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Beverly Hills, California, United States | SELF

Beverly Hills, California, United States | SELF
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"Friend Slash Lover Finds Indie Rock Success in West Hollywood"

Friend Slash Lover Finds Indie Rock Success in West Hollywood
With a continuous stream of nearly sold out shows and a new album on the way, indie rock band Friend Slash Lover continues to pick up momentum.

In the indie rock world, Friend Slash Lover is making waves.

Deemed one of the “Top 100 Unsigned Bands of 2010” by Music Connection Magazine, playing in venues that range from the Sunset Strip's famed Viper Room to a Cinco de Mayo wrestling ring inside a popular art studio, this is one band to watch.

But it is their unique sound that has gotten people talking. “Andy Gesner, from Hip Video Promo, recently described it as "beautifully dark." Pandora lumps it together with Weezer and Coldplay. "I'm not sure if I agree, but it's a start,” said the band's vocalist and fearless leader, Josh Mintz.

The band formed when Mintz, a Rhode Island School of Design graduate who spent time with popular graffiti artist Shepard Fairey in the early '90s, turned his love for guitar into more than just a hobby.

“The whole idea of making guitar-based rather than electronic music sprang from the fact that I work on computers all day as a designer, and the last thing I want to do when I get home is stare at another computer screen,” he said.

The singer quickly realized that his downtime experiments were becoming songs—a project he labeled "Stupid Human." Upon adding bass player and fellow Friend Slash Lover member Frank Day to the mix, the first thing that changed was the name.

“When I started working with Frank six years ago, he wasted no time telling me how much he hated the name Stupid Human, and he proceeded to make me pitch new band names at him for many months,” said Mintz.

After rotating through a bunch of trial names, including Zero K, Cartoon Riot and Switch, they finally agreed on Friend Slash Lover. Their focus was now on the music.

Friend Slash Lover recently entertained a very packed Viper Room crowd with an energetic set of popular songs including, “My Wallet is my Weapon,” “Disasteroid,” “I Break For Guilty Consciences,” and “Breakin’ Up.”

“I think that was our best show yet. The crowd was drunk enough to hoot and holler and even clap,” Mintz said after the show.

As far as upcoming plans for the band, Friend Slash Lover is in the process of putting the finishing touches on an upcoming album.

“It is my obsession right now. I work on ideas for it every chance I get, emailing the producer my thoughts constantly - the poor guy has to read all my ramblings,” Mintz said, joking.

Mintz explains that the new album will feature a more mature Friend Slash Lover sound – more energetic songs with immediate vocals and bigger choruses.

“The new recordings are combining traces of AC/DC, Radiohead, Silversun Pickups, U2 and even a bit of pop music production techniques," Mintz said. "I realize this might sound ridiculous, but it just might work."

In addition to recording, the guys are busy booking additional shows and will have a date for an upcoming gig at The Roxy nailed down soon, Mintz said.

For more information on Friend Slash Lover and to keep up with their tour dates, visit http://www.friendslashlover.com/
- West Hollywood Patch


"Cinco De Mayo Luchadores Style"

...Following the first set of matches, people flocked indoors to see indie rockers Friend Slash Love perform inside a smaller wrestling ring. The band, which has been described as Smiths-influenced rock, has been popping up all over the LA music scene and was nominated by Music Connection as one of the Top 100 Unsigned Bands of 2010. Front man Josh Mintz was excited about the opportunity to play at Nomad, as the venue holds a special place in his heart. “I crashed here for a little while and Nomad’s owner, Damon, is a great guy,” explains Mintz. It was, in fact, Damon who encouraged Mintz to get in front of the microphone and make use of his “quirky voice.”

Mintz’s background as a creative director who in the ‘90’s served as a guerilla artist, wheat pasting with the likes of Shepard Fairey, placed him right at home on the stage inside of Nomad Gallery. As Friend Slash Lover dove into songs such as “My Wallet is My Weapon,” “Disasteriod,” and “I Break For Guilty Consciences” audience temporarily forgot about the plethora of scantly clad wrestlers waiting for them outside.

