Behind the Minds of Celebrity Crush, a Band Mastering the Art of Reflective Music: Interviewed byAli Gonzales
This particular band is for the people who are going through heartbreak, the people who put “INFP” in their dating bio, and the people who enjoy the calm of being alone. The harmony of the lyrics with instrumental notes that fit with purpose, it’s easy to appreciate what’s being sang. I often find myself reflecting on my past relationships while listening to the beautiful music of Celebrity Crush. Interviewing them was very exciting, to get behind the meaning and themes behind the songs was such an honor.
This Los Angeles based band comprised of Violet, Jesse, John, Augusta, Celina, and Nicki make up one big musical family who create very interesting music videos that can be described as “dark” with a bit of humor. They are widely connected with the scene, the members understand each other and as we delve more into Celebrity Crush i’m sure you can see parts of each person in the music. It’s space for vulnerability which is not easy to express in music, very thankful for the vulnerability of emotions expressed. People, I feel can be vulnerable while listening to them which is really hard to find in an artist. Thanks so much to Celebrity Crush for the beautiful emotions displayed in the music.
Ali: Undoing has a bit of a somber feeling with lyrics that have what feels like reflecting. What is the meaning behind the song?
Jesse: I wrote that song for Emma Greer who passed away from cancer a while ago. She was a cool supporter of the band, and a really sweet person. She was super self-less, and funny as hell. For the music video we wanted to make a video that was of darker things mixed with some humor, there are a few jokes in there.
Ali: What’s the meaning behind the album art, is it a reflection of how you view society or something else?
Jesse: It’s silly, so it’s a guy praying to a sperm cell on top of a piece of literature, Knocking on Death’s Door. When you’re a guy trying to write about shit you inherently might feel stupid, like you have blind spots in certain areas, which gives me anxiety. Like how are you truly selfless or hear other people out.
Ali: Anaphase makes me reflect on personal relationships, life, human connections. The songs flow together beautifully, is there a theme behind the album?
Jesse: I guess yes there is, it’s like I’m attracted to you, because you think really cool things, but I don’t wanna be creepy towards you. I notice there is a lot of love songs that are like, “you’re the worst, you destroyed me,” or “you’re the best.” But I wanted to write something that was more like, “I like you, and I wanna be with you either way you’re a cool person.”
Ali: What is the process behind making the songs, there’s so many intricate placements of instruments and vocals. How does it all come together?
Jesse: Usually, I write a really simple song and I write for space. We write democratically.
Nicki: He shows me a song, and we just jam for a while, and I’ll improvise until I find something. I get bored easily so I always try to do something different every time.
Jesse: It works well with me, because I usually write repetitive stuff. It’s like Indie Rock, except you know with R & B or rap where there’s a lot more features and collabs, where in Indie Rock I like there’s a lot more “look at me” and singular. Something more Democratic works for us.
Ali: You all seem pretty close, what’s it like being in a band where you’re all good friends?
Jesse: To me it’s really like being apart of a family, the good parts and the bad parts. You’re all together working on something and you could wind up arguing about something that doesn’t really matter. Then there’s sweet moments where everyone pulls through and comes together to make something great. I like it.
Nicki: I like it a lot, I thinks it’s really fucking important. How could you work together, and you don’t understand each other. It creates a big divide when you’re suppose to feel like a family.
Jesse: I’m not really trained in theory like Nicki, I feel like they have really good intuition and also know theory. I just kind have intuition so I feel open to emotion. Like trying to
achieve knowing their personal life and letting others being their stories or whatever they feel.
Ali: You guys play all over the Los Angeles, and surrounding regions. What are some of your favorite venues or most notable shows?
Nicki: I haven’t been around as much, but my most notable show would be the one at The Smell.
Jesse: The Smell has always been our home. The guy who runs it, Jim Smith, gives bands an opportunity without having to pay, just really giving. Also, it’s a really cool environment, because it’s suppose to be drug-free, and there’s no alcohol. So we’re relying on people’s love and energy, which I love. So that’s my favorite venue, also, his record label is putting out our stuff. My favorite show we played is when we opened the the Current Joys release show for A Different Age, and Nick is a huge inspiration to all of us.
Ali: What are your plans or hopes for the future?
Jesse: Well we’ve been making an album; recording and mixing, for the last two years, and we’re almost done so we’re gonna put that out. I think what’s gonna happen after that is people are gonna work on side projects or solo projects, get some space, and then we’ll probably get back together to make something else. More music videos too, there’s another that’s made, but we just haven’t put it out yet.
Definitely watch out for new content from Celebrity Crush, more shows, and definitely stream their music. They're a unique band with a bright future!
Photography by Michael Verdin @Mammalmike