Broken Girls From Affluent Backgrounds


Broken Girls From Affluent Backgrounds are gearing up to release an EP on Friday and have a current single already available. Travis and Chris took the time to sit down and answer questions for the Lowdown a few weeks ago and here is what they had to say!

(Make sure to scroll all the way down for links and more information about the band!)


1. How did you come together as a band?

Travis – I started humming along with the radio before I said my first words as a child. Always fascinated with music, I began begging my mom for a guitar around 10 years old. She finally relented around my 14th birthday. I started playing as a solo act, playing coffee shops and bars as an acoustic opener for from high school on into college. That’s when I met Chris, through a mutual friend of ours… a drummer that I haven’t seen in a decade.

2 Both of you name up to 3 influences on your instrument (or voice) and a short “why”

Travis – Firstly – Frank Zappa… He not only played guitar unlike anything I’d ever heard, he could orchestrate entire albums with a frivolous precision. Secondly – John Frusciante… His work with the chili peppers will forever be overshadowed by his solo contributions. He bends what it means to compose while revealing tender fragments of himself through poignant acoustic arrangements and tearing his own heart out with blistering guitar licks and oddly beautiful cacophony. Lastly – David Marin… A tornado I met in the music programs I attended… a brilliantly driven, singularly devoted to craftsmanship, his belief in exercising will over your self-improvement has inspired me… even at my lowest points.

Chris-I’ll have to agree with Trav on those but I’d also like to add Dave Knudsen from minus the bear and botch. Totally blew my mind when I first heard him. At that point, compound time signatures was a foreign concept to me and showed you could play lead with just straight shredding. I was heavily influenced by old smashing pumpkins. I loved the guitar and percussion work on Pisces and Gish. Mark Engels from dredg also blew my mind. Extremely dynamic musician, in writing, technique, and sound.

3. Tell me something about the band that no one knows…yet.

Travis – Without Chris… there never would have been a band. His insistence, his push – is why we got together to play tunes in the first place

4. Worst or most embarrassing on-stage occurrence for the band or one of you personally

Travis – I would say being in an up & coming prog-rock band in your 30s is embarrassing enough for me… That and being called Broken Girls from Affluent Backgrounds and walking out on stage – surly, hairy, shoegazers

Chris – I’m super paranoid about doing stupid shit, so I’m pretty meticulous about fail-safes and redundancy but one time I was in a rush and I forgot to run my cable through my strap and absolutely stepped on it and unplugged myself mid-set, But I don’t know if embarrassing is the right word for it.

5. Each of you has never met or you are starting over, and you can each start a band with ANY musician. Who is it?

Travis – Greg Edwards of Autolux and Failure        Chris- Dino Campanella from dredg.



1. Each of you tell me your favorite song of all time

Travis – either the entirety of Happy Hollows by Cursive or Conjugal Burn by The Mars Volta

Chris– that’s rough, beware of darkness by George Harrison or maybe white mystery by minus the bear

2. What song do you wish you had written?

Travis – Death With Dignity by Sufjan Stevens

Chris – progress by the dear hunter

3. Now tell me your favorite song by a LOCAL band

Travis – Foal by Holy Fawn



1. Favorite place to play live, and why? That’s a tough one, we haven’t played many places but Rebel Lounge and Yucca Tap were Really

That’s a tough one, we haven’t played many places but Rebel Lounge and Yucca Tap were Really fun, but Rouge Bar has the best beers on tap!

2. Some bands are considered “live” bands. Do you feel you are better or on your recorded works?

Travis – I think we are fully realized on a record, the concepts and tones are more approachable but I love the idea of pulling off some of the odd time signatures and counter-intuitive guitar melodies live!

Chris– we’ve concentrated so much on writing and recording that when it came time to play this live we weren’t really sure how to go about it. But once we started playing these songs live it came so easy and natural.

