CMJ Spotlight: The Peach Kings Are About To Be Reigning Rock
This past Wednesday afternoon, while all of you were at work, I was downstairs at the Delancey in the Lower East Side, rocking out with the Peach Kings. The LA based indie rock band features Paige Wood on vocals and Steven Dies on lead guitar. Between Paige’s sultry voice and Steven’s wild guitar solos, this power duo’s performance was completely captivating. Oh, and did I mention they’re f***ing engaged. If that’s not an American Rock n Roll story I don’t know what is. I caught up with Steve and Paige after the show and we talked Drew Barrymore, Mojo Thunder, and why peaches are the sexiest fruit.
Photos and interview by Jess Kohlman
Your latest EP, is called Mojo Thunder. WTF is Mojo Thunder and how did that come to you?
Steven: We wrote that name a while ago.
Paige: My mom’s from Louisiana and so I have this gospel influence that I think is kinda reflected in the EP.
Steven: When we use to play the song [Mojo Thunder] live, it would have this intro that was
Paige: Kinda inspired by a medicine woman.
Steven: Yeah, like traveling through the back woods into the swamps. And that’s kinda where we went with it. Like doo wop swamp, something that has that twang and dark energy. All that was definitely embedded in the entire process of the EP.
Paige: Our own version of swamp rock. And we were also listening to a lot of funk. Kinda fused the two.
Steven: We also imagined mojo thunder to be this kind of elixir. Like a drug or an aphrodisiac.
Definitely got that vibe from the music video. How much creative control do you have over your visuals?
Paige: We were inspired by that scene in Dirty Dancing where she walks in with the watermelon and everyone’s on this elixir.
Steven: Our video was done by Ataboy Studios. We had this long confrerence call with them where we described our vibe and what kind of visual we were trying to create. And they just took it and ran with it. Turned out amazing.
And the Peach Kings. Where did that name come from?
Paige: For me it came from this hike that we took together right after I had just met [Steven]. And we were in Northern California and it was f***ing hot and we didn’t have any water. And I turned around and saw him eating this massive, amazing looking peach. It just looked like heaven.
Steven: Peaches are just the sexiest fruit by far. The way they feel and smell and taste and how soft they are. If I could travel back in time and I was in a kingdom, waiting in line to give tribute to a king. And other people are bringing all these baskets of gold and weird spices and shit. I would just bring one awesome peach. And they’d probably give me a kingdom because they’d never tasted anything so incredible. Our name just came in a simultaneous brain flashes. Just The Peach Kings.
How did you guys meet?
Paige: I moved from New York to San Francisco and my friend and I were looking for a spot. We found this amazing wearhouse and ended up living with [Steven’s] brother, who was my roommate and is one of my besties. He’s just one of those friends that when he says something you really listen and respect it. And he was like, I think you should be in a band with my brother.
Steven: And I was at Berkeley at the time. I think the first time we actually met was when I had just come back from studying abroad in Argentina. My buddy asked me if I wanted to ride a bike with him from LA to San Franscico, and I was like “obviously.” And when we finally get to San Francisco, I walk in to surprise my brother, and [Paige] is sitting on the couch. And I’m like oh hey nice to meet you, sorry I smell like shit.
Paige: And the rest was history.
How f***ing long did it take you to bike????
Steven: I would’ve liked it to take us way longer, but we did it in three days. Pretty brutal. We didn’t even cheat I promise.
Other musical influences that are super important to you?
Paige: One of our biggest ones is this dude that Steven found when he was in Argentina, named Luis Alberto Spinetta.
Steven: He was in a band called Pescado Rabioso that was around in the 60s. He’s a f***ing guitar genius/weirdo/psychedelic, who’s totally under recognized in the US. For other bands, I’d say The Dead Weather was a major influence when we were first starting off. We saw them play and they just had this huge, dark, awesome sound. Also a lot of Hip Hop and Funk and 80s ballads.
Paige: Actually like the last year, it happened so many times that I would be in the studio working on a melody, and I would just be able to recognize that it’s from something, and I would realize it was from my favorite TV show from 13 years ago. That shit is just in your brain.
Favorite place that you guys have performed at?
Steven: Sometimes it isn’t always the coolest venues that are the best to perform at. Like we played her best friend’s wedding in Montana in this open field, the most beautiful landscape. We weren’t even playing our music; the moment was just so beautiful it doesn’t even matter. Also every other place we’ve ever played is our favorite.
Biggest Rock Star moment?
Paige: That time that we went to Drew Barrymore’s house.
Steven: We got invited to do this photo shoot with a bunch of other awesome bands. She was having a party/photo shoot with Mayer Hawthorne, Warpaint, The Drums. Paige jumped off Drew Barrymore’s roof into her pool with Warpaint. That was pretty f***ing rock and roll.
Paige: My other epic moment would be when I went skydiving and walked into a party in the Hamptons and randomly wrote a song with Dave Wakeling (from The English Beat)
Check out the vid from their shoot with Drew Barrymore here.
West Coast or East?
Paige: Well we’ve talked about wanting to live in some cool A frame cabin somewhere in the mountains at some point.
Steven: I’m from California and I’ve never not lived there. I feel a little spoiled. I need to get a dose of reality and move to Detroit for a couple years.
Crowds in NYC versus LA?
Steven: Crowds in NYC I’ve been super stoked about it. Got a lot of love in LA cause we have friends and family there. But we’ve been so happy to meet people here that say they’ve been fans for years.
Okay Steven, how did you propose?
Steven: It was just after Paige’s trip to her family’s place in Texas last Christmas. And I was in LA, bummed about missing her. So I spent my entire time at home making our house immaculate, like polishing every surface. I picked her up at the airport just freaking out. Drove the whole way home acting like a weirdo. I ran in the house before her. Made her carry all her bags in. And when she walked in I was just kneeling there with a ring.
Paige: We live in this cute 100 year old house. I didn’t even really realize he was proposing at first cause when I walked in our front door, it looked like he had hired a million people to make the place pristine. I felt like I needed to pay him. But i swear there’s been something positive in the cosmic air ever since then.
Any goals for the immediate future?
Paige: We’re releasing our first full length album in January. We’re in such a great position right now, where we have more songs to choose from than we can fit.
Steven: And then just touring. Staying on the road for a while.
Steven: Arlene’s Grocery in NYC on Saturday [the 25th].
Paige: We have a West Coast tour in November with Old Man Canyon.