Musicians at Home | My Gold Mask - Design Bureau

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FUN HOUSE “Fashion, pop culture, art, movies, and music are probably the biggest inspirations on our aesthetics,” says Rochelle. “We also tend to gravitate towards things that are slightly subversive in nature. We both appreciate good design and admire the attention to detail that comes along with that. It’s something we strive for in our own art.”

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Musicians at Home | My Gold Mask

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

By Joel Hoglund
Photos by Ryan Lowry

A nylon string guitar. A standing drum kit. With these modest tools Gretta Rochelle and Jack Armondo of Chicago duo My Gold Mask create a swirling, stomping whirlpool of sound, with Rochelle’s voice shimmering above an exquisite darkness. The Bucktown apartment they share, with its shocks of color and scads of toys, is quite another story. An eclectic mash-up of pop culture influences, comic-geek collectibles, family heirlooms, and religious artwork informs their aesthetic—its comfy vibe running somewhat counter to the sonic ground they cover on their 2013 album Leave Me Midnight. “Our music,” Armondo warns, “isn’t always as lighthearted as our home.”

JH: Your home has a ‘fun’ vibe—does one of you influence that look?
Gretta Rochelle: Jack has the toys and comics. I have a lot of Catholic and Día de Los Muertos paraphernalia. Our styles overlap. We both like a cozy environment at home. I love mixing different eras of decor, like 1970s swag lamps with his pop art signs and my Depression-era armchair with a 1960s kitchen table. I have no rules when it comes to decor. If it feels good, it usually means it looks good.
Jack Armondo: Totally. Something that feels secure after returning from the road, like a home base.

JH: Do you ‘go shopping’ to decorate?
JA: Most everything is a hodgepodge of things we’ve acquired. It’s sort of fallen into place. Occasionally we go out and buy something, but it’s more by chance. To us, it’s all about how we put things together and make them work with each other. It’s kind of how we write songs sometimes, actually.

JH: Does everything in your home have a story?
GR: It does for me. There’s a painting in our bedroom by Jesse Gross that we loved so much we made it album art for our first release. Things like the cuckoo clock and the red velvet chair in our kitchen were handed down from my grandparents. The hanging lamp was a present from Jack. I’d had my eye on this swag lamp for years. I typically don’t bring things into the house unless they make an impression. I tend to hold on tight to things that are given to me. I’m a little bit of a pack rat.

JH: Do you ever disagree over decor?
JA: All the time, actually. Gretta likes religious objects—not because she is actually religious, but she likes the art of it. But I was raised Catholic as a kid, so sometimes it’s a little much for me.
GR: I’m not allowed to bring any more Jesus objects into our home. Even ones with glitter on them.

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