With members hailing from acts such as Alaska!, Earlimart, Sebadoh, The Watson Twins, Folk Implosion, Great Northern, and more, the group have turned a lot of heads in a short time and recently finished their first album together.
We spoke to band members Russell Pollard and Joel Graves over IM recently to learn more about these local indie rock Hercules.
RFSL (4:37:19 PM): Hey, guys.
joelg (4:37:25 PM): How are you, Joe?
RFSL (4:37:32 PM): I'm doing great.
RFSL (4:37:47 PM): How are you?
joelg (4:37:55 PM): Hangin' in there.
RFSL (4:37:56 PM): You were doing some work with The Watson Twins late last night?
Russ (4:38:12 PM): Yeah. Mixing their record.
joelg (4:39:29 PM): Russ and I talk every day but I don't think we've ever been on IM together, so this is kind of cool...
RFSL (4:39:39 PM): Ha.
Russ (4:39:45 PM): I love it, Joel.
RFSL (4:39:58 PM): So, you guys recently recorded your own album?
Russ (4:40:07 PM): We did.
joelg (4:40:11 PM): Yeah! Just mastered it last week.
RFSL (4:40:23 PM): Congratulations!
Russ (4:40:29 PM): Thanks!
joelg (4:40:39 PM): Thanks. Feels strange to be done.
RFSL (4:40:55 PM): How long were you working on it? Who did you work with?
joelg (4:41:17 PM): Recorded it in two weeks in August with Mike Terry (Editor’s Note: Earlimart, Foo Fighters, Eagles) producing.
joelg (4:41:34 PM): Mixed it in a week at the beginning of this month.
Russ (4:41:49 PM): Feel like it’s a record that’s been building for years for some reason though
joelg (4:42:31 PM): We first got together in December of last year and recorded a 12" a few days later... but Russ had a bunch of great songs already.
Russ (4:43:13 PM) has left the room.
RFSL (4:43:30 PM): How did you start up originally?
joelg (4:43:45 PM): I think Russ just lost connection so I'll answer that one...
joelg (4:44:13 PM): Russ and I met up at New Monkey, and then started playing together in Earlimart.
joelg (4:44:38 PM): He played me a batch of great songs at his house one night and I fell in love with his singing.
joelg (4:44:59 PM): J. Soda came down, and the three of us started playing together in the living room.
joelg (4:45:24 PM): Then we met Rob, and already knew we wanted Davey to play drums.
joelg (4:45:38 PM): Fell into place pretty quickly.
RFSL (4:46:16 PM): That's great. And you guys recently got an album deal, right?
joelg (4:46:50 PM): Well, there's something in the works and we've seen some papers, but nothing has been signed yet.
RFSL (4:50:03 PM): So, you guys haven't played a ton of shows, right? But you've gotten a lot of attention and press.
joelg (4:50:31 PM): Yeah, a handful of shows I suppose. People have been very kind so far.......
RFSL (4:50:55 PM): You played Neil Young’s Bridge School benefit show last month. How was that?
joelg (4:51:42 PM): It was pretty surreal. And beautiful.
joelg (4:52:22 PM): Met a lot of nice folks.. Maybe try inviting Russ in again... he's not sure how to get back on.
Russ (4:52:49 PM) has entered the room.
Russ (4:52:49 PM): Cool.
RFSL (4:52:54 PM): Welcome back.
Russ (4:53:07 PM): Sorry... Don't know what happened
RFSL (4:53:17 PM): Bad Internet weather…
joelg (4:53:27 PM): Hi Russ.
Russ (4:53:30 PM): Hi.
RFSL (4:54:02 PM): So, how did it come together that you played the benefit show? Neil Young’s obviously a fan. You're in his Top 8 on myspace and all.
Russ (4:54:16 PM): Cosmic.
joelg (4:54:25 PM): to say the least...
joelg (4:54:46 PM): We have a lot of mutual friends...
Russ (4:55:11 PM): hands down...the most amazing, humbling and amazing weekend.
RFSL (4:55:19 PM): Yeah?
Russ (4:55:26 PM): Did I say amazing twice?
joelg (4:55:35 PM): You should say it a third time.
Russ (4:55:41 PM): Amazing.
RFSL (4:55:43 PM): What was it like? What happened?
joelg (4:56:29 PM): I don't even know where to begin.
Russ (4:56:45 PM): It was like a dream really. like one i'd like to have many times over.
joelg (4:57:08 PM): We got some great advice from our elders and got to hang out with some very dear friends, new and old.
RFSL (4:57:18 PM): That's great.
