One of the best things about working with Sepiachord is that you never know when you're going to stumble upon an amazing band.
Recently I was lucky enough to run across Aeon Now! as they were performing at Folklife in Seattle.
Singer & accordion player Olive Delsol was kind enough to answer some of my questions...
Sepiachord: What kind of bands were you all playing in prior to putting this outfit into gear?
Olive Delsol: Going back to the dawn of time, in a frozen land far away .. I, Olive, played Cello in a Minneapolis band called Breaksea Caravel, led by magnetic accordionist NIkolas Winter-Simat. Breaksea Caravel dramatically sails onto your shores with their latest album "Home" as a package of salt pork to keep you on your travels.
Madame Morgana (Violin, Banjo) and I shared the joyous experience of being the classical string section of "Madame Flod" a Klezmer, Eastern European band that was never afraid of a good freilach.
Moriah (Drums) aka Mojo Longstocking and I were stompin' dustbowl pirates in the gutter folk band "Glutton Mouth" I was sampling folk instrumentation and met the accordion.. "Hello..I am accordion.. I shall be your constant companion from now on.."
Morgan, Moriah, Aaron (Trombone, bells) and I made a band called "Hungry Crow" to put our punky original music to the multimedia puppet musical "the Hungry Crow Sideshow" that toured in Oregon, notably preforming at the Oregon Country Fair ..where we met Eli (washboard)
I asked him if he would be our donkey boy and BLAM! Aeon Now was born.
SC: What is "dreampunk" and who wrote the dreampunk manifesto?
OD: Eli is responsible for writing the manifesto.
Today you decide what you will build. Are you waiting for someone to tell you what to do, and how to do it? Are you putting your muscle and heart into something that really matters to you, or are you building the guillotine that cuts off your own head?
Dreampunk is creating the atmosphere you want to inhabit. Putting your strength towards expression and freedom. Enjoying what you will. Helping your friends. Denying the life stealers. Opening your eyes to beauty that lives through the greedy slime of modern culture. Dreampunk is the violet in the crack of the sidewalk.
SC: Do you think that you focus more on hope than other flavors of punk?
OD: Dreampunk is focused on the cyclic nature of existence. Yes, tear down the regime. Lets pick what we wish to use our collective strength for, so we may govern ourselves in the way that we see fit, and one day we will see the seed of our glorious dream turn into our beauty and sustenance. Then we die.
SC: Do you see yourselves as belonging more to the tradition of punk or the tradition of folk?
OD: We belong to the tradition of troubadours.
SC: Most of the lyrics on your CD are written by Moriah West but sung by you. Is it hard to get the emotions right on a piece you didn't write? Do you ever feel like you're reinterpreting her work?
OD: I love the way that she swings those words around. Moriah and I have been creative collaborators ever since I moved to Cottage Grove and we wrote a skit about momma birds vomiting into baby bird beaks about four years ago.
She vomits lyrics, I vomit tunes. mmm. tasty.
SC: Why the accordion?
OD: Short answer:
Have you ever seen those articulated buses? I was traveling one one of them and when we took a corner my Cello got crushed in the accordion part of the bus. I ended up trading that broken cello for a broken accordion called "Donut" from the Donut Accordion Tour Madame Flod enjoyed. Donut went to see Luke Scott Hinkle, a wonderful fixit fella, and feels much better now. Thanks for asking.
SC: Do you do a lot of busking or street performances? Do you enjoy that more that playing a gig in club?
OD: We adore the outdoor. What a curiosity it is to walk a familiar path and suddenly have a new soundtrack, an unexpected attraction. People have unusual responses when you interact on such an eye-to-eye level. The club is a different beast entirely. Sometimes it is a sweet beast.
SC: What bands that you've shared a stage with to you feel a kinship with?
AN!: I really appreciate our comrades and I feel grateful to be amongst the living.
Here comes a list. Ready?
Below the Salt
Dandilion Junk Queens
The Blair Street Mugwumps
The Dirty Commies
The Bloodbath Burlesque Orchestra
The Alder St. All Stars
Destroy Nate Allen
Renee De La Prade
SC: What do you think is the hardest challenge living in the US today?
OD: It is very easy to get used to being comfortable. These comforts come at a cost. Water doesn't just come from a faucet and electricity doesn't just come from the wall. To think of the origins of what you use is to be aware of your impact on your surroundings.Can you make it? Can you fix it? Could you do without?
SC: What do you think qualifies as a "radical lifestyle" and do you think you're living one?
OD: Strong nonviolent action.When you take your truth to the street and harm none.
I am working on it in my own life. Would you help me? Would you tell me the truth?
SC: What's your favorite color?
SC: If I stopped by unexpectedly for dinner what would you make?
OD: Falafel and Lemonade
SC: Any final words of advice for the youth of America?
OD: Time will turn emperors to corpses and youth to power.