3. Name 3 local bands that our readers need to see

Travis – Holy Fawn, Sun System, Panic Baby

4. Give me ONE word to describe the local music scene

Travis – Teeming

5. If you could change anything about the local scene, what would it be?

Travis – concentrate some of these talented people into incredible bands… instead of having a lot of people playing in a lot of bands where only some of them are polished. I play with a lot of bands that don’t seem to give a single fuck about what they’re doing on stage or with their music.

Chris- I’d love to see us work together more. Promotion wise, organizationally. We all show up to support each other but we need to bring people in from outside the scene.



1. It’s now your time to shamelessly promote… What is coming up for you? List everything you can think of here.

Well, we’re going to have our ep “Aggregate” complete and available October 20th so that’s currently our main focus. We Finally have our first single, “ Bones” released and available on Spotify, iTunes, and all digital distro and Our next show coming up is October 15th at Rebel Lounge with Maybird and Break up Shoes, and Oct 27th w/New Chums, Danielle Durack, Luau, EL West & The Edisons

2. Final thoughts? Anything goes!

Art is the exercise of expressing lifetimes of emotion in 90-minute films, 3-minute songs, a single frame, a brush stroke… through this, we are all connected. People are so concerned with our weaknesses separating us, making absolutely certain we don’t belie our stoicism with honesty. I find we are all connected through strife, communal struggle, intertwined grief, and shame.




PhotoCredit: Luxicon Photography


DWARF - Comicon

The first time I head DWARF was when I was compiling a local playlist to put up on Spotify back in October of last year. I was directed to the song “Too Close To The Flame” and was instantly a fan. I was finally able to see them a couple of weeks ago playing the Painting Fences EP release show and I was not disappointed in the least. Sage Donaldson owns the stage as a singer/guitarist, while Dom holds down the beat on drums. As for Bailey, make sure to give the dude some real estate on the stage because he will use every bit of it. I’m not sure I have seen more energy coming from a bass player since well, one of his influences, the one and only Flea. I wanted to bring him a towel and a Powerade half way through the set just to make sure he was hydrated! Keep your eyes peeled for the next time they play, it is worth making the effort to go see them live.

How did the band come together?

We first started playing together when we were 16 years old. We were all in our High School marching band and began playing together during that time. 

Who are your main influences on your instrument or voice?

Sage: Jimmy Page and Dave Grohl for guitar, and Stevie Nicks for vocals

Bailey: Flea, Jared Followill, and Juan Aldrete

Dom: Jon Theodore, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Taylor Hawkins

Tell me something about the band that nobody knows, at least until now

We are so embarrassed of how we came up with the name DWARF that we make up a new story every time someone asks us. One of the most embarrassing things on stage was a First Friday show downtown. We were on a wood stage and Bailey was jumping and rocking out really hard and the stage broke and Bailey fell through it. 

If you weren’t playing together and could start a band with anyone, who would it be?

Sage would start a band with Liza Graves, Bailey would start a band with John Frusciante, and Dom would start a band with Nai Palm. 

What is your absolute favorite song of all time?

Sage: The Chain by Fleetwood Mac

Bailey: Arcarsenal by At The Drive In

Dom: Stranger Things by Periphery 

What song do you wish you had written?

Sage: What’s Left of the Flag by Flogging Molly

Bailey: Cicatriz by ESP

Dom: Language by The Contourtionist

Who are your favorite local bands?

Sage: The Haymarket Squares

Bailey: Twin Ponies

Dom: Captive Cooks

Where is your favorite place to play locally?

The Rogue Bar in Scottsdale, we can always trust the sound to be good, the staff and Manny are awesome and the drinks are great. We also love to play Last Exit Live

Who are some locals that our readers need to hear or see?

Scarlet 13, Lonesome Wilderness, and Hostile Work Environment

What is one word to describe the local music scene


What, if anything, would you change about the local scene?

There are a lot of music venues so spread out around the valley and that makes it harder for people to come to shows. We would change the proximity of all the venues and make them closer!

What shows do you have coming up? Where can people come see you soon?

June 16th and July 8th at the Rogue Bar. We will also have an EP coming out in late June. We have a brand new song out called “Take A Number”, you can hear our music on our website. (Link below)

Here are some links to where you can see or hear DWARF!


