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Desert Dazed and Confused Our conversations in the desert with Audacity, Beach Fossils, The Coathangers, Cherry Glazerr and more

Cherry Glazerr, Desert Daze

We survived Desert Daze (you know that much). Saw more bands than we thought possible. Camped. Got dirty. And then bathed in the sounds of this epic festival. We hung out with the world-traveling babes of The Coathangers and talked about their recent tour and new album. Lounged with Beach Fossils over plates of fruit and somehow wound up in a giant hot tub beneath the desert moon, before we got kicked out by security. We talked to Audacity about Tinder and their dream festival lineup. And Cherry Glazerr showed up, whisked us away on a golf cart, and told us the secret behind a good festival. “Playing with warm wind and sun on your face is just so fucking awesome.” Read our interviews below. And if you missed Desert Daze, better luck next time. —Asal Shahindoust



WHAT YOUTH: How do you guys feel about the festival crowd?

THOMAS ALVAREZ: I hate festivals, I feel like people who like festivals are weird. I just watched that Riley Walker band for a minute, and I thought it was so weird, there’s like at least 400 people around, and there’s 50 people smashed in the front, and then 200 feet back there’s this tent with all these rich old people drinking their $12 beers that they bought and I’m like… “Dude, go fucking watch the band.” This festival is cool though.

Yeah this one’s more lowkey. 

TA: Today I was thinking about how if I threw a festival, and let me tell ya, if I had the access to this, it would be fucking nuts to butts. All day.

What would the lineup be? 

TA: We would fucking get, first of all, Iron Maiden, The Who, The Descendants…

So you guys came out with a new album in April. Have you guys been touring for it?  

MATT SCHMALFELD: We’re just about to go on a tour for the next couple of weeks.

TA: We did a US tour and a European tour, now we’re doing another tour, like a South one, like Florida. If you love Florida. Then another Euro tour in February. And then we’ll probably be done touring for a little while.

Will you guys start working on your next album then? Or are you going to take a break? What’s next? 

KYLE GIBSON: We are what you would like to call the Hiatus Rock. We say “Hi” and people hate us.

We could probably end on that. 

MS: No I think we’ve put out some good stuff! But all the people we’re writing about don’t care about us.

What do you mean by that? 

TA: Matt writes songs about girls that he has crushes on who do not reciprocate.

I think that’s really relatable though to a lot of people.

TA: Well I don’t know what is going on with him. He used to be striking home runs and now he’s striking out.

You win some, you lose some, you know? It’s tough out there. With tinder and shit. 

KG: Matt’s on Tinder!

TA: He has a funny Tinder bio.

MS: I kind of change it obsessively.

Can you summarize it?

TA: What was the one about all the issues that you had?

MS: Oh yeah. “I’m an angel and I’m looking for another angel to start the next chapter and nightmare of my life.”

That’s beautiful. That should be lyrics actually. Like a ballad or something.

MS: Yeah, we’ll see when the swipe rights come in.

Have you tried tinder out in Desert Daze yet?

MS: No! I’ve been out of battery.

I bet it’s wild. 


Beach fossils, desert daze

WHAT YOUTH: Got any Desert Daze jokes? 

TOMMY DAVIDSON: I wanted some Desert Daze, but I haven’t found the Banana Split yet.

JACK SMITH: What’s the most deserted desert daze? Whenever Beach Fossils is playing.

DUSTIN PAYSEUR: Oh my god that’s so fucked.

What’ve you guys been working on lately? Because you haven’t really played any new songs live or anything at all. It’s been kind of secret. 

DP: So much. It’s been crazy. We’ve been working for the past three years non-stop. Yeah, we’ve been keeping it kind of secret. I kind of like to work like that because I don’t really like anybody to know anything until it’s ready.

But you’ve been recording?

DP: Yeah we’ve been recording pretty solid for the past few years but we throw a lot of stuff away and we rework a lot of stuff.

So would you say Beach Fossils fans are going to be very pleased?

DP: I think the stuff we’ve been working on, to me, is the album I’ve been wanting to make my whole life, and I’m beyond satisfied with it. It’s at a really nice place.

