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RYAN HEMSWORTH IN NYLON GUYS

Ryan Hemsworth is undoubtedly the king of good vibes. His music and mixes transport you to new places, not to mention the fact that it is far too easy to continually play through his assortment of tracks without hitting the next button. So while he continues to make his mark in the music scene, we sit down with the Canadian DJ/producer to talk. Read on below.

You studied Journalism at college in nova scotia—how did you end up in music?
I didn’t want to turn music into boring homework, so I chose to study journalism. This ended up allowing me to talk with musicians and learn more about the industry.

How would you characterize the tracks you create?
Genres don’t matter to me anymore—it’s just about capturing a mood and making other people feel it, or at least understand it.

What are your favorite types of events to DJ?
Small basements of clubs: 150-capacity rooms where you can look up and see people smiling and reacting. I don’t get much from huge EDM festivals; they feel more like competitions.

Who are some producers whose work you admire?
I’m inspired by producers who can take on any genre and who understand the importance of sound design, like Cornelius from Japan, Jacques Greene from Montreal, and Sophie from the U.K.

What artists are you listening to right now?
A.G. Cook of the Internet label PC Music does some really forward-thinking stuff. I also like these Scottish kids DJ Milktray and Inkke, and I can’t stop listening to Alex G on the label Orchid Tapes. Otherwise, I’m just crying to Lykke Li or old Brand New albums.

How would you describe your personal style?
Confused Kawaii goth grandpa.

How does your Casio G-Shock watch keep you on top of your game?
I use the watch’s timer function when I’m heating up my Alphagetti on the stove and the glow for when I’m drinking my Capri Sun in bed at night— not to mention it has proven to be quite resistant to Pizza Pop sauce!

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WORLDS APART

Porter Robinson heads to the minibar and fishes out a Red Bull almost as soon as he enters the hotel suite. It’s been a long day for the 21-year-old producer, but he can’t help but pace the room as he speaks, his statements peppered with little bursts of enthusiasm. He’s excited about what’s to come—grueling work schedule be damned. Things have always seemed to move quickly for Robinson, though. He began composing beats on a family computer at age 13, in the same bedroom he still works in. “My family dynamic is eerily perfect—it’s a comfortable place for me to be writing music,” he explains. At the outset, his goal was to do little more than emulate some of his favorite musicians. By 18, he began making a name for himself as a DJ, spinning in clubs he was too young to patronize. Now, three years later, he’s about to leave the dance scene behind with the release of his pop-leaning debut, Worlds.

“It’s a weird way to go about a music career,” he admits. “Everything that I released up until now was a different genre every time.” Introduced by a 10-hour-long YouTube video, Worlds is a big, unabashed pop album, full of sweeping hooks and grand choruses inspired by his love of Passion Pit and The Postal Service.

A significant departure from his previous beat-driven work, the dramatic tonal shift has been confusing for some listeners. He laughs when recalling SoundCloud comments for the album’s first single, “Sea of Voices,” featuring Amy Millan of Stars. A large number of the dissenters called out Robinson for not producing another EDM track. “I expect some degree of backlash,” he says. “People who have been listening to me for three years are never going to shake the feeling of wanting to hear something like the first tracks I put out. It’s a really powerful psychological force.”

Worlds thrives on a similar sense of nostalgia. Inspired by the multiplayer games (particularly Star Wars Galaxies) that he played as a teenager, Robinson strove to create a virtual reality where the listener could feel totally engulfed—if only temporarily. “I’ve never talked about the album in this way before,” he says, pausing to gather his thoughts and take another slug of energy drink. “It has to do with games and fiction and dreams, the feeling that takes root when you read a book. These places totally exist and they aren’t real at all. But they feel real to you. It’s a very modern experience, to feel convinced of a place that’s not real. I’d say that fiction is a motif of the record. It has nothing to do with the real world.”

Of course, recording wasn’t an entirely high-concept, tightly conceived endeavor. In the 11th hour, and still looking for a singer for the Vocaloid software/human duet “Sad Machine,” Robinson was forced to work outside of his comfort zone. For the first time ever, he stepped behind the mic and sang the part himself. “I was like, ‘Hey, do you have any alcohol?’” he recalls, laughing. “‘I’m going to go take three shots and sing my ass off!’”

