Advice

Sex Advice From SXSW Bands

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"Who doesn't love writing a big breakup song? It's the biggest relief."

SXSW Music starts next week. In celebration, we got sex advice from three musicians who'll be playing at the festival.

Ori Kaplan

Balkan Beat Box, formerly of Gogol Bordello
Tel Aviv, Israel

You've lived all over the world. How does dating compare in all the places you've been?
I hear that, in Israel, it is more difficult than anywhere else. Israeli men are playing it tough and are unavailable — my girl friends say, "Where are all the good men?" New York is like a candy shop where you try to catch all the candy, and you're left with nothing in your hands. I'm always trying to hook up my European friends; I can't find the right man to hook up with my European female friends in France and Germany and Austria.

Were you single when you were in Europe?
I was single when touring in Europe. I lived in Europe because of a woman — I moved to a new continent. In New York, I didn't find the right one, but finally, a European woman caught me. Lucky me!

What are Gogol Bordello groupies like?
Very excited, very forthcoming. It's anything from modern hippies to punks to anthropology students, usually quite smart and global in their worldview.

What are Balkan Beat Box groupies like? Are they similar?
In some ways. They tend to be a bit more into electronica. I sometimes find them more sophisticated — fewer mosh-pit, punk guys, more individuals.

Were you single back when you were in Gogol Bordello?
For a time, yes. For most of it, I was not.

Did being in Gogol Bordello ever get you laid?
Several times. On special occasions. Not in the serial way, because I've toured before, and that's something that gets boring after a while. It's a shallow experience after a while. I tend to be more introverted and save my energy for the stage. I started touring when I was thirty. Now I'm forty. If I'd been touring when I was twenty-two or twenty-three, maybe that would be a different story. But I think I got the gist of it after two years touring with several bands. I understood it quite quickly, and I was more of a serial monogamist.

Did you meet your wife through playing in a band? How did you meet her?
I met my wife on tour with a band called Firewater in Vienna. We had a beer on the river, and at the time, I had a girlfriend, and she had a boyfriend. So nothing happened. We kept in touch for four years, and then, after four years, she came to a show while I was touring in Europe. I was single, she was single. And then the magic happened. We clicked. And I kept visiting her in Vienna between tours. One summer, I stayed in Europe for the whole summer between tours. We traveled around the Balkans; she's Croatian. After the magic summer, we had to make a decision. I figured I'd like to experience living in Europe — it was always kind of a romantic idea, to live in Europe for a few years. I packed up my stuff, I said goodbye to the lousy New York dating scene, and I moved to Vienna.

I've been dating this girl for a couple of months and I really like her. Does a couple of months mean that we're "dating?" Should I bring up the whole "where is this going" question?
I think it's reasonable after two months to ask that question. If you've found the one and you want to get serious, two months is a sufficient time to ask that question.

I'm a thirty-two-year-old woman, and I've never been in a committed relationship. I tried getting set up, but to no avail. How can I meet eligible, single men?
Take some out-of-the-blue, leisure-type course, like a foreign language course, or go to a gym. Or you can just go to bars and get laid.

I'm a guy who recently broke up with my girlfriend of one year. I subscribe to her Twitter, and she has these passive-aggressive messages that might refer to me. I prefer not to be in contact with her at all, but should I call her out on it?
Yeah, I think honesty is the first rule of thumb. I would ask clearly rather than wonder, "Does she hate me?" I would definitely ask.

I've had a crush on a guy at work for a few months now. He's my age, and he's married, but he and his wife recently separated. How do I gracefully swoop in and get with him?
Try as best you can to be spontaneous. "There's a great restaurant downstairs. Do you want to have a drink sometime? Let me know." A nonchalant way. Try not to be pushy or overexcited. Be kind of spontaneous. The needy thing doesn't translate, usually.

Este Haim

Haim
Los Angeles, CA

A lot of these questions are going to be about dating advice.
It's a good thing, because I feel like I'm the next Patti Stanger. I feel like I could be The Millionaire Matchmaker.

Your sisters are in the band with you. Have you ever set them up?
You know, it's funny. It hasn't really been successful. Everyone that I talk to who likes either of my sisters — which is pretty much all my dude friends — whenever they approach Alana, the first thing they say is, "If I make out with you, are your sisters going to hate me?" They're kind of scared of what we're all going to do if they break our hearts.

Before you were in a relationship, did you meet guys through music?
Oh yeah. But it wasn't like I picked up the bass to get dudes to fuck me. I feel like that's how it is with dudes — they slap on a guitar and they're like, "Every chick is going to want to schtup me!" Dudes come to shows, and they'll ask if they can buy me a drink, but I don't really find the most meaningful relationships through dudes who come to my shows. I've definitely enjoyed their company, but to be honest, all of my full-blown relationships, I've met through friends.

How has your love life influenced your songs? Do you write about any specific boyfriends or ex-boyfriends?
Yeah. Danielle and Alana and I, we all write all of our songs together. The music and the lyrics, everything comes from us. Ninety percent of our songs come from our lives. The other ten percent, a friend will tell us a story, or we'll find inspiration somewhere else. All of the songs on our EP are about specific dudes in our lives who we've dated or broken up with. It's definitely something to draw from. Who doesn't love writing a big "fuck you" breakup song? They're the most fun, and it's the biggest relief. But those actually don't end up making the cut with the live shows. We don't want to be too Alanis Morrissette-y.

How could a fan hit on you at SXSW?
A really funny pickup line — I don't know if he was being serious — it was after a show, and we were playing with this band from Ireland. We hadn't played yet, and I was just kind of sitting at the bar. This Irish guy comes up to me and goes, "You must be Irish, because my penis is doublin'."

