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Twelve Days of Music – Day 10 – Front Porch Step

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Cliché Magazine is counting down to Christmas by sharing
12 holiday interviews with 12 amazing artists!

This time, we’re chatting with Jake Mcelfresh of Front Porch Step about his memorable holiday tradition, wish list, and favorite Christmas song to cover.

Cliché: What is on your holiday wish list?
Jake Mcelfresh: For the first time in a very long time, I don’t want anything. Touring is such a weird thing, where you are basically being paid to be on vacation. When I was younger, I never went on vacation because I couldn’t afford it, so Christmas was my vacation. Possessions don’t make happiness, but as a child, the fun came during Christmas when the new Xbox came out or something like that. I would hope for that. This year however though, I really don’t want anything. I mean, it would be nice to have a PS4, but I don’t NEED it, you know? I just don’t care. There is nothing on my wish list and I am just really excited to hang out with my family.

If you haven’t already, what holiday song would you cover and why?
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and NOT because I just covered it. It’s my favorite song to cover and sing and there is a reason behind it: I grew up watching White Christmas with my mom and I grew up listening to Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby; all the real greats. There was also listening to Dean Martin, Ray Charles, and Rod Stewart. Stewart has some of the best Christmas albums; me and mom always listened to them every Christmas. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is my favorite to sing myself as myself. It’s always been one of my favorite songs. I’ve been really touring now, and I never missed home by doing Weekend Warrior stuff, but being away from home for long periods of time just tug at my heartstrings. Christmas time is love and family. I feel like we should do it all year round, because it is the one time of the year where people do celebrate love and family. I’ll be home for Christmas just really makes me miss my family.

Do you have any holiday traditions?
I remember when I was younger, I would go to my Grandma Margie’s house. My dad’s mother, Sharon — there would be my sister and my cousin Ryan and his parents. When I went to my mom mother’s house, it was all about family. Everyone had to be there. My grandma on my dad’s side has two children and my grandma on my mother’s side has one son and three daughters. There are a ton of people on my mother’s side.  The song I wrote off of my album, Aware — the last song, “I Won’t Say That I’m Ok” — is about my grandmother on my mother’s side. She didn’t know shit about what any of us wanted, even when we told her exactly what it was. She was a QVC crazy person. Whatever QVC told her was the new hottest toy, that was what we got. I would want the new Mortal Kombat on PS2, and she would get me an inventive playset “that the kids will love!” and I would be like, “God damn it!” It was always fun and it was always fun to see everyone get along and hang out. So, I guess what I am trying to say is that the QVC presents were my favorite tradition.

What Christmas movie do you always find yourself watching, no matter how many times you have seen it?
This is going to sound like the most cliché thing ever, but I am so honored and so damn proud to be a part of living in the generation that got to watch a movie become a holiday classic and that move is Elf. I saw that movie in theaters without even knowing that it would become one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time. Yes, A Christmas Story is great and it is a classic, but nothing for me tops Elf. I know that one day, I will sit down with my child in how many years, and I know I can watch that movie without worrying them getting any negative messages that a child shouldn’t know yet… and at the same time laugh my ass off. It’s like the Lego Movie, with political satire that it is ridiculous. I mean, it’s funny for kids, but for adults in that regard as well. Kids are going to re-watch that movie 10 years from now and go, “Wow, this is one of the most conspiracy-filled movies I have ever seen in my life!”

Everyone has a favorite holiday song, but which one makes you cringe?
Hmmm, I’m not exactly sure. It depends on the recordings. There are a thousand different versions of every song now. If it is a bunch of six-year-old kids going, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” then THAT’s annoying to me. That makes me cringe. There are songs like “Noel,” where you can hear a choir of classically trained children singing it beautifully, but when it is supposed to funny and make kids want to sing along, and then it is the worst thing in the entire world… to me at least.