-words by Laura Studarus
-photographed by Jay Hanna

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GOIN’ BACK TO CALI

Everyone is YG’s hype man tonight, including Keke Palmer. The actress, decked out in all red with a backwards Compton cap to match, is among the 30-plus entourage members and media who’ve swarmed the backstage area of Irving Hall after an hour of limb-flailing to the L.A. rapper’s party-starters like “My Hitta” and “Who Do You Love?” The creaky floor-boards are showing their age, and the window unit is barely cooling the cramped space. Standing toward the back in a bright white tee, tube socks, and RVCA shorts held up by a Fendi belt, YG greets Palmer and waves her into his inner-inner circle.

The 24-year-old rapper’s ability to sketch tales of his L.A. hood—and make people dance in the process—has everyone from gang members to small-town girls like Palmer looking to join his movement. “Compton is a place people always want to visit,” says YG over the phone, three days removed from his energetic performance. “They want to know about our lifestyle. My music is like the culture of L.A. gangsta-slash-party shit. It’s like watching an action movie.”

A blunt narration of life on the illicit side, YG’s Def Jam debut, My Krazy Life, could’ve easily dropped during the era when Snoop and 2Pac reigned supreme. Like his West Coast forefathers, YG remains unapologetic about his street lifestyle. He raps about bur- glarizing homes (see the true-to-life “Meet the Flockers”), and his album cover art is a mug shot. His odes to recklessness have simultane- ously sparked criticism and made him a prime representative of L.A.’s rap rebirth. “I wanted to come out with a classic,” says YG. “So I was studying classic albums while making my album—Chronic 2001, Ready to Die, Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Doing a lot of homework.”

Academics weren’t exactly a priority for YG as a kid. Back then, he just went by Keenon Jackson, and stumbled into street activity by association. Born in Compton, he’s openly flaunted his membership in the infamous Bloods gang—his song “Bicken Back Being Bool” incorporates their “B” vocabulary. “I ain’t go looking for it,” says YG. “Being from L.A., that’s all you’re around. So you eventually become a gang member if you’re about that life.” Robberies and school brawls became his unofficial occupation, before he found a professional path in 2009. The humorously titled “Toot It and Boot It” became big enough to land him a deal with Def Jam, though a parole violation for a prior home burglary held up his progress.

Nonetheless, My Krazy Life’s debut at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 is a huge leap forward. And YG’s success has run in tandem with that of his DJ, Dijon McFarlane (a.k.a. DJ Mustard), whose keyed-up production and club thumps are the perfect complement to YG’s ruthless raps about crime, sex, and everything explicit in between. “He wasn’t producing at first. We sat in the studio, and he started making beats around my rap style,” says YG. “That’s why our chemistry is what it is, and we got this shit down pat.”

Back at Irving Hall, the clock strikes midnight. YG’s most dedicated followers, those who’d like photographic evidence of their allegiance, have formed a line in the emptied-out venue. One by one, they walk up to him for pictures and autographs. There’s a kid with toilet paper stuck to his sneakers and a girl in a black My Krazy Life T-shirt and shorts that read LEFT and RIGHT on each cheek. This is only the beginning, but clearly his music has resonated. He already has disciples. And his modest goal of “taking over the world,” as he says, has been set in motion.

-words by Clover Hope
-photographed by Nick Sethi

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a musical resurfacing

A very beautiful image came to mind the very first time we heard of Mansions On The Moon, and an even more beautiful sound graced our ears the first time we heard their music. The LA transplants, originally from Virginia Beach, have been killing it since their Diplo-supported debut mix tape dropped back in 2011. Since Paradise Falls, we’ve heard two outstanding EPs: the first of which fell into the hands of Pharrell Williams & N.E.R.D who co-signed the release. The band is now gearing up to drop their first full length album this coming October. It’s undoubtedly for fans of feel good vibes, Empire of the Sun, and Foster the People. We’re the first to catch up with the band since the release of their last EP Lost and Found. You can listen & download the band’s new single “Don’t Tell” below. Read on to find out the meaning behind it, what a typical day of writing looks like, and their thoughts on the new Michael Jackson song.

You have roots in Virginia Beach, VA. Why the move to LA, and in what ways has the move helped your careers up to this point? Any cool LA digs you guys recommend?
Lane: I think we were so inspired by our time in VA Beach -working out of The Neptunes studios- that it just naturally led us to LA. I woke up one morning after 3 months in VA Beach and ran into Ted’s room screaming, “we need to move to LA…” So we packed up a U-haul and all moved in less than a week. That impulse decision was life changing. We have met a lot of great people in LA and it has been a fun and challenging process trying to turn this dream into reality. As far as places we like to go in LA…Little Dom’s, El Compadres, Oak’s Gourmet, Toast, and Figaro. Music venues we like to go to…The Fonda Theater, Hollywood Bowl, Mondrian Hotel Pool and Skybar, The Mint, Sayers Club, and The Satellite.

Pharell Williams worked closely with you on your 2012 EP Lightyears, and you toured with Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller. What were those experiences like? Can we expect any cool collaborations with this new release?
Lane: We were very lucky to have Pharrell and the N.E.R.D camp co-sign our EP. They enjoyed it enough to help us put our name out there and were great mentors through that process. Still can’t believe that happened! Also, the Wiz and Mac tour came out of nowhere and a was definite game changer. When we found out about that tour, we had only played one show. Needless to say, we had to tighten up real quick to play in front of those massive crowds.

We collaborated with some great people on this album. Codi Caraco, who was on our last EP, is singing on six songs. Our friend, Zee Avi is on a fun track, “Heart of the Moment”. We also worked with some electronic producers, Paper Diamond and DallasK. A highlight of collaboration process was getting to work with the mighty engineer/producer Neal Pogue (TLC, OutKast, Aloe Blacc and many more). Between working with him and engineer, David Ott, the process of putting this album together was legendary.

Your new single “Don’t Tell” is much more upbeat than say – “Leaves Fall” which was a track from one of your earlier releases. Can we expect a shift of mood in the forthcoming album as a whole?
Ted: Leaves Fall is still my favorite song we’ve written and I’m still very proud of the music we have created over the years. We’ve explored many different textures and genres since we’ve been making music together. It keeps the creative process exciting and fun. We have recorded purely acoustic songs as well as bass heavy dance remixes. That being said, we try to maintain a sonic cohesiveness that we hope is the “Mansions on the Moon Sound”. Most songs on the album will hopefully move listeners to get up and dance while still others might evoke similar emotions as our early Lightyears EP.

What inspired “Don’t Tell” and what is the meaning behind it?
Ted: The lyrics are a bit scandalous. They tell the story of two people in the midst of a sketchy affair while their two significant others are oblivious to their escapades. The bridge really drives the point home I think: “oh, she keeps on driving me home. And they’ll both never know. We’ll say we woke up alone. No one knows where we go. And they don’t have to no no no”. If you prefer a more light hearted interpretation one could take the meaning of the lyrics as simply partying really hard and not remembering what happened last night. But, if that’s the case, one still can’t rule out reprehensible hook ups.

Who would you be ecstatic to share the stage with?
Lane: Feist, Phoenix, Michael McDonald, Talking Heads, Pharrell, Jay-Z, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder.

What is a typical day in the studio with MOTM? What typically plays through your stereos between rehearsals and writing sessions?
Lane: A typical day of writing sessions with us is different every time but usually begins with one of us having an idea and passing it around. We sit around with laptops, headphones, guitars, midi keyboards, and whatever else we need to construct the idea into a song. We pass each other an idea via flash drive and just constantly add to each other’s madness until completion. During rehearsals, we like to mess around with a lot of different sounds when we’re not practicing our set. Sometimes we turn into an Earth, Wind, and Fire cover band in rehearsal. You never know with us. We play all kinds of music.

Are there a set of MOTM influences that you share as a band & that push the direction of your music in a certain direction?
Jeff: Lane and I really, really like Steely Dan. My dream would be to make an album half as good as “Aja.” We all love Paul Simon’s Graceland album. Sometimes we’ll play “Diamonds on the soles of the shoes” in soundcheck to warm up. Some newer music we’ve been listening to includes – Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, SBTRKT, Kings of Convenience, Angus and Julia Stone. Ultimately, it’s tough to point out a specific artist that we emulate, because we just make music that we like – we aren’t listening to the radio and copying current singles.

What do you think of the new Michael Jackson song?
Jeff: Michael was a one of the best musicians and entertainers of all time. When I was a little kid, I used to dance around to his cuts all over my parent’s family room floor – that was the music of my childhood. His “Off The Wall,” “Bad,” and “Thriller” albums are complete masterpieces. MJ’s golden era. We were actually inspired to produce and format our album in a certain way by using those classic LPs as examples. I would of loved to see Quincy Jones and all the studio musicians/arrangers from that era (Louis Johnson, Greg Phillinganes, Paul Jackson Jr., etc) finish the cuts that needed production. Maybe that can still happen in the future.

