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An interview with Try the Pie / by Jason Brownstein

Try The Pie is the songwriting project of San Jose based musician/writer/artist Bean Tupou. At any given time Bean's list of projects is immense. In addition to writing and playing in Try The Pie, they also play in multiple other active bands (currently Plume, Crabapple and Salt Flat), coordinate the art program at San Jose's Chromatic Coffee, and are a founding member of the Think and Die Thinking booking collective. Initially a singer/songwriter project, the forthcoming record Domestication marks Try The Pie's first release as a full band with the addition of fellow San Jose based musicians Richard Gutierrez (of Sourpatch, Younger Lovers, Busted Outlook, Permanent Ruin) and Nick Lopez (Ugly Winner). Domestication' will be out on Salinas Records this Spring.

How did Try the Pie start? What were some of the influences in your life that led to this project?

When I was younger I never really knew anyone that was really serious about playing in a band or playing music,

so in high school I just started recording myself with tape recorders. My dad was learning how to play guitar and sing so he would record himself on those little memo recorders. He was a preacher so he would also record himself practicing sermons, preaching in Tongan, sometimes for hours. He was really obsessed with it. I got the idea from him to record myself playing songs, but I never really showed anyone because I was so embarrassed. Even if what I was doing then wasn't necessarily called "Try The Pie" -- playing these kinds of songs has always been around.

Were there people in your life growing up that introduced you to the larger DIY scene and to playing in bands?

When I met Nicole from Sourpatch she was in this band Miss Flo, and they were all still in high school. They were a queer, all-women band, and at the time I was just playing talent shows at school or open mics. My friend signed me up for an open mic at the

Billy de Frank Center (a queer community center in San Jose, where we now have Think and Die Thinking Fest). I had never been there but all of my friends would go for Wednesday night youth group. This open mic I played was the first time people told me that what I was doing was good which was serious to me. Before that I didn't think too much about whether or not people would like it, but I just did it anyway.

At the end of the night Miss Flo played and it kind of blew my mind. I had an idea that this existed, but I really didn't know about riot grrrl or anything other than the pop punk I would listen to. I started spending time with them and the more I hung out with them the more I was exposed to this really awesome music. It was pivotal for me to see people like me in order to see myself playing music. Before that the only place I could see myself was in Tongan Church and choir and things like that. . . .


by Bean Tupou
Happiness is not a superior emotion.

Feminst punk fests, panels, art shows.

by Pandora Christ
Is it time to move to Calabasas and feed macrobiotics to Kris Jenner?
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