What are your names? 
Jen Ahlkvist, Lexi Clark & Sean Stapleton 

What is the bands name? 
Safari Inn 

How did you come up with the bands name? 
We have a mutual love for the film True Romance and Safari Inn is the name of a hotel in the film.

What is your genre of music? 
We’re not quite sure yet! We mix a lot of genres, but we feel it is mainly leaning towards psychedelic rock. So we might fit into that bracket. Time will tell! 

Give us a little bio about you. 
After fronting and backing the garage rock band The Franklys for nearly a decade, and with a shared and nearly obsessive love for the film “True Romance”, Jen Ahlkvist and Lexi Clark dusted off their guitars and sticks in 2022 and got back into the rehearsal room to form their brand new venture: Safari Inn. They were joined by The Damn Shebang frontman, Sean Stapleton, in early 2023 and Safari Inn was thereby complete.  Unlike Jen’s and Lexi’s previous popier Franklys material, Safari Inn has much darker and moodier undertones, built on thundering drums and bass lines, fuzzy and vibrating guitars and eerie vocals to create a psychedelic journey stretching from the UK south coast all the way to the California deserts.

What made you go into music? 
Hearing the song ‘Crazy Train’ by Ozzy Osbourne for the first time at 15. That’s when I decided to buy an electric guitar and start a band. Still nowhere near being able to play that solo though! 
Lexi: I remember Hanson’s ‘MMMBop’ coming out when I was about 8 years old and I couldn’t work out at the time whether I wanted to be Zac (the drummer), or marry Zac… Turns out I just wanted to play drums. 
Sean: In truth I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t into music. One of my earliest memories is writing out the lyrics for ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ at 4 years old and I kept having to knock on my brother’s bedroom door every 30 seconds to ask how to spell every second word.

Who are your influences? 
Anything and everything, but mainly 60s and 70s psychedelic rock, neo-psychedelia and garage rock. My favourite band in the world is Osees. 
Lexi: I was heavily influenced by punk rock all through my teenage years. Anything fast and punk and a bit ‘fuck you’ was my bag – Misfits, Bad Religion, Alkaline Trio and Against Me! that kind of thing. Now I listen to a bit of everything but I still lean mostly towards the alternative side of music. 
Sean: I’m influenced by anything that doesn’t require an elitist level of musicianship to partake in. Love punk, not too fussed about metal, love classic hip hop, jazz however, not so much. If 4 teenagers with no musical training can’t play it, you’re focusing on the wrong things! That, and all of Nick Cave’s output pre-2010

Are you signed?
No, we’re currently looking for representation. 

You released your new single ‘Drexl Spivey’, tell us more about the single and the meaning behind the song. 
Jen: The song title and lyrics are (unfortunately) not really related in any way. Because we’re True Romance obsessed we are naming all our songs after things in the film. Also, I don’t like going into too much depth about what my lyrics are about, I prefer to let the listener make their own mind up what they could mean to them personally. 

Describe the track in two words. 
Moody and melodic

What was the writing and recording process like? 
So, before we met Sean, Lex and I got into a practice room and just started jamming, and ‘Drexl Spivey’ was the first ever song we came up with. We started recording demos and kept adding new layers to it, and the result is what you hear today. We went into the studio to record it properly late 2022.

Who did you work with on the single? 
We worked with Dan Lucas of the Joplin House. We’ve recorded with Dan a few times before and he totally gets us. He’s so great to work with; always up for experimenting to get the right sounds and extremely patient. 

Will we see a music for ‘Drexl Spivey’, if so tell us more about the creative process from the planning to shooting. 
There already is one!! We knew we wanted it to be set in the desert, so we searched the internet high and low for available footage and then drafted a storyline around it. We’d take it in turns to add in scenes, edit parts and delete each other’s work (haha), it was a really fun process! You can watch it here:

Can we expect an EP or Album and if so, what can we expect from it. 
We are going back into the studio in July to record the rest of the songs for our debut EP. So keep your eyes peeled for its release in autumn! 

Do you have any live shows coming up? 
Not yet, but soon. So stay tuned…

What else can we expect in early 2023? 
This spring we will mainly focus on getting gig ready, so we are currently writing a lot and planning everything from photoshoots to merch. So it will be the preparation phase for everything to come! 

Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years? 
Touring the world and doing what we love! And hopefully we’ll have visited the actual Safari Inn hotel in Burbank by then.

When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget? 
1. The atmosphere 
2. How good/bad the sound is 
3. The smell of the venue (and possibly stinky fans) 
4. Anyone who’s fucking talking in front of you during a set 
5. The first song of the set

Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you? 
Of course:

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