It was a long, winding and sometimes patience-testing road as Not Enough Fest debuted a handful of new bands, but the payoff was huge when Spring Break-up hit the stage—er—floor to close out the night. Newly minted lead singer Luka took to the duties of a front person like an old pro and hyped the crowd with pronouncements and poetry, while the rest of the band (Sarah on guitar, Lupé on bass and Brittany on drums) set everyone in motion. Despite this being a fresh project for all involved, Spring Break-up had a decidedly vintage sound that progressed from spoken-word over subdued instrumentals (à la ‘90s emo/art-punk pioneers Moss Icon) to an uncoiled fury in the spirit of Bay Area legends Blatz. (The Moss Icon reference, by the way, was completely lost on the band, though they could get down to Blatz.) I caught up with them only moments after their impassioned set, while the aftermath of NEF spilled into the street, for a first look at a band that will hopefully stick around for a while.
What was it about Not Enough Fest that made you want to participate?
Lupé: I helped organize it to keep [NEF organizer and Antigravity contributor] Osa here, when she was about to move to Chicago (and then she decided not to). I really wanted her to stay and she brought up this project, so I was like, we should do this. I knew all of these people before but what made me want to play with them was meeting them at the mixer and talking to them about the music we wanted to play, what we had in common as far as musical interests.
What did you have in common?
Lupé: Oh, I don’t know… I went to the mixer with an idea of what kind of music I wanted to play. And after talking to Sarah and Brittany and after talking to a bunch of people, especially them, I realized that what I had in my mind was not really what I wanted… I wanted to do whatever went the best.
Brittany: Remember I told you I liked to play Batman soundtracks?
Lupé: Yeah and I was like, that sounds great!
Luka: I think that we all wanted to play the fest for similar reasons, [like] knowing the folks who organized it as well as being interested in having queer and ladyfronted bands, having bands in a queer and feminist community and being tired and frustrated with having a music scene that was really dominated by straight spaces and male spaces and things that probably angered us all in different ways. I just went to the mixer going, “I want to shriek about being queer and mentally ill.” And people were like “I don’t know…” And eventually I found these folks and it worked out really well.
Is this your first band?
Luka: This is my first time in front of a crowd at all, singing anything.
I don’t believe that. You seem like a natural.
Luka: I spent many years performing and reading poetry, which is what I do during the daytime. So it’s easier to be in front of a crowd; but this is the first time I’ve ever done anything above a whisper.
What do you think?
Luka: It’s great. I can see why most of our friends do this shit all the time.
It’s weird because this is your first show but there are a million people here. Do you realize that’s probably going to taper off ?
Sarah: I do. [laughs]
Brittany: I don’t care.
Luka: I would rather play smaller shows. I think this is nice because the folks who organized this can actually get the amount of people out and what can happen in this community when you are asking folks to come out to support your cause. But I would be very happy to play small generator shows and house shows.
Lupé: The energy tonight was exactly what I was hoping it would be. There was such a mix of different types of music and I was worried it wasn’t going to flow, but it just seemed to go so well together because of the energy of the crowd and the support of the DIY community.
You dedicated a song to [author Jorge Luis] Borges. What’s your favorite Borges short story?
Luka: “The Library of Babel” and a story called “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,” which I have this stupid tattoo from [the word ‘tlönista’ in type on Luka’s ribcage]. It’s a huge influence on the stuff that I end up writing. I did the first four letters when I was very young and very high on many drugs and found that I couldn’t actually get that far away on my chest with a stick-and-poke. I got to the end of my chest and [realized] I can’t actually do this, so I got it finished years later. But there’s a short story where Borges discovers an encyclopedia of a made-up world and then people become obsessed with the world. And they start to recreate the world based upon the fragments that they see in the encyclopedia. And one of the people who’s commenting on the encyclopedia says that everyone in the world should get together and, rather than having this current world that we have which is awful, we should recreate this incredibly ideal world of Tlön. And in order to do that, a generation of tlönistas will suffice. And so the phrase “tlönista” is somebody who’s interested in using fiction to create a separate world. So I was struck by that idea, a generation of tlönistas will suffice to create a fiction that’s probably more compelling than reality.
Are you going to continue to be a band past this show?
Brittany: Yes we are! Spring Break-up will never end. It’s not you it’s us.