Friday, April 28, 2006

Mini-Interview: The Little Ones

LA’s The Little Ones know more about charisma than the entire graduating class of your local charm school and make music that simply induces smiles. From lead singer Edward Nolan Reyes’ catchy lyrics, to Lee LaDouceur’s playful keyboard notes (which pop out and grab hold of you at key moments), to the perpetual grin sported by bassist Brian Reyes, it all serves to turn your average indie rock listener’s frown upside down.

After the band’s recent EP release event at El Cid, we decided to check in with them to find out exactly what makes them so happy and, what’s more, why they decided to share.

Hi, Edward. So, what’s the band’s name from? I found search results on Google ranging from religious quotes like “We are the little ones God has chosen to confound the wise.” to web-sites about kindergarten classes...

Our band name is the direct result of my two pugs. Whenever my family or friends would ask about them, they would always say, "How are 'the little ones?'"

You guys all seem like you have a lot of fun playing together, so I’d guess that you’ve been friends for awhile. How did you all meet and start playing together?

We’ve been playing as a band for about two years, and we’re all friends and interconnected in one way or another. My brother Brian is in the band. Ian and I used to be in a band together. Ian is best friends with Greg our drummer. Lee, our keyboard/bass player, has been dating Ian’s sister for years. [And] Ian’s sister lives with my brother [and] Ian, Lee, and Greg all grew up in San Diego.

Yes, we definitely have fun each and every time we get together for practice and when we play shows. I think we are all just grateful to be playing music with good friends.

How would you describe your sound, if you had to pin it down? Who are your influences (past and present)?

It’s so hard to describe your own sound. I’d say that the type of music we’re creating would be called “social music.” We try to create music that entertains us and gets us excited and in turn we hope that listeners tune in and get their feet moving. I think we’re all influenced by the great music of the Motown era. I think that music created during that era was the closest pop music ever came to perfection. We are also influenced by the music of Os Mutantes and Gilberto Gil. The combination of rhythm and melody in the songs by Os Mutantes and Gilberto Gil is unparalleled.

You just released the six-song EP Sing Song. Tell me a little bit about the recording process.

We recorded our EP with David Newton, who was a member of The Mighty Lemon Drops. Working with him in the studio was a dream. He really added some great ideas to the recording process and created an atmosphere that was fun and creative. I’ve never had an experience like that in the studio. We actually recorded more than the six songs found on our EP [and] recorded off and on for about six months.

I think one of our favorite moments was when we decided to take a break from recording and ate a bucket of Popeye’s Chicken. I think that somehow really put us in a good headspace and dictated the direction we should be heading. I have to say that we didn’t have any moments we liked the least. It was a dream to work with David in the studio.

What’s next for the band? Any tour or residency plans?

We’ll playing The Echo with Kelley Stoltz and Irving on May 19th and plan on doing a west coast tour in the summer. I think doing a residency would be a fun thing to do down the line.

Last question: Who are some of your favorite bands in LA right now?

Some of my favorite bands right now are The Bird and The Bee (Inara George and Greg Kurstin), Graham MacRae, Jon Gake, and this band called Army Navy.

As mentioned above, The Little Ones are playing next at on May 19th with Irving and Kelley Stoltz on May 19th at The Echo, which is located at 1822 Sunset Blvd in the Echo Park neighborhood of LA. And to enter to win a copy of their EP and limited edition poster, visit fellow music site Rewriteable Content.


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