Our thoughts picnic with one another on a table thats settled in sand before their set at Escape Music Festival. Zoe and Adam are ASTR and their music is for the strong of heart. Surely, allowing your muscular organ to burrow into their music, will allow you to exit with a thumping personal and spiritual awakening. Ohm.
C: What’s your coffee order?
Zoe: Oh, a cappuccino.
Adam: Americano, with a little splash.
C: Do you ever go to coffee shops to work on music?
Adam: You can’t work on music at the coffee shop because there’s always music playing. He laughs. I laugh. I do like La Colombe, a little shop near me serves it and I like the Soho one.
Zoe: Have you heard of The Smile?
C: Yes! Great little spot. I like it there. Also, American Two Shot. I go there and I go shopping. It’s a creative environment that’s like an artist community here in New York.
C: I love it!
Zoe: They have good vintage there.
C: I have to get over there soon; I’m a big vintage shopper. In addition to music, I know that Yoga is something that binds you. But what else would you say is a tie that binds you to one another?
Zoe: For yoga, it’s a two-fold thing. It’s the ideology behind the practice, the spiritually and philosophy.
Adam: Expansive things connect us. I’m into cosmic consciousness, going beyond the micro to the macro connections.
C: We’re sitting on a picnic bench on Governors Island, before you play Escape Music Festival? In the theme of the festival, where do you go to escape?
Zoe: Writing the music for me is the escape. It’s the channeling. Anything that’s happening that’s where it goes. When you connect to something deeper it feels like a release. If we can write from that place where we’re always trying to channel something from beyond, beyond the mundane formulas then that’s what I hope people can connect to.
Adam: I always say when you listen to music if it doesn’t paint a picture for you, its not doing tis job. I always find my escape going out to hear dance music, there’s something hypnotic about it, especially when I’m out until like 4 or 5 in the morning. There ‘s something about being vulnerable as the sun is coming up. And, food is my escape.
Zoe: Oh yea, he loves food!
C: Not a bad escape Adam. I’m curious about the theme of music and spirituality for you. When does your performance become spiritual?
Zoe: It should be every single time. If it’s not, it sucks. There’s quietness when I’m on stage, I’m very conscious, hyper-conscious, and I’m seeing everyone. [in the crowd]. I dance a lot; I’m into movement but I feel very still up there, its like I’m singing, closing my mind off and I’m feeling. What Adam says about going out, I feel on stage, its hypnotic and the rhythm are like a meditation for sure.
Adam: After about the second or third song, I can relax. Until then, I’m nervous that the computer is going to blow. But at the third song, I’m like ‘this is good.’ It’s like the boat leaving the dock and we can pop the champagne.
C: Celebrate! I can see that. Moving into seeing, cinema plays a major role in your influences. Do you ever feel like your playing out a short film when you’re performing a set?
Adam: Always, it’s like opening credits for me. You put on your headphones and you go, music is the sound check and figuratively it’s the opening credits.
Zoe: I feel that when I’m listening to headphones. But, when I’m on stage, its very real, very, very real.
C: How do you decide what you’ll wear when you’re on stage?
Adam: For me it’s easy, its what I wore yesterday. He laughs. I laugh, again. She’s the focal front and in front, so so its all about her.
Zoe: You don’t wear wardrobe malfunctions. I usually wear sneakers, nothing too low on your boobs. And, it’s important to me that my clothes are accessible. It has to be street and there has to be a common thread. If what I’m wearing is simple than I’ll go big on hair and nails. I’m a thrifter, so I also like finding things at Top Shelf Premium.
C: Your local New Yorkers. And Escape is happening locally, right her eon the island. Why is it important for ASTR to play local festivals?
Zoe: We represent New York through and through. New york influences our music. We never leave New York, its an energetic vortex and its important for us to give back to New York, its made us who we are.
Adam: Being from New York, we have a lot of friends and familiar faces coming to the show and family and we like that. We feel really grateful because it’s hard to establish yourself as a band in New York.
I consider them established with a musical estate to only get more valuable with time.