Archive for the ‘Press, Video & Interviews’Category

AMC Memories – Last October

i just found this link online – it was one year ago to the month that we were the featured band for amc’s frightfest or monsterfest or whatever they called it. i never read the page they put up so that’s why im posting it now. READ IT.


10 2006

Thanx KCRW

i’ve been getting a ton of calls from people saying that they keep hearing our remix ep getting played on kcrw. almost every single dj there has played a track from this record in the past month. kcrw also made L’arsen’s remix track of monterey their daily download on last monday. for these reasons i wanted to give an official shout out to kcrw for their support. THANK YOU KCRW - we appreciate it! i would have probably heard it played too if the stereo in my truck worked. i keep meaning to get that fixed but like so many things in my life it still remains on my “to do” list right next to “get another tattoo”. F10


09 2006

Animal Planet

Question: what do the great bear rainforest and west indian girl have in common?
Answer: the animal planet.

check out our music in this episode on Sept 3rd Sun. 5:00PM

i’m not sure what song or song they used but im so glad i can record this kind of stuff with directv.


09 2006

Coup De’tat w/ TK on Indie 103.1

i am a dj, i am what i play

we finally got to hang out at our first la based radio station yesterday and INDIE 103.1 was the one to invite us. isnt that weird…we go play and do interviews on radio stations in tons of other cities but have yet (until last night) to be on one in la. anyway, we ended up on TK’s Coup De’tat show sort of by chance. when we were at st scene in san diego last week he was broadcasting from a mobile van which was parked near our trailor. proximity usually breeds love as we ended up doing a quick spot on the air with him that afternoon. he also mentioned that he had heard us on midori’s show in san diego the night before and thought we were fun thus the invite to indie 103. hey, i cant thank tk enough. the dude is rad and i had a blast. we just plugged in our powerbooks and were ready to roll. it was awesome. i need to have my own show on the radio someday – i want a live call in one though. hey indie 103 we just added you to our friend’s list – see ya when our next record comes out.

here is the link to our show’s set list. if you click on pic 12 you will see me, q, and tone in the studio.

tk and q



08 2006

St Scene (San Diego, CA)

kicking ass at street scene 8.05

Fran’s Flashback
san diego st scene was awesome. when we played our set at 5pm and had a real nice crowd there to check us out. i was proud of how we did…for the most part we nailed it. rob’s friend julio sat in on percussion for a few songs as well. it was a power set and i thought we especially nailed songs like hollywood, indian ocean and what are you afraid of. there were a bunch of photographers in the front row taking pics and here are some links where you can check out some of their pics. 1. webmoment (great pro pics in here) 2. st scene community board (scroll down to see us) 3. wire image (you can search for anything on here) 4. News (no pics but cool mention of Q in last sentence)

dressing room and rider wrap up: in honor of fellini im grading out st scene with my all time high score of 8 1/2. a large part of this score is due to the simple fact we had our own trailer (see picture). not only did the trailer have ac but it had a bathroom. it was kinda small for the whole crew to be in there at once but it was a godsend nonetheless. there was plenty of drink and food available for us too. none of the staff or stage hands or security were dicks at this festival…in fact they were all really nice. plus they even let tony in so i was down with their whole program from the jump. festivals are always hectic with getting bands on and off stage quickly but these guys were super cool – no attitudes and no probs. i even got drove around in one of those carts with josh. how can getting to cruise around in one of golf carts not make your day?

parking lot thanx to: every fan that came out to see us, the promoter for inviting us and all of our friends that found us backstage. extra special thanx goes to julio for sitting in with us for a few songs and taking some great pics. artist mark sgarbossa and kampy are pictured left while music journalist alexander laurence is seen below. alexander goes to see more shows than any one i know. talk about being current – check out his blog called the portable infinite which i have perma linked to our sidebar friends section. a san diego trip wouldnt have complete without doug, walt and tim showing up. once again it was great to see all you guys who are like family now. hmmmm im trying to think of who else i invited but i think i covered it. oh yeah, thanx to kevin for doing our sound that day. you did a great job bro!

