Travis Caine and Katherine Kin make up the UK-via-New York City electronic music duo Von Haze. Mandy Coon is a fashion designer, DJ (one-half of 2 Mandy DJs), former model and a New York City nightlife fixture. In anticipation of Von Haze’s first full-length album, Kar-Dee-Akk-Ake, Mandy and Von Haze got together to discuss music and style. As a visual accompaniment, GL Wood shot Travis and Katherine, creating images that resemble paintings more than photographs. But this is not the work of Photoshop. Instead, the photographer says, “The process involved shooting through a crystal lens to get that ‘witchy’ effect. Later, washed markers, watercolor and white paint was used to create a dark but colorful image of a mixed media.”
Above image: (On Travis) Jacket, Dominic Louis. Hat, vintage. (On Katherine) Leather collar, Jenni Hensler. Jacket, The Cast. Sweater vest , A.F. Vandevorst. Necklace, Bevel. Ring, Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons.
Mandy Coon: How much do you think about your personal style as it relates to your image as a band?
Katherine Kin: I don’t think we’ve ever really considered that in a way that compares the two. Von Haze is really an extension of who we are as individuals and as a couple. I have always craved transformation so my own style can change for the occasion but the same base elements always remain. When I feel most free, I enjoy looking and dressing more extreme. It depends on my mood.
Travis Caine: I used to dress a lot crazier when I was younger. Blue hair and fishnet stockings, that sort of thing. I always enjoyed seeing and being around people who looked like they were just beamed down from some spaceship full of freaks, but I don’t want my band looking like that. It really depends on the artist, I suppose, and where the songs are coming from at the outset. For instance, Katherine and I don’t typically write from the perspective of others or characters in our music, so I guess our style directly affects our image as a band.
(On Katherine) Fur vest and earrings, vintage. Cuff, Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons. Rings, Bevel. (On Travis) Jacket, Dominic Louis. Hat, vintage.
Mandy: Does fashion ever influence your music? Or does music ever influence your style?
Katherine: Fashion doesn’t influences the music directly but a mood or a feeling that a style or attitude provokes will spark inspiration. As for music influencing style, surely yes. Music influences it all.
Travis: Music definitely influences my style. I love looking at old photographs of musicians from back in the day and checking out what looks they’ve got going on.
Mandy: Who inspires you musically? And whose style do you find inspiring?
Travis: Stylistically, anyone who embodies their own personal style and goes for it is an inspiration. We always appreciate a little homespun touch. That’s when you know people are making an effort. Musically: Harmonia, Kraftwerk, Townes Van Zandt, The Stooges, Neu, Misfits, The Zombies, The Stones, Les Rallizes Denudes, Prince, Bo Diddley, PiL… The list goes on and on. It depends on the day, really, and that is just a short list of musicians whose records we just happen to be listening to lately. We are inspired equally by people we’ve met and the places we’ve been. We try to be open for inspiration at any moment. It can come from anywhere.
Mandy: What is your favorite song to play live and why?
Katherine: I don’t have one favorite, but we aim to find the place where you can surrender and lose yourself to the experience and time kindly slows down for you to enjoy the space.
Travis: I try to enjoy every song. The songs that Katherine and I sing together probably have a few more moments in them for me personally because it allows for another channel to be opened for a different level of connection. Singing in unison is a powerful thing in its own right but when you couple that with the intention to connect with the other person you are singing with, it can be an intense and emotional experience. Those narcotic type of moments are my favorite when we play live.
(On Travis) Jacket, Dominic Louis. Hat, vintage. (On Katherine) Vest, The Cast. Rings, Bevel and Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons.