It's hard being a girl. You have all of this hair just flopping around on the top of your head and sometimes you just don't know what to do with it. In our new video Hair-Tos, our expert hair-doers will teach you some easy techniques to turn your boring hair into something with flair! WARNING: The videos you are about to see are going to change your life... forever.—Ally
It's that time of the year to celebrate our 12 Days of Dresses! Check out the video above to get a taste of what we have for you this holiday season. Ladies, it's time to let the festivities begin! Music: "Free Action" by Moon Duo
For the release of their new album, Coexist, we interviewed The xx to talk about The Tourist zine, what it's like to constantly be in front of a camera and if they've ever been tempted to slap something with a bumper sticker.
Interview by Ally Mullen and Kate Williams
How long did it take for you guys to become comfortable having a photographer around all the time for The Tourist zine? Oliver: It was never going to be easy trying to not take note of another person in the room, especially for us. He could never be invisible but over time it became a lot more comfortable and a comforting presence at times.
What do you like about Jamie-James Medina's work? Oliver: I'm a big fan of his portraits—posed and unposed. He also has an ability to capture split second moments
Who is the best at taking pictures? Who is the worst? Oliver: Romy has a disciplined passion for documenting our travels. I think we'll all appreciate it so much in years to come. I'm always frustrated at my own lack of taking pictures. We're traveling to such beautiful and interesting places, I wish I'd take more from my phone.
What is something that you have lost that you really wish you could have back?
Oliver: My early, early memories. I wish I remembered meeting Romy when we were 3-years-old.
Have you ever been mistaken for another band? Jamie: Yes, people mistake us for Iron Maiden all the time.
Which band member is the best at being photographed? The worst? Romy: I personally feel quite shy in front of the camera, I prefer to be the one taking the pictures. Oliver always looks great and definitely seems the most comfortable in front of the camera.
What records do you listen to the most on the road? Romy: This summer we've all been listening too Kill For Love by Chromatics, Put Your Back N 2 It by Perfume Genius and our friends from London's self titled album, 2:54 by 2:54.
Have you ever been tempted to slap this bumper sticker on something for this tour?
Romy: Haha, we weren't actually aware of this when naming the album, but now we know, it's cool. A positive message, I guess!
Do you have any pre-show rituals you do to bring you good luck or to calm your nerves? Any good-luck charms? Romy:We always get nervous before shows. I know it's because we care so much. It's pretty relaxed in our backstage. We don't have any rituals but sometimes give each other a reassuring hug.
So, how many of you dudes are there? Elbee Thrie: That’s a tough question. There are nine of us on stage. Matthew Byas: But then there’s the whole mob. Like other artists we fuck with, the extended family. Dudes from around the hood. Give me a rundown on who does what in the group.
Elbee: There’s Dymez, PJ and I on vocals, and I play keys. Grizzy drums, produces, and mixes. We mixed Phonyland and nothinG Special together. Elijah Rawk plays guitar and produces. Ian plays guitar. Temi plays sax. Aja Grant plays keys and he arranges the songs and stuff. Bari Bass plays the ukulele.
Matthew Byas: Bari Ukulele.
Sheriff PJ: I’m the bully. I beat rappers up.
Tell me how you all met. Elbee Thrie: Damn. This question never gets the answer it deserves. One day we’ll actually make like a documentary about how we all met or something. We have to. Matthew Byas: Basically we just came together over time throughout different schools. A lot of us came up in Brower Park, just mobbing and then coming to my crib or Elbee’s crib and making music.
How many of you would it take to beat me up? Just remember that if you do, I will sue. [Laughter] Sheriff PJ: Nah, we wouldn’t beat you up. We wouldn’t want that lawsuit. Our lawyer’s good though! He’s nice! Matthew Byas: Word. Shout to our lawyer Steven.
What’s on your rider when you perform? Nine dudes must need a lot of snacks. Matthew Byas: Jameson and Red Bull for the turn up. Comps in general—some champagne, chicken sandwiches or hot wings. Ajani gets us whatever we need. Ajani is the comps master. Elbee Thrie: Skittles. Arizonas!
Describe your songwriting process. Does everyone have a specific job or does the approach differ each time? Elbee Thrie: Songs come from us jamming, or somebody coming in with a beat. The music first, then lyrics, or vice versa—it’s never the same.
What do you consider the ideal environment in which to enjoy Phony PPL music? Elbee Thrie: Anywhere, just chilling. As long as you’re vibing out, spark an L, do whatever. We make music for any situation.
What inspires your sound? Who did you listen to growing up? Elbee Thrie: We all listen to different stuff. I grew up on a lot of ‘70s funk and R&B. A lot of new shit too. Amy Winehouse, J Dilla, Tribe. Our influences are obvious. Matthew Byas: My dad put me on to mad records; I still get mad records from him. Mad random shit you can’t find anywhere, like classic breaks and samples. Aja studied symphonies in school. Elijah grew up on classic rock. It’s all over the place. That’s why our shit is so complex but simple.
Are you guys all native new Yorkers? What do you do for fun when you’re not in the studio? Matthew Byas: We’re all native to Brooklyn. We don’t party a lot, we’re always working. Honestly, we’re mostly at the Casa De La Phony chilling or working. Sometimes Elijah, PJ, Ajani and I go on Glossventures. We go see Chace at Prohibit, mob in the LES, and go chill in Community 54.
Tell me about the photo shoot for UO’s Men’s Fall Catalog. Elbee Thrie: It was mad fun! The clothes were all dope. Jason Nocito was cool. It was cool to bring that to the Casa, to bring that to Bed-Stuy. The video is hard too.
Now let’s get down to business. Does that giant sound system in the photos actually work? Matthew Byas: Hell yeah it works. My father DJ Jazzy Jay built those. That’s that park jam in the Bronx shit. That’s why we put it on our album cover—it’s real. Everything we put out is real. People listen to music now more than ever but people our age have never even seen speakers that size, let alone heard them. We play music out them all of the time, you can hear it around the corner.
It's our Big A$$ Summer Sale! Go shop your big a$$ hearts out and watch this killer cannonball video to get you psyched for all the fun you'll be having this summer. Oh and psst... I was one of the two lucky floaters who got the pleasure to be splashed and yes, it totally ruled! -Ally
Watch the UO exclusive video "Earth", featuring voiceover by Timothy Leary and directed by Joe G., the director of the critically acclaimed surf film 'Year Zero' from Globe. Shop the Surf Daze collection here. Music by Georgia.