Saturday, January 06, 2007

Mini-Interview: Mezzanine Owls

If you live in the great LA metropolitan area, you really ought to go see local indy pop act Mezzanine Owls open up for The Broken West this Monday night at Spaceland.

Why? Besides the fact that it's free, they’re really rather good. More and more people are talking about them all the time – from sites like Autopia Music to Rock Insider – and it's definitely not for nothing.

So, we checked in with Mezzanine Owls’ singer Jack Burnside about the band's origins. Here's what he had to say for himself.

Hey, Jack. How long have you been together now?

The four of us have been playing music together for a little over a year and a half now.

How did the band start up? How did you all meet?

I met Pauline a few years ago through an ad in the LA Weekly or Recycler or something like that. I was playing in a band looking for a drummer. She agreed to do it, I'm still not totally sure why.

Pauline and I met Jonathan through another ad later on. We were fortunate enough to forgo the musician's classifieds with Dan, who we met through friends.

Where did your band name come from?

We wanted to call the band Owls, but there's already a band called that - a couple actually. We ditched the idea, but on a long drive we kept seeing Owls everywhere so we all made a list of words we could combine with it. Jonathan's list had "mezzanine" on it and for whatever reason that stuck.

Where did you record your album Slingshot Echos?

Andy LeMaster, who has a studio in Athens GA, recorded and produced Slingshot Echoes. All things considered, it was a pretty great experience.

Andy’s extremely talented and really helped shape the sound of the recording. It's a little bit stressful being on the clock in a studio but that was minimized by hanging out in Athens, which is a really sleepy, welcoming town.

What’s next for you? A tour? New album? A post-holiday eggnog bender?

Eggnog bender. After that, we're going to do some west coast dates with Robbers on High Street in January. It would be fun to make some new recordings, but I think we'd like to do some touring before we start that process.

Who are your influences – direct or indirect?

If you asked each of us this question separately I suspect you'd get four very different sets of answers. Some stuff I know we all agree on: Yo La Tengo, Built to Spill, My Bloody Valentine, Pavement, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, The Beach Boys, Talking Heads, and The Osmonds circa Crazy Horses.

What are your favorite and least favorite things about being a band in Los Angeles?

It's fun to be able to see good shows all the time, and play shows with bands you like. I guess the biggest downside is all the driving.

Last question: Who are you listening to these days?

Peter Bjorn and John, Vietnam, Cocteau Twins, The Clientele, New Order.

That’s it! Thanks for your time.


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