Do you have any Festive Tour plans?
No, no tours. I’m playing a couple holiday festivals. I am playing December 14th at Webster hall for the Glamour Kills show with The Wonder Years and State Champs. Also, with Have Mercy, a great up and coming band . On December 20th is the Manover Board Lost Collective Holiday show. December 27th, I will be in Chicago with Real Friends and their holiday show. Just a couple of holiday festivals to have fun and play with friends!

 

For more Music Interviews, visit ClicheMag.com

Twelve Days of Music – Day 10 – Front Porch Step: Photo courtesy of Front Porch Step

Twelve Days of Music – Day 9 – Mitchy Collins

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Cliché Magazine is counting down to Christmas by sharing
12 holiday interviews with 12 amazing artists!

Here we are featuring Mitchy Collins of Oh Honey! We spoke with Mitchy about his mature wishlist to what Christmas song makes him cringe!

What is on your holiday wish list?
Hmm… maybe some new vinyl would be cool, some art or photos to hang in my apartment or maybe a nice set of pots and pans… some clothes would be nice. It’s funny how your wish list changes as you get older. and also I’m always dreaming about a 1941 Gibson J-45.

Do you have any holiday traditions?
We don’t do it so much anymore… But when I was younger, every Christmas Eve my family and I would go to the grocery store and each buy a couple TV dinners and that’s all we could eat Christmas day… Just hang out in our PJs, eat TV dinners, and watch movies… I miss that.

What Christmas movie do you always find yourself watching no matter how many times you have seen it?
100% A Christmas Story. It’s the best one. Duh. You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!

Everyone has a favorite holiday song, but which one makes you cringe?
I really can’t stand listening to “Chestnuts Roasting on An Open Fire.” I don’t know — there’s just something about it.

For more Music Interviews, visit ClicheMag.com

Twelve Days of Music – Day 9 – Mitchy Collins: Photographed by Shanna Fisher

Twelve Days of Music – Day 8 – Danielle Bouchard

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Cliché Magazine is counting down to Christmas by sharing
12 holiday interviews with 12 amazing artists!

Today, we spoke with Danielle Bouchard of Oh Honey and learned about what her favorite claymation Christmas movies are, as well as what her family traditions consist of!

What is on your holiday wish list?
…dresses! From Free People. Because I don’t have enough already. New black booties. A gift card to Sephora and a couple records to add to my vinyl collection.

If you haven’t yet, if you could perform a cover of any holiday song, what song would you cover and why?
We covered “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree” this year! It’s such a classic and is so much fun.

Do you have any holiday traditions?
I’m from the Albany-area, which is only 3 hours north of the city, but I don’t get to go home much, so I love our holiday traditions. My family is super close and it’s awesome. A few days after Thanksgiving, we blast Christmas tunes and decorate the tree. Usually my mom comes up with a zumba routine and dances around the house, and my sister chases our dog around trying to put a Santa costume on her. Then on Christmas Eve, we host a huge party and everyone gets wasted. On Christmas morning, we unwrap presents, and my dad and I peel potatoes while drinking mimosas.

What Christmas movie do you always find yourself watching no matter how many times you have seen it?
My sister and I are obsessed with those claymation movies: Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, the Little Drummer Boy. We own them all and we watch them together every year. Also The Santa Clause with Tim Allen… and I don’t know how Harry Potter became a holiday classic, but we watch those too since they’re always on TV! And also because I am shamelessly the biggest Harry Potter fan ever.

As a band, do you spend the holidays together?
This is only our second holiday season as a band, but sadly not! My family is from upstate New York and Mitchy’s family is from Jersey, and we don’t get to see them much, so we both like to take the opportunity to spend time with them when we can.

Everyone has a favorite holiday song, but which one makes you cringe?
I truthfully really love them all. Especially when I’m shopping at the Union Square holiday market in the city, and it’s so cold I can’t feel my hands, but it’s okay because Christmas songs are blasting and I’m downing a fancy drink from Starbucks… the holidays never get old to me!

Read more Music Interviews on ClicheMag.com

Twelve Days of Music – Day 8 – Danielle Bouchard: Photographed by Shanna Fisher

Twelve Days of Music – Day 7 – Cody Carson

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Cliché Magazine is counting down to Christmas by sharing
12 holiday interviews with 12 amazing artists!

Today, we’re chatting with Cody Carson of Set It Off about his childhood holiday tradition, his favorite holiday movies and what video game is  at the top of his wishlist!

What is on your holiday wish list?
Well, I am a big gamer. I love video games a lot. There is video game called Batman: Arkham Knight that was shown at E3 that looks really cool and I love Batman! Also, the Philadelphia Eagles are my favorite football team, so I want to see if I can get an Eagle’s jersey!

If you haven’t already, what holiday song would you cover and why?
We have covered some in the past, but there is on that I have always had my eye on, and actually it is my absolute favorite is Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

Do you have any holiday traditions?
That is one thing that I really love about Christmas is that me and my family have these traditions that we do every year. Every year we alternate where we spend Christmas. Last year, my grandparents flew in on Christmas morning from Pennsylvania and when we do it at our house, my mom makes this amazing homemade coffee cake. We did that, then stocking and then we go over to the tree and open the presents under there. It’s a really good time. We listen to Christmas music while we are doing it. This year I am flying up to my grandparent’s house and we are having Christmas there. There was this one year that I will never forget, where when I was a little kid, it snowed on Christmas day at their place and they surprised us. There live on a hill and they told us to look outside where there was this stretch limo, and they were like, “Ok! Pack up your stuff! We are going to New York City!” They like surprises and we love giving back to each other and happiness is worth everything.

As a band, do you guys spend the holidays together?
We spend so much time together on the road, that we really value family time. We don’t get a lot of it. If it is a big holiday like Christmas or Hanukkah, we tend to spend those with our family. One holiday that we normally do spend together, like this year, is Thanksgiving. One time we spent Thanksgiving in Canada, because we had a show and this family took us in and helped us had an American Thanksgiving. This year, we rented out an apartment for a day and we cooked. It’s all about cooking, football, drinking and eating with family and friends!

What Christmas movie do you find yourself watching, no matter how many times you have seen it?
You know what, it’s weird, but I have never really watched a ton of them. I’m not really crazy about them, but if I had to pick one, I used to watch all the time as a kid was the clay-mation movie with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. I really liked that movie. I’ve never watched A Christmas Story. How crazy is that? Oh! How did I forget! Elf! I love that one — it’s so funny!

Everyone has a favorite Christmas song, but which song makes you cringe?
Easily, and all of the guys in Set It Off agree, but it is “Feliz Navidad.” When I was a kid, we had to sing it in choir and it was in my head for like a week! It was an obsession. I actually regret answering that, because now it is going to be in my head! [starts singing it and laughs] We will hear it in the van and one or all of us will start screaming to turn it off.

 

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Twelve Days of Music – Day 7 – Cody Carson: Photo courtesy of Set It Off

Twelve Days of Music – Day 5 – Jacquie Lee

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Cliché Magazine is counting down to Christmas by sharing
12 holiday interviews with 12 amazing artists!

This time, we’re chatting with the lovely Jacquie Lee about her favorite holiday traditions, wish list, and favorite Christmas songs.

Cliché: What is on your holiday wish list?
Jacquie Lee: Definitely a dog…  and an omnichord!
If you haven’t yet, if you could perform a cover of any holiday song, what song would you cover and why?
I would cover “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” It’s just so fun and upbeat. It’s so festive.
Do you have any holiday traditions?
FOOD. It may be a bit basic, but any holiday is an excuse to feast.
What Christmas movie do you always find yourself watching no matter how many times you have seen it?
Elf. It just never gets old!
Everyone has a favorite holiday song, but which one makes you cringe?
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”… When I was about five, this song made me cry. [Laughs]

For more Music Interviews, visit ClicheMag.com
Twelve Days of Music – Day 5 – Jacquie Lee: Photo Credit: Vijat Mohindra

Twelve Days of Music – Day 4 – Cobra Starship

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Cliché Magazine is counting down to Christmas by sharing
12 holiday interviews with 12 amazing artists!

