Partybaby Explains The Fine Art Of Mixtape Seduction
My experience with men is that they usually hate shopping, but not Partybaby. I’m watching as front man Jamie Reed tries on a blue jumpsuit and several fringed leather jackets inside a local vintage shop.
Guitarist Noah Gersh is quietly looking at Members Only jackets and vintage t-shirts. Jamie pulls out a bright orange tank top and says “this is so sick,” Noah nods his head in agreement. Indeed, it is a radical tank top. On our way out, I make them try on two different colors of floor length silk kimonos — Noah’s in green and Jamie’s in blue. And they look good. They stand next to each other, look in the mirror, and begin discussing how they “probably” need these for their upcoming tour.
This little shopping trip suddenly makes everything click in regards to how their personalities affect their music. Partybaby are self-described “semi-punk rock bleeding romantics,” who want people to discover their music without all the categorical bullshit. Mostly, they are outgoing introverts, which is also clear in their music: loud singing, excited, guitar driven party anthems, which also seem to have relatable lyrics sure to conjure up your inner feels.
Partybaby is set to go on tour starting at the end of June, and chances are, they’ll be in a city near you. Check their tour stops and read our Q&A with the band, below.
Galore: How did you guys start the band? Is it true that you started writing music for other artists and decided to go out on your own?
Noah: We’re not suited to do [write for others] so much, and this music came out of frustration in trying to do that. Jamie and I really really really care. We can’t remove ourselves from how important the music, well… any music is. So it’s like, when you get to the end of that Christina Aguilera [song you’re writing], and then you literally just send an email, and it’s gone. It’s like, that’s just insane. That feels really crazy.
How did you come up with the name of the band?
Noah: I will say this, Partybaby does not stand for “Let’s Party, baby” Like, come jump in the van.
Jamie: It’s a noun, not a verb.
Noah: The truth of it is that naming a band sucks so bad. All that anyone wants is to have it be done with. It really doesn’t matter and there’s so much intensity behind it. Even after we signed our record deal, they were like “Are you sure?” and I was like, “shut the fuck up!” Band names are great, given the context of the music. The Beatles is the worst band name ever, and who the fuck cares at all.
Jamie: Yeah, Green Day has said they have the worst band name.
What genre of music would you describe your music as?
Jamie: We’re just loud and too much fun.
Noah: That’s the goal for every song we make, to have as much fun while we’re playing it or recording it. It’s kinda what we stick with. I think it’s rock music, for sure. I think it’s also just really loud pop music.
Jamie: (Whispers) Shhh, I think we’re a pop band. Don’t tell anyone.
Would you say it has a punk rock sound to it? Or that it at least carries the ideas of punk rock?
Noah: I’m hesitant to claim any of it. Punk to me is an idea. Punk is not giving a fuck, and doing whatever you want, and that, I relate to a lot. And I think that Partybaby has a lot of that in it, but I don’t think that we sound like Minor Threat. Our music gets written on acoustic guitars. It’s about the song, first and foremost. And then our anxiety and anger, and all of that comes into it when we pick up and plug stuff in. [Our single] “Your Old Man,” if you play it on the piano, sounds really pretty. I think a song has to stand on its own. I need to be able to play you a song on a guitar sitting right here and have it affect you before we do anything else.
You guys haven’t appeared in many photos or any of your videos thus far, are you trying to be mysterious and not reveal who you guys are?
Jamie: I think in the beginning we really wanted music to come before us visually, and I think we have a semi-strong persona between the two of us. Like, we are loud individuals, and it was important to let the music stand on its own before people could see us.
Noah: We weren’t trying to do like The Weeknd, where you can’t know who the person is, we just weren’t into it being about how cool we dressed or anything. There’s so much stuff that comes with all the bullshit we were trying to fight against. Such as, what do you wear in the picture, and a bunch of stuff that seemed like… that’s just not what a band is about.
Jamie: More than trying to be mysterious, we can be a little shy sometimes, but we believe in the music we’re playing more than anything. So when that comes first, you can have that as a part of who we are, before you see our weird stupid faces. Now [that] we’re playing live, you can’t escape our weird stupid faces.
Is it true that Partybaby was never going to perform live, originally?
Noah: The first idea was that we were never going to play a show. We were going to put the music out, and then it would be fully anonymous as to who the band was. Then we went pretty far down this path, we had these three girls that were going to perform as Partybaby. Then it was going to be the two of us and an anime character. The anime character was going to be jumping around doing crazy shit, and then we started playing the music together, and it was just too much fucking fun.
Have you ever used your music to say something romantic to a girl?
Noah: Well, I will say this, most guys I know who play music started because they couldn’t relate to other kids in school and thought that it was a good way to get girls to like them. It’s certainly not the entire drive behind why I started playing music, but there’s a real truth to the fact that we were outsider kids, like I ate lunch in the bathroom stalls in middle school. But [I] also made mixtapes for girls, to try to get them to fall in love with me… for sure. And Jamie has as well, because I’ve heard them. And they’re great. We are both mixtape aficionados.
Jamie: Living in in the digital age, I don’t have the opportunity to make a mixtape because no one has a CD player, and I don’t own any of the music I like [and that’s] such a bummer.
Noah: I used to write really intense notes.
Jamie: I would color the CD. I think that we’re both like, a little bit bleeding romantics. Whether or not you ever tell somebody that [a song] is about them, is a whole other story.
And you have Partybaby radio on Spotify, which is basically a really long ass mixtape?
Noah: We do a thing called Partybaby radio on Spotify that’s basically an ongoing evolving mixtape. I’ve had so many mixtapes made for me in my life that have influenced the way that I listen to music. For as long as I have known Jamie, he still has this mix from this girl in his car – it’s like, perfect.
Jamie: She made it for me ten years ago and this one CD changed my whole view of music – it was the first time that I liked the Strokes, and turned me onto Bob Dylan.
Noah: We’re kinda trying to give back a little bit and turn people onto what we’re into.
Jamie: [Mixtapes were a] special physical thing – and you wouldn’t go and listen to it together or anything, more often than not, it was like, I made this for you and you would discover it on your own time…
Noah: I made them to get girls into relationships… and I made them to say sorry. In a lot of ways, it’s like [my] communication skills weren’t great. Sometimes I could say in the course of a mixtape what I couldn’t say to somebody, but by the end of you listening to these songs in sequence, you’d understand.
When will the full album be out? And when does the summer tour start?
Noah: The album will be out in July. And the tour starts on June 27th. [For the tour] any place that anyone would like to see us, we will be within an hour of within the next six months. [And we’ll be] back to the UK in October.
For more information on Partybaby visit www.partybabymusic.com.