Des Moines Social ClubLVVMAKING and Contakta Present: THE SUNKEN CIRCUS
April 20th at Kum & Go Theater
Doors at 8pm / Show at 9pm
$10 Advance / $15 Day of Show
All Ages!
Learn More

Come one, come all to the craziest 4/20 show in town, The Sunken Circus! Attendees are in for a wild multimedia ride of electronic music, visual effects, and massive visual art installations. This one-of-a-kind event is complete with an underwater themed costume contest with prizes including LVVMAKING and Contakta’s brand new releases. Snag your tickets here.

In preparation for their show, we asked members of each band to tell us more about their projects.  Read on to learn more about them!


Photo ov LVVMAKING by Kenzie Wyatt Photo.

Who is LVVMAKING (L)? Who is Contakta (C)?
L: LVVMAKING is a multimedia band of freaks that brings people of many different artistic disciplines to create one of a kind performances. The core musicians that make up the group are myself (Ryan Lombard), Amy Wonderlin, Illmo, Reno Kersey, Sean Bremhorst, Darren Hushak and Joryn Brown.
C: Contakta is a trio comprised of Diana Weishaar, Phil Young, and Ethan Weishaar. We’re a crew of collaborators who love making music and love sharing it. We like to push and pull at the boundaries of synth pop and see what moves us. We love to play live and we try to make it count when we can.

How did your projects come together?
L: LVVMAKING has been accumulating over the past 9 months. The project started as a lone effort, and every addition has totally changed what is possible for us. LVVMAKING feels like a real team now, and we are still looking for new ways to grow.
C: Contakta came together after a mix of things. While recording The Host Country’s last album, Ethan & I had been toying with the idea of creating a project based in electronic music which we both particularly enjoy. Fortunately for us, we were sitting right next to a pro in this arena, Phil. We played with him on a show or two with his solo project End the Wrld, and decided to make it a real thing.

What inspired your band names?
L: It’s what we do and we do it loudly (hence the capital letters) LVVMAKING is when you find the people you love and work together to create something good.
C: The short version is: a few beers at the bar + Ethan’s been to Sweden + we all love the movie Contact = Contakta. The long version is we appreciate what music does to connect people. We try to harness that and empower people to be strong in their emotions, to not be afraid to shine light on their shadows.

How do you classify your genres?
L: Art Pop
C: Synth Pop

What are some of your influences?
L: Musically speaking: St. Vincent, Talking Heads, Erykah Badu, Zapp, The Flaming Lips
C: Sylvan Esso, CHVRCHES, Metric, St. Lucia, Tycho, Lana Del Rey, The Do, & alt-J

Photo of Contakta by Joseph Leaming Photography.

What’s something we don’t know about you (either about a particular member or in general)?
L: Well, none of us know very much about our newest member, Illmo. Illmo just kind of appeared one day, and we are all waiting on an explanation.
C: We originally called ourselves dope – DPE (Diana+Phil+Ethan) – which we thought was a riot. Of course we eventually settled on Contakta, but in our heart of hearts, we still have a fondness for DPE.

How many members of your band does it take to screw in a light bulb?
L: Probably just 2-3, but we can surely find a way to include more!
C: We’d probably just light a candle.

Who writes the songs (what’s your process)?
L: I (Ryan) have written and arranged all of our songs so far, but that is probably going to change.
C: Most of the songs have been written by me (Diana), but they all go through a collaborative structuring process – which without Ethan, I’d be lost – and Phil takes the original music and whips up those awesome backing tracks (plus creates light projections when we can have them!). Phil composed the music on ‘The Light’, the first song on the new EP, and I wrote the lyrics. I also consider Ethan to be a producer, because not only is he bringing his own ideas and influences to the table, but he’s also often able to translate what I’m trying to do into action.

Who in the music biz do you look up to in general?
L: I look up to Killer Mike. He’s not just my favorite rapper, but a tireless activist and entrepreneur. He remains in his hometown of Atlanta, GA. I think his new series Trigger Warning is about as good as it gets. I like how Killer Mike stays his own course instead of getting swept up by America.
C: For me it’d be Tash Sultana. Tash has had an incredible journey, coming from what many would call rock bottom to selling out huge shows. When you see Tash play, it’s like you can literally see the music move through her, and it’s so honest. Incredibly talented, plays multiple instruments, sings with ferocity yet gentleness – absolutely one of my favorite artists.

Are you planning to tour?
L: The next step will be to grow our bubble to include more Midwest cities, and we will go from there.
C: Same as LVVMAKING! Maybe a dual tour is in the cards.. 🙂

What’s your favorite song off your new releases (either to play or to hear)?
L: “Suicide Blues,” because I think this one of the most joyful songs I’ve written. The song is about the tough but right decision one makes to keep going even at the lowest of lows. Sometimes you just have to grip and rip your way through life. I would have been too ashamed to write and share this song even six months ago, but once I got over that, “Suicide Blues” was one of the easiest songs to complete. Owning your weakness feels like strength.
C: Confession. The lyrics came from a particularly dark corner of my mind at the time, somewhere within the deep caverns of self-doubt and jealousy. The kind of thoughts that you often don’t share with anyone. I think giving voice to these kinds of feelings helps us all realize our shared humanity, that we are not alone in these fears. The song ends with a hopeful message – the “confession” aspect is not only the admission of doubt, but also the confiding of the most vulnerable part of yourself. You give your all in love.

Why are we talking about all this again?
LVVMAKING & Contakta are teaming up for a joint release show on 4/20 at the Kum & Go Theater called THE SUNKEN CIRCUS. This will be a theatrical multimedia event complete with scripted material, light displays, and a large art installation in coordination with Shylah Kay from the Art Terrarium. Attendees are encouraged to participate in the underwater-themed costume contest to win new releases from both bands. It’s going to be a very fun and unique experience for Des Moines! Get your tickets now and experience THE SUNKEN CIRCUS.