What are your goals through the end of the year and into 2015?
Jeff: To reach our pre-order goal through PledgeMusic, release this album on October 22nd, and get out on the road in late October through November.



-words by Miguel Angel

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a sit down with bear hands

Necessity. That’s what Bear Hand’s front man Dylan Rau cites as the inspiration behind their sophomore album Distraction. “We’d been touring a lot and weren’t getting along that great,” he says. “We knew it was either make this last record, or call it quits and get real jobs or something. And that’s obviously a horrifying idea.”

It’s a good thing they opted for the first choice. The album is full of hits like “Agora” and “Giants,” which currently sits at number nine on alternative radio charts and is only climbing higher. “I remember writing that song in my parents basement in Connecticut. I convinced Ted to take the train out to work on it, ” referring to Ted Feldman, the band’s guitarist who’s also here sitting with us at a dark yet discerning bar in Midtown West. “Ted wrote the guitar part and the hook, which made the song really come alive. I think it was like an 18 hour process after it was all said and done.”

Now, roughly six months after Distraction dropped, the indie-rock foursome has a whole bunch more on their plate, playing both Lollapalooza and Outside Lands in August in addition to the numerous other shows they have planned. “Things seem to be getting better. It’s nice to be able to be on the road constantly, because that wasn’t always the case,” insists Feldman. “It just means there’s demand.”

Yes. demand is high, indeed. But memories about the rougher times aren’t far behind. The two begin to reminisce about a show they had played in Richmond, Virginia that took place at a Sushi Bar doubling as a punk-rock club. Not exactly an ideal venue. Yet that hasn’t deterred them. In fact, it’s laughter that accompanies such memories for them as they continue to think of more outlandish facts that went along with that evening. For instance, the sound guy from that same show who let them crash at his place flooded with odors of cats and human-sized piles of empty pizza boxes.

Regardless of the past, things are currently looking up. Hit singles accompany widely viewed videos, which are leading to tours and shows. And as for any advice they have for us as they begin to see the spoils from all their hard work. Well, “don’t be yourself,” Rau explains. “I think it’s always better to try and be something else. You already know yourself and do yourself all day everyday.”

Keep up with Bear Hands on Twitter HERE, and stay up to date on their tour schedule HERE.

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tracks of his tears

Sam Smith really wants you to buy his album. He really wants me to buy his album, too, which he loudly proclaims to everyone in his Berlin hotel suite after I mention receiving an advanced copy of In the Lonely Hour, his upcoming debut, from his publicist. “He should pay for it!” he scolds.

He’s joking, of course, though it’s a little hard to be sure. At 6’3″, with another two inches of pompadour on top, the 22-year-old British singer-songwriter, who first appeared on electronic duo Disclosure’s 2012 hit “Latch,” is an imposing figure. But the real force doesn’t lie in Smith’s physical stature as much as the sheer power of his personality. To call Smith a character is a bit of an understatement. He’s more like a fit constantly on the verge of happening, and whether that outburst is one of pure joy or utter sadness doesn’t seem to make a difference. One minute he is brashly ordering glasses of champagne for the room, and the next, he’s wickedly offering to “get dark,” before going into confession mode about the subject matter of In the Lonely Hour.

“This album was almost a form of self- harm,” he admits, referring specifically to the five out of 10 songs that directly address an autobiographical story of unrequited love that took place during the recording. “I was so lonely and in love with a person who didn’t love me back. If I weren’t writing the album, maybe I would have cut the person out and not spoken to them. But because of my situation, I courted it a bit. Literally went out and set the fire.”

That level of honesty has become Smith’s calling card, in interviews as well as in his music, and he delivers it with aplomb. It can be heard on the album’s lead single, “Stay With Me,” which starts out as a quiet confessional of a one-night stand gone wrong, until the gospel choir suddenly cries out the chorus, pleading for the stranger to remain. It’s dramatic in the way all good pop music should be, and refreshingly absent of the sheen of swagger that coats most radio tracks these days. In its place are Smith’s plaintive tales, delivered in his soulful voice with a doe-eyed stare that’s equal parts Boy George and a pre-stubble Justin Timberlake.

