In the broadest sense, our friend Yoko Molotov has always been a relentless purveyor of art. Nowadays she keeps busy performing in bands like avant garde noise collective Sweatermeat and throwback poppy punk troupe Tycoons of Teen who are on the heels of their latest release Dad’s Angry Again, which is available now on cassette as well as digitally via Bandcamp. Check out fun song from the album called “Jenny’s Dress” below:
Aside from her musical endeavors, Yoko is also an accomplished visual artist that has released several books featuring her illustrations and poetry (check out her catalog here). She feverishly puts together baddass drawings and paintings and posts them to social media on a daily basis.
Taking all of these feats into consideration, it only makes sense that Molotov is the lady behind the first annual Sweet Fair, an art and music festival celebrating all things sweet. In it’s inaugural go-around at The Cure Lounge, Sweet Fair will feature an extensive roster of local artists who will be selling their work at reasonable prices. There will also be a few bands performing with a lineup includes Mosquito, The Archaeas and more. The fair will start at 8PM, and music will get underway at 9PM costing just $5 at the door ($7 for the under 21 crowd). For more information on the event, go here.
It’s been a while since we last caught up with Yoko Molotov, so what better time than now to reach out for an interview? Read on as we talk about her music, visual art, and the first ever Sweet Fair…
Never Nervous: The new Tycoons of Teen cassette has a really fun, throw back surf punk vibe to it. Was this intentional?
Yoko Molotov: I would say YEAH we all really love the Beach Boys, the New York Dolls, punk and rock and roll, especially the Phil Specter girl groups from the 60s.
NN: What is the mood you’re trying to set?
YM: Fun, like a there is the girl you are dying to be, or to be with and she is just nitro glycerine, and you want to party with her, just be with her, just be her.
NN: Where’d the name “Tycoons of Teen” come from? Is there a fascinating origin story?
YM: It is from the 60’s — a journalist once called Phil Specter the “Tycoon of Teen music,” because of the string of hits get got from his “pocket symphonies”. We aim to make pocket parties.
NN: How would you describe the music Tycoons of Teen makes to someone that has never heard you?
YM: 60s pop, and rock and roll. There a lot of New York Dolls in there, a lot of Ronettes and Tina Turner. Even some Rob Halford and power pop like Big Star and the Exploding Hearts. We are slaves to pop and we aim to please. We lay our sacrifices on the altar of rock and roll.
“We are slaves to pop and we aim to please. We lay our sacrifices on the altar of rock and roll.”
NN: Now that this tape has been released, do you folks plan to tour or do anything special to promote it?
YM: We want to play as many shows as we can over the spring and summer. I want to dance on as many tables as possible.
NN: What’s up with Sweatermeat? Did I miss something, or is the band kaput?
YM: Sweatermeat is still a thing, living and breathing and eating things. In fact, we have a new drummer (James Ryan Bohr who’s also in the Teen$) and we are playing Pelican Kingdom 3/24 with Bathroom Laws, The Archaeas and Dr. Zero. All ages! We will be recording soon too. Sweatermeat doesn’t die, it multiplies.
“Sweatermeat is still a thing, living and breathing and eating things.”
NN: Are you involved in any other musical endeavors?
YM: Besides this, I work on Harpy, my solo art project. We have a performance 5/12 at Kaiju with WET. And Trip Report.
NN: As a visual artist, who or what drives you?
YM: I must create every day or I feel a void swallowing me alive.
“I must create every day or I feel a void swallowing me alive.”
NN: Is there a particular work that you find particularly inspiring?
YM: I just dig really genuine art. I have spoken before about my love for brut art. I really love Japanese fashion and art related. I find Alexis Kite’s (Bathroom Laws) “Is Life” comic very inspiring and look forward to her updates daily.
NN: How would you say that the direction of your personal art has changed over the last few years?
YM: I have lost my sexual edge, and my art is more narrative and word driven. I am going to work on a new story soon.
NN: How have you evolved as an artist?
YM: I am becoming more a machine every day, a machine you can trust. A machine with HEART.
NN: I know this might sound like an impossible question, but fuck it — If you had to pick one of your own personal works as your current favorite, which one would you choose, and why?
YM: Like my own art? Well I think I love my cartoon drawings the best, but my art is temporary because I make so much of it and it is just a fluid stream, like a hot blood pumping keeping me alive. I can’t wait to make the next thing. The next thing is my favorite.
NN: What was the motivation behind the first annual Sweet Fair?
YM: I wanted to do an art fair that focused on cute things rather than things dealing with darkness or death. Not speaking ill of the hard work people do with their art and at other art fairs, but I found that with a lot of the art shows I do with others I don’t really fit in, and thinking of all the other artists I knew that didn’t really fit in either, it inspired me to do Sweet Fair.
“I wanted to do an art fair that focused on cute things rather than things dealing with darkness or death.”
NN: How long have you had this event planned?
YM: Since October.
NN: How should someone that doesn’t often go to art fairs prepare themselves for Sweet Fair? What should these types of folks expect?
YM: Come to look at cool art and bring cash to support these artists. These artists have something very genuine to give to the world that you cant buy in any store. Its one of kind heart. Come see the cool bands. Come have fun and buy something for someone you love from someone who loves what they do.
NN: Before you go, tell us about a record you’ve discovered this year that you have fallen head over heals with.
YM: I JUST NOW LISTENED ALL THINGS MUST PASS and Jason got it for me on 180 for my birthday.