A Q&A with: White Arrows

by Lauren Moquin (Journalism), published November 3rd 2011

White Arrows were kind enough to sit down with me after their gig opening for The Naked And Famous. The L.A based band easily claimed their territory as a band to watch with their beach infused electronic rock. Between the Hawaiian shirts, raw energy, and their down to earth nature, White Arrows won the Paradise over that night.

The White Arrows is Mickey Schiff (frontman), Henry Schiff (drums), J.P. Caballero (guitar), Steven Vernet (bass), Andy Naeve (keys).


Tastemakers (TM): I heard your cover of Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire” which is totally different than the music you are working on now. How much have you guys evolved?

Mickey Schiff (MS): I don’t know if it is evolution as much as manic schizophrenia of being influenced by so many different things that so many different sounds come out.

J.P. Caballero (JPC): Sometimes your Pokémon evolves.

TMM: During the show you (MS) said you lived in Boston for a year?

MS: Yeah, before I moved to New York and made the E.P, I lived in Boston for a year. I was actually just talking about it because my dad was at the show tonight and asked, “Do you remember what you were doing when you were here in Boston?” and I do remember. I lost 50 pounds, I was emaciated, I had a beard, and I only biked around on a little BMX bike because I didn’t understand the T and I didn’t have any interest in learning it. But I would bike from Boylston and Tremont or around Southie to Paradise, The Middle East, and T.T the Bears three nights a week.

TMM: You’re brave!

MS: Especially on a little BMX bike that was built for a six year old girl (laughs). I’m six foot three and it looked like I was in clown school, but I saw some of the best shows I’ve ever seen while I was living here in Boston. I saw the Black Keys at this club (Paradise). The Red Sox were in the World Series against the Yankees and everyone was watching, so there were five people in the audience.  The drummer gave up and gave me his drumstick after they played. I saw the Libertines here too when Pete Doherty was still in the band so this is a big night for me to play this place.

TMM: What do you miss most about Boston?

MS: Pretty much this club. It’s hard for me to say what I miss in general because the people that I missed in Boston have since moved, but I haven’t been back to the Middle East or T.T the Bears. I would love to go back to those clubs. I was actually here for school at Emerson for a year before I transferred to NYU. I loved Emerson. The people I met there I have reconnected with when they moved to Los Angeles. They are all awesome, creative, but intelligent people.

TMM: The face painting in your video for “8050 (Too Fast Too Slow)” set the bar pretty high for your Halloween. What are you being this Halloween?

MS: I might go back to the face painting and become a Juggalo for Halloween.

JPC: I’m going to be an airline passenger in economy seating because we are flying back to L.A. I’m going to get a little blanket and get comfortable.

TMM: If you guys were in any movie what would it be?

MS: I would probably be in a surrealist movie, something that’s not so narrative, but has kind of a story like 2001 Space Odyssey, like El Topo or The Holy Mountain. Just like a 10-year-old boy walking naked alongside a Zoro looking character riding a horse.

JPC: I would choose something like The Cannonball Run.

TMM: How do you guys pass the time on tour?

MS: We are in an RV and we listen to a lot of music, we read some books, we play some guitar…

JPC: …we try to work out at the YMCA.

Henry Schiff (HS): Not all of us do that. A lot of just veg out and just stare out our thumbs for like 40 hours (laughs).

TMM: Who’s reading and what are you reading?

MS: I’m reading a book called 2030. Albert Brooks wrote it. It’s like what happens to America and the world in the year 2030.

Andy Naeve (AN): I’m reading all of my Vonnegut books on Kindle.

HS: My Kindle broke during the first tour, so I’m pretty bummed.

TM: What newer music are you guys listening to?

MS: We love Deerhunter and Animal Collective…

HS: I’ve been listening to this band called Wiseblood. We played with them at The Echo and they’re rad. I’ve been listening the E.P a lot.

MS: …The Black Keys and I’ve recently discovered Oberhofer. It’s funny, you listen to music after people compare you to the music, so there’s no way that you could actually be influenced by the music. Then you try to find the similarities that people are talking about.

TMM: What are you guys excited for this year, in general?

JPC: The Coming Apocalypse.

MS: The Olympics and for us personally, our first full-length album. It will be due out this year and it’s the most exciting thing to date.

HS: I’m excited about it! I think about it every night before I go to bed.

Check out photos from White Arrows’ set at Paradise!

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