Tony’s Take
some days are definitely better to be a dog than most. this was not one of them. it was HOT and since there was absolutely no fucking grass in this parking lot festival my paws had to rough it on the burning cement. thank god for that little trailer dressing room they had. i was mostly in there chilling with the likes of lewscious and q and nathan in the hours leading up to the show. after the show i got to walk around not only with fran but the other guys took me for a while too. it was pretty cool because i was literally the ONLY dog at the festival (just like it should be). i met tons of hot chicks cos that’s just what i seem to do when i go out. they never seem like they can get enough sometimes. i tried eating the food that was dropped but never really got a hold of anything under fran’s watchful eye. he fed me at night under the stars. it was groovy. around 11pm we all drove back to the double tree and i jumped in q’s car for a more comfy ride home. i like san diego and the fact that no one gave me a hassle there.

nothing like a great view
rob and julio before sound check
walt and doug helping us move equipment
q with brian on the indie 103 bus
lewscious et all
looking for a dropped kielbasa


08 2006

Big Sonic Chill w/ Midori on 94.9

Dear Midori, We Love You – West Indian Girl.

i should just end this post here but i wont. midori is probably the biggest reason why san diego is one of our best cities. she has played us regularly on her big sonic chill show and that has been invaluable to our growth and popularity in san diego. san diego radio is a microcosm of how the power of radio can change a band. they were the first commercial fm station to take a chance on us and it has really paid off. midori is the best. so anyway, we went down to sd a day early just to hang with midori on her show for 3 hours. what a total blast, i could have stayed there for her entire show. it was great cos we even got to take calls. i think i liked that the best. we (actually rob and q) played monterey live and we also got to play a bunch of our favorite chill out songs. i want to thank everyone that called in and listened that night, midori’s fanbase is real cool.

Tony’s Take
finally a decent hotel room…the double tree in san diego. these guys are finally starting to live it up for once. we went to a radio station and all the people there were nice to me…yeah i know, par for the fucking course. josh watched me for a bit but mostly i just chilled out in the studio with all of them. after the show i got to run around off leash in the parking lot. we were out in some office complex but it was grassy so it was good. i couldnt wait to get back to this hotel though….im not used to sleeping on such big comfy beds.

mic + chair + itunes = guest djthe good life at the double tree


08 2006

KEXP (Seattle, WA)

mark’s view of our in-studio show… 6.28

wednesday in seattle was a busy day for us. we had 2 shows, the first of which was an in studio at KEXP. cheryl waters (pictured) was the host and a real fun person to get interviewed by. i was starving when we got to the studio but ian got me a tuna sandwich which was pretty awesome of him. This was our second time doing an on air performance at the station. The first time was last july while we were on tour with turin brakes – rob and q did an acoustic set. this time around was much different as we were able to bring the full band in. we played 3 songs off the new record (all my friends…, inspirate, indian ocean) and one old one (trip). it was good playing the new ones live just because we are still working them out as we record them over the summer.KEXP is so rad – it’s in a pretty cool part of downtown too. it’s right near the space needle but more importantly right next to a holiday inn express and yes we were smart enough to get rooms there. those rooms by the way were the nicest ones we’ve stayed in this year. they made me feel more like a human being instead of a hunter and gatherer.

Mariqueen’s Mind

we arrived at the radio station at eleven am. yes… eleven. am. normally this means i’d still be in my bed working on my fifth hour of sleep, so you can imagine how groggy i was. i stood around confused and trying to find out why there were no apples or throat coat anywhere. the station had us set up to perform as a full band in the same exact room rob and i had performed an acoustic set just a year earlier. it was so cute watching the tight little quarters fran and mark had. i think fran might’ve accidently hit mark’s drums at one point. we played four songs i think, or five, i forget. three of them were brand new and im not sure how they sounded because as far as i could tell i was in no real shape to be singing. i mean, this was our first performance in over a month—at an ungodly hour for us to be alive and we had slept in some gross motel the night before. most of the time i was daydreaming about my bed at the holiday inn express. thank god there was a staff member who brought me lots of tea. after our set we took some pictures with cheryl [who looked good in every single one] and then cringed at ourselves when we viewed them on kexp’s digital camera. can anyone say, “gross, sleepy mess”? i gave the show a six out of ten but i had a good time which is all that matters in the end. i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again… kexp, your women’s bathroom is so wonderful. thanks for everything. xo.

