Music Spotlight: Bye June

Bye June is a socially conscious indie band from the Washington, D.C., area that formed in 2009. Made up of Gil Kline-Vox (guitar), Gunner Sledgeski (drums), and Daniel McGreal (bass), the trio’s new music video, “Shades of Purple” is gaining attention in the LGBT community and beyond for its message about civil rights same-sex marriage. Additionally, “Shades of Purple” (watch below) is the first pop music video to employ the ancient art of shadowgraphy, or hand shadows.

Here, Gil Kline-Vox talks to us about this beautiful new video and all things Bye June.

CherryGRRL (CG): “Shades of Purple” is clearly about gay marriage. Is this something that hits close to home for any of you?

Gil Kline-Vox: As a band, we strongly believe that individuals have the right to love whomever they choose regardless of their gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. We think it’s unfair how some people discriminate against others just because they are different.  I wrote this song because my cousin is in a long-term relationship and he can’t marry his partner. They are such an awesome couple and so in love, and it angers me that politicians try to tell other people who to love and spend their life with.

We very passionate about gay rights and equal rights in general. We hope that this video will spread a message of love and acceptance as well as being proud of who you are no matter if your Gay, Straight, Bisexual, Pansexual, or any other shade of purple.

CG:  Why make a video like this now?

Gil Kline-Vox: We’ve been wanting to write a song like this for a while. Having seen and heard about friends and family who are in the LGBT community that have been discriminated against I felt like I had to write a song about equal rights. Also with the upcoming election, a lot of the politicians are very much opposed to equal marriage. In addition, equal marriage is illegal in Maryland but our governor Martin O’Malley is trying to get it legalized. This song is also in support of O’Malley’s acceptance toward equal marriage.

CG:  Where did Bye June get its start?

Gil Kline-Vox: We really got our start playing shows around the Goucher College campus then this past summer we recorded our CD “My Life Is An Independent Film,” which we released on iTunes in July.

CG: Who are your musical influences?

Gil Kline-Vox: The Smashing Pumpkins, Death Cab For Cutie, Built To Spill, Pavement, Say Anything, The Beatles, Scott Pine and the Conifers.

CG: This video is beautiful and I read you are the first band to use shadowgraphy in a music video. What made you choose this concept over actors?

Gil Kline-Vox: Before we wrote the script for the video, we wanted to do something different. The concept of shadow puppets actually come to us in a dream and is also quite symbolic. Since every thing is done by hands, the video also represents the power of what hands can do. As we see, hands can discriminate and make some one feel like an outsider, but hands can also accept, love, and change the world.

CG: How did you all meet? How was Bye June formed?

Gil Kline-Vox: I started Bye June during my senior year of high school as a side project while I was playing with another band. When I started at college I decided make Bye June my full time band. I met our drummer Gunner Sledjeski in September of last year (he was and still is my roommate). We originally wanted to try our luck as a two-piece group but there was still something missing so we recruited our bassist Daniel McGreal.

CG: Are you guys touring anytime soon?

Gil Kline-Vox: We are developing a tour schedule for the summer, as soon as we finish we will post them on our website.

CG: Are there any other songs on your album about gay rights?

Gil Kline-Vox: “Shades Of Purple” is our only song dealing with gay rights, but there may be more coming. Who knows? Song ideas just come to me, in the weirdest places.

CG: You are very civil rights based band, are your other videos going to tackle other civil rights issues?

Gil Kline-Vox: We plan on having our videos touch on important social issues, we believe that as musicians we should write music that coveys acceptance, equality, and love. Our song “Casey” for example, is about domestic abuse. I wrote it because someone I know went through an awful period of abuse. It touched me deeply, and the song was expressed shortly after. Another song on the album called “Flawless Skin” is about someone who deals with mental illness but despite what this person goes through he is still optimistic that things will get better.

For more information about Bye June, visit:
http://www.byejune.com
http://www.youtube.com/byejunetv

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