DWARF Facebook

“Too Close To The Flame” Music Video 



The Ricky Fitts

Ricky Fitts

Hey all! I’m back from a bit of a hiatus, you know, planning and pulling off a music festival. It takes a bit out of you but I am back and ready to go about the business of getting to know more local bands. Events like Ball-A-Palooza and other local showcases have a way of making the talent level in Arizona all that much more apparent. So onward we go with The Ricky Fitts! I met guitarist Fletcher Milloy briefly as we played a show with his prior band a while back and I was recently following his exploits on Facebook. A cool video of note would be his outstanding execution of Dire Straits “Sultans of Swing” on a VERY expensive Fender Guitar while out music store hopping. I knew Fletcher had some chops before that, but daaaaammmn! Very impressive. The Ricky Fitts consist of Elliot James on Vox, Matt Brunsvold on Vox/Bass/Keys, Matt Meza on Guitar, Fletcher Milloy on Guitar and Alec Bushman on Drums. They came together in 2016 and busted out of the gates with a bang, releasing a 13 song (yes, 13 song) LP called The Great Beyond and have been getting rave reviews along with bigger and bigger shows ever since the release. I’m purposely leaving out how they got the name, comment on the story if you know where it came from!


How did The Ricky Fitts come together as a band?

It’s a long story, but the short version is that it was a combination of Craigslist and mutual friends. If you go to our YouTube channel you can learn more about us. 

What would you list as your biggest influences for your instrument or voice?

Michael Jackson, the king of pop. Insane showmanship, amazing beats, and melodies that will stand the test of time

Radiohead. One of the most experimental bands of all time. To go from “The Bends” to “Ok Computer” to “Kid A” back to back to back only to then release an album as good as In Rainbows 7 years later. They just aren’t afraid of going where bands have never gone before and we really admire that about them. 

M83. They really create an atmosphere with their synths and vocal effects. It’s music that takes you somewhere and we appreciate that as well. Each album, each song should be a journey. 

Tell me something about the band that no one knows, at least not until now. 

We have some tour dates in the works, we can’t say yet but definitely in the upcoming months. We also just got word that we are direct support for a really rad band at Crescent Ballroom. 

What’s the worst or most embarrassing moment for the band or one of you personally on stage?

Oh geez. No incredibly bad on-stage moments yet. However, about a year ago Fletcher was playing outside with a group at Comicon and they all decided to dress up despite the weather. It was during one of those crazy heatwaves so it was around 120 degrees. Everyone was throwing up from heat stroke, it was a rough time. 

So pretend each of you never met, and you can start a band with ANY musician. Who is it?

Matty – Josh Homme

Elliot – Danger Mouse

Alec – Kevin Parker

Fletcher- Jeff Mangum

Matt – Childish Gambino


If it is at all possible, each of you tell me your favorite song of all time.

Matty – Warning Sign by Coldplay

Elliot- The Warmth by Incubus

Fletcher – Let Down by Radiohead

Alec – 505 by Arctic Monkeys

Matt – Nothing but Trouble by Phantogram

Now, which song do you WISH you had written?

The Less I Know by Tame Impala, the bass riff is amazing!

What is your favorite song by a LOCAL band?

Sweetness by Jimmy Eat World


What is your favorite place to play live, and why?

The Crescent is rad. It is a great size, it is intimate but has huge energy, and great sound!

The best way to hear TRF, on your album or live?

Live is definitely going to be in your face and energetic, we change some things up to bring the record to life and try to make it something you can touch and feel. But our album was meant to be an experience by itself. So I guess you just have to do both!

Name 3 local bands our readers need to see or hear

Sunday at Noon. Jack and Nate are brothers and amazing musicians, and during their live set, Jack does these karate moves whenever his brother hits the cool!

Luxxe – There is a lot of hype for them locally and for very good reason. These guys are pros and they bring something really fresh and danceable to the indie scene. 

