Saturday, June 1, 2013

Local Artist Spotlight - Suavity's Mouthpiece - June 2013 - Local Spotlight

Our local artist spotlight for the month of June 2013 is Suavity's Mouthpiece. The band made up of Meredith Bigatel and J Trafford perform what is best described as experimental pop. They just released a live album on 5/28 via Broke Whore Records. The duo was kind enough to answer our normal questions including their composition, goals and their sound. 

J = J. Trafford (composer/producer) M = Meredith Bigatel (live bassist)

How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?

J: I arrange and produce sound that engages me. A slice of what this entails is that each tone and timbre thrives upon its own purpose in the song. Each competing countermelody and polyrhythm is individual, pared primarily to stimulate my brain activity. I like hues of sonic textures that have been employed by others in the past — the brittle mid-highs of an electronic snare — but when it comes to the craft of carving out melodies, nothing can be too familiar.

M: Unique, would be one way to put it. Our sound has previously made children run away from us to their parents. That should tell you something.

 Are you all originally from the Pittsburgh area? Families here as well?

J: Yes. North Hills area. But don’t let that fool you.

Do you all create music full time or is this more of a part time venture?

M: It's a part-time gig for me. I've known Justin since high school, and got roped into being his live bassist when we became friends. I just graduated with a BFA in Metalsmithing, so that's going to be my main path for a while once I get integrated into Pittsburgh's art community.

J: It’s all that goes on inside my head. Nothing else matters.

How do you create your music? What is the song writing process?

M: I've always been into punk, and Justin takes that into consideration, when apparently I told him to write a punk song. This resulted in a song so fast that none of us can play it live. So, my personal style isn't exactly ideal for SM, but we make it work.

J: There’s something so wonderful about the fact that one is able to “play” out songs sound-for-sound in one’s head. It’s like recalling a friend’s voice. I’m given to understand that perhaps some people are incapable of doing it — maybe they just can’t do it as vividly. But I am fortunate enough to be constantly and involuntarily arranging sounds and melodies in my head. In an ugly world, I can assure you, it is very, very beautiful. To lose this trait would be to lose all sense for living.

What are your goals for the band? What would you like to accomplish? Are you trying to get signed to a label?

J: I will continue to do what feels completely necessary. Whatever recognition or court-appointed exile such action accrues will be taken in stride. 

What advice would you give to local acts trying to make it?

J & M: We’re in no position to comment on that.

Have you all toured nationally? Or do you usually stay more regionally?

J: I’ve never particularly been pulled by the concept of touring. It can seem at times condescending and grossly impersonal. Naturally, I’d like to visit other places. But not to regurgitate a facsimile performance from the night before. A routine is definitely not worth the perceived benefit of the supporters.

Being in the Pgh area, do you find it more difficult to try and succeed?

J: Not so far. The arts community has been fiercely welcoming of us. Always so kind and considerably collaborative. I couldn’t give a second thought to whether our name is on the tips of the tongues of the club-goers.

What are some of the obstacles you face trying to create some 'success' in Pgh?

J: Construction on the Middle Road bridge.

What are the positive benefits of being in the area?

J: Not Jackie Evancho.

Is there a venue you have enjoyed playing more than others in the area?

J: We like dragging our supporters out from the frequented oases of “local hotspots” to more considerate, less condescending spaces. For that, the Penn Avenue Arts corridor is immaculate.

More information about the band can be found at these sites: