20 DISARMing Questions for Ammo Bankoff of Brass Box

Los Angeles’ Brass Box “allures listeners into a velvet sea of atmospheric waves” and “invite their audience onto the spectral shores of a dream”.

Brass Box first caught our attention on the New Music Radar with their infectious song “Tragedy”.

With their debut album The Cathedral now available from Dune Altar, we caught up with singer and bass player, Ammo Bankoff, to ask her about music, art, travel, and life in general.

This is what she shared with us.

What artists are you listening to right now?

Dead Can Dance, Rowland S Howard, The Damned, The Soft Moon, Jozef Van Wissem, Boris, Anna Von Hausswolff, Vas, Zanias, INXS, Bryan Ferry…

What was the first LP/tape/CD you remember owning?

My first tape was Gloria Estefan and that was fabulous as a 7 year old, but the first tape I willingly got my hands on was a mix tape with Dead Kennedys Frankenchrist on one side and Subhumans EP/LP on the other.

Do you prefer Vinyl, CD, Cassettes, or streaming?

It depends on the experience. I prefer vinyl if I really love the album and want a real listening experience. Vinyl is interactive and forces you to pay attention. Streaming is portable and lovely when you want to check out new music.

What are your favourite bands?

We can’t play favourites here. Too many variables and moods that can determine those choices on an hourly basis. Although moody, heavy, dreamy, pretty are typical requisites.

Why do you live where you do?

I got sucked into a vortex.

What is your favourite journey?

One that never ends. It’s always about the journey.

What’s your idea of a perfect Sunday?

Perfection does not exist.

What essentials do you take on a plane or tour bus?

Rose water, sunnies, hooded coat and a camera.

What is your dream vacation if money was no object?

Blood Falls

What do you do with 4 hours to yourself in a new city?

Walk endlessly.


What inspired you to take up music?

I’d always been a fan of music, but I never thought of pursuing it. I didn’t think becoming a musician was something I was “allowed” to do as a career so it was never something I was consciously trying for.

I found my dad’s electric guitar in my youngest years and played around with that for a while even though we didn’t have an amp. In high school I stole a friend’s guitar and tinkered with that for a while. I still write most of music with that guitar. But really their wasn’t one moment where I planned to do anything with music. One thing after another kept happening and it was fun and challenging so I kept going.

What was your most memorable day job?

None of them!

What advice should you have taken but didn’t?

I always ask for advice and never take it.

Who’s your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would the menu
be?

Luis Buñel. Roasted Sheep.

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

A toss up between Korben Dallas and Candide.

What was the best live gig or music festival you attended (as a fan or artist)?

Coachella where my bandmate and myself went to a strip club and casino to gamble instead of going to the festival.

Editors:  Love this!

What are your “must” read magazines, news, websites, blogs?

I’m a book and film person.

Name something you consider a mind-altering work of art.

The Bible and a hit of LSD.

What does the next 6 months look like for you?

Not close enough and not far enough away for any thoughts.

Which musician rule do you agree with? Always meet your heroes or never meet your heroes?

I have ‘accidentally’ met some of my hero’s and find that it depends on the person. People are just people meaning some are assholes and some are lesser assholes.

Thanks Ammo!

Now go get The Cathedral on Dune Altar HERE.

20 DISARMing Questions for James Atkin

We recently featured “Rise” by James Atkin on our New Music Radar, a song from his third upcoming solo album entitled Popcorn Storm. James was kind enough to follow up that mini-feature by answering our batch of DISARMing questions that discuss music, art, travel, and the journey to becoming a musician.

This is what James shared with us.

What artists are you listening to right now?

The Chemical Brothers new album releases.

What was the first LP/tape/CD you remember owning?

I think it was a Slade album my dad brought home for me when I was 10 years old.

Do you prefer Vinyl, CD, Cassettes, or streaming?

I seem to just stream these days unfortunately. The decks get an airing every so often, but usually just to play the old vinyl I collected in the 80s and 90s.

What are your favourite bands?

