Alicia Maciel | May 27, 2017
“I had my first job at a restaurant when I was 14.”
“Isn’t that illegal?”
“Yeah, isn’t that illegal?”
“Dude, I’m pretty sure that’s illegal."
"Yeah, but I got paid under the table and got over minimum wage.”
Midday May 27, Beach Bunny and The Slaps loaded their gear indoors to Dimo’s Pizza on Damen Avenue. After dragging in a P.A., configuring the placement of The Slaps’ well recognized banner, and putting in pizza orders, I sat down with members of both bands to talk before their performances.
Front woman Lili Trifilio, drummer Jon Alvarado, and guitarist Matt Henkels of Beach Bunny piled into a booth across from front man Rand Kelly, drummer Josh Resing, and myself. Bassist Ramsey Bell of The Slaps was unfortunately unable to make it out due to a prior commitment.
Upon being seated, Dimo’s brand and event manager Manny Velasco brought out two delectable artisan pizzas for the bands to indulge in – Vegan Mac and BBQChickenBaconCheddarRanchh. Yes, we acknowledge the pizzas are opposites. Both Lili Trifilio and Jon Alvarado of Beach Bunny are vegans and they were thrilled about Dimo’s delicious option that suits their lifestyles. Lili used to make YouTube how to videos for all the vegans out there.
Sharing pizza and performing together at Dimo’s was the first formal meeting of Beach Bunny and 2/3 of The Slaps although they have similar followings thanks to DePaul students and the local scene. This segment of Dishin’ @ Dimo’s started off with a brief background of Dimo’s interactions and support for local art and music in the Chicagoland area. As both bands being interviewed have played mostly house shows, they were intrigued learning more about Dimo’s providing balanced meals to bands on the road.
Beach Bunny and The Slaps both expressed how poorly they eat while making music or having a weekend booked with performances, whether it's eating food from their meal plans or indulging too much at once. Eating well is one of the toughest factors musicians face, especially if when they have three jobs – school, work, and music.
Everyone's had their share of restaurant or odd jobs. Beach Bunny’s members all have food industry experience - Jon worked at a restaurant at 14, Lili currently plays live music at Potbelly’s, and Matt’s talents shine as a barista at Starbucks. The Slaps seem to have worked odd jobs from Rand working back in Kentucky and Josh having had worked a toy store for 4 whole years.
Moving away from food, jobs and focusing in on music, Beach Bunny and The Slaps are making names for themselves in Chicago’s music scene. Playing house shows constantly and being added to venue lineups, both bands are on the rise. Beach Bunny recently transitioned from Lili performing solo to performing alongside Jon and Matt with a record to release June 1. The Slaps are planning to record up in Michigan this summer and becoming known through Instagram as well as word of mouth rather than a Facebook page.
As we were wrapping up and Beach Bunny was preparing to perform, I was left sitting with Josh in the booth and decided to ask how The Slaps came together as both Rand and Ramsey hail from Kentucky. Turns out, in the beginning of their freshman academic year, they all attended a party together. After chitchatting, Rand asked Josh if he played drums and they exchanged numbers. Once a couple of days passed, Josh hit him up and they jammed – more importantly, they clicked. Ever since, The Slaps have been 2/3 Kentucky and 1/3 Illinois.
Beach Bunny and The Slaps are performing at Elbo Room June 1. If you’re interested in surf pop, alternative rock, and music that can make you feel nostalgic in one second and make you want to dance in another, make sure to check them out!