You guys are from Brooklyn. What’s a really cool band in NYC right now that’s doing something?

DP: Warthog, Pharmokon. She’s amazing. Her shows are always different every time you see her. She has this intensity that you don’t see in a lot of people. It’s extremely unique and very sincere.

How does it feel being out in the desert?

TD: In a daze, in a full daze.

JS: Completely dazed out.

TD: I’m walking on a pretty daze, lost in daydreams.


The coathangers, desert daze

WHAT YOUTH: What have you guys been working on lately? 

Well, touring a lot. Our record came out in April, so we’ve just been on tour for that.

What was your last stop? 

We were on tour in Australia and New Zealand.

Was it your first time out there?

It was our second!

What was your favorite part? 

So many things. Melbourne was a great show. We got to go to the rain forest! In New Zealand, we got to go to Piha beach, which has the most beautiful cliffs.

How would you say the sound of the new album compares to previous work?

Still vibe for sure. Stoney vibe.

What’s your next move? 

Well, we’re going to tour all next year for this [album], but we’re going to try and put out another little E.P., just to keep people interested.

What’s the best thing to pack when you go on tour?

Closed toe shoes! And socks, you never know.


Cherry Glazerr, Desert Daze

WHAT YOUTH: Tell me about your morning? 

SASAMI ASHWORTH: We woke up to a guy SHREDDING saxophone at 8:30 a.m.

DUNCAN: We ate some corn flakes! Frosted flakes.

CLEMENTINE CREEVY: We went on a pretty exciting cold brew hunt.

Did you get the Nitro cold brew everyone’s been talking about?

CC: Yeaaaaa! We saw some people walking around, got super envious, we didn’t have shoes on because of the “no shoes in the dining area” situation.

D: I feel like there’s a certain peacefulness when people have their shoes off. A certain calm.

CC: But it’s a trust and an agreement that everyone’s going to do it. Actually when you think about it, shoes are kind of oppressive.

SA: I think pants are oppressive. I’m only wearing pants right now because Clem literally stole my dress.

CC: This was Sasami’s outfit yesterday. I didn’t bring any clothes.

What did you bring? 

CC: I brought some weird shit man. I cannot pack. I brought a weird nurse outfit.

SA: I love that outfit though. It’s wrinkled now I’m sure.

CC: It’s just a mess! I’ve worn it a few times already, I love it.

What’s your favorite thing about playing festivals?

CC: Oh my god. The feeling of playing with warm wind and sun on your face is just so fucking awesome.

SA: Yeah, playing outdoors is pretty amazing.

CC: I just walked up on stage and I was like “Ahhh this is so nice.” Just drinking up the sun and the wind and the hills, everything. It’s a little dusty, but it’s great.

So, was this a one-off show? Can we expect any upcoming tours?

CC: We’re headed to Europe at the end of the month. We play Pitchfork Paris, and then we play Mirrors in London. And we hang out in Berlin for a minute.

SA: And play some secret shows maybe. We play October 23rd at Baby’s All Right in NYC!

Clem: New York! New York!

When’s the new record coming out?

SA: January 2017! Check out your local Best Buy. Our CD ROM will be there.

Is there a certain theme? What was the direction you took with it? 

CC: Being awesome.

SA: Having fun is a big theme.

CC: If we’re being serious – feminism, life, anxiety, mental escape, love, friends. But thematically it’s just a more aggressive rock record.

Who are you stoked to see at Desert Daze? 

SA: I saw Suuns last night, I’m a huge fan of theirs. They were so good. Clem thought they were playing tracks the whole time, and I was like “No, they’re doing that live!” That’s how good they were. They’re very talented.

Who’s a current band right now that you guys are into?

CC: There’s a cool band called Jerry Paper from LA. Just groovy, kind of weird R&B soft rock, it’s rad I love it.

Any advice for festival goers and What Youth readers?

CC: They shouldn’t listen to us.

SA: Figure it out yourself, for sure. You’ll get it when you’re older. No don’t say that, I hate when people say that. You won’t get it when you’re older, you’ll get it less when you’re older.

Additional photography below by Isaac Zoller: 

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