
ANARCHY RADIO’s 4 year Anniversary Party!

More Info on these shows can be found on their website’s show page: http://whenwemet.band/shows

Baker’s Dozen Coffee Beer and Doughnut Festival – Delicious Donuts!

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I am so excited about the chance to eat doughnuts and drink coffee beers that I can barely wait for Saturday, March 12! The Baker’s Dozen Coffee Beer and Doughnut Festival is a chance to sample 13 coffee beers and 13 doughnuts in one day, while enjoying music and a brand new Decoration Station for the children! Hosted by Brian Yaeger Presents and Culmination Brewing, this event is bound to please – dough nut miss it! This year’s Decoration Station is hosted by our feature artist of the day – Delicious Donuts!

Delicious-Donuts-05We were able to pull Penny out of the Delicious Donuts kitchen to have a brief chat about their participation in the upcoming scrumptious event, taste test a few items, take some photos, and get to know the owners, Penny and Boun – who treat everyone like family. I think that’s what impressed me the most about this couple – love of family and our local community is the key ingredient in every single donut, breakfast burrito, and coffee drink – you can taste the love! Penny and Boun have been in their Grand Avenue location since 2005, and have had many of the same loyal customers since day 1! The customers who arrived while I was munching my chocolate covered old-fashioned donut were all greeted by name. Penny graciously gave a shout out to several local businesses who support the shop, as well as delivery services that will drop off the tasty treats. The interview below is short, but very sweet, as Penny is an enchanting and delightful host.

Delicious-Donuts-03Delicious Donuts has a loyal following, and they give back to their customers with amazing specials every day of the week! This great relationship between Penny, Boun, and their neighborhood led Delicious Donuts to want to reach out even more into the community and help to build a spirit of giving, charity, and kindness. Penny discovered Dollar for Portland, a local organization that assists families in paying medical bills…one dollar at a time. Penny and Boun believe, along with Dollar for Portland, that one person giving even a small amount can make a difference when people come together with good intent and purpose. With this in mind, Delicious Donuts has offered to have Dollar for Portland take over their shop on Monday, February 22 in a special event! Anyone who signs up to participate in the Dollar for Portland program (only $1 per month donation) will receive a free donut! Party is at Delicious Donuts, 12 SE Grand.

Delicious-Donuts-01Sharing a taste of Delicious Donuts’ apple fritter, along with the other bakers in the Baker’s Dozen Coffee Beer and Doughnut Festival will be a delight! Meeting all the people behind this creative community event will also be delicious! For tickets, a list of all participants, and more about the event, please visit the Baker’s Dozen Coffee Beer and Doughnut Festival website.

 

Rob Daiker’s Binary Affairs – almost S.W.A.K. (sealed with a kiss)

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Have you ever been in love? Do you remember those moments that were so emotionally poignant that you wished you could just freeze them in time forever? Can you recall the intense joy and excitement of anticipation? Have you ever been so drawn in by someone that you see poetry in every word and moment of your relationship? Rob Daiker’s album Binary Affairs embraces and vividly expresses a journey through a developing, blossoming, and expanding romantic relationship. His clever use of text fragments, historical quotes, and bits of conversation to inspire song titles and lyrics bring that metaphorical depth to the music which makes it accessible and relevant to all.

Rob-Daiker-at-home-01Binary Affairs is just so close to being released that we can all taste it – Rob needs just a few more days to put the final touches on things, but he’s a very busy man. A single father, a music producer, and artist – Rob is pulled in many different directions. He maintains focus very well, but sometimes his personal projects are put on the back burner. He anticipates a May release with a show event in June. It’s hard for fans to wait, but Rob’s incredible attention to detail is what makes his work so well-loved and appreciated. The dancy and intensely full pop-sound of Rob’s music is in no way easy to achieve, especially considering that he is composing, playing, and recording as a one-man project.

Rob-Daiker-at-home-02Rob released the first song from Binary Affairs, “Superhero” September 2015 to a packed house at Dante’s Portland. Along with Emotitron and Berahmand, he performed songs from the new album, and we’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of the remaining Binary Affairs album. “Random Error” was just released in December. Releasing the songs individually was not his original plan, but it certainly does cause quite a stir when each song is played for the first time! He’s offering a sneak preview of another release in this very article!

Rob-Daiker-at-home-03In the interview below, Rob talks about the inspiration for Binary Affairs, what he’s been up to since we last talked in September, and he shares a brand new song with us! “Damn the Torpedoes” is perhaps the next single to be released – this is the unfinished version, but only Rob would be able to notice any imperfections, of course. The story behind the song is revealed in the interview, as well as the history behind “Random Error”, and the meaning of the album title. In addition to being an obviously fantastic musician, Rob is a generous host, an active participant with the bands he produces, and a skilled communicator. Thanks to Rob Daiker for hosting Portland Notes and giving us an inside look at Binary Affairs.

Baker’s Dozen Coffee Beer & Doughnut Festival – Olé Latte

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In anticipation of the upcoming Baker’s Dozen Coffee, Beer & Doughnut Festival happening March 12, Portland Notes set to the streets to pick the brains of this event’s organizers. We suspected that the kind of creative minds that would partner these delicious items together in an all-ages festival would also be introducing an entirely new level of artistry – so far, so great…every participant in this festival is a true artist, and we look forward to talking with them all!