look how happy they are to get their picture taken at 10 am



06 2006

Grand Rapids, MI

test driving the intersection 4.19.06

i highly recommend never playing the intersection again. why you ask, well, the main reason is that the sound guy at the intersection cared more about getting high than giving the bands a sound check. when a band is on time for load in and is waiting around for a club’s crew to get it together you have to wonder what sort of an operation the intersection is running. let me state that i am in no way shape or form against people getting high but getting so rocked out of you gord so that you cant perform your job (a job that involves helping my band to sound good) then yeah i’m against it. normally i could brush something like this off but not tonight. sadly enough this was the first time my parents have ever seen my band and all the while i’m at the mercy of a lazy dope telling me “that’s just how we do it here….festival style”…even though this wasnt a festival – it was a show in a club on a wednesday night. frustrating. in retrospect i spent way too long standing around waiting for the fog inside this idiot’s brain to clear up when i could have been visiting with old friends and family. way to go intersection. you should be embarrassed.

as it turns out i couldnt really relax much at all just because this wasnt how i envisioned the first time my parents seeing a west indian girl show would be. deep down inside it made me feel like a failure. of all the great places and venues we have played momma and pappa 10 had to witness the grand rapids show. at least i got to see them for a minute before i played – they were at a table with a few friends teddy (pictured), weas, and eric. my brother chris and his friends were there too. chris saw the kalamazoo show as well as this show…after these 2 he must be wondering what the hell im doing.

how was the show you ask? well, it was good for what it was. i remember liking the stage. i like big stages in general and the stage was pretty nice. just like in kalamazoo, the wonderful paucity opened the show but i didnt get to see them cos i had to rush and go eat before we played. im sorry paucity but at least we got to hang out afterwards and shoot pool. kertis, mike, and mandy that was the best part of my evening. oh yeah, the other surprise of the evening was q sitting in with bump during their cover of “send me an angel”. after seeing her from the crowd’s perspective i now understand why she is so special.

and thus ends our stretch of michigan impossible shows. we are now entering the final week of the tour and i must say it seems like it is taking a bit of a toll on some of us. im sure the band is happy to leave this state – i’m just sad i didnt get enough quality time in with my mom, dad and bro. it was great seeing them and long over due. final score on the michigan impossible tour is west indian girl 4 – michigan 2. We win.

THE ONE MUSICAL BRIGHT SPOT OF GRAND RAPIDS was doing an interview that afternoon with craig and sandy (above) from grand rapids internet television. they had us over to the offices for a real chill interview. good times, great job and thanx again craig and sandy. next time we are in town we will do it again. you can watch the interview right here….GRIT Interview

Mariqueen’s Mind

The City: i’ve already written about grand rapids. please check the drive out to michigan blog. right before we arrived at the venue we did a fun little interview with GRIT tv. we got to sit around in the sun, eat apples [they read our blog ♥] and the boys drank beer. they even came and recorded our set. i heard a rumor that it’s up on the internet but i haven’t found it yet…

The Venue: the intersection. thanks for the soundcheck, you incompetent fools… im really pleased that we had two disrespectful potheads doing our monitors for us and refusing to give us a soundcheck because they did things “festival” style. yeah ok… i don’t see a festival kind of gig ever happening at the intersection. EVER. other than that the intersection is like a huge hall… huge… but from the stage it almost looked like a barn. i wasn’t too impressed. of course there were no throat coat and apples. michigan, i’ve completely given up on you as far as my rider needs [amongst others] are concerned. utterly hopeless.

The Show: despite our lack for a soundcheck and our incredibly short set i thought it was great. i knew fran’s parents were in the crowd and from their feed back they loved our performance. that makes me very happy.

