Friday, October 10, 2008

Interview: Shiloe

Fuzzy/droney/rocky act Shiloe celebrate the release of their new album on New & Used Records this Sunday at Spaceland with Kissing Cousins, The Pacific, and Love's Like Smoke.

We caught up with two of three members, Ken and Melissa, earlier in the week to discuss how they started, what's next, and a bunch of what counts as in-between.

RFSL (7:26:56 PM): Sorry I'm late! Had family stuff and it ran really behind.
shiloe (7:27:06 PM): Don't be!! We were just wondering if we had actually successfully installed our AIM stuff.
shiloe (7:30:14 PM): Just to clarify, Melissa is typing, but Ken is here, too!
RFSL (7:30:20 PM): Excellent.
RFSL (7:30:31 PM): How long have you guys been together as a band?
shiloe (7:31:04 PM): Well, Ken and I started playing together something like 6 years ago? But Shiloe has existed for about three years now.
RFSL (7:31:46 PM): How did that work? What changed three years ago?
shiloe (7:33:34 PM): We had been playing with friends but it was hard to put together a lineup where everybody wanted to record, play shows and actually be in an active band instead of just jamming for fun, so we decided to start a new band of our own. Initially we were looking for a second guitar player as well as a drummer, but it was too hard to wade through all of the ads on Craigslist so we ended up just looking for a drummer, since drums are, y'know...indispensable.
RFSL (7:34:20 PM): Where was your first show?
shiloe (7:34:53 PM): At the Good Hurt. It was a weirdly incompatible bill with a bunch of folksy singer-songwriters, but it was fun. We were super excited to be playing on a stage!
RFSL (7:35:19 PM): Yeah, I would not consider you in the same genre per se...
shiloe (7:35:44 PM): Haha, yeah. I would say alienating people with our loudness might be our main problem as a live act.
RFSL (7:36:08 PM): Heh. You're probably alienating all the right people, if that’s the case.
RFSL (7:36:12 PM): How would you describe your music to a new listener?
shiloe (7:37:00 PM): No boxes! Ken says some famous singer once said this, but he can't remember who.
shiloe (7:37:34 PM): I would say we sound dark and noisy but also melodic?
RFSL (7:38:49 PM): How is your new album is different from your older material?
shiloe (7:39:54 PM): I think the songwriting is a lot more evolved. We're definitely proud of our first EP, but I think you can tell we were a new band. I also think this is the first EP that has turned out exactly how Ken and I wanted it to turn out.
RFSL (7:40:33 PM): That's great. I really like what I've heard.
shiloe (7:40:45 PM): Cool! Thanks a lot.
RFSL (7:40:47 PM): And it's coming out on New & Used Records?
shiloe (7:41:17 PM): Yeah, it comes out on New & Used Records on 10/14. They're a new independent label out of San Francisco. They're also putting out the new Tigers Can Bite You EP.
RFSL (7:41:28 PM): And Light FM too, right?
shiloe (7:42:50 PM): Actually no, I think Light FM is on Devil in the Woods. I'm pretty sure they're pals with New & Used but it's not the same label.
RFSL (7:43:26 PM): So glad to see someone out there putting out music from all the good bands around here.
shiloe (7:45:00 PM): We're definitely happy that we found a cool label that actually cares about our music.
RFSL (7:45:17 PM): So what's the plan for the album release show on Sunday?
shiloe (7:47:12 PM): Whew! Where to start. Okay, well first of all, I'm playing bass with Kissing Cousins now. (For the uninitiated, Kissing Cousins is Heather from Summer Darling's all-girl band.) We're playing at 9. Then the Pacific, then us. We're going to be performing in costume as characters from Back to the Future. AND we're working on a cover of "Pet Sematary" by the Ramones. AND we're going to have a couple of special guest stars. Then Love's Like Smoke has their debut. Plus, we're going to have DJ Christopher from Get Yer Rocks Off DJing. Oh, and we'll have free Halloween candy & goodies too!!

