Los Toxicos is a monthly feature where we get to know a fan of The Airborne Toxic Event. To nominate a fan (or yourself) for a future month, e-mail us.
Name: Alaetra Graves (@GreenHair14)
Where are you from?
Tell us about yourself (who you are, what you do for a living, hobbies, etc.).
I’m 24 and I work at a small bakery in rural Ontario. I am highly addicted to going to concerts. I go to close to 50 a year, which is a lot when I live two hours from the big city of Toronto where most concerts around here are held! When I’m not working or at a show I’m probably outdoors hiking (while listening to TATE of course) or playing with my yorkie Cassia.
How did you become a fan of The Airborne Toxic Event?
In 2009 my friend Laura made me a mix tape with “Sometime Around Midnight” and “Wishing Well” on it. I became addicted and had to purchase their whole album. She and I have since gone to two TATE shows together and even got to meet the band together so it all came around full circle!
Do any of your family or friends like The Airborne Toxic Event? Did you convert them, or did they convert you?
Besides Laura, I have a couple friends who kind of listen to TATE, but no one ever listens to me when I tell them to listen to the band! That being such, I took to the internet and have met an amazing group of ladies on Tumblr who are huge TATE fans as well! I’ve known them all since 2010, and we still keep in contact. It’s a lot of fun to swap concert stories and talk about the music we all love so much. I think the only person I’ve converted to TATE is my boyfriend who really enjoys their album Such Hot Blood.
What does your Airborne Toxic Event collection include?
Besides all of their albums including the live dvd/cd combo, I have a few t-shirts, a sweater, and a poster signed by the whole band. I’ve collected guitar picks from shows and I also have two setlists that were both given to me by Daren at different shows!
What’s your favorite TATE song and album, and why?
My favourite song has to be “Half of Something Else.” I think it became my favourite when I watched the Bombastic video of them all on the carousel. It was such a heartwarming video, Mikel’s smiles the entire time made me so happy! Every time I listen to “Half of Something Else” I end up crying, seeing it live is even worse! It’s hard enough to contain your feelings at a TATE show, let alone when they play your favourite song!
My favourite album is All At Once. I remember I went out to by it the day it came out and popped it right into my car’s cd player. I started driving and had to actually pull over and just listen to the album because it was that good to me. The album came to me in a very transitional time of my life, so I think I listen to it a lot now as a stress reliever. All At Once just feels like home to me. I love it.
Have you ever had a special experience at a TATE concert? Tell us about it.
I have! This past September I went to see the band at Riot Fest in Toronto. I was so excited that I was actually the first into the festival that day to secure my front row spot. While waiting the four hours to see them play, I learned they were playing a second set later that day in a tent that holds a max of 100 people. I couldn’t believe it! I chose to wear a Bulls shirt to the show to support Anna and her new band. My shirt immediately got the attention of the band as they were setting up for their hour slot, and they talked to me for a bit and sent me down a pick and setlist which was very kind.
After their awesome set on the main stage I hurried over to the smaller stage and staked out a front row spot there.
This small show was my fourth time seeing the band and my very favourite of theirs. It was such a small and intimate show, to the point where I had to get out of the way of Mikel’s swinging guitar from time to time! At the beginning of the show Mikel asked “Are you all fans of this band?” and we all shout “yes!” and Mikel answers with “Okay good! So we don’t have to play any of the hits! Who has any requests?” So they start to play the songs every one asks for, and at one point Mikel asks me what I would like to hear. Of course I ask for “Half Of Something Else,” which I know isn’t uncommon for the band to play, but I can’t resist asking for it! So Mikel agrees and then dedicates the song to me which was very special.
After the small show, I ran out to the side of the stage hoping to catch the band. To my luck they were all just standing in the field with no one else talking to them. I go up to Mikel and thank him for playing my song for me and I see Anna who thanks me a million times for wearing a Bulls shirt. She ended up taking a photo of us together and posting it on her own social media which was crazy and I’m so thrilled it happened. I got to talk to the whole band all at once and it was very overwhelming but such an incredible experience. They’re all such kind people and they made my summer. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that day.
What’s on your Airborne Toxic Event bucket list?
I would absolutely love to see them play with an orchestra. All the video I see of them playing with one is so beautiful, I would love to experience that for myself! Maybe one day I’ll fly out to a show in the States sometime!
Are there any other bands you would recommend that Airborne fans check out?
The great thing about TATE fans is that we all have such a wide range of music taste. I’m gonna suggest a few local Toronto bands that probably haven’t made word over into the United States (or wherever you are reading this that isn’t Ontario!). My other musical obsession besides TATE is July Talk. Check out “Paper Girl” by them. Another awesome singer is Lowell and her song “The Bells” is drool worthy! The Beaches is an all girl rock band (Anna would approve) and their song “Loner” is way too catchy.
Thanks to the This Is Nowhere crew for letting me talk about my obsession that is The Airborne Toxic Event. I’m such a huge fan and it’s so fun to connect with other just as crazy fans as me! I hope to see you all at a show some day! Much Love!