Following a round of applause and several boos due to the band’s set being over, attendees trampled back outside. The evening continued with more tacos, wrestlers, and cerveza. - CHINA SHOP MAGAZINE


"Los Angeles Weekend Events:"

Start the weekend off early with a Thursday night show in downtown LA. If you couldn't make it to Coachella or you're just having major withdrawals, get a fix of a lesser-known indie band inspired by Radiohead. Check out Friend Slash Lover, because it's never too soon to start finding new bands and forecasting next year's Coachella line up. - The Huffington Post


"Rock 'n Lovers"

Rock 'n' Lovers
Jerry Nunn
4/29/2011

The music group Friend Slash Lover recently released their debut EP, As American as Ones and Zeros. Frontiers sits down with frontman Josh Mintz to chat about their music and more.

You came up for the name of the band?

Yes.

Do you have a lot of friend slash lovers?

[Laughs] No. I like how it takes on a different meaning when you spell it all out.

Very rock 'n' roll with the slash.

It takes on a violent tone and funny at the same time.

How would you describe your music?

It’s funny because my answer to that question has changed recently. I used to think it was indie rock. I would say it is more alternative or melodic rock. My producer called it ethereal rock but not sure if that is a useful term though. It has been compared to the old Smashing Pumpkins.

How many members are there in the group?

Right now there are four when we are doing rehearsals. Frank Day and I are the team that has been together for six years. The other guys I hire when I need them.

Is everyone from California?

I don’t know where they are all from. I am from Connecticut. My bass player is from here in L.A.

Are there gay members in the group?

Just me! They are all married and have kids.

Are you able to express yourself in lyrics because you are the writer?

Yes, I write all the songs. On the newer songs I am allowing the other members of the band to influence the songs a lot more than before. This has been interesting to me. Ultimately because the songs have been coming out really good because of it. We are rehearsing very intensely and ripping them apart.

You currently have an EP but you are putting out a full-length album?

We are aiming for the fall. I wouldn’t be totally surprised if it comes out EP-sized strictly because of how much it costs and how long it takes.

Who are you influenced by?

It is hard to say. I can say who I like—for example, Sigur Ros. They could be an influence though because when I went to see their show it really affected me. I went home that night and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I went back and saw them again the following night. I really got it after the show. They are emotional and rocking. It was really amazing. I was sitting next to Iggy Pop, which was pretty cool.

How did you get started doing music?

I always did music of some sort but it is only very recently that I made rock music or music that people would want to hear. For a long time I made experimental electronic music. It was more composition exercises. I listened to them recently and they were pretty interesting.

You are into visual art as well. You are doing shows at art openings, correct?

Yes, we are definitely planning that for the next record. I need time because it is a lot of work. I would have to make an entire art show and album.

So it would be all of your work in one place.

The idea would always come first and then I would research how to create it. I had an idea where I made all of these mirrors and then I would write phrases onto the glass. I had another idea where I would make paintings on the computer and transfer them onto canvas. I approached it like any other art project but didn’t know it would be such a big undertaking. Six or seven years later I feel like I am just starting on it.

Where can people purchase your music?

It is on iTunes and Amazon. We are accepted onto Pandora but it takes a few months to get into their servers properly. To me that is a big deal because Pandora is how I discover bands.

Friend Slash Lover will perform at L.A. Record’s Lucha Lounge celebration on May 7. The Cinco de Mayo-themed event features live music as well as Mexican lucha wrestling and a raffle. $10. 8 p.m. Nomad L.A. Art Compound, 1993 Blake Ave, L.A. friendslashlover.com - Frontiers Magazine


"Music: Friend Slash Lover Interview"

Our Take

I don't listen to nearly as much rock music as I used to, but when a band comes along that really makes an impression on me I always try to find out more. Friend Slash Lover was one of these groups, as their newest EP As American As Ones And Zeros was extremely catchy and I found myself listening to it often. I had the chance to ask Josh Mintz some questions about the band's music and creative process.

For our readers who are unfamiliar with Friend Slash Lover, can you give us a little bit of background information? How long have you been together and how did your members meet each other?



Hello. This is Josh. "We" is kind of a loose term with Friend Slash Lover at the moment, because the only constant has been Frank, the bassist slash ER doctor. He's handy to keep around, because he comes with free medical advice via text message, which I abuse often. Also, nothing stresses him out and he's always super calm and collected, which is a good compliment to my disorganized, paranoid brain. We've been playing together on and off for 6 years and we met on Craigslist. Hey, that reminds me. Let me go search for that first email I got from him: "...in stark contrast with most of the stuff I've seen recently on craigslist, your music & lyric content are excellent." How could I NOT want to start a band with him after that? I lived in a giant art studio space downtown at the time, called The Ghetto Mansion, so it was easy to rehearse twice a week and throw art show parties and play at them right there.




To my ears your debut EP As American As Ones and Zeros has a sound that is equal parts modern rock with some retro influences as well. Do you feel the same way and what are some bands that you have been influenced by?



I'm not sure how far back you mean by "retro" but I fully admit that I mostly listen to music that isn't new at all. You can't really beat John Lennon's sense of melody or Kurt Cobain's kind of honest vocal style. I can name bands that I've obsessed over for periods of time that might have had an unconscious influence on my songwriting, but who knows: The Beatles, Radiohead, Nirvana, New Order, Public Enemy, David Bowie, T Rex, The Descendents, Pinback, REM, Aphex Twin, Silversun Pickups, Sigur Ros...




How does the band approach writing and recording? I'm interested in finding out how you take an initial idea and turn it into a full song.



The way it's worked so far is this: I sit on my bed and strum my guitar (I'm most likely not the first person to do this) and stumble upon notes and chords that start to sound good together. Pretty soon, a melody starts to pop out and I start humming along to it and eventually the appropriate words pop out. The lyrics are based completely on how the words sound. Considering how much of my art is word-based, people seem surprised that the music comes first, but ultimately I like the process to be organic. It seems to grow nicely this way. I have a couple songs where I absolutely wanted to build the chords around the lyrics and guess what? Those songs aren't finished! I wrote myself into a corner and got frustrated and moved on to the next song.
When I get the whole thing worked out I play it for Frank and he slips in the most perfect bassline and the song springs to life.




Front man Josh Mintz is also heavily involved in the art world. Do you feel there is a connection between the creative process for music and artwork?



Yes, I feel it's exactly the same. I've also been a graphic artist for most of my life, so I'm used to coming up with a process and letting it dictate everything. I critique people and get critiqued for a living, so I think I'm really good at stepping back and looking at the songs objectively.



I saw that you had talked about doing things such as limited time stenciled band t-shirts. Are you thinking of expanding on this kind of thing in the future and perhaps even incorporating some visual elements into your performances?



Definitely! I'm just careful not to bite off more than I can chew at first. I already design the CDs, flyers, t-shirts and do some of the photography and everything else and stress out about having it all ready for a show on top of rehearsing and keeping my voice in good shape. It's weird how much I panic about not having a voice. Is that normal?




Is there a general theme throughout the EP or does each song explore different ideas?



I wasn't consciously trying to be cohesive with this album, though I'm sure there are recurring themes. I tend to sing things like "people always let me down" if I can slip it by Frank. He isn't a big fan of being negative. The next record we're beginning to work on definitely has a theme, as nerdy as it sounds: The power of words.




You've done some shows around Los Angeles based around the release of the EP, are there any plans to do a full US tour this year? Are there any bands in particular that you would be interested in touring with?



A full tour would be really tricky and expensive, but I think a bunch of small tours would be great. As far as bands we'd like to tour with, do you mean in a perfect world, or in reality? In a perfect world, sure, let's go on tour with the Cold War Kids, or Yeah Yeah Yeahs, or Silversun Pickups. Do they read this website? (*wink)




As American As Ones and Zeros is available via a variety of digital retailers. How has this helped to get your music noticed and do you feel the music industry as a whole is headed in a digital only direction or do you feel there are things that can be done to preserve a physical format?



Well, the digital distribution avenues seem to have been more beneficial to indie artists. There's a much lower cost of entry into that system than with physical CDs and vinyl. It's great, but it's still way more fun to go shopping at Amoeba Records than on iTunes! Unfortunately, in digital format, nothing is rare or out of print or hand-made, which sucks for artists and fans. I am thinking of doing 7-inch releases with hand screen-printed covers and songs that will not be made available online, that could be totally collectible. Try doing that on iTunes.




What's next for Friend Slash Lover? Are you already thinking about writing another full length or EP?



We've already written it! I misunderstood your question at first and thought you were wondering if we were going to make a full-length OR an EP... This has been a big debate, but I think the idea of releasing 2 EPs throughout the year has won. In the digital world, albums don't have as much meaning, since people tend to buy the one song they like instead. There isn't as much of a reason to put all the money and time into a 12-15 song release, unless of course you are inspired to do just that.




Cosmos Gaming writes about video games in addition to music. If you were to put your music into a project such as a video game, what song(s) would you choose and what type of game would you put it into?



Wow, can we just do 8-bit, lo-fi, electronic remixes of Disasteroid and release them on bootleg Atari games?




Is there anything else you'd like to say?



Yeah, video games are the devil's work. Nice work, dude.



For more information on Friend Slash Lover visit their website at http://www.friendslashlover.com/.

Chris Dahlberg

February 02, 2011 - Cosmo Gaming


"Interview with Josh Mintz of Friend Slash Lover about New Album As American As Ones and Zeros"

By SCOTT BUTKI
BLOGCRITICS.ORG

I was asked to consider interviewing Friend Slash Lover and after hearing this great album I agreed heartily. I like their sound. I am going to resist throwing out comparisons, citing instead the quote (origin unknown and much debated online): "Talking about music is like dancing about architecture."

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Instead I thought I'd just jump to the interview with the band's vocalist.

What was your goal with this album?

I believe in letting things in life happen organically. I always suspected that if I had good recordings then I would attract people who were on the same page and the music career would take on a life of its own.

I sort of approached it like a graphic designer needing a portfolio, or a filmmaker needing a reel. I always felt that this whole music project was pointless until we had good recordings, because nobody was going to just take my word for it. "I swear, it sounds amazing in my head!" I had to have something tangible to give people. If the band thing didn't work out, I still would have been happy writing songs for other artists, for movies or TV shows, or who knows what? Any day that I get to sit and write a song is a good day.

Where did the band’s name come from? How about the album title?

I originally called myself "Stupid Human," but when I started working with Frank (my bass player and collaborator for the past six years), he really didn't like that name at all. So he made me pitch new name ideas at him continually for a year, because he's a crazy person. After scribbling it in my notebook, I loved how "Friend Slash Lover" took on a different feeling when it was all spelled out. It sort of played with being a noun or a verb. It also of course had a cool sound to it when spoken, so it was the winner.

Album title: I wrote a song about how we live in a pill-grabber culture, but instead of critiquing it, I was really just poking fun at the notion, saying that the only reason money can't buy happiness yet is because we don't have the technology to do it yet... but we're working on it. As Americans, we always seem to act as if technology will save us from any problem, even if that problem happens to be technology itself. That notion is so ingrained in our culture, it's as American as apple pie.

Where do you hope to see the band in one year? Five years?

On the soundtracks of great movies. On stage at great venues. Collaborating with great artists.

What have been your high and low points as a musician and as a band?

The low points were when, after months of hard work and thousands of dollars wasted, we still didn't have any usable recordings for the longest time. The high point was definitely when we finally created some good recordings, after years of false starts.

What would you describe as your influences and inspirations?

My inspirations probably come more from the fine art world, movies and the news than from other musicians. I love when I discover someone who has a completely original take on something, like Ryan Trecartin when he makes a video piece, or Banksy when he modifies a phone booth.

How did your early experience playing fife in a drum corps affect and influence your current musical work?