The Sink or Swim – Nate has one of the most recognizable voices in the scene. Niel is arguably in the top 3 most proficient bass players in Arizona. Louis is a beast live and on their recordings. The addition of Derek to the band set the standard for good, raw alternative guitar intimidatingly high. That band is an all-star group. 

Give me one word to describe the local scene


What, if anything, would you change about the local scene?

Lately, I’ve seen things change a lot for the better which I’m really glad to see. But I want to emphasize that this is a network, not a competition. If a band is better than you at something don’t get upset. Learn from them! It’s important to have a strong sense of direction for your band but in doing so don’t forget to look around at what others are doing or you are going to miss out on some really cool people, music, and most importantly inspiration!

Shamelessly promote yourselves, what is coming up for The Ricky Fitts?

Well if you are in LA we will be playing The Mint on April 11th and The Whiskey on May 12th with Oingo Boingo Dance Party. If you are here in AZ we will be playing Crescent Ballroom June 11th. Check out our album The Great Beyond on Spotify, iTunes, etc. Check out our website at, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook! 

ed. note: Links as always are included below. 

Any final thoughts before we end?

Dolphins have their own language and different pitches are names that they assign to members of their group. 

Always be nice to your mom and buy her flowers. 

Always be careful when eating raw or undercooked meat. 

Sage words of advice from The Ricky Fitts! Thanks for taking the time gentlemen, and good luck in the future. For the readers, scroll down for more links to their music and social media. 

Ricky Fitts Facebook

Ricky Fitts Instagram

Twitter: @Therickyfitts



Phantom Party

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Well first and foremost can we bow to the unfortunate power of technology? I had a complete meltdown of my computer a couple of weeks ago which rendered me useless to write anything for the Lowdown, much less publish the story on these fine gents, Phantom Party before their release show. Apologies were accepted and the computer was restored so now we are back in business! Speaking of business, Phantom party has been busy doing just that! Their music release show was quickly followed by a small tour which from the looks of it was pretty successful, and now they are in the New Times version of March Madness to determine the “Phoenix Phinal Phour” to play a show at Rebel Lounge. I think they have an advantage due to the whole “Ph” thing, don’t you think so too? Let’s catch up with Joshua, Matt, and Austin of Phantom Party!


How did Phantom Party come together as a band?

Joshua: It started out as a side project. I jammed with Matt and eventually after trying out a drummer or two Austin joined the crew.

Matt: Joshua hit me up after years of me pestering him to let me play in his previous band

Austin: Josh and I played in a band before but we parted ways for a bit. I originally joined Phantom Party while the guys tried to find a new drummer but I ended up staying in the band permanently.

Give me up to 3 influences on your instrument or voice

Joshua: Dick Dale, Brian Setzer, and Rory Gallagher

Matthew: Chris #2, Dan Andriano, and Steve Harris

Austin: I’m not sure, I never really had influences but I do like how hard Dave Grohl hits the drums. I like Ryan Pope of The Get Up Kids, Ira Elliot of Nada Surf is up there too. 

Tell me something about the band that no one knows, until now..

Austin: Back in 2015 before the second time Phantom Party got together, I pissed in this Circle K Polar Pop cup before everyone came over. When we were about to start recording our first EP, Josh was super thirsty. I said “Hey man, you can have some of my drink” and gestured to the cup. He drank it and I watched the liquid slip  up the straw and into his mouth. He then dropped his guitar and puked when he realized it was piss. I guess you could say he was literally PISSED! The wild times of Phantom Party….

Matthew: Austin almost died choking on a giant chicken wing in the parking lot of Rebel Lounge.

What is the worst or most embarrassing on stage occurrence for the band or one of you personally?

Matthew: There exists, somewhere on the internet, a picture of Josh getting so stoked while playing that he accidentally runs into a wall and still tries to keep rocking. 

Austin: When we first started playing out, I used to jump through my drum kit. I don’t know why but it looked really sick and I even have a scar or two from it. So it was our second show ever at the Trunk Space’s old location. We finished what I thought was our last song and I jumped through my drum set and then Matt reminded me that we actually had one more song to go. So I had to put everything back up and pretend I  didn’t just make myself look like an idiot. Two years after it happened I still think that is the most embarrassing incident. 