This time, we’re chatting with Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship about his holiday wish list, his Christmas cover of choice, and his favorite holiday traditions.

Cliché: What is on your holiday wishlist?
Gabe Saporta: An infra red sauna, a new MacBook, and Universal audio duo for easy recording while traveling.

If you haven’t yet, if you could perform a cover of any holiday song, what song would you cover and why?
Last Christmas.” George Michael rules!

Do you have any holiday traditions?
Teaching my wife’s family Chanukah songs.

What Christmas movie do you always find yourself watching no matter how many times you have seen it?
ELF!! And A Charlie Brown Christmas and Christmas Vacation.

As a band, do you spend the holidays together?
Usually we try to see our families for Christmas and we usually will have a show on New Years.

Everyone has a favorite holiday song, but which one makes you cringe?
Any Christmas song with “rock” guitars.

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Twelve Days of Music – Day 4 – Cobra Starship: Photo Credit: Jimmy Fontaine

Twelve Days of Music – Day 11 – Melanie Martinez

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Cliché Magazine is counting down to Christmas by sharing
12 holiday interviews with 12 amazing artists!

This time, we’re chatting with the lovely Melanie Martinez about her what’s in her etsy shopping cart, favorite holiday movie, and “The Little Drummer Boy”!

Cliché: What is on your holiday wishlist?
Melanie Martinez: YOU! And a bunch of vintage squeak toys I have saved in my cart on Etsy! [Laughs]

If you haven’t yet, if you could perform a cover of any holiday song, what song would you cover and why?
“The Little Drummer Boy.” It would be fun to cover this.

Do you have any holiday traditions?
Eat as many cookies and chocolates as you can without throwing up!

Twelve Days of Music – Day 11 – Melanie Martinez: Photograph courtesy of Melanie Martinez

Twelve Days of Music – Day 2 – Priory

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Cliché Magazine is counting down to Christmas by sharing
12 holiday interviews with 12 amazing artists!

This time, we’re chatting with the members of Priory about their favorite holiday traditions, wish list, and favorite Christmas songs.

Cliché: What is on your holiday wishlist?
Brandon Rush: A new turntable and a bottle of Pappy Vanwinkle (the stuffs getting hard to find).

If you haven’t yet, if you could perform a cover of any holiday song, what song would you cover and why?
Kyle Sears: “Walking in the Air” from the Snowman. I was obsessed with that song and the movie when I was a kid.

Do you have any holiday traditions?
Brandon Rush: My wife and I wake up Christmas morning, make a huge breakfast, and share a bottle of framboise.

What Christmas movie do you always find yourself watching no matter how many times you have seen it?
Kyle Sears: A Christmas Story. I watched that one every year while growing up. I love the scene when the dad wins the sexy leg lamp.

As a band, do you spend the holidays together?
Brandon Rush: Kyle and I are next-door neighbors and our wives are really good friends, so we often end up having an evening together where we exchange gifts and hang out.
Kyle Sears: Most of them, but especially Christmas in the Northwest.

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Twelve Days of Music – Day 2 – Priory: Photo Credit: Nick Walker

The Twelve Days of Music – Day 1 – Anthony Green

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Cliché Magazine is counting down to Christmas by sharing
12 holiday interviews with 12 amazing artists!

