LISTEN: WASI- Mama's Gonna Get You

WASI is BL's resident band this month and today they released their newest single, "Mama's Gonna Get You"! Produced by New Beat Fund's Shelby Archer, Paul Laliberte & Jeff Laliberte, the track is bubbly and sun soaked, pure fun staying true to WASI's riot pop sound, bringing the groovy good vibes that New Beat Fund creates. Summer is still two and a half months away but this song has me ready for the beach, and I don't even like the beach!

WASI will be recording a few more tracks with NBF this month, so keep your eyes peeled as we make our way through this residency!


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PHOTOS: Echo Park Rising - Day 3

photos and words  by Shabnam Ferdowsi

By day 3 of Echo Park Rising last weekend, I was dead beat. The streets were rather dead beat too: no mainstage acts, less venues,more heat. Nevertheless, it was a fine, fine day catching some rad bands.

Here are my (few) snaps of Quantum Keys, WASI and The New Electric Sound. 

PHOTOS: Moons of Mars/ The Cold and Lovely/ Island Apollo/ WASI @The Study 7/31/15

words and photos by Shabnam Ferdowsi

The second OPEN HOUSE night at the Study on July 31st brought a diverse lineup from Moons of Mars' electro-pop dance beats, to the Cold and Lovely's low key grunge, Island Apollo's powerful indie-rock , and finally to WASI's energy-fueled pop punk. As usual, DJ Grant Owens of WeFoundNewMusic was on the decks in between sets spinning some real fun indie remixes. Basically, the last thursday of the month, you better be at the Study! It's a showcase for the indie-music lovers out there, craving for the next best sound, the next best vibe. Can't to see what more awesome bands go through!

Here are some of my favorite shots from that night. 

Interview with WASI

words and interview by Shabnam Ferdowsi

WASI (an acronym for "we are / she is") is a band currently based in LA who makes punk-inspired  pop music and just released a new EP, "Bleed Pop". Last Friday they had their EP release show at the Smell (that I reviewed here), so we met up beforehand at a diner in Echo Park to chat. What followed was one of my favorite interviews I've ever had with a band, and the four members of WASI are now some of the most humble yet passionate people I know. 

Embracing the DIY music culture WASI is a band with a brand that's attempting to make real connections with its fans, and turn these connections into conversations that last beyond a show,  beyond just the purchase of their music. A couple weeks ago they headed to Tijuana to make a documentary about the local music scene, and shed some light on the many stereotypes the city has. During the short trip, they played a small show yet packed to the brim with more energy than an LA audience would normally rally. No frills, no pretention, just simply cool people and music connected together in one space. 

Here's a quick highlight from the interview, because our conversation was way too long, albeit inspiring, to possibly post here:

photo taken at The Smell 5/22/15 at the Bleed Pop EP release show

photo taken at The Smell 5/22/15 at the Bleed Pop EP release show

As a band you're very consistent and cohesive with your brand. How do you think you've come to this point where you know exactly what WASI looks like, sounds like and just is?

Jessie: Merilou and I have been playing together since high school, coming up on ten years now. When we first started neither of us knew how to play our instruments. She books a show and is like "Hey, wanna play in my band?" I'm like, "Sure"!" But the show was in two weeks, so we just learned to play our instruments writing songs together. [...] So over the years, being in different bands, playing all these shows, being boo'ed off stage... and for me, being bullied my whole life. All these things have fine-tuned our sound. This is the first time in my life where I feel completely comfortable in my own skin. And that's what WASI is for me.

Merilou: Because we didn't look or sound like [ other] bands, we had to go all out with what we  would decide to do: that would include really understanding yourselves as people, and making that as vulnerable as we can make it. That way, the people listening and coming to your shows aren't just paying $5 to come to a show but to be a part of the community that you're creating as a band.

Jessie: To tail on to what Merilous's saying: it's not about us. It's about other people. To be able to use our experiences and to help other people is my number one goal. [...] What we're doing and saying means a lot, so if it means a lot to someone else, then mission accomplished. 

Garrett: There are these certain albums that bands put out that really get you through hard times, good times, whatever. Since a lot of the production on "Bleed Pop" happened before I came in and seeing it from the outside, It's by far the most cohesive package that WASI has had at any point. 

Make sure to catch WASI at the Slidebar in Fullerton on June 5th! 8pm 21+ FREE supported by our good friends in Kid Cadaver. 


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PHOTOS: Statues of Cats / Kid Cadaver / WASI @ The Smell 5/22/15

photos and words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Last night WASI had their EP release show at The Smell in DTLA, presented by Odd Records, supported by Statues of Cats and Kid Cadaver, 

The Smell is a DIY, volunteer-run venue in the heart of DTLA. I'd been wanting to see the space for a while and this show was the perfect chance.

Statues of Cats opened up the show, warming up our eardrums with their loud energy and raw, no-frills performance. 

Kid Cadaver  went up next, and although I've seen them live countless of times by now, something about their performance blew me away. Maybe it's been a while since I've seen them play so I was reminded of their passionate yet humble stage presence. Individually killing their parts, vibing to their own jams, and together bringing the crowd to their level. I found myself dancing more than I normally do and shamelessly singing along to every word. Their new EP is in the works, and you better stay tuned! It's going to be groovy. 

WASI brought the crowd home, as expected since they were the stars of the show! I had met up with them beforehand for a cup of coffee (and french fries?) in Echo Park for an interview that will be up here soon, and by the end of the conversation they had me as hyped as they were. I was expecting a party and they definitely brought it. Halfway through they handed out balloons for people to blow up and pass around: talk about audience participation! That got the entire room wriggling and jumping in seconds. They ended their set with my favorite off their new EP, "And the World" and if you weren't  already dancing, chanting or at least moving your body remotely to the beat, you would've been by the time they finished.  Wonderful people with humble hearts making passionate music: WASI is sure to make waves. 

Listen to WASI's EP Bleed Pop here and check some photos I took below!