Todd-Edwards-at-Ole-Latte-03Steven Shomler, author of Portland Food Cart Stories, Portland Beer Stories, and Coffee Stories and Doughnut Tales introduced us to this tasty festival and the participants. Steven hosts a show on Portland Radio Project called Tasty Tuesday, where he introduces listeners to the many aspects of enjoying Portland’s culinary delights. This festival, sponsored by Brian Yaeger Presents and hosted by Culmination Brewing, is creative, unusual, and thought-provoking…what a fun event – Portland Notes is so grateful to be included! Steven referred me to Todd Edwards in order to get an inside look at what inspires this one-of-a-kind local event.

Todd-Edwards-at-Ole-Latte-05I was energized by my coffee and conversation with Olé Latte founder and owner, Todd Edwards, who has a special part in the festival – the cooperative creation of a uniquely Northwest beer, born of coffee and a secret (revealed in the podcast below…) seasonal ingredient that will surprise and delight you! Todd also shared so much more besides Olé Latte’s delicious coffee. He shared his purpose and heart with us. It takes a great deal of trust and a spirit of community to bring an event like this to fruition. Todd exemplifies that spirit in all that he does with Olé Latte.

Todd-Edwards-at-Ole-Latte-04Todd Edwards was a joy to interview – I felt that there was still so much more to learn from him. The man is so loved and appreciated that we could not get more than a block without a pedestrian stopping to say hello! He has started posting “storytime” on the Olé Latte Facebook page, customers’ photos are seen all over the page – huge smiles on their faces as they drink local artisan coffee at one of the three thriving locations – City Center, PSU, and Happy Valley. We visited the cart on 10th and SW Alder – constant traffic with repeat customers, as well as tourists who had been advised to visit and try the seasonal Portland Pine signature latte. Olé Latte’s Suspend Coffee board allowed for customers to anonymously pay forward and provide coffee or a pastry for a future visitor. The sidewalk was a great place for all to get warmed up and have a nice moment of conversation.

Todd-Edwards-at-Ole-Latte-06In the interview below, Todd discusses the origins of his fascination with coffee, the brand new beer being created for the festival, his support and promotion of the heart and body-warming “Suspended Coffee” movement, and the importance of relying on local sources.

More stories on this amazing festival to follow – to be able to enjoy live music and sample 13 coffee beers and 13 doughnuts all in one place? My mouth is watering already! All-ages admitted (21+ for alcohol, of course). Tickets available. Proceeds to benefit Friends of the Children.

The Intriguing Laryssa Birdseye at McMenamins’ Al’s Den with Will Kinky on February 16

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Yes! It’s her real name! Yes – she’s coming up with all sorts of fun puns for her new band name, “Birdseye Blind” being the one that made me laugh the hardest…Laryssa is a character you cannot help but love. She’s bright, funny, hopeful, and introspective. She has a sexy, smoky singing voice that comes across as intensely emotional. When talking, Laryssa is genuinely sharing energy with her audience, laughing and telling stories that naturally draw people in to listen more closely.

Laryssa-Birdseye-at-Als-Den-on-02-16-16-01I met Laryssa at a bowling party last year – she was so energetic and hopeful about the music community in Portland – looking forward to making connections and being part of building a spirit of cooperation and support system for local artists. Her positivity and enthusiasm led to her being an emcee at last November’s Mogo Music Festival, where she helped to introduce many outstanding local bands, such as Redcast, Bart Hafeman, Haley Johnsen, Mosby, Jordan Harris, Harper, Emotitron, Goldfoot, Berahmand, and ADDverse Effects on the Star Theater stage.

Laryssa-Birdseye-at-Als-Den-on-02-16-16-02Laryssa has been performing around town lately – and I was lucky to catch her at Valentine’s last week. Heather Hanson, host of Portland Radio Project’s “The Bus Stop” and creator of Super Groovy Cosmic Bus Entertainment, put together a fun, light-hearted bill of artists including Improv Logic, Matt Varga, and Craig Irby, Jr. Laryssa closed out the night with some beautifully moving covers and striking originals with her new band. Vincent Jaime of ADDverse Effects and Matt Brewster, formerly of Ancient Sol, are great additions to Laryssa’s guitar and vocals. The resulting sound is full, warm, and inviting. Click on the link to listen.

Laryssa-Birdseye-at-Als-Den-on-02-16-16-03Following is an interview with Laryssa Birdseye – you can catch her next at Plew’s Brews on Saturday, February 13, and at McMenamin’s Al’s Den on Tuesday, February 16, where she will be a guest of resident Will Kinky! Great opportunity to meet Will and Laryssa, as the venue is intimate and they have nowhere to hide! 7-10 PM, FREE show!


Is your band new? How long have you been together?

I’ve been writing songs for nearly ten years now, and have finally gotten around to putting them in the public eye. Both Vincent Jaime (of Addverse Effects) and Matt Brewster (formerly of Ancient Sol) are good friends of mine, and we just came together a few months ago to add additional layers to my music. They’re a great team to work with, and I’m really enjoying where we’re taking these songs.

What projects are you currently working on?

Currently, I’m working on a single with Randal Wyatt of speaker minds–something I’m very excited about, as I really admire him as an artist and as a leader in the Portland music community.

Most excitingly, I’m working with the multi-talented, badass human of a producer, Jeanot Rolland, on my first record ever. It’s a culmination of ten years of writing, and we’ve just finished up the demo. I can’t wait to show the world what we’ve been working on. I’m lucky enough to work with him, and I would highly recommend him to other artists looking for a solid producer.

What are your goals this year – musically or personally?

My goals this year include getting this record out, putting out videos, focusing on the music above all, and to keep grinding at what it is I love most in this world. Music is such a terrific unifier. I hope to impact people with my music in a positive way. I just want to reach out and touch some hearts and souls.