This time, we’re chatting with Anthony Green from Circa Survive about his favorite holiday traditions and why he dislikes Mariah Carey’s songs “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

Cliché: What is on your holiday wish list?
Anthony Green: My wife and I get each other a couple of presents, and I always try to spoil her. We get out kids stuff, but I want this package from Rogue Fitness where you can get a rower, barbells, weights, kettle bells — all this stuff where I can set up a little gym in my garage. Essentially, I will be buying it for myself, but I HAVE to get approval from the boss, aka my wife. She takes care of all the finances. I’m hoping I can at least get a rowing machine!

If you haven’t already, what holiday song would you cover and why?
“We Three Kings” is one of my favorite songs. I know it is a spiritual and religious song, but as a kid, I always remember being in church hearing that song and there is a couple of notes in that song that are so weird and dark. I always remembered thinking, “Wow, this is such a weird song.”

Do you have any holiday traditions?
I’m missing one this year unfortunately. We do this thing called Shoemas. It is on the fifth of December and it is the Feast of Saint Nicholas. I grew up in a Roman Catholic household and with the Feast of Saint Nicholas, you put your shoes outside the front door and you get a treat in your shoes. They are nothing big, but you get like a color book or pez or something like that. I started doing that with my kids and my wife will be carrying on the tradition in my absence. My wife likes to do presents in themes. There are some themes this year, like an RV thing. We are getting the boys a tent in the shape of an RV. We like to go on our steps and pretend we are driving somewhere or that we are in an airplane or something like that. We are getting them this little fake RV tent along with a fake campfire thing that goes up. We are getting them little acoustic guitars, because we like to get them little music and art stuff every year. We are getting stuff all based around camping and traveling this year! We also will go to my wife’s mother’s house and my parent’s house, too. There is a lot of driving around! When I was first having kids, I thought that everyone will be coming to our house and we get to relax and chill out, but we run around a lot. But this year, I am leaving for tour the day after, it’s a small east coast tour from the 26th to New Years Eve in Philly. I’ll miss them for 3 or 4 days, but James comes with me sometimes since he is old enough.

As far as traditions go, we don’t have anything crazy. We just try to see our family. We try not to make Christmas into what it is becoming, this materialistic and idealistic thing. It’s more like an extension of Thanksgiving. We do buy our boys gifts, but we don’t buy our boys stuff just to get stuff. It’s sort of like a wash, you can’t avoid that with kids since they are always like [in a deep voice], “YEAH! PRESENTS!!!” You sort of miss the mark of it [the holiday] being about spending time together. You don’t want to also be that dickhead who goes, “We don’t want to get our kids gifts this year because we want them to appreciate us.” I’m not a huge fan of that aspect, but Christmas lights and sitting at night by the tree with all the lights out in the house with the tree twinkling and a fire going… I love that. I’m normally home for a bit around that time.

What Christmas movie do you find yourself watching, no matter how many times you have seen it?
Dude, Bill Murray’s Scrooged. That movie is so good. I just really love that one. Nothing gets better than National Lampoon’s Christmas too, but I really love Scrooged. I love me some Scrooged!

As a band, do you guys spend the holidays together?
I would say that we don’t really see each other that much when we are home from tour. The dynamic of a band is a difficult thing. We really don’t see each other that much. I mean, sometimes Brendon will come over, and we will try to see each other. When you are living in a van or a bus with someone for long periods of time, it’s really nice to have a break and everyone has something going on as soon as we get home. I go and see my kids right away and everyone else goes and does their thing. We will see each other now and then, but we don’t really hang out.

Everyone has a favorite holiday song, but which one makes you cringe?
Oh man, there are so many… ugh. Shit. I would say that Mariah Carey “All I Want For Christmas Is You” song. It’s pretty awful and the worst part is that it just fucking lodges itself into my head and the next thing I know, I’m walking around singing it for the rest of the day. Oh man, and that fucking “Christmas Shoes” song. The one about the kid who couldn’t buy the shoes for his mom. That song is sad. It’s so sad! Fuck “Christmas Shoes.”

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The Twelve Days of Music – Day 1 – Anthony Green: Photographed by Heather Glock