The Great Aural Interplay 3

by Binkie Smalls


Photographer: Eric Rose at

The Great Aural Interplay 3

A grip of blind dates betwixt a grip of musicians

[it seemed like a good idea at the time]

Wampire interviewed 


 Empress Of

Rocky Tinder and Eric Phipps jammed together in middle school, then in twenty-something cohabitated houses packed to the gills for parties, before carving out their sound: pop jams that are sometimes sinister and generally heavy on bass. With shaggy manes and ‘80s attire on the cover of their newly released album, Wampire is a hearkening back to yesteryear mixed with a contemporary bit of experimental variety. Like the shifting barometers of their stomping grounds (Portland, Oregon), darker spots of their sound give way to pockets of poppy bliss.

Empress Of: What stuff, other than music, influences you?Wampire: Human history, ancient cave paintings, neolithic man, Hieronymus Bosch, dinosaurs, whiskey, weed, women, and outer space.

What is your favorite shirt?Fresh, early ‘80s button-up.

How often do you watch small cute animals on YouTube and how does that affect your music?Never, except sloth videos. Makes me wanna be in the rainforest and live forever, moving at a slow pace.

Some say cooking is a lot like music. Would you say your cooking is technique driven or rock ‘n’ roll?I know how to caramelize and sear. Rock ‘n’ roll is hot, but don’t burn your mouth. Technique is all about feel. I can fry chicken, too.

What is the weirdest show you have ever played?A Mormon-hosted talent show. We were like 14.

What does time mean to you?A black hole. Always fleeting and intangible, yet such a governing principle.

Where is this going?I don’t care.