Q&A: The Band in Heaven's Ates Isildak Talk Driving Down for Art Basel and Performing with No Age Tonight

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If you've been at any Art Basel shows this week, you've noticed a strikingly large amount of live Miami bands representin' the 305 like nobody's business at openings and after parties. But what about us?

Well now, Broward and Palm Beach residents, rejoice! There's a little piece of our hometown commuting down to Miami tonight, and they promise they'll represent us all good 'n tanned. The Band in Heaven is opening for No Age in all of their grungy garage band glory tonight at the Fountain Art Fair.

As far as art shows go, this fair has probably one of the more alternative scenes you can expect. They'll have artists destroying cars as "performance art," immersive video art projects, large scale installations, and appearances from graff great Shepard Fairey. They'll be keeping us all full and hydrated with Smartwater and gourmet tacos and barbecue throughout the weekend. But tonight? We dance! We chatted up The Band in Heaven's Ates Isildak to get the scoop on Art Basel, blending in with the art scene, and what we can expect from tonight's show.   

New Times: So how did you guys get involved with Fountain Art Fair and Art Basel in general?

Ates Isildak: I got a call from our friend Ryan Donald who DJ's at the Vagabond and Respectables. He said "Hey, you guys want to play Art Basel?"  He is a man of many talents. We'd been trying to figure out a way to be a part of it for months but had no luck and a week before it happens we got on this show.

What was your first reaction when you heard you'd be opening for No Age?

Well it's funny. Ryan Donald is South African and I actually didn't understand from his accent that we were being asked to open for No Age. We were just excited to play Art Basel. Then when I found out we were opening for No Age I was worried, because our band doesn't ever practice. So we started practicing, and we are playing some new songs at the show.

We're so glad you guys will be representing Broward/Palm Beach this week. Are you planning on doing anything to showcase where you're from for all those art VIPs?

Lauren and I are getting incredibly tan for the event.


Are you bringing Ben Mendelewicz with you guys on stage? 

Ben's main project Tumbleweave was on tour in Central Asia and last I heard they were having some troubles with their passports or something. So he can't make it back, possibly ever. We have been playing with a new drummer named Jack. He will be there with us.


Any updates on the EP? Last we heard you guys had plans to finish it in October.

We are just slowly working on our full length album while releasing little singles here and there. Our next release will be a 2-song 7" on Miami's Discosoma Records. Also Discosoma and TeePee'a Eric Lopez-Zareno are both putting out vinyl compilations with us on them. It isn't for me to reveal the other bands but it's basically all the best bands from Florida.

Are you going to check out any other shows/exhibits at Art Basel while you're down there?

I've never been to Art Basel, so I'm going to try and do my best to see as much as I can see. Will definitely check out what Discosoma/Coral Morphologic has going on. Would like to see Jacuzzi Boys. So much going on, and I honestly don't know Miami at all. Probably won't get to see a thing.


The Band in Heaven, opening for No Age at the Fountain Art Fair. 2505 N. Miami Avenue, Miami. From 7 p.m. to Midnight, December 2. $10 buys you entry for the entire weekend of Fountain Art Fair Festivities. For more information, visit fountainexhibit.com/2010



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