From that sincerity standpoint, it’s appropriate that Smith’s breakout moment stateside took place on an episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Louis C.K., a comedian whose mega-success has resulted from unabashed honesty in the face of his everyman tribulations. The biggest difference: While C.K.’s middle-aged struggles are usually resolved with a comedic “fuck it,” Smith’s youthful naïveté means he’s likely a long way from a similar resolution. And while that’s probably good for fueling his songwriting fire, it’s hard not to feel a touch of sympathy when Smith’s headstrong denials kick in.

“I think the album has completely, once and for all, killed my obsession with unrequited love. I’ll never put myself through that again,” he insists. When I joke that he, like everyone, most certainly will repeat that particular mistake, Smith’s huge blue eyes become steely: “If I start fancying someone who is unobtainable, I will run the other way. I promise you.”

Then again, there might be good reason to believe in his determination; he has conquered challenges before. An overweight child, Smith battled his issues with the help of his father, who went so far as to become a certified fitness instructor to coach his son. Smith says that his emotional openness comes from the Y-chromosome as well.

“We don’t think before we speak. We say how we feel. We live with our hearts completely out there,” he says, comparing himself to his dad. But Smith is careful to include his whole family in the support network that helped In the Lonely Hour through its difficult birth. “My family was on the other end of the phone every night when I’d ring up sad. In a way, it’s a magical album for them because they were there living it with me.”

Despite his family’s intimate participation in the making of his music, there may still be a few confessional surprises for them on the album. Smith begins to squirm a little when he thinks about it, although there is a sense of extroverted thrill mixed in with the trepidation. “The things I say in my songs are things I won’t say to my mother. And the whole world is going to know now,” he says.

While that vulnerability is both scary and exciting, Smith admits that it’s a necessary part of finding himself as an artist, as well as growing as a person. And he knows that ultimately, his soul-baring is the reason why the audience has responded to his music in the first place.

“I always get panicky because I get so emotional in everything I do,” he says. “I call my mum up, and she says, ‘Sam, it’s your job to be emotional.’”

-words by Joshua Glazer
-photographed by Anna Rose

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PABLO HONEY

Stuffing his hulking 6’5″ frame into a chair in the lobby bar of Manhattan’s Ace hotel, Pablo Schreiber requests a Balvenie neat and begins talking about the great outdoors. The British Columbia native (“Canadian rocky Mountains,” he specifies) spends a lot of time communing with nature, building chicken coops at his home in upstate New York and parking pop-up campers in the hills of Ojai, California. The conversation grinds to an awkward halt, however, when I mention that I’ve always wanted to take up whittling. “Whittling?” he asks with mock incredulity. “Let’s at least call it carving.”

Schreiber’s easygoing attitude tends to shock people who conflate him with the characters he plays—recently a bunch of, well, Grade A jackasses. “Thank you for saying ‘recently,’” he jokes. “It kind of makes me angry that every person in the world is like, ‘Oh, you’re the bad guy!’” He takes a calming sip of scotch. “Did I just turn red and start spitting?”

In truth, Schreiber’s career, like any good actor’s, has plotted many points on the morality continuum, from the hustling dockworker Nick Sobotka on HBO’s The Wire to Charlie, the dutiful father-to-be in the indie hit Happythankyoumoreplease. But random New Yorkers still give him the stink-eye for playing William Lewis, the sadistic criminal who tortured Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) on Law & Order: SVU. “You don’t fuck with Benson,” he reasons. “She’s kind of a New York institution. I learned that the first time I took her on a three-day raping spree.”

And then there’s George “Pornstache” Mendez, Schreiber’s ruthless prison guard on Netflix’s hit series Orange Is the New Black, which recently returned for a second season. Pornstache’s drug smuggling, inmate harassment, misogyny, and general crudeness (sample dialog: “Thanks to this missed opportunity for cradle death, you’re here with me and all these other shit-birds.”) has made him the character everyone loves to loathe.

“My agents actually put me up for Jason Biggs’s role, but a friend on the writing staff told me I should ask about Pornstache because they were writing a bunch of great stuff for him,” remembers Schreiber. “When I read the pilot, he had one scene. Normally, that wouldn’t be something I’d pursue, but since I had inside intel….” He laughs and continues: “I was very happy to have friends in high places.”

