Audio Visual is a series exploring the fashion choices of local musicians. The Bay Area music scene is nothing if not diverse and this nonconformity is as evident in clothing as it is in music. With this in mind, Audio Visual strives to analyze the connection between sartorial choices of musicians and their work.
You have to give it to Oakland-based psychedelic rock sextet Nectarine Pie for one thing: commitment to a vision. In a musical genre that includes “In A Gadda da Vida” and most of Hendrix’s longer works, maintaining focus is probably not a simple thing. By combining a heavy dose of nostalgia with a fresh take on long-loved musical ideas, Nectarine Pie are helping to represent the new crop of vintage rockers in the Bay Area.
How would you describe the style of the band? Both musically and aesthetically?
BilE: Psychedelic, man.
Nathan: Like 1960s rock n’ roll based. Mostly garage psychedelic.
Do you feel like the type of music that you play influences the clothing that you wear on stage?
Nathan: Totally, yeah we play like vintage guitars, vintage amps . . . just old school stuff, vintage gear so we like to rock vintage gear as well.
In terms of the look, do you guys all get together and coordinate before a show or do you just kind of bring your individual flavor?
Nathan: Usually we’re looking all right enough that we can just jump on stage. So we don’t have to plan it.
Nathan: But you know, every now and then . . .
BilE: We kind of go with a theme but . . .
Nathan: Basically we just like put on our best gear and hit the stage.
Where do you guys get clothes?
Nathan: Thrift stores.
BilE: Thrift shops, vintage shops.
Nathan: Oh man.
BilE: We live in Oakland so just the local spots.
Nathan: It’s kind of picked over in all these spots, San Francisco and Oakland but go to small towns, small town thrift shops. Thrift stores that have a lot of like, old junk.
BilE: It’s actually the far out towns.
Nathan: Old junk. We like old junk. That no one likes.
What are your day jobs?
BilE: I go to school. That’s pretty much my full time gig.
Nathan: Yes and no. He goes to school full time for rock and roll. We kinda quit our jobs for rock and roll. We’re full time slackers.
Full time rockers?
Tony: I’m in four other bands and I DJ and when I’m not doin’ that I’m livin’ the life of a party dog.
So I guess you don’t dress differently for work than you would for band stuff?
Tony: No, Don’t really give much thought really, other than trying to pick out clothes that aren’t too smelly, ya know?
BilE: Pretty lucky in like the jobs we get, when we do.
Nathan: We got pretty lucky. I worked at a vintage store for like four years. So I get to wear whatever.
So tell me about how you guys met.
Nathan: We met in Oakland actually as neighbors.
BilE: He lived next door to me, yeah.
Nathan: We were neighbors, we lived next to each other. And we started playing guitar one day and just decided to start a band and write songs that night, all night long.
So you guys are the original members?
And how did you draw in ancillary members?
Nathan: It took a while, we had a three . . . we kept it as a three piece from about almost a year. We had Tony and it was two guitars and drums.
BilE: And then Matthew.
Nathan: We did that for a year and then we had a bass and guitar and now we have a six piece. So it went a long . . . Â it came a long ways.
When you bring in new members how do you know that they’re right for the group?
BilE: You kind of, you don’t really know you just kind of go with your gut and go crazy. If it sounds good you gotta go with the flow.
Is there a band, person or experience that first got you hooked on psychedelic music?
Nathan: I started collecting old rock n’ roll records when I was 18, and started listening to a lot of 60s and 70s stuff, mostly early Stones, the Standells, the Seeds, Love, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Flaming Groovies. Then I bought my first electric guitar at 20, from a friend that was moving to Berlin and traveled up the North-West coast and played in an acoustic gypsy folk/rock n’ roll two peice for a spell.
BilE: This sounds completely clichÃ©d but when I was younger I was first into metal then punk. Growing up in suburbia it’s kind of what all us kids were into; then I ate some mushrooms. My friend put on A Day in the Life by the Beatles and I was hooked on psychedelia. From there on I delved into all different sorts of psychedelic music and sounds.
Tony: I would have to say Bill Murray and Bruce Lee . . . but not particularly in that order.