Haha! I guess you could say I grew up on the road, on tour. Every weekend, we piled into a dilapidated school bus and traveled around New England and the East Coast. No matter how much we partied (and I was a kid, so by "party" I mean we stayed up late), we had to be ready to march several miles in the heat and play our instruments for hours. It was brutal, sometimes we marched in five parades in one day.

On another note, I developed a real love for other time signatures, like 6/8, which you don't hear much in rock music. I have two songs in 6/8 planned for the next album. It may seem strange, but as a kid I could sight-read classical music and play it on the fife (and I won dozens of competitions, including the national championship, playing a piece by Mozart) but over the years, I completely forgot how to read music. I successfully managed to unlearn everything I had been taught (Picasso would have been proud), which created this sort of blissful ignorance I operate within at the moment.

I understand you're planning an art show to coincide with the album's release. Can you talk about that? What type of art do you do?

Well, I missed the boat on getting an art show ready in time for the album's release. My recent work has been playing with stencils. I figured out a way to convert large images or words into different size dots and then punch those dots out of plastic. I like how the pieces work in an outdoor environment: When you are far away, they look like normal images and the closer you get, the more abstract they become.

My songs are heavily influenced by mirrors that I made for years, with quirky made-up phrases etched onto the glass. You are essentially looking at your own reflection when you read and decipher the phrases, and the fact that you are literally part of the art usually gives it one more layer of meaning. One of my favorites said, "A little sperm goes a long way." That phrase conjures lots of images up in your mind, but the most powerful being "you," having come such a long way from being a sperm at one point to be standing in this exact spot, looking at your reflection and reading this phrase.

I made mirrors that said, "As American as ones and zeros," "Money can't buy happiness...yet," "Where have I been all my life?" and "I brake for guilty consciences." Those phrases would be on my mind when playing guitar and they make their way into the songs whether I like it or not.

View the original article on blogcritics.org - The Seattle Post Intelligencer


"FRIEND SLASH LOVER GIVES A FRESH VOICE TO ROCK"

Los Angeles-based band redefines the sound of rock in the new millennium

By Robert Hensley | January 10, 2011

Named one of the Top 100 Unsigned Bands of 2010 by Music Connection, and named "Fave of the Year" by Beatcraze.com, FRIEND SLASH LOVER is well on their way to becoming a household name. With the release of their six-track EP, As American as Ones and Zeros, this groundbreaking Los Angeles group is ready to expand the minds of the listening public as they break away from the standards of rock music.

FRIEND SLASH LOVER was brought to life by Josh Mintz, a musical mastermind hailing from The Rhode Island School of Design. Along with bassist Frank Day the two form the core of the band. Mintz is an accomplished creative director and guerilla artist who spent time with OBEY artist Shepard Fairey in the early 90s wheat pasting posters. He had worked on music in his spare time before finally moving operations from his bedroom to the recording studio.

Playing an alternatively tuned guitar and an ever-expanding litany of original songs inspired by his own visual art and modern paranoia, Mintz created the tracks that were inspired in equal parts by Sigur Ros, Nirvana and post-modern sensibility.

With a professionally-filmed music video on the way for "Disasteroid", a pop-rock eco-anthem, which was also recently remixed by The Silver Wizard, aka John Goff, FRIEND SLASH LOVER is enjoying success in the new year. They are steadily growing their audience. The band recently played to a packed house at the legendary Viper Room, and has been nominated for Best Recording (EP) by Rockwired.com.

Not resting on their laurels, Mintz has already got the next five records mapped out, along with release parties that double as art shows, reinforcing the symbiotic relationship of the songwriter’s work in both fields. Restlessly creative, daringly inventive and addictively listenable, FRIEND SLASH LOVER is a band that will continue to exceed our expectations. - WestsideToday.com


"Music: Friend Slash Lover: As American as Ones and Zeros"

Our Take

Los Angeles based pop/rock band Friend Slash Lover is one of the latest acts trying to make a name for themselves in a scene that has become so crowded that it can be really hard to identify who is who. However, on their debut EP As American as Ones and Zeros the band comes out swinging with music that has a unique vibe and interesting lyrical content. There are areas they could expand on, but as a whole Friend Slash Lover is quite promising and could become a group that makes it out of the sea of similar sounding bands.

What makes this group so much better than the slew of other pop rock acts is the way in which they implement atmospheric soundscapes into their music. Rather than playing standard piano driven rock, Friend Slash Lover uses a mixture of guitar and keyboard/piano to create gorgeous, textured arrangements that really grab you and keep you interested until the song has come to an end. The best way to describe the overall sound on As American as Ones and Zeros is as a mix of piano driven rock, indie rock, and a little 90’s alternative rock. And yet, while other groups have had similar mixtures there is just something about this band that makes them feel different. Perhaps it is because rather than mixing these three styles into a distinctive formula and using it on each song, the instrumentalists head in different directions throughout the course of EP which gives tracks their own identities.



Singer Josh Mintz may not stray that far from the traditional mellow pop/rock singer mold, but his lyrical content helps to make up for it. Mintz has a very mellow, laid back voice that is well suited to the atmospheric instrumentals but he does get a little more energetic when the songs reach their climaxes. Rather than going for the typical themes of romance Friend Slash Lover seems to take on much more broader topics in addition to some more personal ones. The word play they use to describe some of these themes is often a bit more complex than some of the mainstream acts out there, and this makes the material more interesting to listen to.



As American as One and Zeros has quite a bit of potential, and it gives Friend Slash Lover an impressive base that they can continue to build off of in the future. The group not only has the soundscapes and textures needed to capture listeners’ attention, but they also have intelligent lyrics that will keep people coming back. These guys may be unsigned right now, but if their material remains this polished and diverse in the future it shouldn’t be long before they find a home.



http://www.friendslashlover.com/

Chris Dahlberg

November 05, 2010 - Cosmo Gaming


"Music Connection's Hot 100 Unsigned Artists 2010"

"Music Connection's annual, eagerly awaited Hot 100 List spotlights those artists and bands whose live performances made a big impact on us in the last 12 months..." - Music Connection Magazine


"Coldiron 109: Friend Slash Lover"

This is a radio interview where Josh talks about his fine art and music and how it all ties together. - CWG Magazine


"Friend Slash Lover: BeatCrave Fav"

Friend Slash Lover are only a six-track EP in to what we hope turns out to be a long-standing career of musical theatrics and acoustics. Their style is laid back and personable, albeit with a lot of punch and emotional gusto. Put it all together and you have a hell of a creative storytelling device through sound and word. The Los Angeles-based indie band brings smart music to the table. There is an apparent, intricate design behind every track and every instrument in use, which makes sense considering lead vocalist and songwriter Josh Mintz’s background in creative design and visual arts. These two contributed largely to the members’ functions in the band, then and now. For lack of a better phrase, it seems the trio has big designs for their repertoire at large.

In a current sea of autotune, raw vocals with daring use of instrumentals against a seemingly traditional background of indie compositions, and you’ve got a subtle attack on the senses in the embodiment of Friend Slash Lover. If you feel the same way about them as we do (and we’ve a hankering you might), don’t forget to vote for them this month in our BeatCrave Fav series! - www.beatcrave.com


"CD review - Friend Slash Lover, As American As Ones and Zeros (2010)"

The truly clever have a good sense for how far to take things. It's easy to run the humor into the ground or bury the wit under a weight of excess. On As American As Ones and Zeros, Friend Slash Lover have struck the right level. The ambiguity of the band name (is that punctuation or a verb?) and intriguing titles catch the imagination. The songs deliver on this, with good music production and interesting lyrics. The primarily indie rock tunes occasionally drift towards progressive rock and there are enough arty touches to remind you that founder Josh Mintz has an art school pedigree. The arrangements are loosely structured, giving the songs a nice fluid feel.

