The shakin’ 60’s-inspired band Paradise has just released a new music video, and is preparing for a performance later this week. We sat down with W+K’s own Tamar, the Farfisa player in Paradise, to talk about the creative process, how to attract a couple hundred mods to your swinging performance, and that cool ’60s vibe.
Q: Who’s in the band? How long have you been playing?
A: The band is myself (Tamar Berk), Steven Denekas, Dominic Orlando and Brian Cook. We’ve all been in different bands and we decided to start something new in Portland. There’s a thriving garage scene, and we wanted to do something different than what we had before. We were listening to a lot of nuggets, and ’60s garage and soul, and were inspired to start a band that was influences by these sounds.
Q: You recorded your first record in March 2012, and your first music video followed shortly after. How did that come about?
A: We recorded and mixed the album ourselves, and then the video was produced and shot by us and Don’t Act Big produced it. Justin Lowe in Joint edited it. The first video was a throwback to what you might see a live band performance might be in the 60s on TV. This particular video was influenced by a performance of The Small Faces on a Swedish television program in the 60s.
Q: What was it like to shoot your second video?
A: Well, for the second video, I wanted to show the progression of a new band into what their shows are like—but I didn’t want it to be a typical live show. I was really influenced by a video of The Who on Youtube (at the time, they were called The High Numbers). In the video they are performing at The Railway Hotel back in ’64. When you watch, you’re like, wow, look at this scene! It’s almost not even about the band. And we wanted to capture that feel.
We picked the Eagles Lodge in SE, which still looks pretty much exactly the way it did in the ’60s. Through Facebook, Twitter, our website, and word of mouth, I got the word out for people to come dress up 60’s mod-style and super sharp. I also contacted several scooter clubs and scooter details because we really wanted to get as many mods out as possible.
We were just blown away by how many people came, and how great it was, and how many people wanted to help. We were thrilled by how it turned out. Our friend Michael Cogliantry directed the video and shot the video on Super 8 film. I edited the video.
Q: What are you working on next? What’s your creative process like?
A: We’re working on writing the next record now, maybe for a fall release. We’ll probably do one more video from the current album before we release a new album. The videos are fun for us, because they keep the excitement going once you have a release out—and once it’s out, it’s out. The videos are a lot of work, but it keeps the momentum going!
We come up with ideas for videos by brainstorming and sharing YouTube links from ’60s bands, who have a great vibe and aesthetic. So much of what we’re doing is not just the songs, it’s also the vibe of the band and the style they bring. And of course, the songs. Many of these videos show an excitement that something new happening and that’s what we want to capture. There’s a thriving psych/mod/rocker/garage scene here in Portland, and we definitely feel like it’s part of being in a band—it’s a whole aesthetic that we want to keep alive.
Q: What’s it like being a band in Portland? What’s the music scene like?
A: There are a lot of garage bands right now that are looking to the beginnings of rock and roll. When those bands started out, they were playing for people to dance to. I think everybody in the scene right now feels that we should be doing that –it’s for the people, kids, the audience…it’s less about us, and more about adding to the vitality of a scene and having fun at shows.
The video was so successful for me personally because it showed me that people want to participate – more than just standing and being an observer. I was almost in tears that night. It was really cool, it made it 10 times better. You just feel like bands have gotten so me-me-me-me-me, it’s much more fulfilling when you feel like the audience is appreciating it and want to join in the fun and be a part of the band, and the scene, and what we’re doing.
I love the idea of going to a show and feeling like its an experience and something more—or else you might as well just listen to the record. But that’s good too!
Steven Denekas- Vocals and Guitar
Dominic Orlando- Bass and Vocals
Tamar Berk- Farfisa and Vocals
Brian Cook- Drums
If you’re in Portland, join them this Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 at Club 21 to celebrate the release of their newest video; RSVP to the Facebook invite here.