Sometimes you just need to talk to your friends. Sometimes you need to go to Santiagos Bodega for happy hour and drink sparkling sangria for two hours while you dish on all the latest happenings - good or bad - in your life. Shit's cleansing. What makes doing this better is when you can have all these intimate conversations secret between those present and that energy spill over into the conversation shared with thousands (yes, thousands). So... here's my conversation with Julia Joyce and Madeleine Elise from bedroom rock band TV Dinner where we spend the first 500 or so words talking about bowel movements. Enjoy.
Matthew Warhola: It feels so different. Why does it feel so different than like the last.. what time is it? Eight o’clock.. We’ve been talking for like four hours. It feels so different.
Julia Joyce: Haha yeah.
Matthew Warhola: It’s so weird, right? I feel nervous too, kind of.
Madeleine Elise: We’re all friends here, it's okay!
Matthew Warhola: We were at Santiago’s Bodega like spilling our guts out over like, sangria and now we’re just like sitting on a couch like “well it’s time for business now!” It’s silly.
Madeleine Elise: Yeah, I mean I get super nervous before shows.Like I have my pre-show poop immediately followed by my post-show poop.
Matthew Warhola: Two poops?!
Madeleine Elise: It’s never like gross, my body just digests things extremely completely. I’ve just always been this way.
Matthew Warhola: Interesting.
Madeleine Elise: I love to poop.
Matthew Warhola: I have IBS but mines like the opposite where I don’t have to poop.
Madeleine Elise: Ohhhh.
Matthew Warhola: Like when i was a kid and i’d go to summer camp for like a week, and I wouldn’t poop the entire time.
Julia Joyce: My mom does that, but on vacations.
Matthew Warhola: Thinking about it now, it’s so awful.
Madeleine Elise: I also eat a lot of vegetables too, like a lot of naturally fibrous stuff, so *makes fart sound* And the fibrous food at my job, Dandelion, doesn't help.
Matthew Warhola: oh my god! Can I tell you a story about Dandelion? It’s so embarrassing. It must've been like 2013 or 2012, and I used to go all the time with my friend Katt who introduced to me to a lot of Orlando spots since she was from here. So we go and we sit down and we each get giddyups, and so I feel like I have to poop like towards the end of our meal. So I go into the bathroom to poop and I poop like one of the biggest poops I’ve ever pooped. I try to flush it and it won’t go down. It literally just keeps spinning around like a propeller almost and it like wont go down. And someone starts knocking on the door very aggressively too.
Madeleine Elise: ohh no!
Matthew Warhola: And they started when I was still doing my business, um so its just this one like long like turd just spinning around.. I tried to get it out and I was like, "I have no idea what to do?" So what I did was: I like reached in and grabbed it.
Julia Joyce: Stop.
Madeleine Elise: Oh god.
Matthew Warhola: There was like a little trashcan next to it and i put it in the trash can.
Madeleine Elisee: I feel so bad for whoever had to clean that out.
Matthew Warhola: I did too! I immediately was like Katt, we need to go.
Madeleine Elise: “There’s dried poop in here!”
Matthew Warhola: Yeah, it probably smelled so gnarly. So I hope that made you guys not nervous cause I've been recording.
Madeleine Elise: This reminds me of when you had to poop at The Falcon.
Julia Joyce: Oh yeah and the toilet wouldn't flush. That happened to be at the falcon and I just left it.
Matthew Warhola: I think starting with a good poop story would be good. You just left it?!
Julia Joyce: Yeah!
Madeleine Elise: Like immediately after?
Julia Joyce: Well okay so I was playing a julee bruise set at Falcon a few months ago and like I was like.. I guess taking too long? I was waiting in line for the bathroom and I had to start but I had to go, it was like a necessary thing. And so I thought I was the last person in line so I thought “cool” because I had to poop but didn't want to deal with anyone like waiting for me. And uh, someone started knocking like while I was going and I finished or whatever and I couldn't get it to go down like the same way that you couldn’t.
