Friday, October 19, 2007

Mini-Interview: Light FM

There’s something about perfect pop music that’s an art form in and of itself – and moog heavy act Light FM are some of its most devoted local practitioners.

We’re hosting the group’s CD release event at Let’s Independent! at Boardner’s next Tuesday – along with psyche pop group Nightfur and the pleasantly experimental Lo-Fi Sugar – so we checked in with lead Josiah Mazzaschi to discuss the band’s past, present, and future.

josiah: Hi Joe!
RFSL: Hey!
RFSL: How's it going?
josiah: Good. Just waiting for the CD's to be delivered!
RFSL: Right on. Kind of exciting, eh?
josiah: Most def!
RFSL: So, you have time to do this?
josiah: Certainly
RFSL: Cool. I just scarfed down a mango tofu burrito, so am all set. (That sounds so butch.)
josiah: Right on, Are you vegetarian?
RFSL: Most of the time...
josiah: Cool. Me. too!
RFSL: So, you’re originally from Chicago?
josiah: No, I moved to Chicago to go to The School of the Art Institute. I'm originally from Boston.
RFSL: Ahhh. But you began Light FM when you were there, right? How did it start?
josiah: Light FM began after the demise of my previous band Motorhome back in Chicago. I became a hermit and really got into home recording.
josiah: I pictured Light FM a futuristic pop band embracing technology and creating perfect pop songs. Lyrically, most of the songs definitely explored my deep fascination with death. I was in a pretty dark place after Motorhome's breakup and I had never really been alone in my life. It really helped me identify with myself by exploring myself musically.
josiah: I’ve never been good with expressing myself vocally. I feel I can express my feelings through music.
RFSL: What happened to Motorhome?
josiah: Well, basically I was dating the bass player/singer and once we broke up the band broke up.
josiah: Laura the drummer from Motorhome lives here and we're still good pals.
RFSL: So, there's a certain dichotomy between Light FM being this upbeat pop band and exploring death in your lyrics. How does that work?
josiah: I guess it's ironic that the music is pretty upbeat and the lyrics are dark. The same with our name. A lot of people think [our name implies] we sound like Celine Dion but we are a much heavier indie rock band. I guess I don't like being labeled. I like being mysterious. A lot of people think our shows are being sponsored by a soft rock station when our name is on the Marquee. I think that's why I really like our band name because you can't really put a finger on us. I have ADD so my attention span is all over the place.....kind of like our music.
RFSL: So, you were doing a lot of home recording and built the band up around that?
josiah: Basically, I've always recorded my friend's bands as well. I have a lot of material and am always writing. I recorded some demos and started getting some airplay on local Chicago stations and had a couple of write-ups in local papers. This made it easier for me to find musicians to play with.
RFSL: And how did that lead you to move out here? Did everyone move with you, too?
josiah: Well, Light FM was offered a record deal and the band I was playing with were not willing to tour at all. They all had really good jobs, mortgages, kids, etc. I had been working so hard to reach that point and when it came down to it we weren't ready. I had always liked Los Angeles when I came to visit. I have a brother here. So, it all made sense...
josiah: I moved to Los Angeles a little over two years ago. My bass player and good friend Brian Barbier moved here shortly after. I knew Harry Trumfio from our days back in Chicago so, we started getting together and playing. It was working out really great. We had all our synths on an ipod. That became a real drag. We then hooked up with keyboardist and California native Kim Haden.
josiah: Kim's been playing with us since February of this year. We are a complete band now! We've been doing short road trips up north and trying to expand our fan base. We plan on touring much more in the future.
josiah: Brian moved from Chicago to LA to continue playing in the band.
RFSL: You self-released?
josiah: Yes, we self-released it through our fictitious label called Electronic Battleship. Minty Fresh records does all our digital distribution and TV placement.
josiah: We're definitely free agents though!
RFSL: Cool. So, how long have you been at work at the new album? How is it different from the last?
josiah: Before I moved out here I tried to unleash every song I had in the studio. We had basically recorded our sophomore effort but I felt the songs were inconsistent with what the band's doing right now. I had taken a couple of songs from the sophomore CD and a couple of songs I had recorded here in Los Angeles and decided to release an EP. I think just because you've recorded a song doesn't necessarily mean you have to release it. A couple of those tunes are on my personal Myspace page if anyone wants to check them out. I have a bunch more in the works that I think is the strongest material I have ever written. Kevin Bronson called me a Tweaker. I am constantly tweaking stuff!
josiah: Man, I've had a lot of caffeine.
RFSL: Ha! Are you playing any of that new material out or holding off for now?
josiah: Yes! We've been starting to and it seems to be going over really well.
RFSL: How do you like living here now? Because you have that song about moving out to California "where there is no attitude."
josiah: I love living here! Before I lived here I didn't understand the large population of sad indie goth hipsters. I thought to myself, "How could anyone possibly be sad when the weather is so amazing everyday?" I think I am starting to understand why those kids are so sad. They all want to be rockstars and movie stars and dreams are seriously crushed here. And it's expensive. And there's lot's of attitude.
josiah: I am still finding a lot of legitimately nice and "real" people out here. I like to keep it "real". But, all in all I am really happy here. I am happy to be playing with my band. They are the bestest.
RFSL: Yeah, there are a lot of amazing folks in the whole Los Feliz - Silver Lake - Echo Park - Eagle Rock etc area.
RFSL: Just so you stay out of Hollywood, basically!
josiah: Most def.
RFSL: The album comes out next Tuesday and you're playing the CD Release Event that we're hosting at Boardner's. (Shameless plug for FREE show!) What's next for you after that?
josiah: Well, we're playing a bunch of shows with our good friends Rademacher. We went up north and played Fresno, Sacramento, and Reno with them. It was a lot of fun. I won $1500 on the slots in Reno! We all went out for steaks, lobsters, and champagne after. We're playing Vegas, Fresno, and SF. I am working on some new recordings and want to release another full length ASAP. I plan on being a professional gambler while on the road. I think there's a good future in my gambling.
RFSL: That's great!
RFSL: I didn't know you could be a professional slot player.
RFSL: I'm thinking about becoming a professional bowler after bowling a 217 earlier this week.
josiah: There's only a few of us out there. Man, that's great!
josiah: Have you gone to Shatto Lanes?
RFSL: Yeah, that place is kind of great. Like a huge time capsule. Same thing with All-Star Lanes in Eagle Rock.
RFSL: (We're helping put on a show there on Halloween with a bunch of bands. And you get a free game and shoe rental.)
josiah: They have Ms. Pac-man and Jr. Pac-Man at Shatto. I've yet to go to Eagle Rock Lanes. I work right down the street from there.
RFSL: Cool. Well, I should wrap up and stop taking up your time.
RFSL: Last question...
RFSL: Who are you listening to these days?
josiah: I downloaded the new Radiohead. I haven't worn it out yet. I listen to a lot of the bands we play with. Tiger's Can Bite You, Earlimart, Rademacher, etc. I like Tegan and Sara, TV on the Radio, Autolux, Blonde Redhead, Grandaddy, etc.
josiah: I want to listen to more R and B and booty bass and incorporate that more into my music.
RFSL: Cool. That's all I've got. Thanks so much for your time, Josiah.
josiah: Thanks!

- Sleepy Hollow MP3
- Save The Drama MP3
- 16 Below MP3


Blogger Malcolm Sosa said...

I will school ANYONE at Ms. Pac-Man. ANYONE. Josiah is rad and he did take us out to steak adn lobster and champagne at 8am in thmorning after being up all night.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Mouse said...

Classical Geek Theatre loves Light FM!

11:35 AM  

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