Oh my God.
Honestly, there was a huge part of me that was like, "I think I just found my soul mate." I thought it was funny. The key to my heart is being funny and being silly and not really taking yourself too seriously. I guess that at SXSW, the way to my heart is, "Can I buy you a burger?" If you can offer me food, I will probably be down. That's a no-brainer. Word to the wise: if you want to get in the pants of the Haim girls, just buy us food.

I've been dating this girl for a couple of months and I really like her. Does a couple of months mean that we're "dating?" Should I bring up the whole "where is this going" question?
If you're seeing one person exclusively for more than two months, you're dating. To me, that's kind of a big deal. You're definitely dating. I have a three-week rule. If I like hanging out with you for more than three weeks, I can handle hanging out with you for a longer period of time. With my boyfriend now, we didn't even really have the "what are we?" conversation. It was kind of implicit. We went out one night after my show, when we'd been dating for two-and-a-half months, and he introduced himself to someone as my boyfriend. I was like, "Okay, cool. We're dating. I'm not seeing anyone else, he's not seeing anyone else. We are what we are."

I'm a guy who recently broke up with my girlfriend of one year. I subscribe to her Twitter, and she has these passive-aggressive messages that might refer to me. I prefer not to be in contact with her at all, but should I call her out on it?
If this bitch is really posting shit on the Webbernets about her relationship, then she's vapor. She doesn't matter. This guy needs to let it go and let this bitch do what she wants to do.

I've had a crush on a guy at work for a few months now. He's my age, and he's married, but he and his wife recently separated. How do I gracefully swoop in and get with him?
Does she just want to fuck him? That's easy. That's just getting his number and inviting him over. That's kind of an implicit invitation to hang out. And especially if it's late at night, and it's after work, that's an invitation to get down. If she wants to have a relationship with him, I personally don't think that that's a good move. He's recently separated. If anything, I feel like she should wait it out and wait 'til he's at least been separated for a good six months before you really try to get at him with the dating thing. Personally, my game is that I'm a complete bitch to a guy. It's my defense mechanism, but I weed out all the lametards. But for her, give it time.

I recently lost fifty pounds, and now a lot more girls seem interested in me, but I'm not very confident yet. How do I ask out these girls who I'm pretty sure are flirting with me?
First of all, good for him! That's fucking awesome. If a girl is flirting with you, that's 95% of the battle right there. Personally, if I was at a party and I was flirting with a guy and by the end of the night he didn't ask for my number, I'd be a little offended. I remember one specific situation where I was flirting with this guy at a party. This was my first year of college. I was at some stupid UCLA frat party. And this guy was really hot, and we were talking for like two hours. And then he said, "Okay, I'm going to go!" And I was like, "Okay… I'll see you around." And he left! What the fuck was that? He didn't even ask for my number. Honestly, I was offended, but at the same time I thought, "That is so hot." But — clincher! The next day I got a text from him: "Hey, it's so-and-so. I got your number from your friends. I wanted to know if you wanted to get coffee." I was like, "That is so smooth!" He kind of had game. He kind of negged me. Like what's-his-face.

Mystery.
Yeah, Mystery.

So the solution to asking you out is negging you and offering you food.
Exactly. If you treat me like shit, and then you offer me food, that's how you get in my pants. That's actually a surefire way. Panties are already on the floor.

Mike Lee & Kent Zambrana

Letting Up Despite Great Faults
Los Angeles, CA

Does it ever work when people date within their band?
Mike: Not in this one!

Did that happen in your band?
Mike: Maybe.

My boyfriend has been staying late at work lately. I don't mean to sound paranoid, but does that mean he's fooling around on me or that he's lost interest in me?
Kent: He's probably just playing in a fantasy basketball league.
Mike: If he's stayed late before, and she knows what kind of line of work he's in, I'm sure that plays a factor, so she can be rational about it.
Kent: The weird thing would be if he worked at a strip club.
Mike: That's weird, man. Just break up with him!

I've been dating this girl for a couple of months and I really like her. Does a couple of months mean that we're "dating?" Should I bring up the whole "where is this going" question?
Kent: Light a candle, pour a glass of wine, listen to some Letting Up, and say, "Hey, babe, where's this going?"
Mike: I don't understand why people need to label things or check the status of things. Why can't everyone just be chill and hang out? If you're having a good time… You've only known the person for two or three months, there's so much more to know, and I think the fun of dating is to discover who they are. That takes longer than two to three months.

I'm a thirty-two-year-old woman, and I've never been in a committed relationship. I tried getting set up, but to no avail. How can I meet eligible, single men?
Mike: I don't think it's a big deal if she hasn't been in a serious relationship even though she's thirty-two. I think it kind of depends on the person and how fast you grow.
Kent: I know I've always done better when I had no intention of meeting someone. 
Mike: I think you can kind of tell when someone is on the prowl. I think that, ultimately, we should be making friends and hanging out with people. Maybe you should just hang out and make friends. Be willing to go to a party even though you're in your pajamas at nine o'clock. Go to a party and get off your ass and go meet some new people.

I'm a guy who recently broke up with my girlfriend of one year. I subscribe to her Twitter, and she has these passive-aggressive messages that might refer to me. I prefer not to be in contact with her at all, but should I call her out on it?
Mike: No! Why are you on her Twitter? What is wrong with you?
Kent: Didn't you break up with her?
Mike: Unfollow!

Need someone to go to SXSW with? Check out Nerve Dating.