What Were You Thinking While Playing: i just kept envisioning a grand rapids county fair taking place inside the building. you know, arts & crafts, scary carnies, cows…

Interesting Things After The Show: well, after our set, joey c. [the kid was everywhere on our michigan impossible tour] convinced me to go up on stage and surprise the bump guys by singing with them on their cover of “send me an angel”. after two shots of jager and two grey goose and tonics i happily agreed. happy times. then me and mark explored the hip hop room or whatever and we danced while all five of the club goers stared at us. bah. so i went back to the main area & hung out with paucity [another great band & great new friends]… we drank a lot to celebrate the end of michigan impossible and i accidently lifted kertis’ bracelet [sorry, lovee...]. back at mom and dad’s house, fran and i finished off the rest of the baked ziti and then some. fran and i both slept on the floor in sleeping bags as ian was tucked away on his couch bed and mourned our last night at his parent’s house. sigh. i miss them already.


Dave Burns could have been a rock god…at least that’s what his sister tells me. Thanks for coming out buddy. Grand Rapids didn’t know what hit them that night


first off, there’s a free podcast available for download on itunes of us being interviewed for GRIT (grand rapids internet television). they did a pretty good job cutting up the interview with segments from the live show as well. so, like, go download it and stuff. well, i’m not going to waste time griping about our inexcusable lack of a proper soundcheck, or the lack of promotion, or the ridiculous enormity of the venue as compared to the meager crowd that showed up. no, that stuff is boring, and this is my nonsense so i can do and say what i want. instead i will again take a moment to plug the brilliance of paucity, and how cool it was to actually hang out with the band this time, especially with kertis, jared, and of course anna. anna is a certifiable genius, and is as charming as her talent is inspiring. she’s also very modest and would probably object to all this attention. too bad, girl. thanks for the pile of books you lent us… i snagged one for myself. until next time… adieu.

crash course in “festival” style performingjoey c and mq version 2.0me and the weaspaucity minus 1



04 2006

WYEP In Pittsburgh

stripped down for wyep 4.11.06

the afternoon of the brillo box show we did an on air performance at a great npr radio station 91.3 wyep. wyep is yet another cool thing about pittsburgh. the whole station is made of recycled material or at least bunch of it was made from it… like the carpet was made from recycled cups and the sound boards were made from recycled jeans. pretty crazy huh…i still dont understand the recycled jeans thing. anyway, kyle is the morning host at yep and he was the one to interview us live on the air. not only were interviewed but rob and q performed 4 songs in front of a studio audience. the songs they played were monterey, hollywood, still lost and visions which has never ever been performed before. it was a historic moment and im glad it all got recorded. those tapes will be available on the net pretty soon i hope. personally, i thought it was rob and q’s best acoustic performance EVER. both of their voices sounded great. mark, nathan, and i were equally mesmerized by their talents. after the show we did some group station id’s which were pretty amusing. i also want to thank mike the music director, brian the production director and chris one of the dj’s for all being so cool to us. thanx for the support wyep…we appreciate it!

Mariqueen’s Mind

The Venue: WYEP is beautiful. apparently the whole place is made of recycled paper cups and jeans. i enjoyed the whole feng shui of the place. it is something you must see for yourself… ooooh! check out pictures from the station right HERE

The Show: though there were minor glitches i think it was a success. i am starting to get more comfortable playing intimate shows. just as long as i don’t have to talk. =)

What Were You Thinking While Playing: i was calm and cool, not thinking about anything at all…

Interesting Things After The Show: charles and jacque [best people in the world] took us around the town for a bit before we were due at the brillo box.

rob getting grilled by kyle

Why can’t there be more stations like WYEP? Thanks for the love. It will come back to you tenfold as the ancients rise up from beyond to tune in from lost astral-planes.

group photo with kyle in the middle
great crowd for an afternoon show



04 2006

Northampton, MA

happy birthday Q!

