Stop the Presses' Ali Culotta Would Like Male Bikini Contest Added to Propaganda's Summer Daze Concert Series
Awesome pics by Teajay Smith Piersall
Propaganda's Summer Daze concert series is about to take over the streets of Lake Worth, spilling the happiness of sunny Sundays, packed with excessive live music, actual pools in the street, and general day-party goodness.
The team behind the fest set up a showgoer's paradise with national acts headlining and more than 35 local bands joining sonic forces to perform for the people, spreading summer vibes.
So, in preparation of Summer Daze Day 1 kicking off this Sunday, we chatted with Ali Culotta, lead singer of Miami ska band Stop the Presses, about snagging a spot in this insane lineup, coming back down to Earth after just ending another statewide tour, and how she really feels about all those Gwen Stefani comparisons.
New Times: You guys just got back from tour. Where did you go?
Ali Culotta: We went to St. Pete, Orlando, Daytona, Cape Coral, Tallahassee, and Gainesville.
And when you tour, do you normally stay within Florida?
We have been recently. We've only really played in Georgia as far as out of state goes. Now, we are going to break out of Florida. This is the second time we have done one of these minitours. And in September, we are going to head out West!
So you guys are in an RV now. What's traveling like? Does it bring you closer?
There was the four of us and our friend who was kind of our roadie/clown. He's like in the circus. To be quite honest, it actually worked out really well. We got along, and I would say like midweek we just had the whole thing down. We knew exactly where everything was, we had a little rhythm going of like when you are in the hallway you get the out of the way of the other person. I really feel like we could have gone longer. The four of us now have just been talking about how sad we are because we wish we were still on the road.
And the band we were touring with, the Resignators, they are from Australia -- they are fucking awesome. They are still on the road; they just went west, and I think they are going into California and then they are going north into Canada. We were like "Damn!" We wanted to keep following them, but unfortunately we have to go home and go to work.
Do you self-book all your gigs?
Well, Florida Ska helped us book this tour, but I do a lot of the booking. Really a lot of it is me.
Do you get to know the area and figure out what venues you want to play or ask bands that have done it before?
I do both! Right now, the way that the music industry is, a lot of bands are just DYI. A lot of bands just handle their own bookings. Even with venues, it used to be you needed managers or booking agents to get into certain venues, but now, even the venues would rather just deal with the band. We have made friends just because the ska scene is small, so you know a lot of the bands. A lot of bands have helped us out. And the other thing is just asking, I just call and I ask people. I stalk them until they say yes. I'm crazy. Just kidding.
What kind of stuff do you guys eat on the road? Do you throw your diets to the window and calories don't count?
Oh, hell no! Because we don't want to get sick. Number-one rule about touring, at least what I've read in some books and articles and blogs and shit, is don't eat fast food. So this whole tour, we stocked up. Actually [bassist] Keko's parents live in Orlando, and they made all of this Chilean food for us, and we just put it in the refrigerator. We were really good on tour about eating well. Oh, and we bought a little grill! The great thing about the RV is you can stay at RV parks. We take that out, put it on the picnic table, get some burgers, and do it that way.
With all this touring, have you been writing a lot of songs on the road? Will you be getting back in the studio soon?
We are dying to get back in the studio. We wrote a ton of songs, and we are just dying to record them. The tour made us put recording on hold. Now that we are back in town, it is all about getting into the studio basically in the next couple of weeks. We have everything ready, and there are lots of new songs that we haven't played at any of our concerts, so there is a lot of new stuff that should be coming out around July.
How do you feel about a lot people making No Doubt comparisons?
I'm happy about it because when people compare me to No Doubt and Gwen Stefani, it's positive, ya know? Lots of people have a smile on their face and say, "You sound like the old No Doubt, like what they should have been!" And honestly that is a huge compliment to me, because I grew up listening to Gwen Stefani.
There were only a few female ska bands that were out. I take it as a compliment, and I am definitely just happy that people like it. I want people to eventually say, "Oh, that sounds like Ali Culotta." They will. They will once people start hearing our new stuff; our sound is maturing. Honestly, I am hearing it less and less, so maybe I am going in the right direction.
Are you excited about Summer Daze? That lineup is ridiculous.
Yeah, dude, it's fucking crazy. And Authority Zero, I am a huge fan, since way back, ten years ago. We have played with the Supervillains a few times, so we are pretty cool with the guys. They like to party, so hopefully it will be a big party. We will play music and chill. I'm really excited about it.
There's pools in the street.
There's pools in the street! They're probably going to do a bikini contest or something like that. They should do one with the guys. I don't know why they don't put the dudes up there. We want to look at some eye candy too.
Stop the Presses is opening Summer Daze Day 2, Sunday, July 14, at 12:30 p.m. The Summer Daze Concert Series takes place June 23 (starting at 11 a.m.), July 14 (starting at 12:30 p.m.), and July 28 at Propaganda (starting at 12:30 p.m.), 6 S. J St., Lake Worth. Tickets cost $10 for Day 1 and $15 for Days 2 and 3, or you can get a three-day pass for $35. To purchase tickets and for more information, visit http://propagandalw.com/events/