Photo by Jen Maler.
So Lucas, your decision to move to New York?
LA: I ran away from my orphanage in Oklahoma.
And since songwriting influences come a lot from life experiences, I know specifically you started writing a lot when you first came here.
LA: I think my biggest songwriting influence is 50 Cent, so…
LA: Yeah, so just a lot of it, honestly, is from the streets, because I lived on the streets for a minute. So coming up off the streets.
It’s a really cool way that you guys play with hip-hop, especially having worked with RZA from Wu-Tang, that’s amazing.
DF: Yeah, that was wonderful. That was really amazing. It was really cool to write with him and record with him. He originally signed on to produce a demo we sent him, and once we got into the studio with him at Rick Rubin’s Shangri-La, he really got into it. He just got in the booth and started writing, spit the illest verse, so that was really magical. That was definitely a highlight.
There have been some other big names there too, though.
DF: Yeah! JP Bowersock, who worked with The Strokes —
ES: He’s also an expert of chardonnay. He will school you in chardonnay.
DF: He can school you in a lot of things.
ES: He’s a connoisseur of a lot of things. He’s a sommelier as well.
DF: Yeah, a connoisseur. And then Mark Needham, who worked with The Killers and Imagine Dragons, and a whole lot of other acts. He’s a very predominant mixer, engineer, producer in rock music.
ES: He’s a mix pirate. He’s got a toucan on his shoulder. Like a parrot. He just talks like a pirate, always making these funny sounds.
So, the trajectory of things that have been happening in the last couple of years, since you guys formed in 2013…
DF: It’s happened very organically, you know. I don’t know, we’re very hard workers, but we also need a lot of different elements for all of this to happen. We have a great team that supports us, and we’re all very hard workers and dedicated to what we do. Only good things can come from those elements.
So the festival that’s going on right now, Mondo, how did you guys get into that?
LA: We heard it was a nudist festival, and then they told us no.
DF: Yeah when we got here, we were pretty bummed out to be honest.
LA: But we had already committed by that point, so…
DF: We were ready to take it all off, and they were like, “No no no no, stop!”
It’s a very new thing for New York City, Mondo Fest. How did you sign onto it?
LA: Our team brought it to us, and we have like, this punk rock attitude about playing shows. We’ll play anywhere, at any time. Not to sound desperate –
DF: No, we love to play. We love to play, we love to make new fans all the time, we love to meet people.
LA: And we love New York. We’ve been in New York for almost every week we’ve been in LA.
How did you all originally meet?
DF: The LA music scene. We were all in different projects, different bands, and then Lucas kinda brought us all together.
LA: And that’s the PR version. I was on PlentyofFish.com looking for matches.
ES: And then I came up, and I was like, fuck it, we’ll give it a shot.
That’s on the record. That’s the real story now.
DF: We met on a nudist beach on Ibiza.
ES and LA: Yeah.
Just playing music.
But really, the LA music scene. What are the differences between the scenes here and there?
ES: I don’t know, I mean, LA seems to kinda be more central lately. I’ve noticed people moving from NY to LA. It’s more of a hub for music. And I have my studio there, it would be a lot to
LA: Studio plug!