The trademark facial hair is fake, by the way, and has evolved over time. “When I got cast, I had a mustache fitting, just to see how it would look. In the first episode it’s kind of like a walrus’. But it became a lot subtler,” he says. “I wasn’t privy to the conversations—all I knew is every day I’d show up and my mustache would be a little smaller.”

Late this summer, he’ll head to Los Angeles to film The Brink, an HBO black comedy about impending geopolitical crises, also starring Jack Black and Tim Robbins. Schreiber plays a fighter pilot on a mission to bomb Pakistan. Each season will follow the characters in different end-of-the-world scenarios, as if anyone doubted his inextricable connection to chaos and destruction.

Today, though, he’s heading back up to the Catskills, far away from the turmoil, to continue his “intimate relationship” with nature. “And that doesn’t involve whittling!” he says, snickering at his own callback joke before dropping his head contritely. “I’m being a bit of an asshole.”

-words by David Walters
-photographed by Beth Garrabrant

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INTELLIGENT DESIGN

Bob Dylan once defined success as getting up in the morning, going to bed at night, and doing whatever you want to do in between. A half-century later, Tyler, the Creator has forced an addendum to that original philosophy: Success is having a trampoline inside your house.

“I put it in my room two weeks ago, and for the first time it felt like I made it,” says Tyler, wearing a mint green Stray Rats shirt, black shorts, checkered Vans, and a Golf Wang hat, and bouncing Tigger-like in the cavernous bedroom of his Los Angeles mansion. The walls are covered with posters of The Neptunes, Eminem, and Madvillain. There’s also a beanbag couch and an arcade-style mini-Ferrari cockpit made for Xbox. DVDs of Chappelle’s Show and Diane Arbus photography books haphazardly line dorm-esque display racks.The whole scene looks like a cross between Moonrise Kingdom and Big. “Who else has a trampoline in their room…with enough space for another trampoline?” asks Tyler, rhetorically, in mid-air.

It’s been less than four years since Odd Future first mesmerized teenagers and enraged Internet moralists with “kill people, burn shit, fuck school” chants. During that span, Tyler, the Creator transformed himself from a teenaged enfant terrible into a multimillion-dollar brand, boasting his own sketch show (Adult Swim’s Loiter Squad), clothing lines (Odd Future and the year-old Golf Wang, worn in these pages), Fairfax Boulevard boutique, an annual carnival (complete with custom rides and cotton candy), and an independent record label distributed by Sony Red.

His idols, Pharrell and Eminem, are now his friends (Odd Future is opening for the latter at London’s Wembley Stadium in July), and Kanye West has called the 23-year-old a mentor. His influence has become pervasive in pop culture, from Miley Cyrus’s space-cat performance at the American Music Awards to Seth Rogen wearing a Golf Wang shirt throughout Neighbors. Fashion trends from tie-dye to the feline- centric tees that clutter racks at Urban Outfitters—Tyler sees his own influence in their ubiquity.

“I was the only nigga in school writing on everything. Now it’s the cool thing to draw on your shoes and be different. I used to get so much shit for that. It’s just crazy how things change and what’s considered cool now,” says Tyler, removing vinyl records from a shelf and neatly arranging them in two columns.

The albums comprise much of his musical DNA. There’s Pharrell, Clipse, French fusion kings Cortex, ’60s psych-rockers Strawberry Alarm Clock, jazz legend Roy Ayers, and Motown mainstay Leon Ware. His shock-value lyrics and riot-starting arrests foment outlandish headlines, but Tyler’s musicality and monastic devotion to craft have quietly made him one of the most realized artists of his generation.

When asked what he’s been working on, he cues up a new beat—a blend of gorgeous jazz-fusion chord changes subverted by sinister tones played over a soundless loop of Napoleon Dynamite projected on the wall. There are rumors of a new album due later this summer. He’s also coy about a screenplay, acknowledg- ing its existence, but refusing to confirm specific details. “I’m secretive,” he says, flashing a toothy grin. “I like to just drop shit and surprise people. I could announce an album next week, and you’d be like, ‘Fuck, why didn’t he tell me?’”

To prove his point, Tyler begins flipping through a notebook containing storyboards for future music videos, commercials, and next season’s Golf Wang line— neatly drawn, colored, and fleshed out—all awaiting execution. His creative streak is instinctive and without filter or block. “I told Jay Z that I had a trampoline in my room and he’s like, ‘Dude, keep that inner child. You’re one of the few who have it,’” recalls Tyler. “Your inner child lets honesty be your main outlet.”

