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"On the Run" with Turkuaz


As far as collaborations go, you’ve now worked with Dopapod, and the New Mastersounds, among others. You recently announced some dates with Galactic in March. Are you pumped for those shows?

Both: Sooooo pumped!

Shira: We’re also excited to return to LA and San Francisco, two cities we absolutely love, and whose fans we absolutely love. We’ve gotten to collaborate with lots of bands because of festivals, and Artists at Large. We’ve worked with Mike Gordon, too, sat in with Umphrey’s, and the New Mastersounds were so fun. We’ve been lucky to work with some great people.

And have you always been drawn to pink and yellow, or how did you start matching your outfits?

Sammi: Well, it hasn’t always been that way. When I first joined the band back in 2011, it was more like, “we’re going on stage, wear something nice.” Then, the horns section found jumpsuits at a thrift store. So the three of them starting wearing the jumpsuits to every show. Greg, on tenor sax, had a red one; Chris, the trumpet player, had a black one; and I believe Josh, the bari player, had purple.

So that became a thing. I started wearing pink because I had some pink dresses that were nice enough to perform in, but then the rest happened pretty organically.

When we put out Stereochrome, our EP, we dressed all in black and white. After that, we released the newest full-length album, Digitonium, and we kind of did a play on The Wizard of OZ where it starts in black and white, but then she goes to Oz and everything is in color. So when the new album got released, that’s when we rolled out everyone wearing their own color, with the matching microphones- and instruments where possible. It was really fun, it stuck, and it works.

We’ve always been pretty methodical about it. Deliberate. It’s never been willy-nilly. We usually have planned outfits. Actually, they don’t always work out (laughing). Sometimes on the road, things don’t go as planned. Sammi is actually my resident seamstress, too. She’s a jack-of-all-trades.

Sammi: Yes! I have dyed a lot of our clothes from plain colors to “our color,” even for the guys. It’s hard to find cool pink and yellow stuff, so I dye and revamp things to be original and special for stage all the time from plain white. We help the guys as well! Josh, the bari player, is very tall with very large feet. It’s hard to find shoes in his size, in purple. So, I actually just got him some white Converse and dyed them with Rit dye!

Shira: I will text the guys all the time when I see something in “their color” when I’m out shopping, too.

Sammi: We basically put on a modern version of an old-timey type of show with dancing, and horns, and fun, and a full band. And with the outfits, we got the whole thing!

The outfits’ functionality can be harder than just the colors, since we move around so much. We’ve even worked with a few young designers to help us create stage costumes! These are designers who love the music and get that we have different demands than a usual job for people who aren’t constantly moving and jumping around. Audrey Lauck. from Chicago designed our Bonnaroo outfits, and we have an upcoming design coming from a young designer at FIT here in New York named Gina Cardino as well.

Shira: We love wearing their art! It’s super fun. But we do a lot of it ourselves, too. The choreography was like that, as well. They had always been doing some moves before I joined (in 2014), of course. But Sammi and I, our brains just kind of melded really easily on that front. We’d end up doing the same movements next to each other every night, anyway, so it made sense to coordinate. People seem to love it!

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