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(photos by Michael Cukr)

Your headphones are in. They are blaring your cool older brother’s mixtape of slacker rock bands while you lay in your high school bedroom and stare at that Keith Haring print you hung up because he’s your crush’s favorite artist, and it’s the perfect day to go to the beach but you kind of wish it was raining. That’s how Tomorrows Tulips makes me feel, and I’m okay with that.

Starting out as a fuzzy dream pop duo, Tomorrows Tulips have since evolved into their current three-piece made up of Alex Knost, Ford Archbold and Jamie Dutcher. Their latest record, out today, October 7th, on Burger Records, makes way for a new era of chilled out slacker rock, something they like to call “Loser Rock” and “G-rated Grunge.” The lyrics are a melancholic overlay to their melodic angsty tunes. Their live shows add an extra kind-of-distorted spectrum of drone-y sounds that is accompanied by a visual projection of abstract art slides created and projected by artist Dominic Santos. Their Kurt-Cobain-style haircuts and casual grungy attire might make you think they’re a Nirvana-esque revival band, and while that’s cool and everything, they are a little more complicated than that. A bit more evolved than your classic 90s underground rock, and totally over the typical surf guy beach vibe, Tulips can be your summer babe winter version if you let them.

I hung out with Alex, Ford, and Jamie during one of their practices and shot the shit in true Loser Rock High School fashion. Read the interview below because behind those amazing beach blonde locks are some dudes who are making unpopularity the coolest new thing to be a part of.

 

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If Tomorrows Tulips was a movie what genre would it be?

Ford: Romance… Because. .. It all comes from our heart. All of our music.

Alex: Tragedy

 

Tragedy?

Alex: Yeah. Because everything ends.

Ford: I think it would be an action movie. An action-drama

Alex: An action movie where all the action takes place inside one’s mind.

Ford: A porno.

Alex: Documentary

Ford: Porno Documentary.

Alex: That’d be kind of liberating.

Alex to Ford: How bad do you want to say Rom Com?

 

Rom Com? That’s a good one

Alex: No I don’t want that. Ford loves Rom-Coms. I’m more into slow pace, art horror movies. I’m all about Saw and El Topo.

Ford: I like Meet the Parents.

Alex: That’s like the one thing we are totally opposite on, movies.

 

So you have a new album coming out called When – What color would you say best embodies the overall emotion of the album?

Ford: Blue!

Alex: Yeah, I’d go with a more turquoise-ish color, or like an infant baby boy blue.

Ford: Infant baby blue is beyond baby blue.

Alex: It’s like coral blue… You know coral pink? It’s like the opposition of that. Like my grandma’s carpet.

 

Blue because it’s a sad album?

Alex: No it’s not sad…

Jamie: There’s one sad song.

Alex: Well, yeah I mean…they’re all sad. But it’s not like, a sad album. I mean, what’s sad? Leonard Cohen’s sad, you know? It’s more like “everyone dies” sad. Haha no I’m kidding! Blue is cool.

Ford: Alex is in his emo phase right now.

 

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What ways can you say you’ve progressed in the new album compared to the last two albums?

Alex: We got a full drum kit! Ford started writing songs which I think is cool. And it’s a little bit more advanced in the sense that uh… I was going to say I learned a new chord but I don’t think that I did… Haha, it’s an advancement of honesty.

Jamie: It’s more focused

Alex: Yeah the more you play, the more comfortable you get with being yourself. Or you have more of a self-righteous approach to being like… I don’t know like when you start something out at first you’re timid, it’s like uh…

Ford: It’s like your first time having sex.

Alex: Ha! Well you’re just self-conscious of your own ability and then when you do things a few times you realize nothing really matters. It’s just like being naked or something.

 

Ford, you’re getting to write more songs. How many of the songs off the new album do you sing?

Ford: One…two…three. Three songs.

 

Can we expect a solo album anytime soon?

Ford: Yah I’m workin’ on it. It’s in the works. (whispers) But don’t tell Alex, or Jamie.

 

All right we’ll keep that between us. At your shows, Dominic’s visual projections have really added depth to Tulips’ performances – what feelings do you hope to invoke in the audience after your shows?

Alex: Well shit, everyone has a phone now. I know when I was young and didn’t have any of that, I’d go and see something that was really entertaining you know? I just want people to be stimulated and I think people are more stimulated when there are visuals. It kind of becomes this multi-dimensional performance instead of a regurgitation of like… practiced chords and words.

 

Let’s get more philosophical. What does the word “when” mean to you guys?

