Girls to the Front: An Interview with Tiffany Beyer of Trailer Park Mark and the CrystalDeth Band

By Carlee Griffin

All through the month of March, Indie Jones is celebrating National Women’s History Month with our local women in music. In our “Girls to the Front” series, we ask local female musicians about what inspires them to contribute to our live music scene in the Bradenton + SRQ area.

This week, we are spotlighting Tiffany Beyer. Tiffany plays both the mandolin and piano in the post-punk/alternative country band Trailer Park Mark and The Crystal Deth Band. We here at Indie Jones got a chance to catch up with her after a recent practice.

IJ: I’m here Tiffany Beyer from Trailer Park Mark and the CrystalDeth Band. So, how was practice tonight?

Tiffany: Pretty good. We were missing a member tonight, but that's okay. Practice is kind of at the point where we just run through all of our songs, and we have a couple of new ones we are working on.

For sure, that’s the point of practice.

This whole thing started with me and Mark playing around the campfire in this backyard right here. So he and I play a lot together, and we’ll bring it to the band and go from there.

And what do you play in the band?

I play mandolin and a little piano. At first, I only had one song that I played piano on, but I think moving forward I might play it on a couple of others. I think when we record, Mark wants piano on every song and I’m down with that. That’s my first instrument. I started playing piano in elementary school, and then I got a guitar when I was like 12 or 13. I got my mandolin about 7 years ago but really only started playing consistently a few years ago with my other band, Two Dollar Pistol.

So, why mandolin?

You know I don't know. I played Ukulele in high school, and then I got gifted a mandolin. Once you know a string instrument, you can kind of figure out the others. Actually, the piano being my first instrument taught me music theory a lot. Most things I can pick up and figure out because of that.

Wow, being able to play multiple instruments is a surefire sign of your love for music. What kind of music acts do you think inspired your band?

For me personally, it’s a lot of the bands that play Muddy Roots in Nashville and the Westport Roots Festival in Kansas City, M.O. There’s lots of Alt-Country, Outlaw Country, and Folk influence rooted in our music. Even some Indie and acoustic stuff, all the way to punk and metal because we all grew up listening to it and playing it.

What do you think about the Florida music scene currently?

Honestly, it makes me a little sad because when I first got into the Roots scene, I was living with Kate O’Shea who runs Root Cellar Entertainment. I lived with her for a year, and that’s when she was booking at Past Times every weekend [a former local venue]. All those bands used to come to play every weekend, and we were all pals and used to hang out and be friends, and that was such a different time compared to now. It's a struggle to find anything going on especially out here in this area. Sarasota Sky is the only venue even close to doing anything that's kind of relative to what we're trying to do.

Why do you think that is?

It’s just a different environment that doesn’t really cater to any kind of music that's isn’t gonna bring in like a ton of money. It’s not always about what’s good, it’s about what pays.

Which is so funny to me, because I see so many people that are in my orbit that are making music that's considered alternative music and it just seems like there can't be as many people playing it and not a big enough draw for it, too.

Lack of venues is a big factor. There’s also a lack of bands being able to find professional support instead of just making a Facebook event and hoping it works out.

Well, that’s what we at Indie Jones are working at. If you could play your perfect venue, what would that look like?

If we could go back in time and play Past Times in like 2012 that would be my dream show.

Do you have any hobbies or passions outside of your music?

Right now so much of my focus is on music, but I just graduated in December with my Bachelor’s in Journalism. That was a lot of hard work, and I think I just want to chill and take a break. I love writing, photography, videography - all that. I’ve always been an artist, but music is it the one thing that really gets me going right now. It’s so nice to have met my band and I kind of just fell into this group of friends that I cherish. They are into it as much as I am and they take it seriously. It means a lot.

Tell me what it’s like for you to be a woman in music.

Going into it I kind of knew what to expect. I’ve been friends with a lot of musicians my whole life and around a lot of women musicians, so I’ve always heard the stories. When I was in Two Dollar Pistol there were many times at shows that were like that Hardtimes Article, “Man Offers to Introduce Woman to Band She’s Already In.” Like, that’s real life, dude. Another time, we played a radio show in Miami, and the host asked me if me and my bandmate Jimmy were dating, because it stumped him that you could be a girl in the band and not be dating one of the guys in your band, too. He videoed us playing and cut me out of the whole video. That whole experience could have been so cool - and it was really cool still - but after that when we left, I was just thinking, “That was so dumb.” I was upset...I’m a human, I’m doing my thing just like everyone else, why am I being treated any differently? It’s something that exists, and maybe it will get better. Thankfully, the bands I have been in have really supportive men that will stand up for me. They shouldn’t have to, but they will.

Yeah, they are allies.

Yeah, for sure.

Do you see any shift in the tides as far as being a woman in the music scene?