RFSL (4:58:29 PM): So, tell me more about how you guys started playing together. This band sounds fairly different from previous ones you guys have been in. Was that intentional or did it just happen? What are you setting out to do musically?
Russ (4:59:52 PM): Well, we just let it happen really. Guess we're setting out to do what we want, be honest, let the music happen.
joelg (5:00:22 PM): We're all such different musicians. We each bring something completely different to the table, and the blend is my favorite thing.
RFSL (5:01:51 PM): Yeah, it sounds great. Listening to it now on myspace.
RFSL (5:02:02 PM): Really looking forward to the album.
joelg (5:02:22 PM): Cool, thanks so much.
RFSL (5:02:39 PM): So, what's next for you?
Russ (5:02:56 PM): A nap hopefully
Russ (5:03:09 PM): Haha.
RFSL (5:03:16 PM): Ha. Beyond today. As a band.
joelg (5:03:57 PM): Looks like the record will be out in February or March, then a lot of touring.
RFSL (5:04:24 PM): Are you touring with anyone or on your own?
joelg (5:04:40 PM): Hopefully with friends... no idea yet.
RFSL (5:04:43 PM): Love to see you guys with a local residency.
RFSL (5:05:00 PM): I get the sense we won't be able to see you guys at Spaceland very long.
Russ (5:05:00 PM): Yeah, that would be fun.
joelg (5:05:22 PM): I think we're going to play some friends' residencies in January.
RFSL (5:05:36 PM): Oh, yeah. The Parson Redheads' show.
joelg (5:06:13 PM): And maybe another as well?
Russ (5:07:12 PM): Looking forward to playing again. It’s been a little while.
joelg (5:07:48 PM): Yeah, the last three shows were strictly acoustic … which was amazing, but, um, it's time to turn up again.
RFSL (5:08:06 PM): Who are you listening to these days?
joelg (5:08:33 PM): I've been listening to a lot of Foster Timms demos. If you live in Silver Lake, you've had a drink with him at some point.
joelg (5:09:21 PM): Listening to Vetiver at the moment. Cabes' voice is angelic!
Russ (5:09:32 PM): I've been listening to Dylan more than ever. The new Wilco seems to creep in every week.
Russ (5:09:56 PM): Vetiver's record...To Find Me Gone smokes!
joelg (5:10:06 PM): yes oh yes it does.
Russ (5:10:42 PM): Gentle Giant...Octopus. Good ol' british prog from the 70s
RFSL (5:11:12 PM): Cool. I've been listening to an advance of The Movies' next EP and it is so damn good.
joelg (5:11:19 PM): There's a band from Birmingham that I love called Through the Sparks. And, my brothers and sister in Chairlift in Brooklyn.
joelg (5:11:29 PM): Ah, I love The Movies.
Russ (5:11:42 PM): The Movies... I like.
joelg (5:12:02 PM): There's an Earlimart tune called The Movies... which I think is named after them.
Russ (5:12:40 PM): "I owe it all to the movies"
Russ (5:12:47 PM): right?
joelg (5:12:58 PM): yeah. beautiful song. amazing.
RFSL (5:13:09 PM): They're playing that benefit show we're putting on and we just put up some of their new tracks on the myspace page for it, if you want to hear some.
joelg (5:13:32 PM): oh, great!
Russ (5:13:58 PM): very cool.
joelg (5:14:05 PM): That's a good lineup.
RFSL (5:14:43 PM): Last question for you: What are the best and worst aspects of being a band here in LA?
joelg (5:16:33 PM): That's a tough one. I don't really give much thought to our locale, we just do what we do. Club promoters treat bands differently in other towns... I can say that.
joelg (5:17:36 PM): We're lucky to have Spaceland, the Echo, Silverlake Lounge, etc... but this is a rough town.
Russ (5:17:46 PM): Best: L.A. is great, I don't care what anyone thinks about it from other parts of the world. My experience has been very inspiring. Worst: The traffic is rough, though.
RFSL (5:19:20 PM): Cool. Well, I'm looking forward to hearing you guys play with The Parson Redheads and for that album release.
joelg (5:19:43 PM): Thanks, Joe. It should be an interesting year. We're itching to play.
RFSL (5:19:52 PM): Thanks so much for your time.
Russ (5:19:53 PM): Thanks Joe. Pleasure chatting with you!
joelg (5:20:04 PM): Let's have a drink at the show...
RFSL (5:20:13 PM): Definitely. Several.
Note: We don’t have any MP3s to post for the group, but head over to their myspace page to hear four great tracks.
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