The expressive vocals often push the songs into an emo orbit, perhaps making them fraught with deeper meaning than the lyrics can quite deliver. But rather than conflicting, this gives As American As Ones And Zeros a cathartic feel. The music supports this, with interesting tunings, good dynamics, and subtle tension.

Breaking Up starts out pretty, reflective, and restrained. The vocal is emotional and personal, meshing well with the lyrical theme of surrender. The repetitive rhythm guitar is accented by single notes swelling. The other contributing parts come in, until a wave of sound rises up and dominates. This takes the song into a different space that's like a less guitar focused version of My Morning Jacket.

The nice lyrical conceit of Where Have I Been All My Life is richly layered with ethereal sounds and back masked music. The flow of words meshes in perfectly:

Getting to know yourself is something you owe yourself, you know
Tell yourself to let go.

It's a pretty affirmation, where the emotional delivery feels sincere.

The weakest song, Disasteroid, suffers from trying too hard on the verse rhyme scheme:

We want our faster toys
And then we act annoyed
That we have half destroyed
Our little asteroid
It's a disaster, boy
That we'll have to avoid
Or be the last to enjoy
Our little asteroid

Even with these flaws, the song succeeds in developing tension into a stronger drive. The transition to a power pop sound on the chorus is also a nice touch.

"Money can't buy happiness...yet", but Friends Slash Lover envision the time when it can. A Rockstar energy drink (mango, anyone?) might be ironic enough for As American as Ones and Zeros. - Jester Jay


"ROCKWiRED RADiO PROFiLES PRESENTS: THE OTHERWORLDLY SOUND OF FRiEND SLASH LOVER AND THEiR DEBUT EP 'AS AMERiCAN AS ONES AND ZEROES'"

People coming together and people coming apart was a theme brilliantly explored in MOBY's 2002 hit WE ARE ALL MADE OF STARS but the Los Angeles-based duo FRIEND SLASH LOVER build an entire six-song EP around that very theme with stunning results. AS AMERICAN AS ONES AND ZEROES is the debut release from singer/songwriter/bassist JOSH MINTZ and guitarist FRANK DAY but the duo's technological and musical prowess coupled with MINTZ's space-aged songcraft can easily give listeners that impression that FRIEND SLASH LOVER has done this sort of thing before and that more can be expected from them in the years to come. - Rockwired Radio


"Los Angeles Friend Slash Lover Emerges with Debut EP As American as Ones and Zeros"

"...Armed with an oddly-tuned guitar (that a friend had tuned into an unusual open tuning) and an ever-expanding litany of original songs inspired by his own visual art and modern paranoia, Mintz created the tracks that would become As American as Ones and Zeros. The result is an impressive catalog of material that was inspired in equal parts by Sigur Ros, Nirvana and post-modern sensibility. Title track “As American as Ones and Zeros” leads the collection, a satire of our attempt to save ourselves from technology with technology..." - CW's Music Blog


"Los Angeles Friend Slash Lover Emerges with Debut EP As American as Ones and Zeros"

"...Armed with an oddly-tuned guitar (that a friend had tuned into an unusual open tuning) and an ever-expanding litany of original songs inspired by his own visual art and modern paranoia, Mintz created the tracks that would become As American as Ones and Zeros. The result is an impressive catalog of material that was inspired in equal parts by Sigur Ros, Nirvana and post-modern sensibility. Title track “As American as Ones and Zeros” leads the collection, a satire of our attempt to save ourselves from technology with technology..." - CW's Music Blog


"Friend Slash Lover Rocks the Voice of Visual Art with Debut Album EP “As American as Ones and Zeros”"

Highlight: "Restlessly creative, daringly inventive and addictively listenable, Friend Slash Lover is a band that will continue to exceed our expectations." - www.muenmagazine.net


Discography

"As American As Ones and Zeros"
6 song EP just released on iTunes, Amazon, Last.fm, Rhapsody, etc.

Photos

Bio

Have you ever imagined a brighter future for music, in which genre-defying sounds meet savvy, intelligent wordplay? Los Angeles’ FRIEND SLASH LOVER has seen it. With a fresh, creative approach to pop, as heard on their debut EP As American as Ones and Zeros, FRIEND SLASH LOVER is ready to share their vision with the world.