I feel like it’s getting there. We are working on it. There are a lot of people in the scene that are supportive and go out of their way to make sure everything is being done the way it's supposed to be done. Guys that are in a band with women usually keep it in the back of their mind that something could happen, so we all look out for each other.

What other woman musicians really inspire you?

One that stands out for sure is Molly Gene. Her project “Molly Gene - One Whoaman Band” is incredible. She plays guitar and has one of those professionally made foot drums. Her music is really heavy Delta blues, and she’s just such a badass.

What can the community do to support you and your artwork?

Come out to shows! You can’t just put “interested” on Facebook - you have to come out. I know we all have lives and jobs but if this is something you really love, and you want to be a part of, show some support and come out. Even if you have to work the next morning, so do I, and I’ll still be there all night making music. Just show up for a beer and to say hi!

Catch Trailer Park Mark and the Crystal Deth Band April 19th at Bad A Cafe.

Keep up with Jones, as we like to say, by signing up for our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Spotify.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

Independent Jones
Girls to the Front: An Interview with Lauren Alexander of The Cerabellas

By Carlee Griffin

All through the month of March, Indie Jones is celebrating National Women’s History Month with our local women in music. In our “Girls to the Front” series, we ask local female musicians about what inspires them to contribute to our live music scene in the Bradenton + SRQ area.

Lauren Alexander is the lead vocalist in the Bradenton based band “The Cerabellas”. Described as “music that makes you want to dance and pairs well with beer”, we at Indie Jones caught up with Lauren after her show at Cock and Bull in SRQ to talk about music and celebrate talented women everywhere.

IJ: Hello, Lauren. How was tonight’s show?

Lauren: We had such a great time playing tonight at Cock and Bull. I felt like I was prepared but I still get self-conscious. I just figure we are all here to see live music, so we are gonna do great! We all had fun and tonight and the show was definitely empowering.

It’s so funny to hear that you would get self-conscious on stage. You’re very talented. Do you have stage fright?

Honestly, my biggest worry is that I don't come through as authentic and real. I want people to feel my music and groove, relax, dance if you want to - all that. That’s my main goal: I want people to just let loose and really have fun. I get more joy out of that then just performing.

Talk to me about your roots in music. When did you start singing?

I have sung all my life but it’s always been a hidden thing. I sang in the shower, or in my room alone, but I wasn’t ever pushed or encouraged to perform professionally until recently.

How long have you been with The Cerabellas?

They formed as a four-piece before I was in it. JB, our rhythm guitarist, would sit in the car and listen to music and just sing to each other. Eventually, he asked me “Why aren’t you doing anything with this? Why is no one hearing your voice?” and that’s how I got on board. We did a little jam session and the rest is history.

What do you think about the Florida music scene right now in our area?

It’s hard because there just aren’t enough venues, but it’s made us musicians get creative. We can play in bowling alleys, retail spaces - anywhere there’s room. I wish more businesses would recognize the value of hosting live music. It really does benefit everyone.

How do you feel that other women creating art help the scene survive?

The power behind the voices of women that inspire me is what drives me to sing, too. Amy Winehouse, Adele - their voices really speak to me. Janis Joplin, Florence + the Machine, Aretha - there is so much incredible influence from women making music. Locally, I think Dana Laag of The Pretty Dirties is amazing. She’s so comfortable onstage and makes me feel like I can get there, too. I want to have that same kind of stage presence.

But you have that same magic, you know.

I’m self-conscious, but I'm learning and I'm growing and just trying to put myself out there. I’m interested in doing some side projects soon. I love music. Period. As long as I can feel something or take something from it, it matters to me. That’s something I would like to do for other people.

What can people in your community do to support you as an artist?

Just listen to my music. Come to the shows. Tell me you enjoyed it. That encourages me and makes me want to keep it up. I have a lot of personal self-doubts and I’m still learning. It’s fun and frustrating and amazing all at the same time. It’s hard for me to get out what I need to say but when I’m up there on stage with my band it’s fun. We have a good time.

What do you think about women becoming more involved in their local music scene?

I think it’s awesome and I’m like “Yes, please, take over and reign where you belong!”

I feel like there are more women that speak up for themselves and others, but there’s also a beautiful movement of men and the queer/trans community really being advocates and allies for women. We create our own community in a way and it’s really special in so many ways. Women coming up is just a beautiful thing.

Listen to The Cerabellas here.

Keep up with Jones, as we like to say, by signing up for our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Spotify.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

Independent Jones
Girls to the Front: An Interview with Jodi Sorrentino of Long Lost Enemies

By Carlee Griffin

All through the month of March, Indie Jones is celebrating National Women’s History Month with our local women in music. In our “Girls to the Front” series, we are asking local female musicians about what inspires them to contribute to our live music scene in the Bradenton + SRQ area.

Jodi Sorrentino is the bassist in one of our favorite local punk bands, Long Lost Enemies. A pioneer in the DIY punk scene of Bradenton, Florida, Jodi shares her thoughts on punk rock, local bands, and why it’s so important to have music venues in your hometown.

Independent Jones: Hey, Jodi. Thanks for interviewing with us. Currently, you can be spotted as the bassist for Long Lost Enemies. How long have you played for?
Jodi: Just about ten years. I started playing about 10 years ago as a hobby, then about 4 years ago I met Aaron Olmsted and we started a pop-punk band that eventually broke up then reformed as Long Lost Enemies around 2016. I had just finished vet school and, after giving up playing guitar when I was about 13, I just wanted to get back into it. I figured you’re never too old to try again, so I just started taking lessons. I didn’t start playing in a band till I moved back to Florida from Long Island probably 4 years ago? I’m from here, though.

What music acts or artists inspire or excite you?

I love folk punk right now - like Mischief Brew, Days n Daze, My Pizza My World...  but my favorite record this year would have to be The Interrupters “Fight the Good Fight”. As far as local bands go, I’ve been listening to a lot of 430 Steps, Dial Drive, and I can’t forget that newly released Green Bastard record.

How are things going with your band “Long Lost Enemies”?
Our comp just came out, “Live Your Gimmick” and we’ve got a couple shows coming up. The songs on our comp are a little funnier, sillier -  and a little more on the punk side, a little less Pop-y… but it’s pretty similar to “Bearshark” and “I Am The Liquor.” It’s the first time we’ve done a compilation album, so that’s cool. As with any artist's progression of their craft, we should want to go in and improve over our last work we did and recording situations are no different. We were not concerned with rehashing either of the previous EPs. It was more like a natural progression of what we do; fast, sarcastic blasts of fun. We went to our secret 6th member Matt Desear's laboratory (Burnt Orange Sound Studios) and recorded the band live with minimum overdubs as before. We had less than a 2 month time frame for recording and submitting the songs and PR kits to make the release deadline - we had never had to deal with deadlines before. Brian from Tuna For Sushi Records wanted specific content from us and the other three bands involved in the project (The Runz - The Supermen and Never Say Die) I think we achieved a good balance of something new and something familiar for our fans.

What was the first album that you owned?

A New Kids on the Block cassette tape when I was five. My first punk record was Guttermouth’s “Teri Yakimoto.”

That’s a great album, too. How does specifically being a woman affect you in the music scene?
I have insecurities about my playing but being around a lot of male and female musicians that are so talented has made it easier. They have all been so nice and complimentary of my playing and people seem to like seeing female musicians nowadays. It’s always been kind of a male-dominated industry. There’s not a lot of us and it’s almost kind of like a novelty.

How does it make you feel to go out and see your girlfriend play music?

I think it’s awesome. Take Julia from Dealbreaker, for example. She is crazy talented. She can play multiple instruments and she’s better than most of the guys around (a lot of them anyway.) So that cool, and it makes me want to be better. I always enjoy being on shows with other women like Julia Simms, Kim Varrasso of The Frenzied Passions, or Kari Frankenstein of The Prople. Some of the women in the international scene that I look up to would be Linh Le of Bad Cop/Bad Cop, Amy Interrupter of The Interrupters, Whitney Flynn of Days n Daze, and Brody Dalle of The Distillers. There are a lot of great Southwest Florida bands we have played with like Frenzied Passions, The Antidont’s, Abortion Twins, The Jim Parsons Project, 430 Steps, and Mosquito Teeth to name a few... but unfortunately, the venues are really few and far between.

Talk to me about some of your feelings about the SRQ/Bradenton music scene.

We no longer have the venues and it’s frustrating we don’t have hardly any places to play. We need those kinds of places here.

Why do you think it’s important to have those kinds of venues in your neighborhood?

It makes it easier for performers to work on music. It’s hard to want to continue without a place to perform and it’s tough to maintain the desire to do it if no one can actually take part in it. Just attending whatever local shows you can makes a difference. It’s the most important thing... without that local support, we will never be able to move towards having more venues.

I would really love to see the resurgence of the house show.

Yeah, there have been more house shows with the death of 600 Block in St. Petersburg. People seem to be doing it more, and I've even seen more shows being booked at local VWFs coming up soon, so people are finding a way. Our next show is at Cage Brewing in St. Petersburg.

Yeah, I just went and saw the Antidont's and Rutterkin up there not too long ago. You guys will like it there. The punk scene gets a bad rap which is a bummer. There's something really special about the totally DIY scene. What inspires you to play punk music?

Since I was 13, it’s really been the only music I've been interested in playing. There’s something about it. The fast rhythms, the energy. It brings everyone together in such a special way when you’re all kind of part of that close-knit community. Makes it feel like home.

Listen to Long Lost Enemies on Spotify here.

Keep up with Jones, as we like to say, by signing up for our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Spotify.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.