There aren’t many artists who tout their toy collections as evidence of their hip-hop cred, but Tyler’s adolescent whimsy is the connective tissue that binds him to his cultish following. “I love my fans because I am those kids. This ain’t no rapper’s favorite movie,” he says, holding the DVD case of Napoleon Dynamite. “Niggas don’t do this. Look at my home. I have a pet horse in jeans.” He gestures toward a stuffed equine sport- ing denim on only its front legs. “That’s Chancho, by the way.” (A second horse, a bronze statue near the entryway, has been dubbed Stan.)

Tyler’s fun house is also inhabited by his 14-year-old sister and his mother, who stretches out in a pink velour sweatsuit on a downstairs couch. There’s a tennis court in the backyard, along with a half-pipe ramp and a basketball hoop. Today is a Saturday, and Tyler’s friends, including Loiter Squad castmate Jasper Dolphin and photographer Sagan Lockhart, have stopped by to skate and stage raucous kayak-jousting matches in the pool.

“Why? Because we’re into doing shit,” says Tyler. “I don’t want these 15-year- olds to turn into insecure people who only want to re-blog shit on Tumblr and beg people for likes on Instagram. Go play an instrument, go hike, go jog—go do something with your life.”

The irony, of course, is that the same contingent he terrifies would probably agree with the core of his message. He is a self-made millionaire who grew up poor in South L.A. and turned a Tumblr into a small empire cutting across television, music, commercials, and fashion. He doesn’t do drugs, supports his family, pays a mortgage, and implores young people to get off the Internet and play outside.

“I’m trying to tell kids, you can have all of this,” says Tyler, surveying the property that sweat and Odd Future socks built. “I’m not rich yet, but I’m doing OK and still want to get better. Kids need to know that they can do this. They can do everything that I did better than me.”

-words by Jeff Weiss
-photos by Steven Taylor

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CATCHING UP WITH MATTHEW KOMA

Matthew Koma is known as the man with EDM’s Golden Touch. He’s been making electronic super waves alongside some other great artists lately. Between his hit song “Wasted” with Tiesto, “Illuminate” with AfroJack, his work with RAC on “Cheap Sunglasses”, and working on his own music, the dude is busy. Matthew took a minute during a stop in NYC to chat. Find out more about this interesting, cool and talented music man.

You collaborate on so much incredible music. What are some of your favorite recent projects?
Thank you…I’ve been really fortunate to work with a lot of really talented people from different corners of the music world…it keeps things inspiring and they all sort of feed each other. I’ve been really wrapped up in my album as of late which has been a satisfying process after focusing for so long on other artists’ singles/albums. It encompasses a different kind of obsession and command when it’s “yours”, so that’s been something I’m taking very seriously. Before diving in, I just worked on some songs with Steve Aoki, Alesso and Seven Lions for their upcoming albums, Arty who is a newer artist I have a lot of belief in…a few surprises too that I’m excited to start playing for people. Recently got to work with a few of my all time favorites…

You must be excited to have some of your own music coming out later this summer. Will it be in the EDM genre?
I’ve always been terribly uncomfortable with the idea of music fitting into one box so specifically that it’s considered “this” or “that”…I’ve always treated my songwriting as a process that isn’t solely driven by a production model or genre, but instead by a feeling, a connection…I feel like this record is capturing the spirit of that while absolutely wearing electronic influences. I feel like I found my place, a voice, a perspective that feels honest through a lot of my collaborations and features these past few years…So people can expect to hear a record that stems from those roots.

When did you recognize your musical gifts and that knack for making hits?
I feel really lucky to tell stories and to see an audience building that connects with the places I’m coming from. I’ve never consciously tried to “make hits” nor do I feel like that will ever be apart of my psyche. I just try to speak to a truth and write about things I know and don’t know about. It’s an ongoing conversation.

Who would you say have been some of your greatest influences and inspirations?
I was turned on to a lot of the greats when I was growing up and they’ve remained my staples. Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty, Squeeze,…They’re all my secret weapons to call on for inspiration and influence. Or not so secret.

Outside of EDM, what do you like to listen to?
I’ve been really huge on the band Dawes. I think Taylor may be one of the greatest songwriters from our generation. He has a perspective that is so unique and refreshing – that’s something that’s really hard to come by in a world of ideas that have all sort of been touched upon in one way or another. I also love the First Aid Kit records. Their voices are gorgeous and they’re amazing live.

You have great style. What designers or stores do you look to for your favorite wardrobe staples?
I don’t think I have too strong of a dedication to any “one” brand as much as I like being comfortable. A lot of my clothes are shirts or jackets I’ve had forever – they’ve been around long enough to come back into style…or I haven’t gotten the memo that they’re out. Either one. I’ve always worn Nixon watches – sort of a thing my buddy James Del and I got into growing up and never grew out of. There’s a brand from France called the Kooples that makes a lot of rad jackets…I get a lot of my suits from this little shop in Tokyo from a guy named Joe Hiramatsu. That is as pretentious as I care to sound in this interview.

Your hair is always looking cool. Do you have any grooming product musts?
It’s all in the coffee.

Your schedule lately is pretty non-stop. How do you get grounded and strike some balance in your life?
I tour with my brother Kris, so there’s always a sense of family around…It makes everything feel a little less foreign when we’re taking it on together. The good and the bad. We try to stick to a few little routines no matter where we are and that helps keep things consistent. In general though, balance is a word I haven’t gotten overly familiar with. I really, sincerely am in it for the love of making music so any free moment on the road or during travel, I’m usually chipping away at something. Or eating. That’s it. I’m usually eating.

-words and gallery photos by Tina Turnbow
-main photo by Piper Ferguson

MarkMcMorris_MAIN

mark mcmorris

Yes, we know. We’re in the middle of summer. It’s hot. You’re sweating. And a couple inches of snow couldn’t be a more distant (and possibly unsettling) memory. So we get it if snowboarding isn’t on your mind at this very moment. We can’t say the same for Burton, though.

Unveiling its latest collection of fall and winter threads just this past week at Milk Studios, the entire line looked amazing. Not only that, but amidst checking out all the versatile gear that we’ll be bundling up in come the first sign of cold weather, Burton brought out a few of its professional athletes to join in the celebration–one of whom happen to be Mark McMorris.

Winning a bronze medal for Canada at the 2014 Winter Sochi Olympics and nabbing plenty more medals at the X Games throughout the years, the 20-year old has become a household name in the slopestyle and big air events. As a result, a quick chat accompanied by our five questions was in order.

Do you have some early memories of snowboarding and being on the slopes?
Well, I grew up in a small, small place in Canada called Saskatchewan. It’s really cold during the winter and has short, hot summers. I started skateboarding the summer when I was four. The summer was over so fast and I remember thinking what I was going to do all winter long that was similar. My mom took me and my brother out to the mountain and for the first time ever I went snowboarding. Its been 15-years or so of shredding since.

How was it competing in the Olympics. Do the X Games compare to that at all?
When it comes to action sports you think of the X-Games. That’s basically the biggest thing in action sports. And then you think of sports in general and you’re like what’s the biggest thing in sports? It’s the Olympics. The magnitude it holds in representing your country is a pretty special thing to be a part it.

What’s an average day like for you?
During the winter time, from November until May, its pretty much wake up, shred, gym, chill. Just take care of the body. Train your body for less injuries. In the summer, It’s roughly every other day. I skate and surf, and try to see all my friends I don’t get to see during a hectic season.

What posters were hanging on your wall in High School?
Definitely a lot of skate and surf posters.

What was the first album you bought?
I can’t really remember to be honest. But I my favorite one I bought in recent memory was Jesus Piece by The Game.

What are you listening to while you ride?
I don’t listen to anything when I’m competing. Before my competitions I’l listen to hip-hop. When I’m just cruising on the slope with my friends or something I throw on some bluegrass or hip-hop. It’s easy to listen to any time, really.

What was the best or worst advice you ever received?
The best was probably don’t drink the water in Sochi [laughs]. We were so paranoid about it that we brushed our teeth with bottled water. You’re doing anything to try to not get sick on the biggest stage.

Do you have a most memorable fan moment?
Yeah! I have some of the coolest fans. After getting home from Sochi I had to go straight to Toronto to do a media tour. Somehow they had found out I had to do a morning show at like five in the morning. I had fans waiting outside with like coffee and donuts. It was awesome.

What was the first live show you went to?
I was spoiled. I think it was The Rolling Stones when they played in my hometown.