april 5th was quite a day just because it was mariqueen’s birthday. unfortunately for her she had to spend most of it in a van on the way to the iron horse where we had a show. not only did we get to take her out for a nice sushi dinner that night but we also had some ice cream cake with my nieces the night before. so…northampton….why is there only one h in your name? i liked what i saw of this city. it reminded me a little bit of ann arbor michigan but with more of an early american witchy vibe to it. keep in mind we were only in the city for about 9 hours so i didnt really get to see too much. the show itself was pretty cool. once again it was a tight small stage but one with plenty of history. it seems like everyone has played this club. the sound was great and the staff was cool and the dressing room in the basement was pretty cozy. i liked the whole “wood” feel of this place. once again, i wish more people had known about this show because it was good one. after we played we ended up at some funny dance club for another band bonding experience. it was fun hanging at the bar watching everyone dance. weird thing about this place was that i saw the same bunch of people that were just at the iron horse. after this hip hop extravaganza we crept out of hampton towards crappy new haven ct where we were getting a hotel room for a few hours before heading into ny city.

big new age hippie northampton wighead thanks to:
peter and his random encounter with us. ( i will post his story when he emails it to me). the sushi place for serving me black marlon aka white tuna which is now my official favorite sushi.

Mariqueen’s Mind

The City: beautiful. just lovely, really… i want to come back soooon. while we were waiting for the club to open, i got a chance to walk around with mark and rob and bought some cute pins and a japanese stationary set that will make all my girlfriends jelly. it was my birthday that day, so fran and rob and ian [i can't breathe without you] took me to moshi moshi – a korean owned japanese sushi spot. thanks, kristen beam [you are a sweetheartface & we'll have to go have dinner when i come back to town], for recommending it. it was delicious. northampton is delicious. i almost forgot to mention that kristen writes for and wrote an article with pictures on our show and interviewed us before we left for tour.

The Venue: the iron horse was really dope. the layout, everything was fantastic. except… for the bathrooms. i don’t know… they were just really small, booth-like rooms and they smelled horrible. other than that i dug the whole spot.

The Show: the show was our best yet. kevin our sound man stepped it up and started working the lights. it was a lot of fun. a sweet man came up and presented me with a tequila shot in the middle of our set, i’m sorry i forgot your name but i appreciate it and i thank you…

What Were You Thinking While Playing: i don’t really remember… that’s how much fun i was having…

Interesting Things After The Show: ha! well we met some guy who bought the west indian girl record in the dollar bin and there’s a whole elaborate story that he promised to email fran and soon after he got kicked out of the club because it was closing. after everything was loaded and locked up we went across the street to a nameless bar. it was so weird because i saw a bunch of scenester kids dancing to hip hop music — badly. it was like being in LA on a tuesday night. i felt right at home. we drank, i had some serious dancefloor time with both nathan and rob but the most intense was with mark lewis. jesus, can that boy dance. god bless idaho.

another interesting thing happened before the show not after. the marvelous mccabe family surprised me with a birthday cake [vanilla and chocolate gelato and chocolate cake] and hat. it was so much fun… becky, thank you for the earrings… they are beautiful, but not as beautiful as your family.


The Iron Horse in Northampton was oozing positive vibes. It was a veritable love fest. I loved the city, the people, the star lit crispy aired delights hovering over all our heads like guardian angels…making us happy to be human beings. What a wonderful night to have a birthday!! Here’s to you, Q. Thank you Northampton.

kevin happy to not be behind the boardrob and qbelow stage in the dressing roomnathan, kevin, ian, q, and lewsciouslewscious at becky’s house the night before



04 2006

New Video For “Hollywood”

In “Hollywood,” a highly sought after bag of “party favors” guides the viewer through a wild urban safari that explores the many faces of modern day Hollywood subculture. A visual narrative takes us through several exchanges of the bag amongst disparate characters over the course of a typically wild Hollywood night. – official press release

I would like to take a minute to discuss the new video for hollywood because some people have expressed concerns about us showing it. Director Cary Heckman has this to say about the video, “The heavily narrative themed video, takes the viewer on a wild ride, through the Good, Bad, and Ugly, Sides of Hollywood life and culture, using a bag a drugs, as the common thread that ties them all together.” I would basically agree with him on that. At the end of the day this video is what it is…a little film set to music. The film in question centers around drugs which are a very common side of hollywood (as in most big cities for that matter). If you live here, like all of us in the band do, then you might take this for granted and not really be shocked…we’ve seen it all a billion times before – it’s just a slice of one side of the party life in hollywood. Is it glamorous? not really – i think drugs are bad in general. So, to sum up, (mom and dad) we are not coke addicts nor do we sit around snorting cocaine or advocate it’s use – this is a video so relax and enjoy it for the clever story, great cinematography, and fun song. We would love to hear what you think of the video so please feel free to chime in with your comments below. So without further adieu here is our video. Thanks Cary, we appreciate all your hard work.

You can download it here: Please be at least 18 to watch this so your parents dont bum out at us. The video is 20megs so it might take a little while to load.

Or you can just watch it online at: IFILM, Internet DJ, Video Static



01 2006

Hollywood Video Party at The Golden Gopher

Good times. Cary Heckman, the director of the new video for Hollywood, threw a little party for the cast and crew last night at that golden gopher in downtown la. it was a blast. cary is shown in the picture on the right along with shawn antonio who plays a break dancing drug dealer in the video (one of my personal favorites in vid). the golden gopher is a cool little bar. our manager even made it down. it was nice getting the whole band together. we are recording now so it’s not too often that everyone is together at the same time. seeing everyone in the band made me really miss playing shows and miss touring.

so what else is new you ask… well, i started working another job because i’m so broke, i’ve been cooking some amazing food at my place in the early morning hours, and i cant stop thinking about playing shows. hopefully i will have some news announcing a tour soon. if everything goes according to plan we would play 3 shows right in a row in los angeles and then leave for about a month passing through colorado, and the midwest until we get out east. it will be a awesome if we can make it happen. when this is actually going to happen is under wraps right now. talk to you soon. F10

the video in question – drug deal going downq, lewscious, ryanne and carternote to self – all dudes in a picture is never that cool


01 2006

Quick Hits – Sex & Drugs

so i just saw the first minute of a rough cut for the new video of Hollywood directed by cary heckman. i’m betting that if this video gets aired on mtv it will only be shown once and then banned because of the content. this video would be rated R if it were a movie. but hey, if you really wanted to know what going out in hollywood is all about then this is a going to be a must see. it’s a bit of real life in the wonderful sick city we live in. i’m looking forward to the reaction to this.

besides the upcoming video we are still in the studio 6 nights a week working on new demos for our next record. we had to reapproach a few initial demos and are now back on track – we should be finishing a good chunk of the next record in the next few weeks

there are also some west coast tour rumors floating about – seattle i think you’re in luck around the 20th of january…maybe or we just might be on the dave matthews cruise. it’s one or the other at this point

oh yeah, heres an interview i did for Loose Record a little while ago. stephen the interviewer was cool – it was one of the more enjoyable ones i have done…check it.


12 2005

Video Footage: 3 Clips – The Early Years

so my friend and part time tour tech sean fodor sent me some of the video footage he took of us while on tour with us. i always wondered what he was doing with that camera. these are pretty cool just because there isn’t much video of us at all out there. these are all wmv files so just click the link and it will start your windows media player. if you dont have windows media player just go get one here: download options.

video #1 Miles From Monterey – taken on the road from out first ever west coast tour – i’m really glad that was documented. this was in dec of 2004 and it’s pretty cool. good times on our first road trip as a band.

video #2 Behind The Scenes – taken during our video shoot for “what are you afraid of” – once again, i’m glad sean was there to document it. this was june 2005

video #3 At the Fillmore – this is a brief clip from a show in jun 2005 when we opened for fischerspooner. all we have is the end section of “what are you afraid of” haha fun stuff


11 2005

Official Band Bio

Below is our official and obligatory band bio. Basically it’s a bunch of background fluff that the press use to cut and paste  into whatever piece they are writing about the band. usually the writer will take this bio as some sort of gospel. most of the time it’s just a bunch of big words used in efforts to explain how magical a band really isnt. in our case we are magical ;) but we really dont need all the press pomp and circumstance. i wish our band bio just listed all of us in the band and said we make music that only sounds like west indian girl.  that way it would force lazy writers to do research rather than depending upon the band bio to do it all for them.  i guess that is the industry norm though. anyway – here it is – read it and weep.

The power to transcend common themes of fear, hope and love using only phrasing and imagery is a rare gift, second only to one’s ability to render out the proper combination of notes and chords with which to propel those words into our hearts. As listeners, we gravitate to both the familiar and the unattainable; we are moved by what’s accessible, what’s evocative and what heightens our perception. West Indian Girl’s self-titled debut touches all these points with equal effectiveness. Informed by the triumphant empathy of British rock and roll and the soul-seeking ethos of Sixties psychedelia and modern day jam bands, Robert James and Francis Ten build opulent compositions that revolve around texture, mood and lyrical romanticism-songs that are inspired by ideals and motivated by feeling, much like the two musicians themselves.

Both imbued with a nomadic spirit, James and Ten drifted through various points in the East and Midwest before crossing paths in Detroit in the early Nineties. They became best friends almost instantly, their divergent personalities and physical appearances providing a strong counterbalance to one another. Tall, fair and sinewy, James embodies an air of classic transcendentalism, while Ten’s demonstrative, outgoing persona fits right in with his full-blooded Sicilian heritage. Though their time in Michigan drew to a close, they stayed in close contact, shuttling mix tapes and song ideas back and forth to one another through the mail. By this time, Ten’s travels had brought him out to Los Angeles, while Robert was taking care of his father near Detroit.

“He sent me a demo,” says Ten. “I was sitting in my car at the corner of Hollywood and La Brea listening to it thinking, ‘This is incredible!’ I called him and convinced him to move out here.”

The two defied convention from the very beginning. While most Hollywood bands were caught up in an endless loop of smalltime gigs, James and Ten worked from back to front. They built up a lush bed of guitars and synths over James’ skeletal melody, titled it “Dream,” and circulated the track to anyone who would give it audience. With no band to sell and no repertoire to reference, they did what any inspired, hungry musicians would do: they hustled the idea of what West Indian Girl could become.

“Our imagination of West Indian Girl was so grand that all we could do was paint a picture in people’s minds,” says James. “Our vision of the live show was so conscious altering we sat around for months on end just talking about it.”

The band eventually signed with tastemaking EMI subsidiary Astralwerks, a label Ten explains is a perfect fit in terms of their credible roster and the artistic freedom they impart to their bands. Most importantly, however, they believed in the group’s untapped potential. After all, West Indian Girl had yet to play a single show.

“It gave us a standard by which we wanted to live up to in our minds,” says James of the path they chose to take. “We decided that we wanted to start from more of a conceptual idea and then bring it to fruition.”

“And I think it would have been a lot different in a lot of other cities,” explains Ten. “But LA is kind of an anomaly as far as being in a band is concerned. You can align your own stars here.”

While their music isn’t derivative of a hard rocking Los Angeles sound, it carries a sun drenched optimism that is inherently West Coast, as heavily reverbed guitar licks and modest electronic music expressions shimmer atop acoustic rhythms and steady drums. Gentle and accessible, the songs speak to a wide range of human emotion, but never fall victim to the complex obscurities favored by emo shoegazers. Each track is pure, visionary pop thrown slightly off kilter by James’ psychedelic, stream-of-consciousness lyrics.

“Basically, Rob speaks in tongues,” informs Ten, smiling.

“I can’t sit down and write lyrics with a pen and pad,” confesses James. “I just have to turn off my mind, if there is such a thing to do, and put myself in a trance. At that point, some entity is trying to speak through me and tell a story. That’s exactly what happens. Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m saying.”

This combination of metaphorical, expressive songwriting is prominently showcased on the song, “What Are You Afraid Of?” “There’s no chance of losing when there’s no chance at all,” beckons James as he lashes out stinging chords over a soaring female chorus. Packed to the brim with longing and fortitude, the song’s epic power and dream-like ambiance make it one of the album’s cornerstones. On the hazy, effusive “Miles From Monterey,” James channels the spirit of Roger Waters with a pleading vocal refrain and a well-paced guitar solo. Everything is as it should be. Nothing is what it seems. But then again, what would you expect from a group who took their name from a particularly potent strain of LSD developed in the early Sixties?

Since signing to Astralwerks, James and Ten have galvanized West Indian Girl with a solid group of players, and the jam band variety they bring to their live shows has made them a crowd favorite while opening for groups like Gomez and label-mates Phoenix. Mark Lewis sits in on drums, keyboardist Chris Carter provides the sonic textures, and Mariqueen Maandig expands upon the subtle female support vocals that appear throughout the album. What started as an idea has become a full-fledged band; a band that’s just as liable to get introspective and esoteric as they are to run up the bar tab with family, friends and fans.

“It feels like the possibilities are endless,” says Ten. “We have complete access to our imagination. There’s no limit to where we can go.”

Please contact Alison Tarnofsky for more info: 212.886.7573 or or


10 2005 with Aaron Chang

so check out right now because there is another aaron chang gallery posted there featuring our song “miles from monterey”. gotta love it. thanx aaron!


10 2005

The Book LA Interview

check out this cool interview we did for the book la – a great honor to be a part of the book la.


10 2005

NPR Interview with David Dye from XPN in Philly


hey guys- so remember my blog about playing live on WXPN in philly before our show that night with turin brakes. (if you don’t check it out here – click this link and scroll down till you find it cos this will be good background for what was going on.) so anyway, this was our FIRST ever live performance as a band on the radio and it was early and it was fun but it was pretty sloppy. wrong notes abound (gotta love me hitting the wrong note in monterey) but that’s the magic of being live. i still can’t thank the station and david enough for giving us the opportunity to play – they are a HUGE HUGE reason we have such a great fan base in the philly area. thanx again and i hope you enjoy this rare stream.

ps – i would also like to thanx our fans from philly for making me aware of this – (ie bill walsh who sent me the link) and for all the positive feedback


09 2005

Our Video on

my friend joe called me yesterday to tell me we were the 29th most popular video on i didnt believe him – he was right. pretty cool – check out this link.

by the way, my computer should be back up and running today so i’m gonna bust out the show reports toot sweet.



08 2005

KEXP Interview in Seattle

the kexp sultry acoustic session

our day in seattle started off early because we were invited to play a few songs on the air at 90.3 kexp. robert and mariqueen performed while i watched, talked and took pictures. i think you can listen to the session at the KEXP site. i thought they sounded great. i love doing these radio things just because it’s a nice change of pace. plus we get some cool dj’s interviewing us and it’s kinda fun to see what they’re going to throw at us in terms of questions. kevin cole was in charge of this interview – he asked us a pretty good question about music licensing. as you can tell from the pictures the little studio room they have there is pretty cool – nice comfy vibe in there. big thanx to scott colburn for engineering. in the picture (from left to right) you can see scott, kevin and lisa. thanx you guys and thanx kexp i’m glad we did it. hopefully you will give away some of the precious west indian girl candles that we gave them on the air. we’ll be back and we’re gonna bring carter and lewscious with us next time.

Mariqueen’s Mind
my mother says i talk about going to the bathroom way too much. what. ever. let it be known that kexp has the dopest women’s restroom in the world. there is a sweet couch and tons of rad posters signed by artists that have performed and what not. i’m bummed they didn’t have a west indian girl poster for us to sign. maybe next time.

so our radio show went like this… introductions, sing… talk… sing two more songs… talk talk talk. i don’t like talking. i prefer to communicate to the public via blog and emails. i think it frustrates people. i’m into it. thank you, kevin for being so sweet, thank you, scott for being a fantastic engineer and taking care of my voice and thank you, lisa for telling me my voice sounded like an angel. i can’t wait to come back and use that sweet ass bathroom again. weeee!

tender and special acoustic moments



08 2005