Joshua: We got our set cut short once because we started playing a Cure cover. Covers were not allowed at the venue we were playing..

Pretend you never met and you can each start a band with musician, who is it?

Joshua: I would be down to make folk music with Brian Fallon, or make some sweet Indie Pop with Los Campesinos!

Austin: GAAAAH. I gotta go with Rob Thomas. JUST KIDDING. Maybe Matthew Caws of Nada Surf. I added him on Facebook and we talked on messenger once so if I suddenly ditch these guys you’ll know why!

Matthew: Tom Waits, Kerry King, and Dave Grohl


Each of you share your favorite song of all time

Austin: It’s cliche but either “Smells Like Teen Spirit” or “Stay Away” by Nirvana

Joshua: Favorite of all time is “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys

Matthew: “When I’m Gone” by Phil Ochs

Now which song do you  WISH you had written?

Joshua: I wish I wrote “Howlin For You” by The Black Keys. It’s such a simple song, but it is fucking good. It’s sexy and just oozes cool. 

Matthew: “Start Walking” by Off With Their Heads

Austin: “1937 State Park” by Car Seat Headrest. I think favorite of all time, last time I thought it was “Trailer Trash” by Modest Mouse

How about your favorite song by a local band?

Matthew: “Nightmares” by Paper Foxes

Austin: “Silk Flowers” by Troubled Minds

Joshua: “Good Zone” by Diners


Where is your favorite place to play live, and why?

Joshua: Right now I’m digging 51 West. It feels like home and rad people pass through

Matthew: The craziest shows we have been a part of have been house shows. The energy is always great, insane stuff always happens, the people always go super hard which makes us play harder. 

Austin: I’m between 51 West and Josh’s house. His house has this intamicy that is tough to beat with any venue, but we don’t play many shows there anymore. 51 West does feel like home and the people that run sound there are super cool. We’ve played there many times. 

Best way to hear Phantom Party, recorded works or Live?

Joshua: Live, we go hard

Matthew: I would say live at a venue because we are a little different live than on the record. People who hear the recordings never expect  how energetic, loud, and wild we are live.

Austin: I don’t care how you hear us, just enjoy us. Please. Please. 

Name 3 Local Bands that our readers need to see or hear.

Austin: Troubled Minds, Sunlaand, and Good Grief

Joshua: Diners, Cheap Hotels, The Sink or Swim

Matthew: Nanami Ozone, Paper Foxes, and Troubled Minds

Give me ONE word to describe the local music scene

Joshua: DIY

Matthew: Supportive

Austin: Encouraging

What, if anything, would you change about our local scene?

Matthew: Make all ages venues more easily accessible

Joshua: I can dig it..

Austin: I don’t think I would change anything. This is such a great community to be associated with. 

Ok, now you can shamlessly promote. What is coming up for Phantom Party

Editors note: Due to the glitch, we missed several of these. But Phantom Party had a great show for their first full-length album release on March 4th, playing the entire album. They also filmed a live video that night and anyone that RSVP’d on Facebook got the song for free with lyrics. They also just returned from a tour as we mentioned earlier, playing in Colorado from March 9th to March 12th

Coming up, we are playing with Zero Degrees North at The Rebel Lounge on March 25th. We are also hitting up Flagstaff on April 8th at The Hive. That will be our first Flagstaff show ever. After that, you never know! Check our all the social sites and for details (Links provided at the end of article)

Final Thoughts, Anything goes

Matthew: Thanks for including us, we are happy to be a part of this

Austin: Thanks for doing this!

Thanks again for being patient as I fought through data and computer recovery to get the  Local Lowdown back on track, and special thanks to Phantom Party for sitting down to answer questions! I know I learned a bunch about the guys, and I learned to NEVER tell Austin I am thirsty. Please scroll down for links to where you can find Phantom Party, plus some music and video treats for your ears. 

Phantom Party Facebook

Phantom Party Instagram

Phantom Party Bandcamp