Friend Slash Lover is the brainchild of renaissance man Josh Mintz, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for the group. Mintz took to music early in life, playing fife in a drum corps marching band since the age of 8. He displayed a natural talent, winning state and national championships, as well as composing for the instrument. It was his interest in visual arts, however, that would take him to Rhode Island School of Design some years later, where he befriended OBEY artist Shepard Fairey, with whom he’d later help wheat paste those iconic posters alongside Josh’s own “Submit” button designs on the streets of San Diego. At school, he continued to pursue his natural inclination toward musical composition, synthesizing his two passions by contributing four of his electronic pieces to an installation at the school, where they played on a constant loop. Mintz would compile dozens of electronic songs he recorded on four-track, “releasing” them as albums to friends, and even getting airplay through the local radio station. “That was pretty amazing, considering it was basically noise,” says Josh.

Flash forward a few years later to Los Angeles – Mintz has turned his interest in visuals into a full-fledged career, working as a creative director, getting his work into local galleries and living in a Hollywood art complex owned by artist Ed Ruscha, but he remains creatively restless. He calls upon a musician friend to teach him guitar. The friend tunes Josh’s guitar to an unusual open tuning – but once he leaves, Josh quickly writes four songs, deciding not to tune the guitar back to standard. “I still don’t know how to play normal chords,” he confesses. But it would inform his entire approach to music as one who wasn’t interested in playing by the rules. “I like to approach music completely by sound, rather than on a technical level,” he says. “The important thing is, how does the song sound? You can write a song on anything.”

With this off-kilter musical background in place, Mintz turned to his own word-based art for inspiration. Strumming droning, chordal patterns in his room, he turned to the mirrors on which he had etched sarcastic, playful catchphrases: “I brake for guilty consciences,” “Where have I been all my life?,” “As American as ones and zeros” – and began to flesh them out into full-fledged songs, eventually building an impressive catalog of material that was inspired in equal parts by Sigur Ros, Nirvana and post-modern sensibility. “Songwriting is the greatest part of the ‘being in a band’ thing,” says Josh. “Sadly, that’s only 1% of the whole process.”

Armed with this ever-expanding new songbook, Josh started to work on the other 99% of the process, putting out an ad for a bass player. Frank Day was the only one to respond – but he was the perfect candidate. “I wanted someone who could write melodic lines like Andy Rourke from the Smiths. At this point, I think Frank is better,” boasts Josh. As a successful doctor with a knack for organization, Frank brought a sense of much-needed order to Mintz’s artistic impulses. Adding keyboardist Matteo Natale, the band began exploring rock territory, fleshing out the acoustic beginnings of Mintz’s songs with electronic sounds and textures. Financing themselves, they entered the studio to record a three-song demo – but upon completion, Josh was more than dissatisfied with the results, even though his bandmates disagreed. “When I considered it, I realized the things I was unhappy with came from me: the guitar sound, the voice,” says Josh. “I needed an entirely new method.” Natale departed the band – and the country – after a rocky gig, Friend Slash Lover seemed to have prematurely ended.

Forgoing the band democracy of the past, Mintz took it upon himself as the project’s sole decision-maker to craft a new record. Informing bassist Day he was going to “try an experiment,” Josh enlisted producer Jim Roach and mixer Thomas Flowers to start from scratch. With the encouragement of his roommate, a fellow artist, he began to move away from the more traditional rock sound of the ill-fated demo, and more towards eerie, stripped-down sonic settings in which the material could truly shine. The result is As American as Ones and Zeros, an EP that is truly one for our times.

Kicking off with the EP’s title track, a raucous yet intricate meditation on saving ourselves from technology with technology, Mintz turns his own mirrors on his audience. “People want a pill to cure them of their woes/It’s as American as ones and zeros,” he crows in the song’s refrain, reflecting modern pathos in a succinct, three-minute epic. Later, “Disasteroid” playful