LAMC Day One, Part Two

LAMC Day 1 Part 2: Indie Showcase

After escaping the rain from Central Park we headed downtown to the Mercury Lounge, a night life hot spot in the Lower East Side. Although I consider myself a pretty decent city navigator, we missed our metro stop and decided to walk the rest of the way to the venue. Our train delay meant we missed the first act, (me llamo) Sebastian, a Chilean artist who I’m told was one of the evening’s


highlights and after checking out his Soundcloud page, I’m pretty bummed I missed out.

The evening however included one of the artists who I was most excited to see. Caloncho, a native of Obregon, Sonora, Mexico, dazed the crowd with his unassuming good looks, his tender voice, and romantic lyrics. Playing songs from his FRUTA EP, I’m sure all the girls (myself included) were swooning over lyrics like “y quiero rozarte, acariciarte con mis labios…” ( I want to touch and caress you with my lips..). His set ended much too quickly but the banana costumed bassist and the pineapples on the drummer’s headphones definitely won the chatty crowd over.

Caloncho+Bananas+Pineapples

El Mato A Un Policia Motorizado roughly translates to He Killed A Motorized Cop

The next and last performer I got to see was El Mato A Un Policia Motorizado, a hard-working psychedelic lo-fi fuzz band from La Plata, Argentina. Making their U.S. debut after touring all over South America and Europe for the last nine years, El Mato were right at home on a NY


C stage. After blasting through highlights of their long career with songs like “Mujeres Bellas y Fuertes” and “Mi Proximo Moviemiento,” El Mato were awarded the LAMC Discovery Award. This well -deserved award hints at the bright future of this band, which has their long awaited US debut album slated for release on July 29th.

LAMC Day 2 coming up soon…

This is the second part of Cindy’s LAMC Diary. To hear artists interviews and live sets from New York tune in this Saturday to AlternLatino, 2-4PM. For more info on the LAMC and AlternLatino, follow Cindy on Twitter @Cindy_Ly and AlternLatino.tumblr.com

LAMC: Day One, Part One

Cindy’s DIY KUCI signage

The LAMC, the Latin Alternative Music Conference, is an annual gathering of the brightest Latin Alternative artists. Set in Manhattan over the course of 4 days, the conference is celebrating its 15th year as the go-to event for established artists as well as up and coming acts.

With concerts, panels, and press days, Cindy Ly will be representing KUCI and AlternLatino and the spirit of underground music.

Cindy’s camera braving the elements

A free outdoor concert in Central Park was the perfect way to start off the LAMC. As part of its weekly free concert series, the Summer Stage welcomed Franco-Chilean Hip Hop darling Ana Tijoux, best known to American audiences as the singer of 1977, a song featured in the show Breaking Bad (season 4, episode 5) and EA Sports FIFA ‘11

No stranger to drawing an enthusiastic crowd, Tijoux played a rain soaked set, the audience dancing around as the heavy droplets got us caught in the rain. Always the socially conscious artiste, Ana Tijoux did not shy away from talking about issues of feminism, femicide, and the Palestine-Israeli crisis. Her music too speaks of social issues, and her set finishing piece was Somos Sur, the anthem of the underrepresented.

Tijoux finished her set just as night fell on Central Park and a firefly show was on full display. Im trying to find another word besides magical to describe that show but nothing else is fitting. It was pretty magical.

Part 2 to be continued…

Cindy Ly is the host/selector for AlternLatino, a KUCI show airing on Saturdays 2-4pm. For more information on the LAMC as well as Cindy’s adventures in New York, follow her on Twitter @cindy_ly and on tumblr alternlatino.tumblr.com

Interview with Paul Smith, Front Man to Maximo Park

-Rosario “DJ Chayo” Diaz (The Starlit Hour)

With the release of their latest album, “Too Much Information,” British rock group Maximo Park have finally returned to the states after two years to perform on American stages. This past Friday, they performed at the Troubadour in Hollywood, where I had the opportunity to interview front man of the group, Paul Smith. 

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I met with Paul at the venue some hours before the show. Having followed the band since 2005, I was a little more than ecstatic at being able to question him, so I decided to use this opportunity to ask the questions that I had often struggled with, the first of which pertained to the many labels there were surrounding the band. With so many terms out there on the internet, I figured the best thing to do would be to ask the man himself.