Ford: It means everything.

Alex: “When” references WHEN we made that album. In retrospect, it was easy to see when the other two albums came to be and what their purpose was, and this album wasn’t as premeditated. Like, we recorded most of the songs first take, so there was spontaneity and an instantaneous attribute to it. So “when” like, when it just happened.

 

Can you guys talk a little bit about your recent visit to K Records?

Alex: My dreams came true. Calvin [Johnson] was the coolest.

Jamie: Calvin wears a lab coat.

 

Are you guys going to be recording with them any time soon?

Alex: Yeah I think he’s going to put out our next record.

Ford: He is going to record it, that’s actually a fact.

Well that leads me to my next question, what can we expect from Tulips in the next year?

Alex: Remember that last song we just played? We’re going to play more like that

 

So more noise and distortion?

Alex: Yeah I don’t know, we already made three pop records and we don’t want to make the same type of record again. What kind of music do you want to play Jamie?

Jamie: (laughs)

Ford: He’d want funk. Hawaiian funk.

Jamie: Haha, I like some of the new songs we’ve been working on, like that new one that you wrote, Ford.

Ford: Oh yeah that’s like a full on pop song.

Jamie: Yeah I know I like that. I don’t mind playing more pop.

Ford: I love pop, but, Alex is getting over pop.

Alex: I’ll be back next year… I like pop music I just don’t like to sing it. So maybe we’re getting to a great place.

Jamie: Yeah exactly!

 

Ford is going to be the new lead singer?

Alex: (laughs) That’d be so cool.

 

Can each of you describe Tomorrows Tulips in one word?

Alex: Unpopular.

Ford: Egomaniacs.

Alex: Haha that’s great! This is turning into a haiku.

Jamie: That’s going to be hard to follow.

 

Unpopular egomaniacs…

Jamie: Difficult.

Alex: You think we’re difficult?? Awwww dude…

Ford: We’re difficult egomaniacs.

 

Jamie, what’s it like playing in Tulips compared to Holy Shit and Sam Flax?

Jamie: Umm. Difficult. (Laughs)

Alex: (Laughs) It’s probably so much easier actually.

Jamie: Yeah, no, I like playing drums a lot so it’s nice to play a different instrument and it’s definitely a lot of fun for sure. Holy Shit is definitely all over the place and Sam Flax is more regimented, but Tomorrows Tulips is a good balance.

Ford: So you’re pretty much saying that we rule and you just love us and you want to spend every waking moment with us?

Jamie: Yes! Exactly. That’s right.

 

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What’s the weirdest show you guys have ever played?

Ford: Well, me and Alex got in a fight once.

Alex: That was kind of cool!

Ford: Yeah it was pretty bad ass.

 

Like a fist fight?

Ford: We were just like, throwing bottles and screaming.

Alex: Yeah… Sorry about that. I threw a bottle at Ford’s head.

Ford: Before we played?

Jamie: No it was after, it was in Australia.

Alex: In retrospect, that show was amazing. We didn’t sound good but…

Ford: People probably thought we were punk.

 

What band would you say you get compared to the most?

Ford: Velvet Undergound? Oh yeah and Nirvana.

 

Nirvana, really?

Jamie: Well aesthetically.

 

How does that make you feel?

Alex: It’s awesome.

Ford: Sucky.

Alex: It’s hilarious

Ford: It’s like, you can’t come up with anything better than that? Like Hanson or something?

 

Hanson for sure! Ok I’m going to conclude with this question- If an alien from a different planet were to visit you, which one band would you have them listen to?

Ford: Beethoven…Pink Floyd actually I would definitely show them Pink Floyd…or Beethoven.

Jamie: Maybe…Joe Meek.

Alex: Christian Marclay.

 

Thoughtful choices.

Alex: That’d be cool if we revisited this interview like three times and the answers were different every time. Like this would be the demo interview, and then the record interview, and then the revamped/ remixed/ remastered 10 minute anniversary interview.

 

Yeah we’ll do that! Last thing, any advice for your fans?

Ford: Yeah kids, stay in school and don’t do drugs. And follow your dreams and your heart, and it will lead you to what you will discover as a beautiful, beautiful life.

Alex: Destroy.

Jamie: I like what Ford said. Hard to top that.

 

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Maybe one day you’ll get the revamped, remixed and remastered 10 minute anniversary version of this interview. In the meantime make sure to stay in school, don’t do drugs, destroy, and catch if you happen to be in Europe catch them on their tour during the month of October (see flyer above). Oh yeah and pick up their new album via Burger Records!