The Smiths/New Order/The Cure

Why do you live where you do?

Peace and quiet. Little action but it keeps me out of trouble.

What is your favourite journey?

The train journey from Moscow to Leningrad/St. Petersburg

What’s your idea of a perfect Sunday?

Bloody Marys and techno music, sat out on the patio.

What essentials do you take on a plane or tour bus?

Headphones and a good audio book.

What is your dream vacation if money was no object?

An American road trip I guess.

What do you do with 4 hours to yourself in a new city?

Walk, walk, and walk.

What inspired you to take up music?

My dad singing me to sleep with rebel folk song.

What was your most memorable day job?

Massage parlor in West London.

What advice should you have taken but didn’t?

Buy houses and not drugs.

Who’s your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would the menu be?

Whitney Houston

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

Gru from Despicable Me

What was the best live gig or music festival you attended (as a fan or artist)?

Early 80s Glastonbury’s when we were kids – Hawkwind, Gong, etc…

What are your “must” read magazines, news, websites, blogs?

‘Acid house experience – community’ FB page. Great threads and posts of old tunes and rave stories.

Name something you consider a mind-altering work of art.

Love ‘Jamie Reid’ (Sex) Pistols artwork pieces.

K Foundation antics over the years.

What does the next 6 months look like for you?

Getting to grips with turning 50 years old.

Which musician rule do you agree with? Always meet your heroes or never meet your heroes? 

Neil Young – I haven’t met him yet so can’t comment. I once met Bowie but was so rapped up in my own stupid importance at the time that I never valued it sadly.

Thanks James!

Pre-order Popcorn Storm HERE.

20 DISARMing Questions for Josh Charles of ASHRR

ASHRR are a Synth-Pop trio from Los Angeles that released their debut self-titled EP late last year and are following up with their first full-length record called, Oscillator, on May 10th.

Their sound is described as a throwback to dark New Wave that conjures thoughts of David Bowie, Peter Murphy, Gary Numan, and newer acts like Future Islands.

Watch the video for “All Yours All Mine”

We caught up with Josh Charles, a critically acclaimed piano prodigy, guitarist, singer, producer and songwriter to ask him our patented DISARMing questions about music, travel, and life in general. This is what he shared with us.

What artists are you listening to right now?

Billie Eilish, Marvin Gaye, Talk Talk

What was the first LP/tape/CD you remember owning?

The first cassette I owned was The Police, Synchronicity and first CD was Beastie Boys, Licensed To Ill

Do you prefer Vinyl, CD, Cassettes, or streaming?

Vinyl

What are your favourite bands?

U2, Radiohead, The Police, Talking Heads, David Bowie , so many I can’t even begin to name

Why do you live where you do?

Los Angeles has the best of everything (weather, food, vibe)

What is your favourite journey?  

The next one

What’s your idea of a perfect Sunday?

Going to the farmer’s market with my wife and dog and having a nice long lunch followed by watching a movie

What essentials do you take on a plane or tour bus?

Headphones, iPad, neck pillow

What is your dream vacation if money was no object?

I’m excited to go to Spain this year for our honeymoon

What do you do with 4 hours to yourself in a new city?

Find the best food

What inspired you to take up music?

I’ve always loved music and once I started, I never looked back

What was your most memorable day job?

Selling Life Alert.

What advice should you have taken but didn’t?

Think before you speak

Who’s your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would the menu be?

Nelson Mandela , and probably a nice steak.

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

I love Bukowski’s characters

What was the best live gig or music festival you attended (as a fan or artist)?

Desert Trip 

What are your “must” read magazines, news, websites, blogs?

Washington Post, MSNBC, Huffington Post, Consequence of Sound

Name something you consider a mind-altering work of art.

Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon

What does the next 6 months look like for you?

A lot of shows with ASHRR 

Which musician rule do you agree with? Always meet your heroes or never meet your heroes?

Always meet your heroes

Thanks Josh! Check out more of ASHRR on their Bandcamp page HERE.

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