It’s 7:30 pm on a Thursday night in Toronto. The weather is gloomy and the air is crisp. Lux Stone has invited me over to the home he shares with Babe Laurent for tea.
A framed poster of Amy Winehouse’s iconic Rolling Stone cover hangs above a mini bar that consists of a quarter full bottle of Bacardi, a candy dish filled with polaroids and a pack of smokes in a tea cup.
I take a seat beside Lux at the dining table; he FaceTimes Babe who is in London, Ontario preparing for a trip to Paris, France.
In the past five months, Cute Whore have quietly released three psychedelic, hypnotizing music videos for songs that are reminiscent of electro pop, circa 2009.
The duo, who pull inspiration from the 90’s and pop stars, have been working on music together since 2014.
“Everyone kept telling us that we should be in a band and we both thought that would be funny,” says Babe. “It just turned from a joke idea to a real thing and then we wrote a song together that was actually good and we kept writing songs.”
“I was a little bit worried about my clean image and how it would effect my music.”
The band’s music, like their name, plays on sexuality and innocence–which may scare the shit out of the people who have watched them grow up on Degrassi: The Next Generation.
“I think that it might scare the fans who have watched us on Degrassi,” says Babe. “I just think that those kind of feelings (sex and drugs) are what go through every teenager’s mind–which is what we were when we started the band. Those feelings are what were going on at the time for us, so we wrote about it.”
Lux takes a sip of his green tea and chimes in, “We took a whole year of writing and coming up with ideas before we recorded or ever thought about putting anything out. We were just writing non-stop because we were so inspired at the time and we were teenagers.”
The two haven’t aged much since then, however when talking to them, it is quite easy to see that they are both wise beyond their years. They share the same love for classic cinema and have extensive music knowledge which is pretty impressive for their age.
“We have very similar interests,” says Lux. “Lately, we’ve been watching a lot of Lars von Trier, Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch—Twin Peaks especially.”
“I like very whimsical and mysterious movies, but also very stylized movies with good music and fashion,” Babe chimes in.
“And I like blood and horror,” Lux laughs.
When the two aren’t working on music, they’re listening to everything from Lil Kim to Marilyn Manson to Lana Del Rey.
The duo are currently on Degrassi: The Next Class, which made me ask, “Were you a bit worried to release your music, as it doesn’t coincide with the clean image you present on the show?”
“I was a little bit worried about my clean image and how it would effect my music,” Babe jokingly says and laughs. “Honestly, music is a totally different thing and I want it to not be related to my acting and the show. Degrassi isn’t our life. It is one part of our acting profession. I never want Cute Whore to be associated with it because they’re two different jobs that we do.”
“The support has been really great online,” adds Lux. “A lot of people notice the style and aesthetic and they get it, which is amazing.”
Although the two have found successes in other aspects of their careers, I asked what success would be for them.
“Success would be recognition for what we’re doing,” Says Babe. “I want people to hear what we’re doing, because I think it’s worth hearing and I think that people will get something out of it.”
“Success to me would be being able to do or create whatever I want at my disposal with no boundaries,” says Lux.
Cute Whore are currently working on not one, but two EP’s “So Hard” and “Lost Souls” that will be released this summer.
The video for their ultra dreamy tune, “Cult Leader” will be dropping within the next few weeks and on top of all that, the band are working on their first short film, “Dancing for the Devil”.
“So what’s Cute Whore’s mission?” I ask.
Luxx and Babe both laugh.
“Cute Whore’s mission is a rocket into space mission,” says Lux with a chuckle.
I’m not too sure what that means, but I’m sure that rocket ship will be packed with nothing less than brilliance and excitement.
Creative Director: Trishelle Esposito
Photos: Trishelle Esposito
Photo Assistant: Jess Baumung
Make-Up Artist & Hair: Amy Harper
Written: Trishelle Esposito
Here are some sweet outtakes from the shoot SWIFT baby, Katie did with DJ and Producer, Ryan Hemsworth for Nylon Guys July 2014 issue.
Hello world, meet your next pop vixen, Kara Lane of The Boom Boom. When you first meet her, Kara gives off this compelling vibe that makes you fall in love with her and want to know everything about her like, “What does her hair smell like?” and “Who is her favourite Sailor Scout?”. There’s no denying Kara, who has been described by Perez Hilton as a young Gwen Stefani, has the “It” Factor.
The Boom Boom met back in High School while Kara was skipping class to smoke cigarettes. “I was sitting on a curb when this deliciously awkward boy, Bobby parked himself right beside me and asked for a light. The rest was history.”
The Boom Boom have had so many surreal experiences in the past few years; One being playing the official MTV VMA pre party that Perez Hilton threw in New York City. “We got to hang with Perez and play the Williamsburg Music Hall which was definitely a milestone!”
The Boom Boom are currently making a transition into a rockier space sonically. While living in their mother’s basements, they’ve put together a 6 song EP entitled, “Stoned On The School Bus” that will be completed by mid September. We can’t wait!
TALKING SHIT WITH KARA LANE:
What is an item in your makeup case you can’t live without?
Oddly enough, my pocket knife in the shape of a bullet that some weird man at a party gave me. It is the most useful thing I own. And my YSL mascara, obviously.
What are some of your current obsessions?
Pokemon, spaghetti and my Venus fly trap that my boyfriend named Larry David. It died but I am convinced I can bring him back from the dead with a quick seance. It will be so goth, I can’t wait.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Drake. Drake. Drake. Say she want the old drake, girl don’t temp me
What is your most valued possession?
I don’t tend to value material items because in my hands they either end up broken or MIA. Although, I do value this vintage Playgirl magazine from the 70′s that my mom gave me. The centrefold is a buck naked hairy man sitting in a reclining chair and looking immensely casual. It’s honestly a priceless piece of art.
Can you describe your personal style?
I’d say I dress like a 12 year old boy who wants to come out of the closet imminently. Laid back with mom’s pearls on, pretty much.
What is your spirit animal?
Hoggle from the labyrinth
What song best describes you?
The Bad Touch by Bloodhound Gang
Who would you like to collaborate with?
Stevie Nicks or Mykki Blanco. Both unapologetic and innovative.
What is the best thing your mother has taught you?
Never let your age inhibit you. My mom is in her 60′s and exudes this incredible, unparalleled light. She is more exciting and energetic than most people my age. I think wrinkles are beautiful and awesome!
Photos: Katie Sadie
Written: Trishelle Esposito
Photo Assistant: Trishelle Esposito
Creative Direction: Katie Sadie and Trishelle Esposito (SWIFT ONES)
Make Up Artist: Maya Adivi
Location: A super awesome top secret place where magic happens
The Neighbourhood can be looked at as an overnight success. Their infectious single, “Sweater Weather” took over the alternative airwaves in 2012, and officially went double platinum this year. Since releasing their first full length album, I Love You in 2013, The Neighbourhood have been on a non stop rock adventure playing shows across the globe.
SWIFT ONES Caught up with frontman, Jesse Rutherford and guitarist, Zach Abels in Toronto to talk about their journey thus far and their journey to becoming the biggest band in the world.
When Sweater Weather was first released on the radio, there was virtually no information about The Neighbourhood online. Why was it important to stay so “mysterious” in the beginning?
Jesse Rutherford: It was definitely a conscious thing, but it wasn’t like we were betting things off. Honestly, there was nothing to know about us. We were nobody. None of us had been in other old bands, there wasn’t really any dirt to find out, we were fuckin’ 5 kids from the suburbs of California that were like, yeah, we’re just buds who thought of a cool idea.
Zach Abels: Yeah, it wasn’t like, “Oh it would be so cool to be so mysterious”, It was more of- we just wanted the music to speak for itself at first before everything else was attached with it.
Jesse: We still had a band member who was in high school when we got a record deal and that song came out…..I don’t think everyone was ready to be like, “alright! Cameras, music videos! like stages, even.
Zach: Like this interview, at first when you threw me into it, I probably wouldn’t have been as comfortable as I am now.
What are some of the pros and cons that have come along with your quick success?
Jesse: It’s not like we were Justin Bieber young when it happened, that’s when it’s like, you get to this age now (22 years), and you’re socially inept and you’re a fucking weirdo. Luckily we made it past there.
What was the first big purchase you made?
Zach: I think it was the same thing for me and Jesse. A car.
Jesse: I got an Escalade.
Zach: I got a Mercedes.
You guys are from California. I’m not sure if you know the bar, Sayers in Los Angeles?
Jesse: Yeah, we played there once!
The cover band plays some of your music. How do you feel when you hear someone covering one of your songs?
Jesse: I don’t really like listening to them. They make me really nervous. It’s like American Idol to me, and that shit freaks me out. Watching people do that is really nerve racking for me. And when it’s our own song…
Well, I don’t want to be, because that’s not really fair. And I want to think of it in the way that, “Yo dude, someone is covering one of your songs, that’s amazing!” And it is. And that’s how I leave it, and that’s how I really do feel about it, it’s just hard for me to watch it. I’ve had people ask if they can sing one of our songs in front of me, and I’m like, please don’t do that! I’m sorry. I’m sure you’re fucking brilliant but please don’t.
SWIFT ONES Names The Neighbourhood’s Jesse Rutherford a Style Icon from Swift Ones on Vimeo.
If you could pick one song that best describes you, what would it be?
Jesse: Studio by SchoolBoy Q
Zach: Another Space Song by Failure. Not even just lyrically but musically it connects with me on a level that I can’t describe.
What’s next for The Neighbourhood?
Jesse: I don’t really think about short term goals too much, but I wanna be one of the biggest bands in the world. I wanna be a band that is actually important to people in the world because bands aren’t important to people in the world, anymore. Don’t get me wrong, there is a demographic of music listeners who have bands that mean a lot to them, but in the world, iconic bands do not exist anymore. Nobody cares about bands. I wanna make people care. I don’t want people to walk by us in a mall and have no clue who we are–not because I really want to be famous but because I want to do that for the band. When we were kids, there were bands who were cool and now bands are bull shit.
Zach: There are no iconic figures like Axl Rose of Guns and Roses or Slash. You see them walking around and go, “That’s Slash!” but any band that is doing well today, you wouldn’t recognize them if you saw them out.
Jesse: Maybe the lead singer. Maybe. But I’m talking like, there are definitely songs that you hear and you know but you have no clue what these dudes look like. And it’s just like why? what happened?
Zach: Growing up I loved Metallica and I wanted to look just like them, but now there really isn’t any of that.
Jesse: Well now, the modern day rock star is just a different thing. Justin Bieber who is the biggest pop icon in the world is WAY more bad ass than any band member you can name. 100 per cent. Bands are kind of dorks now.
Photos: Katie Sadie
Interview: Trishelle Esposito
Photo Assistant: Kimberly Harkness
Creative Direction: Katie Sadie and Trishelle Esposito (SWIFT ONES)