Matthew Warhola: Yeah!
Julia Joyce: It was just kind of circling but it was like pretty small, like a couple little nuggets of turd. Um, and so I just let the toilet settle and just put a lot of toilet paper over it in the toilet like not enough that it would clog but just to like cover it so the person would just pee and flush on their own.
Matthew Warhola: Oh no.
Julia Joyce: No one said anything... I immediately went to the front and there was a person waiting.
Matthew Warhola: So someone walked in there and immediately knew what was going on.
Julia Joyce: Yeah!
Matthew Warhola: Cause there was toilet paper covering it.
Julia Joyce: And it was my set, so everyone knows it was me now!
Matthew Warhola: Did you mention it in your set?
Julia Joyce: No.
Madeleine Elise: You even came up to me and you were like “Should I mention this and my set?” and I was like “no!”
Matthew Warhola: You were talking about your pre-poop and post-poop is there anything that comes to mind? Like did anything exciting ever happen?
Madeleine Elise: Well I feel very relaxed after the first poop ‘cause i’m like “okay. Business. Gotta play a show. Better not fuck up you fucking idiot.” And then just like, this part of my body is just CHURNING and then it’s like “Oh god!”
Matthew Warhola: It’s like nervousness you think?
Madeleine Elise: Yeah cause its like.. I don't know I have like, I don’t know, like I grew up in theater because I did theater in high school so I just have a very like polished idea of how like a performer should be and how to carry myself. But like, I’ve just always have had to do the pre-show poop for a theater show, I didn’t for parallel lines which is probably why I blacked out while I was doing it and i just started crying ‘cause I had to poop.
Matthew Warhola: So now that we got that out of the way, I’m curious. How did you guys like meet? What’s your story together?
Julia Joyce: We met at The Falcon.
Madeleine Elise: It was right in front of that swan mural that’s on the side where everybody smokes cigarettes. You had green hair and were wearing a stripe-y sweater. Josh was there. Haha, I have total recall of the night. But yeah, you showed up and we just started talking about stuff then we ran into each other again at Lou’s or St. Matts and then...
Matthew Warhola: Do you remember any of this stuff?
Julia Joyce: I remember Falcon, I don’t remember.
Matthew Warhola: Was music a thing early on that you guys were like “Let’s start working on it together?”
Julia Joyce: We were acquaintances for a few months, We didn't really know each other that well. And then we met again at a party that our mutual friend was having. And then we hung out that whole time because neither of us do like super well at parties. We’re not like super successful party people. So we talked there a lot, and I don’t know, we got to get to know each other well after that. And then the music started like pretty quickly after we had like a one-on-one conversation.
Madeleine Elise: Cause we were hanging out at stardust and she was like "Do you wanna come over to my house and mess around with like, music things?” and I was like “okay!” and I think we were like playing around on the synth and we were just fucking around and you were like “I have all these ideas!” and I was like “Wow, these are all good ideas! We should be in a band!”
Matthew Warhola: So it all kind of like, came together?
Julia Joyce: yeah!
Madeleine Elise: It started as Scooby Don’t first.
Julia Joyce: We were just jamming
Madeleine Elise: We’re what the professionals call, ‘jammers’.
Matthew Warhola: Since then, it seems like you guys are really close?
Julia Joyce: Yeah, after that party, man. It feels like a stupid thing to say but...
Matthew Warhola: I don’t really have much experience, but I feel like, the effort mentally and physically being in a band takes - starting friendships - that’s something sort of new could be difficult.
Madeleine Elise: Yeah and I wanted to perform and I’m happy that you were just like “Fuck it, we’re just gonna do it now!” and I was like “Okay, yeah! Fine!”
Julia Joyce: “We’re playing Grandma Party!”
Madeleine Elise: But I was very nervous because we used the little drum machine that came on the Casio that my boyfriend found at community thrift, and that was our drummer.
