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: Amanda Brown (@AmandaSpeaking… but I hardly ever use Twitter)
Where are you from?
I am from Chester County, PA among the cornfields, Amish families and a whole lot of nothingness. I moved to Philadelphia, PA after graduating from culinary school and love living in the city. It is such a contrast to where I grew up. I love going home to visit though. It is honestly the best of both worlds.
Tell us about yourself (who you are, what you do for a living, hobbies, etc.).
I went to culinary school and was hired by a catering company right after graduation. I have been with the company for 8 years now and I love it. It leaves little time for a social life and no time for “hobbies” so I have created both in discovering a love for live music and dancing. I have found that concerts, music festivals and even local bar gigs are excellent places to meet amazing new friends.
How did you become a fan of The Airborne Toxic Event?
My brother had an album or two and passed it down to me in a bundle of musical suggestions (I usually come to him when I grow bored of my current music inventory). I really liked a few songs. When they came to Philadelphia in 2014, we both went to go see them. I was a brand new baby fan and knew next to nothing about them except that I really loved “Elizabeth.” We were standing in line outside of the Electric Factory and a guy came out to hang with us so I asked my brother who he was. He didn’t know so I was quickly looking up “The Airborne Toxic Event” on google image to try and figure out if he was in the band. I wasn’t fast enough. “Hey, I’m Mikel. Thanks for coming out to the show! What song do you really want to hear tonight?” I hoped and prayed that he was a member of Airborne and not of the opening band (In The Valley Below) and just grinned and replied simply with “Elizabeth” and a handshake. I was too embarrassed to think to ask for a picture, so thank goodness my brother thought of it.
I wish I knew how much my life would change that night. I fell in love with not just Airborne, but with music all together. I felt things I have never felt before and my heart was opened to a world I never dreamed of existing. I can’t explain or describe what it was that shifted in me that night, but I am sure you all know. All Airborne fans know that something secret, something special that cannot be described except as “magical” that happens when you are in their presence. It was life altering for me because I didn’t love them before that night. And then, all of a sudden, I was madly in love. And I was so late to the game. Noah was gone, Adrian had just started, I knew none of the names of any of the band members or any of the words to any of the songs and barely knew any song titles. But I was in love. And I hit the ground running.
Do any of your family or friends like The Airborne Toxic Event?
My brother whom I mentioned before likes them, but he isn’t crazy for them. My family (and most of my friends) think I have gone off the deep end after that October 3, 2014 show when I first met TATE. They just shake their head and wonder if I am off my rocker. My boss staged a (friendly, half joking) intervention one day because she thought I was actually insane. People have stopped following me on social media because they say, “All you post about is that band with the weird name” But I don’t mind. I just made new friends.
Airborne shows are GREAT for meeting some pretty amazing people. I have made lifelong friends while waiting in lines for hours and hours to get barrier for shows. One convinced me at the last minute to book a flight to the west coast to follow them through the end of their last tour and offered her hotel room for me to stay in every night because my bank account was flatlined. “Follow your dreams” she said. It was the best thing I have ever done on my life. I met Brooke (who nominated me!) on my west coast adventure and we discovered immediately that we were kindred spirits and were clearly meant to cross paths. She and I are the best of friends and never in a thousand years would have met if it weren’t for Airborne. (‘Cause it’s true love!) Some of my closest friends are ones I have made through Airborne. Soulmates to say the least. So, short answer: yes.
Did you convert them, or did they convert you?
I have yet to convert anyone to the extent of “Loving” them. I like making mix cd’s for my friends (I know, I’m stuck in 2006 still) and I always slip a TATE song or two in there. I am working on my dad right now. I think It was Mikel who converted me. Mikel and company.
What does your Airborne Toxic Event collection include?
I have all the albums, of course, and a poster of the 2014 tour, picks from all the boys (minus Noah) and even an Anna pick (!), 5 setlists, t-shirts, sweatshirts, bags, countless pictures and an infinity of memories.
What’s your favorite TATE song and album, and why?
I absolutely refuse to pick a favorite song. It simply cannot be done. Each album is truly my favorite in some way or another. It is extremely difficult to narrow it down to just one as an ultimate favorite.
Gun to my head though, I would have to go with All At Once if only because of the raw and undefiled emotion laced within the lyrics of each and every song. Each song is such a story and the lyrics paired with the melodies have a magical way of just scooping your soul up and carrying you with them down the roads the songs are flowing through. That being said, and having declared All At Once as my final answer, I must add that since I was such a late bloomer to the game, Dope Machines (and SOGAW) was the first album that I got to experience the release of. Also, I wasn’t really in any kind of relationship with music before discovering Airborne so this was my first everything. First time waiting with held breaths and sheer excitement for the release of the album cover, the setlist, the drop date, the pre-order, the package in the mail containing my first autographed album… and the surprise SOGAW drop… I thought I was going into heart failure. I remember being at the laundromat and falling to the floor when I got the email that there was a surprise additional album being released with Dope Machines. So, obviously, Dope/Whiskey has a special place in my heart too.
Have you ever had a special experience at a TATE concert?
At Irving Plaza in NY, Mikel once stopped in the middle of a song and pointed at me and said, “What are you, 9!? Do you even know what we are singing about?” Then he pointed to my friend next to me and said, “Make sure you explain all this to her at some point of her life. Make sure she understands.” He continued the song and then stopped again at another point to make some other banter or joke about my age and then came down to hug me afterwards and asked my real age. Anna also came running up to me after the show and apologized profusely. She said that she covered her face and backed away from the stage as he was speaking and told him later once they were backstage, “Mikel! We know her! She is NOT 9!” I didn’t mind one bit. We all got a good laugh, some funny pictures and a great story out of it.
What’s on your Airborne Toxic Event bucket list?
All I ever want is for them to keep touring. That would be enough for me. I also want a tattoo at some point. I have committed to the decision, but am having worlds of trouble trying to figure out what and where. It’s like trying to pick a favorite song. I just don’t think I can do it! I would settle for a European tour though.
Are there any other bands you would recommend that Airborne fans check out?
My taste in music is pretty eclectic. Through Airborne, I have grown to also love Kodaline and In The Valley Below but I am not usually drawn to Airborne-type music which really surprises me. I like more of an upbeat, dance-y tune like Matt and Kim, Awolnation and Robyn. I have recently gotten into some new-ish bands: Jackson Breit, Jeremy Loops and Christine and the Queens as current obsessions. They are all good, however none of these resemble Airborne very much at all. So I wouldn’t be offended or surprised if not one soul reading this would be into them, ha.