Me: “Whenever I’m talking about the band to some of my friends, I’m never really sure what to call the genre of music you produce. Back when “A Certain Trigger” and “Our Earthly Pleasures” came out, the thing that’d often come to mind when listening to the songs is something like “lonely rainy British days.” And online there’s so many labels used to define you guys, like post-punk, British rock, alternative…so I was wondering how you would describe your sound, without use of any of those labels.”

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Paul: “I suppose there is a strand of melancholy that runs through the all of the songs. It’s there even in our most elated moments. The feeling could be snatched away at any moment. You know, we always wanted to make pop songs. I like all sorts of different music, but it seems that this was more of what suits us best. It’s what we all really like, what we really look for. For instance, I really like folk music, but maybe Lukas [keyboardist] doesn’t, Lukas likes techno music and Tom [drummer] doesn’t, but the thing that really unifies us is the idea of a pop song and having a catchiness of an infectious nature. We try to put as much punk in as possible without overloading the song and we’re trying to write pop songs that are an alternative to the mainstream, so in that case, you can probably say alternative-pop or alternative-rock. We’ve also always liked rock and roll piano like Jerry Lee Lewis, compared to some of the more electric stuff that Lukas does that reminds me of stuff like The Knife. It’s kind of quite diverse really and I suppose that diversity doesn’t really do us any favors in terms of, you know, putting us in a pigeon hole.” 

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We also discussed their latest album, “Too Much Information”

Me: “You’ve been performing for over 5 years, and with bands that do produce for such a long time, there’s bound to be adaptions to the style. And change is always good, but I always thought that there was a mark of identity consistent with each album.”

Pau: “That is what we’d like. I want people to connect with the music, so I would say we try to make music emotional- it’s not detached. Some music out there is detached, whether it’s been detached because it was written by 20 people in a marketing room or whether it’s been detached because it’s cool like The Velvet Underground, where it’s just a little bit reserved. But the way I sing is from the heart. I sing in my own accent, I sing just as honestly and as openly as I can and that’s how I do it and that’s how we write our songs. It’s always on expressing ourselves and getting excited about guitar riffs or drum beats or the base line. It’s just that hope and that enthusiasm that goes in our song. I hope that that enthusiasm which goes in our songs is reflected in the recordings. I feel it is- there’s an edge to it and that’s sometimes anger and aggression. Sometimes it’s cheekiness and in the songs, it’s a rich bin of romanticism that is, perhaps, more than many other bands are willing to give out to their listeners in terms of their personal lives.”

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Me: “You say that Maximo Park is an emotional band, which brings to mind something I had read in another article regarding “Too Much Information,” You said that the reason for the name was because your music would never be “too cool for school,” in that it can contain a lot of emotions in it or a lot of information that you normally wouldn’t want to disclose to your average person.”

Paul: “Yeah, I think as you get older, you realize you can’t please everyone. And we are what we are, even though we want to change and keep moving on. That’s a key part of our mission as a band, we still don’t want to deny the things that make us excited or that we’re good at. As a lyricist, I don’t mind if I give a little something away to make a song click and to make it work and for me to feel it every night when I sing it. It makes sense to be like that to me.”

Me: “Yeah, it really does come out in performances. I remember I had seen you guys play at The El Rey a couple years back and I was struck at how animated everyone was…which I really hope will always stay that way.”

Paul: (laughs) “Yeah I may not be when I’m 50. My legs may give up, but hopefully I can still be expressing myself and I can still give it everything I can.”

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Me: “You’ve mixed in a lot of punk, pop and even some electronic in your albums, but is there anything that you guys would absolutely not touch? Like, is there any kind of genre or style that is completely off limits?”

Paul: “I’m not sure anything is really, but we recently did a German TV show and they asked us to do their main tune which is a kind of blue grass…And it wasn’t working out when we were rehearsing and so I’m like, ‘look let’s just do it how we would do it, let just rock it up’ and all of a sudden it worked…so maybe bluegrass (laughs). I’m not so sure we’re well equipped although I wouldn’t mind doing a country song. Like a Gram Parsons kind of song.”

Me: “Is there anyone in the industry you’d want to collaborate with in doing music?”

Paul: “Well…everybody who I like. And that’s a lot of people. And you know there are people in the northeast of England who I get along with and they’re really good at what they do. The Unthanks, they’re a folk group – Rachel Unthanks has a great voice. And I knew Kathryn Williams. She’s a folk acoustic singer-songwriter – lovely voice – and I remember when I first moved to Newcastle and I would see her play when I was a student, I was inspired by her. We actually started writing some lyrics about a café once because her husband owned a café in Newcastle, so we went and looked out of the window and wrote about people coming in and out of the café. Like, those are are more realistic ones. And then there are others (laughs). Like, I would like to sing with Tony Bennett, but I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon.”

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Me: “All right, so last question. You became the lead singer when the guys were first looking for a front man and happened to hear you singing. If they hadn’t heard you that day, what would you have been doing now?”

Paul: “Well, I was teaching before. This was 18 months before the band got signed.”

Me: “Teaching what?”

Paul: “Art and design”

Me: “Oh, are you an artist?”

Paul: “Kind of. Not really. I like to draw, I don’t get to do it as much I used to. I’m so focused on lyrics and vocals. I did a Polaroid book that went with a solo record that I did called “Margins.” I did a little special edition. Just a very small rectangular book called “Thinking in Pictures,” named after one of the lyrics in the album. And the album came stuffed in the back, but it was just an excuse to get my stuff out there. So I’d like to do most stuff like that. In an ideal world if I wasn’t doing this, I’d be a painter, or something to do with art. I did art history at the university. Writing about art, writing about music would be exciting for me. Or being on the radio…I didn’t think I would be able to do that. Recently, I did a few shows at the BBC Radio 6 Music. So maybe if I wasn’t doing this, I could do something like that. I’m obviously mad about music and I love different styles of music and playing them to other people, so I suppose doing something like radio would be a very cool thing.”

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We wrapped things up so as to allow enough time for them to set up before their performance, after which I couldn’t thank him and his tour manager Bobby enough for agreeing to meet. Left to revel in the fact that Paul Smith could just as easily have become a radio DJ junkie like so many of us at KUCI, I waited in anticipation until I could see the whole group play later that night where, as hoped for, they demonstrated the same fervor onstage as is portrayed in so many of their songs.

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Photos taken by: Rosario Diaz

COACHELLA 2014 : KUCI DJ Review

KUCI at Music Festivals – Coachella 2014 – Written by Rosario “DJ Chayo” Diaz of The Starlit Hour

Spring is finally among us, which means longer days, a sudden abundance in greenery, and importantly, the start of festival season. Round this time every year, people from across the nation and sometimes from opposite sides of the world are joined together in one place to bask in the universal love of music. Outside Lands, Desert Daze, Treasure Island, Stagecoach, Lollapalooza – these festivals are spread across different locations yet they each manage to attract hundreds of folks of all ages to engage in music and dance.

This past weekend, I was able to attend Coachella as a Press Member, so without further ado, I present my coverage of the festival, including photos of several KUCI featured bands and a brief interview with Yukimi Nagano of Little Dragon.

The Takeaway Things from Attending a Music Festival:

  •  Festival vs. Concert

Prior to this event, I had never attended any music festival of any sort but I figured it wouldn’t be much different from any of the concerts I had gone to before in my life. I mean, aside from the camping, it’s just like a bunch of bands playing right?

                                      

That and giant robots.

It sunk in pretty quickly to me when I arrived that what I had joined would be far different than what I had experienced before in any show. It goes without saying, of course, that the communal environment that comes from forming a camp in the desert will certainly influence your experience as a whole, but that fact was, surprisingly, not what I found so strikingly different from concerts. For lack of a better word, it was harmony that I found in the crowds at Coachella and which I often find lacking in concert crowds.

Aloe Blacc’s performance actually inspired people to hug each other

Both scenarios have people who are brought together by a common interest in music, and yet with concerts, there’s a sort of “every man for himself” feel in the crowd. If you’re not fighting for the front, you’re protecting your own circle of friends and just generally stuck in that sphere. In contrast, I hardly ever experienced that with the festival crowd and I found that the folks there, for the most part, were pretty jovial and easy to converse. Which brings us to the next point…

  • Reach out and be as friendly as you can be.

 

This is solid advice that could probably apply to any situation but the reason why it’s so relevant to a music festival is that it is, without a doubt, the best way of getting the most out of the whole experience. That’s not to say that you have to be a total extrovert to attend these festivals (I’m shy myself so I sometimes find some difficulty with approaching others) but as I realized within hours of the festival, there’s just really no point in playing shy and hoping someone will take the initiative to start a conversation. Yes, you will find some of the most friendly-ass folk (and not just the doped out ones either) in these places, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t count yourself in as such. Reach out and start a conversation. Most people will actually appreciate a friendly stranger.

  • Don’t just go see your favorite bands.

 

This is probably the most important thing to keep in mind when attending music festivals. As soon as I was able to get my passes for the festival, I started planning out my schedule for each day. I thought that if I could see The Knife on Friday night and catch Julian Casablancas and The Pixies on Saturday, as well some other big names, I’d be set for life.

Julian Casablancas at Coachella’s Mojave Stage

While I did get to see most of the musicians that I wanted to, the highlight of the entire weekend actually involved a lot of bands that I had never or hardly listened to before. Temples’ performance, to name a few, completely sucked me in with their mellow rhythms and the way that it resembled the psychedelic bands of the 60’s. And after hearing Bombay Bicycle Club produce such a soft yet rousing pulse to dance to, I knew I would have to do some expanding in my music library. And to drive the point home, I’ll bring up my experience with STRFKR as it was easily the most fun I’ve had at any show. I met up with my camping buddies there, who assured me that I’d be in for a treat.

 

 

STRFKR puts on a good show amidst a chaos of polar bears and cosmonauts

The show turned out to be a whole party as men in sumo and polar bear suits crowded the stage and eventually the crowd itself. Really, there’s nothing quite like seeing costumed heroes atop inflatable boats sail (literally) through the crowd to an electronic tune of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” In conclusion, don’t restrict yourself to seeing only the bands that you like. You’ll never know what you’re missing out on.

  • Practice and Be Prepared (if you’re part of Press)

 

This next piece of advice is not so much for just anyone interested in attending a music festival but more for those who’ve got plans on interviewing the artists. Since I had been able to acquire a Media Pass for the festival, I figured I should try to get as much coverage as I can and sought to arrange something with the attending musicians. In the last minute, I was able to set up a slot to speak with Yukimi Nagano of Little Dragon and although there was an internet station available that I could use for preparation, I had severely underestimated just how much time I would need to arrange my questions. As a result of that (and a sudden bout of the nerves) my words stumbled more than I would have liked and I ended up skipping over some important questions. Fortunately, Yukimi was very cordial through it all and answered those questions that I did manage to ask.

  

Yukimi Nagano, in front of Little Dragon’s trailer

Q: How is it that you’re able to move from more down-tempo and electronic tunes from your previous albums to that with a slow jam in your upcoming album, Nubuma Rubber Band?

A: It’s kind of a natural progression. We move with what we’re feeling. And we’re wanting to do something different. We never want to do an exact replica of the previous work. You know, you feel like you want to experiment.

Q: What’s the creation process like when it comes to making music? When do you know that you’ve got something?

A: Well, we try to start somewhere in the music and when you feel like the music- that part is speaking with you… then we know and we build off of that. It’s quite intuitive. And it’s also a lot trial and error. And I think, like with anything, you get to the point that you feel its special and then…maybe, it might not feel special the next day. Once it feels more stable and you still like it about a week and a half later, you think we’re on to something.

Q: I see. So do have some kind of regular ritual you practice when making new music? Some people, for example, have a daily routine before starting.

A: Hmmm, not really. Sometimes I try to write differently so I don’t always put myself in the same situation. Just to kind of challenge myself. And when I’m working, I can go out and write in the garden somewhere- or early in the morning late and late at night. You know, try different strategies to see what works.

Q: I was wondering how you and each of the band members collaborate when you’re making music? How does everyone put in their fair share?

A: We do it quite organically…everyone writes. Everyone in the band produces. Every one in the band has their own flavor and their own style…so I think it’s basically lot of ideas and sketches that come from a place inside us.

Q: Have you ever experienced any clashes with others when it comes to inputting styles or ideas for the music?

A: Well that’s part of being in a band. Of course it’s frustrating and it would be easier somehow for someone to come in and make the decision for us, but that takes out what’s special about the band. I think its just realizing that people with different views other than your own would be to your advantage. It’s nice to see what other people have to say.

Q: Did you think when you first started out that Little Dragon would be as successful as it is now?

A: Well like with anything you go in, if you really want it, you have nothing but success in mind. Of course, it’s thanks to the help of everyone that we were able to be where we are now. My friends have helped me out a lot and…really, we couldn’t be here without each other.

Q: Any advice to anyone out there who’s got it in mind to start their way out in the music industry?


Persevere. That’s all I can really say. It’s just really about perseverance and working hard. And with that, you can accomplish a lot.

 

Little Dragon performing Sunday night

With that, we thanked Yukimi for her time and ended our session to leave her to prepare for her performance later that day. Moral of the story, folks: It pays to rehearse and if planning to record using a camera, always bring a microphone as you never know how loudly your surroundings will be (Zoé was performing next to us at the time, and as good as they sounded, it sure as hell made conversation difficult to hear).

  • To put everything in perspective, I’ll leave a final piece of advice for anyone planning to attend any upcoming festivals and that is to dance and dance your heart out. Even if you’re not familiar with the beat or don’t consider yourself to be the dancer type- dance anyway. Just think, you came to enjoy some good music and it’s that very same fact that brought hundred of others to dance next to you. And if that doesn’t psyche you out enough to join them, then I don’t know what will. 

 

Photo Credit: Angie and Rosario Diaz

Jack Steadman of Bombay Bicycle Club

 

James Edward Bagshaw of Temples

Matt Bellamy of Muse 

Dan Smith of Bastille

Zoé Colotis of Caravan Palace

Pixies (We were planning on getting closer, but a last minute change allowed only Goldenvoice photographers to enter the photo pit.)

The Naked and Famous

VNV Nation Live at The Mayan, Los Angeles

Concert Review by KUCI DJ Jesse Morales of The Bat Cave (Sun 2-4am). 

VNV Nation recently played The Mayan in LA.  The show was what you would expect any EBM show to be, heavy beats and raw synthesizers.  However, The two main members of the band, Ronan Harris on vocals and Mark Jackson on drums, accompanied by two other keyboard players, gave the audience an experience that they won’t soon forget.

More than a few heavy synth lines and infectious beats, Harris’ energy on stage was inspiring and his connection with the audience was genuine.  You almost felt like he was glad that you personally showed up. That kind of presence on stage really made for an intimate and enjoyable experience.  All throughout the night Harris made several comments to individual audience members, acknowledging their presence and giving them a truly unique experience.  One audience member managed to offer Harris his dog tags, to which Harris was hesitant to accept.  

All the hits were present in the setlist.  Songs like Chrome, Control, Illusion, Matter and Form and Perpetual gave the audience the experience they were undoubtedly hoping for.  A show like this was a true gift to any VNV Nation fan and I would highly recommend keeping your eyes and ears open for future show, especially if you missed this one.

A Tale of Two Brothers: The National at the Shrine Auditorium, March 25 2014

Concert Review & Photos by KUCI DJ Stephan Masnyj.

     The National performed at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles last Tuesday to promote their latest record, “Trouble Will Find Me,” and also to premiere their documentary Mistaken for Strangers for the first time to the general public. However, based on the packed crowd and buzzing atmosphere throughout the entire night, Matthew Berninger and co. were anything but strangers to the 6,300 fans in attendance.

     The evening began with Tom Berninger, the lead singer’s younger brother and director of Mistaken for Strangers, introducing his documentary to the crowd. The movie was filmed during the band’s tour for “High Violet,” which stands today as the group’s greatest and most popular work, and served as the breakout moment for a band who were always critical darlings, but failed to achieve the widespread acknowledgment they deserved up until that point. The film’s inception began when Matthew attempted to help out his younger brother by hiring him as a roadie in order to get him out of their parent’s basement and begin working again. Tom brings a camera on tour in hopes of filming a rock documentary that will capture the crazy rock and roll lifestyle that he believed his brother led, but becomes bewildered when the bulk of his time is making sure his brother’s band has enough Toblerone as opposed to partying. The documentary is relentlessly charming and hilarious throughout, and progressively becomes more about the bond Matthew and Tom share as brothers and less about the band itself as it progresses. Tom, much like his brother, has a knack for putting his emotions at the forefront of his work, and films himself as he struggles with his own purpose in life in relation with his brother’s successes. “I just want to make something good. Good for my brother, good for my parents, and good for myself,” Tom explains while crying to himself. Whereas older brother Matthew displays his pent up, anxiety ridden emotions in his albums and his brooding demeanor onstage during the band’s live show, Tom’s display of emotion is more akin to that of a lovable loser; you can’t help but cheer the guy on as he sifts through his hours of film in order to make something worthwhile out of it.

     The film’s most touching moment is when Tom interviews his parents, prodding them as to how they see him in relation to his older, more successful brother. The father is unapologetically blunt; “Well, your brother obviously has had more success with his band, they’re very popular within the indie rock circle.” The words, while undoubtedly true, still sting when said out loud, and draw sighs from the entire audience.

     Tom and Matt’s mother is a little more forgiving. “You’ve both been successful through life” she begins to explain Tom.

      “I have not been successful,” Tom interjects. “Not at all.”

       “You will be Tom, I know you’re going to be successful,” she explains. Luckily, for Tom and everyone in the audience, she was right. Mistaken for Strangers is a funny, genuinely touching look at a bond between two brothers in spite of the different lifestyles they lead, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

     Following the documentary’s premiere the band performed a raucous, hour and 40 minute set that drew heavily from their excellent new record “Trouble Will Find Me.” The band was in top form throughout, and Matt spent most of his mid-song chatter to talk up his brother’s documentary. “This next song is dedicated to my brother. He thinks the song is about sitting on a bunch of salt, but it’s actually about him,” he explains as he introduces “I Should Live In Salt.” The band’s performance is bolstered by an excellent horn section, which provides an added oomph to songs to renditions of “Bloodbuzz Ohio” and “Fake Empire.” The show also does an exemplary job of showing why Matthew Berninger remains one of the more magnetic frontmen in indie rock; he frequently paces the stage back and forth, banging the microphone on his head, screaming at particular points in songs, and taking swigs from a wine bottle in between songs. While Berninger’s lyrics do most of the emotional heavy lifting in The National’s recorded efforts, it’s the singer’s stage presence that truly sells each song’s tense anxiety during the show, and is a wonder to behold. The band does a good job of staying true to the recorded versions of each song, but the show’s most arresting moments arrive when they veer off the tracks; “Squalor Victoria” is beefed up with a drum solo and horn outro, and Trouble Will Find Me’s “Humiliation” enters a extended groove while Berninger screams and throws his body into one of the speakers. The concert ended with a stunning, all-acoustic version of “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks,” and the band cajoled the whole crowd into singing along to the entire arrangement. It stands as a testament that while The National quickly find themselves filling larger and larger venues, they have no problem making an auditorium as intimate as the small clubs they played 15 years ago.

     Mistaken for Strangers ends with live footage of a performance of “Terrible Love,” the penultimate song in every National concert. The footage focuses on Tom’s humiliating job during the performance, as he’s relegated to holding the microphone cord and holding his brother up as Matthew darts through the crowd and runs through the aisles singing. The footage is meant to be lighthearted, and it is; eliciting laughs from the audience at the Shrine. The band pulled the same stunt at the concert following the documentary, and Tom joined his brother once again in holding the microphone cord as Matt shakily stood on the seats of the Shrine’s ground floor. However, instead of being ignored by the crowd, both brothers received equal applause throughout the song. Matthew turned around and smiled at his brother as he fumbled with the excess of cords around his arms, and ran back and embraced the younger Tom in a hug, which elicited the loudest cheers of the night. To the crowd of 6,300 watching that night, it didn’t matter which brother was an international rock star and which one still lived with their parents; they were both equally successful.

Set List

Don’t Swallow the Cap
I Should Live in Salt
Mistaken for Strangers
Bloodbuzz Ohio
Sea of Love

Hard to Find
Afraid of Everyone
Squalor Victoria
I Need My Girl
This is the Last Time
Full of Wine (stopped)
Abel!
Slow Show
Pink Rabbits
England
Graceless
Fake Empire

Encore

Humiliation
Mr. November
Terrible Love
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks (Acoustic)

Mistaken For Strangers is now being played in theaters, and available for rent on iTunes and mistakenforstrangersmovie.com 

SPLASHH Interview by Archie Xin

We caught up with the next big thing SPLASHH before their first show of 2014 @ The Echo. While their guitarist Toto was taking a shower, and the new member Joey on keyboard chilling on sofa. We talked to the vocal/guitarist Sasha and the bassist Tom about AIR, being an internationally based Australian band, their plans for the next record and SPLASHH Festival line-up.

1. I know you guys are all from different countries. So how did you guys come together as a band?

TOM: well, we are met in London really, like I mean, Toto and I have been living there for 5 years, and then Sasha was over there for a bit, and he came up about 2 years ago,

SASHA: I was living in Sydney. (So you’re from Australia?) Uhm kind of yeah, Between New Zealand and Australia. Just through traveling i guess.

TOM: Ye, just meet your friends really, in London.

SASHA: But our band is not from London, (Then where do you think the band is from?) I guess it’s more Australian isn’t it?

TOM: There’s not really a “Base”

SASHA: We can’t just continue to move around with a base in New York or London.

2.  Do you still remember the first record you bought ?

SASHA: I might have bought Thriller by Michael Jackson. (laugh) Yes, that was my first one.

TOM: I don’t remember most of them actually, probably something ridiculous, probably something Ricky Martin. (laugh)

3. What are the bands youve been listening to recently?

TOM: Loads of AIR really, isn’t it?

SASHA: AIR. (Where are they come from?) They’re from France.

TOM: And LCD Soundsystem.

 4. What do you think is the best thing of being on tour?

TOM: Just traveling around really, I think. You don’t often get to go to many places for a job you know. It’s really a shame that you can’t spend more time in a city. We’ve only be here a day. We wanna stay for the week, but at least. Unfortunately we got places to be, things to do, shows to play. And getting to meet new people I suppose.

 (So have you made friends with any cool bands?)

TOM:  Yes, I mean we just make friends with anyone we play with really. You know, go for a party, have a drink with them.

SASHA: We hang out with Palma Violets a little bit. ( ye I saw the photo of you and Chilli taken by NME.) (laugh) And you know Jagwar Ma, from Sydney. Ye we met lots of people, lots of musicians to hang out together, or play with.

 5. What is the band that inspired you the most?

SASHA: Right now? (yes)

SASHA & TOM: AIR! Probably… (laugh)

SASHA: They’re really good.

TOM: That’s for the next record you know what I mean? We’ve been listening to lots of them.

 6. So its been a while since your debut album released. Have you guys been back to the studio?

TOM: Ye we’re recently based in New York. We’ve been doing lots of writing and recording to get ready for the next record.

(How is it sounding like?)

TOM: Sounding like a little bit more electronic than the previous record, and we’ve got Joey now he’s playing synth. He’s a bit of wizard on the keys (laugh)

SASHA: Ye I mean it’s not as like garage-rock anymore. It’s kind of more clever and.

TOM: It’s just more clever and more mature sort of music you know.

SAHSA: It’s quite ground sounding with lots of keyboard.

(Can you say a little bit more about it? like about the release?)

TOM: We’re not too sure about to be honest. I mean we’re still like just writing the record and.. We still need to find a label(laugh) But I mean hopefully this year to get out but I don’t  know.

SASHA: Hopefully about summer.

 TOM: Yeah.. September maybe, like the 1st single of the album. We’re not too sure.

 SASHA: We’ll have a track. I’d say not like a single, but a track to show to some people within the next, 2 month.

(Any new songs for tonight?)

TOM: I’d say it’s 50/50 really, with new material I mean. We’ve been played the last album for so long that we’re excited to play something new.

SASHA: And even the old songs sound new because..

TOM: Joey’s playing keys!

(How much have you done with the new album?)

SASHA: uhm?? A quarter?

TOM: Half maybe? It’s hard to say I mean we’ve written a quite few songs but until we write more we don’t know whats gonna go on next.

SASHA: We’ll take it as it counts. I mean there’s no rush. We wanna write the best record we can, so … (laugh).

 7. If youre organizing a festival which bands are gonna be on the line-up?

TOM: I’d get, My Bloody Valentine?

SASHA & JOEY: Nah, no.

TOM: Why?

JOEY: They’re done, you know? They’re really done.

SASHA: I like their new album, I like it, sounds really intense(laugh)

SASHA: I’d probably get Tame Impala in there.

TOM: Ye, definitely.

SASHA: Surely for vibes, Tame Impala.

JOEY: Connan Mockasin!

SASHA: YEAH Connan Mockasin.

 8. Where do you think you guys played the best gig ever?

SASHA: Our shows in New York have really good crowd. And some shows in Europe. We played really good festivals in Europe. Especially this one called?

SASHA&TOM: Midi Festival.

SASHA: It was amazing.

9. So this is your 1st show of 2014. What are your plans for this year?

SASHA: We’re going to SXSW!!

TOM: Ye, tomorrow.

SASHA: And… Back to New York to play. And then we gotta, leave the country to sort our visas out, to come back. I’m going to Australia with Joey. These guys are going back to London. And come back to America. I guess we’d probably get a single out then, do a tour. And then hopefully get the album done.