Matthew Warhola: that was when it was just the two of you right?
Julia Joyce: yeah.
Madeleine Elise: I think because I'm type A and always shoot for perfectionism - even though that’s an impossible thing - I get so nervous that I’m gonna fuck up. And then my hands get really shaky and then I play the wrong keys.
Julia Joyce: You were so embarrassed.
Matthew Warhola: At the first one? I was there! I remember being impressed.
Julia Joyce: I’m like okay with it now, but at the time it was like our only... neither of us had been in a band at the time. Yeah, the first show didn’t go like perfectly. So we were like, “Uh, do we quit? Are we done? Because that was awful!”
Matthew Warhola: One and done. “Let’s never do that again.”
Madeleine Elise: Literally after, I ran into the corner of the parking lot and put on the biggest pair of sunglasses I owned and just drank a giant cup of gin and cried. But then it got better, because we just like workshopped a bunch of stuff.
Matthew Warhola: Was it that though? I feel like it just has to do with it being your first show and like what you said, of being a perfectionist. ‘Cause would you say it was the worst show you ever played?
Julia Joyce & Madeleine Elise: Yes.
Matthew Warhola: I’m curious, Julia you write most of the songs?
Julia Joyce: yeah, but not all of them.
Madeleine Elise: This is going to make me sound so pretentious and it’s such like an actor thing to say, but like, sometimes I’m just not like emotionally connected to the songs because I usually write them out of anger and the I don’t wanna go back to that feeling.
Matthew Warhola: (to Julia) Do you find that similarly when you play music, do you go back to those emotions? I know that a lot of your music is about personal experiences.
Julia Joyce: It depends on the day, sometimes it like makes me really upset after a set I feel like kind of down because it’s kind of like going through it again. It just kinda depends on what’s going on again in my life. I think it's a good thing to immortalize those feelings but not necessarily like relive them, you know? Just to remember that you felt a way and you’re never going to do it again.
Matthew Warhola: Something I wanted to talk about is that I’ve noticed a lot of your songs have what I like to call buzz lines or stuff that could be an instagram caption. That’s putting it a little maybe superficially but like, I think the most obvious examples are like um, “When i die, I wanna be buried in the flavor graveyard at Ben & Jerry’s.” or “I stuck my head in my easy bake oven”, and ... what do you say, “ douchebag but a...”
Julia Joyce: “...freak in the streets”
Matthew Warhola: That reminded me of something I heard Drake say one time. Something like the first line of a song needs to be the most memorable because it pulls you in. What do you think about that?
Julia Joyce: I agree with that, I guess. I don’t know. I think the first line is important. Because if you’re going through Bandcamp and you’re listening to an artist you listen to the first like twenty seconds of a song waiting for the vocals to come in essentially. It’s not necessarily the lyrical content, it's like a mixture of that and the melody as well.
Matthew Warhola: Are lines like that, the ones that I mentioned... do a lot of those come out immediately?
Julia Joyce: Most of the time it’s pretty immediate. Normally my writing process usually goes one of two ways. I’ll usually be messing around on a guitar because i’m not necessarily good at guitar so I just like, try to invent new chords.
Madeleine Elise: You’re really good at fingerpicking though and that’s really hard.
Julia Joyce: If I were to try to explain how to play any TV Dinner song to anyone, I’d have to show them myself because I don’t know the names of any chords or anything. I just don’t know music theory when it comes to guitar.
Madeleine Elise: it’s hard.
Julia Joyce: but I’ll be like, messing around, and once I get a guitar riff down ill just record it on my phone and sing along to it and a lot of the times, like, it’ll be like one-to-three takes and I’ll get a good chunk of lyrics in. There are times where obviously you can’t come up with anything to say so you just say something ridiculous.
Matthew Warhola: What about, specifically, with “I stuck my head in an easy bake oven” Where does that come from? Was that a real thing?
Julia Joyce: No, but thats a certain thing where I’ll just write and I’ll just be hanging out and write down a line that’s going through my head a few times and I’ll think its kind of funny or whatever.
