Thursday, September 25, 2008

Interview: The Western States Motel

Tonight at Safari Sam's, The Western States Motel celebrate the release of a new EP full of dreamy summer pop, along with support by Light FM, The French Semester, and The Secret 6. (It's free, the line-up's great, the venue's good, and there's parking, so guess what? You're fucking going...)

We briefly talked with the group's weary lead Carl Jordan late last night after band practice.

RFSL (9/24/2008 11:08:24 PM): Hey, Carl. How was practice?
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:08:57 PM): Good. A few amp meltdowns, but that's nothing new.
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:09:13 PM): Looking forward to the show?
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:09:29 PM): You know it! For a while now.
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:09:51 PM): What's the plan for it in as far as new versus old material?
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:10:38 PM): What we were working on tonight was a pretty even balance... We're doing the whole EP, though.
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:11:39 PM): The EP is five songs... We've also been playing a new song called The Cliff but that's not on the EP...
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:12:24 PM): How would you say the new material is different from your first album?
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:13:35 PM): I'm not sure if it's all that different... A lot of people described the first album as "laid back" and i kind of feel like the EP is slightly less so.
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:14:20 PM): I'd say the new songs are more up tempo.
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:16:05 PM): Yeah, for sure. The whole thing rocks a bit more, if you will
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:17:01 PM): That's great that you're playing the show with Light FM and The French Semester. (Haven’t heard the other band.) Great line-up and a good location.
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:18:24 PM): Yeah, I like Safari Sam's. The first time i was there was for the Sea Level Records going-away party, and Division Day and Le Switch did that sweet Boyz II Men cover...
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:20:21 PM): Yeah, that was a fun night.
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:21:48 PM): How's the new band going?
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:22:47 PM): The new band is great. I think we're all actually having a lot of fun. Mike’s from the original lineup is still in the mix, so it's not all new,
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:23:18 PM): How long have the new guys been playing with you now? Six months?
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:24:25 PM): Something like that.
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:24:44 PM): What are their backgrounds?
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:25:45 PM): Fine arts, mostly.
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:26:54 PM): Looking back a bit… How did that video come together for Power Lines off your first release?
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:28:38 PM): That was such a gift. I had happened to ask Josh Forbes of Winch and Pulley if he was interested in doing something... He put me in touch with his friend Rylan Strader, and what you see on screen there is really Rylan's work, along with the great crew he put together. I just kind of showed up and really had a fantastic time. That was my first and only experience with Craft Service.

RFSL (9/24/2008 11:29:31 PM): I think it frames the music really well.
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:30:26 PM): Yeah I think Rylan just nailed it perfectly. We were actually just talking today about doing a new one....
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:30:40 PM): For which song?
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:31:41 PM): Probably Oh World since it's sort of "the single" but there's nothing really determined yet. I think Trans Am would be a fun one to do a video for
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:32:34 PM): What's next for you after the release show?
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:33:36 PM): Well, we're playing in long beach next week and we just confirmed a show at The Echo for late October... a pretty amazing bill which I'm told i can't talk about yet.
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:34:27 PM): Nice. Any plans to tour beyond SoCal any time soon?
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:35:43 PM): I hope so... We'll see what happens. For now, probably more writing and recording.
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:36:08 PM): I remember hearing that you wrote all the songs on the first album by yourself in your basement.
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:39:18 PM): That's kind of true. A lot of the songs were actually written up in Santa Cruz and Monterey, I'd just head down to the beach and lurk around with my guitar. And most of the recording I did at my house, but not in a basement, actually a bedroom
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:40:37 PM): How about the new ones?
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:42:26 PM): The new ones all came about here in LA. Basically the same deal in terms of working at home, but we were able to record the drums sort of under-the-radar at a somewhat legitimate recording studio in Hollywood.
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:42:45 PM): Which of them is your favorite?
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:45:20 PM): I guess it’s sort of stock to say I don't have a favorite, but I really don't. I'm really enjoying playing them live though. They all kind of take on a new form after working on the recorded versions.
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:45:46 PM): Cool. One last question for you... What are you listening to these days?
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:48:47 PM): Tejas by ZZ Top, Switched on Bach, The Happy Hollows, Sam cook, The Kink's Lola vs. Powerman, David Bowie's Man Who Sold The World, the new Ra-ta-tat...
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:49:29 PM): Great. That's all I've got. Thanks for all your time, Carl.
westernstates (9/24/2008 11:49:58 PM): Thank you, Joe.
RFSL (9/24/2008 11:50:19 PM): See you tonight.

- The Western States Motel's Oh World MP3
- Mini-Interview: The Western States Motel


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