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July 29 2014

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The Submarines Come Up for Airtime

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Breaking into the music industry is no longer contingent on your record falling into the hands of a sheisty A&R man. Instead, if you’re lucky, it will cross the radar of an influential blogger—or the good folks at Apple, who, with every new commercial for their constant stream of product innovations, are inadvertently churning out music superstars as well. As CSS‘ “Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex” iPod Touch ad and the pervasive, albeit catchy iPod Nano spot featuring Feist‘s “1,2,3,4″ that came before it prove, catching a ride on Steve Jobs’ cultural domination train almost guarantees wide-spread musical recognition. East L.A.’s The Submarines are the latest band to capitalize on this trend, as the intro to the duo’s “You, Me and the Bourgeoisie” is the little ditty you can’t stop humming whenever the iPhone 3G commercial comes on. After Googling them (and subsequently heading to their MySpace page, obviously), any girl worth her weight in styling products will no doubt pick up on another trend that singer Blake Hazard is capitalizing on: pigtail braids. The angelic-voiced blonde has made a habit of sporting the style exclusively while performing on stage, even going as far as to admit that she is “trying to start a braid revolution.” Fresh off a tour in support of the band’s latest album, Honeysuckle Weeks, Hazard talks to Style.com about Pocahontas and the Swiss Miss girl, hipster haircuts, and holding out for promotional swag.

How long have you been wearing braids?

I’ve always worn them—it’s partly aesthetic but also partly out of necessity, because when we’re touring and I’ve got five minutes to put on my makeup at a club, braids are an easy way to get style without an elaborate process, without having to do something super-sophisticated.

So would you say you ascribe to the “you’re never too old for pigtails” mentality?

Braids have always looked cute and cool to me, whether they were on the Swiss Miss package or on Pocahontas. They’re just more fun—softer than having a more severe hairstyle.

I’m guessing you’re not so into asymmetrical hipster hair and rock star faux-hawks then?

I don’t think I would look good in a lot of those contemporary hairstyles. Even if you’re trying to be “of the moment,” if a trend doesn’t look good on you, don’t go there. If I could pull it off, though, I would have really long fringe and layered hair—like Cat Power and Feist. Braids are just soft and sweet—which is more the Submarines’ style.

And what is that style, exactly—musically, I mean?

Our MySpace page says “Folk / Ghettotech / Shoegaze.” But I guess I would say homegrown, electronic-based indie pop.”

What bands are you listening to right now?

I’ve been running a lot—I actually trained for a marathon. The music I listen to while I run is a bit more up-tempo, like LCD Soundsystem , MGMT, and Coconut Records’ song “West Coast.”

How did the iPhone commercial come about?

Through Media Arts Lab. They’re the creative team behind the brand imaging for Apple and their music supervisors heard “You, Me and the Bourgeoisie” on a blog. I understand they had a lot of people trying to compose music for the commercial, but they used the song in a spot during the concept phase, and ultimately just kept it.

Good break for you, huh?

It’s great for us because the album had just come out, so it was really fresh. The blog, Music for Robots had the song up early so it’s possible that they found it there.

Did you guys get promotional iPhones without having to wait in line like the rest of us?

We’ve been promised them, but we haven’t yet. Fingers crossed!

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