Madeleine: It’s like Sylvia Plath.
Julia Joyce: Yeah, normally it's like a joke or some kind of like, I don’t know, a phrase thats entertaining to me.
Matthew Warhola: It's really dark too, it's kind of like a joke but it’s also like, you think of children and you think of suicide.
Madeleine Elise: Well I think a lot of our songs are very tongue in cheek. Especially "Bike Boi". Good, lord.
Matthew Warhola: (To Julia) I wanted to mention, I don’t know if you remember, it was me, you, and our friend. We were on his porch and you played "Bike Boi" and you were like “I wrote this song, I don’t think it’s very good."
Julia Joyce: I was like “I think this is kind of rude!”
Matthew Warhola: Is that what you said? I think thats probably why I liked it. But then I remember you playing it for us and then I was just like “Oh my god, you have to make it into a real song.”
Julia Joyce: With "Bike Boi" particularly, I was just like..
Matthew Warhola: You don’t have to name him.
Julia Joyce: Well everyones gonna know.
Madeleine Elise: Oh, they know by now!
Julia Joyce: Hopefully he’ll read these and be like, “Aw she feels bad.” I feel guilty playing that song now because I’m not angry about that situation anymore.
Madeleine Elise: But it’s so catchy.
Julia Joyce: Right. It’s one of our catchier and faster and more dance-y songs or whatever, so I can’t not pay it. But I’m also like painting this picture of a person that I don’t know at all anymore and like, I’m also just like... the whole situation wasn’t ultimately a big deal like nothing bad happened, well, nothing horrible happened I should say. There weren't boundaries that were crossed or anything like that so it just makes me feel bad to think that i’m like trash talking someone but I think that they know that.
Matthew Warhola: Has anyone ever approached you about it?
Julia Joyce: Yeah, we haven't talked since way before that, six months before even.
Madeleine Elise: I see him all the time.
Julia Joyce: Yeah we see each other in passing but we never say "hi" or really even make eye contact so it’s just weird. I don’t know if I should feel bad about that or if I should reach out and communicate that I don't feel like that anymore.
Matthew Warhola: Yeah, its just a song.
Julia Joyce: yeah! It’s just a song I enjoy playing.
Madeleine Elise: Ive had a couple of people also just tell me “oh, that’s not a good song. I don’t like it.” and it’s like, I’m sorry, we’re playing this for ourselves and that makes me wanna
Matthew Warhola: And you still don’t know how to ride a bike?
Julia Joyce: I just don’t go on bicycles.
Madeleine Elise: Well you do roller derby which is much more difficult, it’s like...
Matthew Warhola: Is it that you don’t know or that you’re not confident?
Julia Joyce: I’m not confident about it. It’s been so long.
Matthew Warhola: That’s how I feel, too. Like I know how to ride a bike down an empty street but like I’m not gonna ride on like fucking Colonial.
Julia Joyce: I’m also like embarrassed to be on a bike for some reason. I feel ridiculous but that doesn't make any sense because i never look at people on bicycles. I’m just being weird.
Matthew Warhola: I feel like you would just be in a constant state of, uh, anxiety.
Julia Joyce: yeah and there are other ways for me to get exercise. And it’s too dangerous. Plenty of people have gotten hit. Including the subject of Bike Boy, like many times actually.
Matthew Warhola: Wow.
Julia Joyce: But with "Bike Boi"’s lyrics one of the lyrics is, since you mentioned this, his Instagram bio.
Matthew Warhola: Which linen?
Julia Joyce: “Freak in the streets.” is his current instagram bio.
Madeleine Elise: I’ve been blocked for so long...
Matthew Warhola: I didn’t know that, that’s so funny that you would put that in the song.
Julia Joyce: But he’s never come to a show so he’ll never know.
Matthew Warhola: See that’s why I love you guys, that’s so cool and a little petty and I love it.