Friday, August 25, 2006

The Central Second Collective Part 2: One Trick Pony, The Happy Hollows, and Die Rockers Die!

If you can remember way back to last week, we spoke with Rob Danson from rock-meets-folk act Death to Anders! and Christian Biel from experimental punks The Transmissions about how they helped create LA’s Central Second Collective, which is made up the aforementioned bands plus indie pop stars The Happy Hollows, the haunting One Trick Pony, the audio iconoclasts Die Rockers Die!, and power punks Anchors for Architects.

In the second part of our The Central Second Collective interview, Radio Free Silver Lake talks with members of The Happy Hollows (the interviewee remains mysteriously unnamed), One Trick Pony, and Die Rockers Die! about how they first formed, joined up with The Central Second, and what’s next for them.

How did you guys start up?

Randolph (One Trick Pony): After so many members coming and going, our manager Jen finally took over as drummer and our friend Morgan joined as bassist and we clicked.

Mystery Member (The Happy Hollows): Sarah had been writing songs and playing shows, by herself, in the L.A. area for some time. Charlie and Chris, who were friends previously, had recently moved, separately, to LA from Washington, DC. Charlie and Chris went to the same high school and were in the same band in DC, although not at the same time. Sarah answered an ad that Charlie and Chris placed in Craigslist and The Happy Hollows were born in the summer of 2005.

Champoy Hate (Die Rockers Die!): The band started with Oliver and I just playing in some garage after having moved here, away from the music scene community we were a part of in the southern area of the Philippines. We had no premonitions on how we wanted us to sound. The basic idea was just to do music that reflected the urgency that was much lacking at the local shows we have gone to which was mostly mediocre bands doing their own versions of their favorite bands.

DRD was basically our outlet to share about how we felt music should be: on the edge of danger and an experience that can shake people from where they stand! It really wasn’t much in the beginning considering we didn’t have any of the so-called "musical skills" necessary. But even that didn’t stop us from making music.

Because we understood our limitations and we knew then we'll never be as good as the bands that we love but we were willing to work it out with others who want to do the same thing with us. During our early shows, we pretty much just went out there and did whatever mindfuck no-wave noise that we can get away with.

We've had shows that others bands would probably die from due to the embarrassment we had to live with but we just kept on moving on and saw it all as part of the process that led us to wherever we are now.

Now we just hope to inspire everybody who wants to make music to just do it. People can always tell you shit but that doesn’t mean they can stop you. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it just because you don’t understand musical scales or any of those technical stuff...

And that’s how it is for Die Rockers Die!... Anything is possible -- including the possibility that we could just be full of shit!

How would you describe your sound? (You know, if you had to…)

Randolph (One Trick Pony): Our sound is dynamic mope rock! Lyrically moody, to say the least. We appreciate sonic minimalism and using drums (or cardboard box) sparingly effectively. Haunting, I’d say. Simple beat, raw bass, swooning melody lines…

Mystery Member (The Happy Hollows): Our sound is stripped down indie-pop. We layer vocals over both dissonant and melodic riffs. We have a playful, minimal sound as well as a good sense of highs and lows in structuring songs. The topics of our songs range from the colors of the rainbow to time travel to U.S. foreign policy.

Champoy Hate (Die Rockers Die!): We don’t really know how to answer that but since many people need to compartmentalize the full experience into some kind of description we just say it’s ORENROCK.

ORENROCK is what we do. Fully describing it would be totally pointless because it is not the point. How can we describe something that is not static and ever-changing? We can’t!

Truth is it’s hard to look into one's own eyes without a mirror. It’s just us doing what we do or what we feel we would want to experience in watching bands play.

Just go watch the shows…

How did you join the The Central Second Collective?

Randolph (One Trick Pony): We were good friends with Death to Anders! and even did our first tour together. They were friends with The Happy Hollows and we all saw The Transmissions together one night at The Cocaine and loved them. Thus The Central Second Collective was born.

Mystery Member (The Happy Hollows): Sarah and Nick of Death to Anders! have been friends since middle school. Death to Anders! introduced us to The Transmissions, One Trick Pony, and Die Rockers Die!.

We introduced them to Anchors for Architects. We started playing several shows with these bands throughout LA. We didn’t form the collective because we all play similar music, in fact, each band’s music is very different from the other bands. We just love all the bands’ music and we love all the bands’ members as people. They’re like our family.

Champoy Hate (Die Rockers Die!): We met rob from Death to Anders! at one of our shows and he told us about these other bands. D2A also played with Louie's band, art Damaged before which was were we saw The Happy Hollows, which totally blew us away. I was really impressed by their musical drive and energies and enjoyed the good vibrations.

It was flattering in the beginning to meet everybody at Central Second who respect and appreciate what we're about -- especially for a band who treads on their imperfections like DRD because these bands are bands I personally admire myself and I never really thought we were of the same caliber. But apparently they think we are. It’s either that they’re right or just plain crazy...

So finally they asked us and Anchors for Architects (another amazing band that has been really inspiring for us, too) to be a part of the collective. And Sarah from The Happy Hollows said they don’t take "NO" for an answer.

So, we said YES and we got together for the first time at Pete from Death to Anders!’ backyard. And here we are.

What’s next for you?

Randolph (One Trick Pony): After we finish our album Phantom Pains, we want to hit the road for a while.

Mysterious Unnamed Member (The Happy Hollows): We recently shot videos [for our songs] Meteors, My Wet Tongue, and Vietnam). My Wet Tongue was filmed at a private zoo and co-stars baby tigers, deer, forty cats, twenty dogs, an albino python, and a pig. Vietnam was filmed at Lacy Street Studios in Glendale. Meteors was filmed in a canyon, at the beach, and in Hollywood… It’s very California. We’re busy visualizing with the intention to manifest more wonderful happenings!

Champoy Hate (Die Rockers Die!): We’re currently at the finishing touches of our new record. Our previous recordings have always been done live and mostly in lo-fi quality because the songs were all done in a certain urgency that cannot be replicated but nowadays we are currently trying out a different option by tying to work on a more "produced" sounding album.

Being open can lead to a lot of new exciting things and we don’t really have much to lose to begin with. However it turns out, we are all ready to move on past it.

We just love to do this. The best part about all this is getting to meet people who share a passion for music and making music in general and being aware that if your heart is in the right place, you just keep on doing whatever it is you love...

Almost all the members of the Central Second Collective will play together on Thursday, September 7th at The Echo.

The Happy Hollows are also playing a free in-store at Sea Level Records on Saturday, September 16th and then at The Knitting Factory on Monday, October 9th, while Die Rockers Die! are playing The Cocaine on Saturday, September 16th.


Post a Comment

<< Home