shiloe (7:47:18 PM): P.S. We love Halloween.
shiloe (7:48:26 PM): Ken says his plan is to "TAKE THE STAGE AND ROCK HARD." Then he threw up the devil horns, ripped off his shirt and fell to his knees in an orgy of rock & roll surrender.
RFSL (7:48:26 PM): "I don't want to be buried ... in your pet! sematery..."
RFSL (7:48:32 PM): I have that stuck in my head now.
RFSL (7:48:41 PM): That's a good plan.
shiloe (7:48:51 PM): YES! I always thought he said, "I don't want to live my life alone," but apparently it's "again," which makes a lot more sense.
shiloe (7:49:01 PM): You should join us on stage and sing the chorus!!
RFSL (7:49:29 PM): That movie is a lost horror classic.
RFSL (7:49:31 PM): Or something.
shiloe (7:49:44 PM): It scared the shit out of me when I was 9. Or however old I was when it came out.
RFSL (7:49:48 PM): George Romero AND Stephen King!
RFSL (7:49:53 PM): Ha, ha.
shiloe (7:50:10 PM): Wait, George Romero!? I'm sorry to say I actually had no idea he was involved! Did he direct?
RFSL (7:50:18 PM): Yep!
RFSL (7:50:13 PM): Pet Sematary 2? Not so good.
shiloe (7:50:20 PM): But Edward Furlong!!
RFSL (7:50:31 PM): The sequel did have a dog-headed guy.
RFSL (7:50:37 PM): Which is always good for laughs.
shiloe (7:50:49 PM): Did you just call Edward Furlong dog-headed?!

RFSL (7:51:28 PM): So what's the plan beyond the release party? Are you guys touring at all? Doing a residency? Or?
shiloe (7:51:48 PM): We would LOVE to do a residency. HINT, HINT, LOCAL VENUES!
shiloe (7:52:05 PM): We plan on playing up in SF or Vegas as much as we can, but probably no lengthy tours for now.
shiloe (7:52:18 PM): Unless a bigger band wants to invite us. HINT, HINT, SONIC YOUTH!
RFSL (7:52:40 PM): Where were you when you heard Daydream Nation the first time?
shiloe (7:53:32 PM): You know, to tell you the truth my first exposure to Sonic Youth wasn't Daydream Nation, but rather a guest column that Thurston Moore wrote for Sassy, circa Dirty. I've been obsessed with him ever since. And Ken didn't start listening to SY until I introduced him to them!
shiloe (7:53:47 PM): Did you happen to go to the Sunset Junction when they headlined? That was epic.
RFSL (7:54:04 PM): I missed it. I saw them at ArthurFest a few years back.
shiloe (7:54:10 PM): How was that?
RFSL (7:54:18 PM): Can't believe I missed the tour where they played Daydream Nation...
shiloe (7:54:36 PM): I know!! We missed it too! We saw their secret show at the Troubadour though.
RFSL (7:54:43 PM): Wow. That's fantastic.
RFSL (7:54:36 PM): That album blew my mind when it came out. I was just listening to straightedge hardcore and it was like BOOM!
shiloe (7:55:07 PM): Hardcore! Wow. I was already into Nirvana and Hole when I discovered Sonic Youth, so it wasn't that big of a leap.
RFSL (7:55:31 PM): Yeah, I still know all the lyrics to a lot of Youth of Today songs...
shiloe (7:55:32 PM): It's so interesting to find out what music people were into in high school.
shiloe (7:55:47 PM): Ken used to listen to Youth of Today.
RFSL (7:56:21 PM): What are you guys listening to right now?
shiloe (7:56:55 PM): We listen to a lot of local bands. I can't even remember the last time we saw a show that wasn't a local show. Jesse from Karabal Nightlife got Ken into Spoon and Destroyer.
shiloe (7:57:57 PM): I listen to a lot of girl music. Girl music to me is like, PJ Harvey, Tori Amos, Mary Timony and Helium. I LOVE Katastrophy Wife, which is Kat from Babes in Toyland's new band. If anyone who is reading this likes or liked Babes in Toyland, contact me! We have a lot in common and no one ever likes the shit I like!
RFSL (7:57:59 PM): I need to check out Destroyer. I'm incredibly lazy about checking out bands that don't play here.
shiloe (7:58:28 PM): Same with us. Also, we can't afford it! I would've loved to have seen the Raconteurs at the Greek, but anything that involves Ticketmaster surcharges is just impossible.
RFSL (7:58:44 PM): Yeah. It's a lot of work.
shiloe (7:58:52 PM): As it is now, if a band we know is playing a show that is upwards of $5 we're like, "EIGHT DOLLARS?!?! That's crazy talk!"
shiloe (7:59:11 PM): We did see Black Francis at Spaceland though.
RFSL (7:59:19 PM): Oh, nice.
shiloe (7:59:29 PM): He's a beautiful man.
shiloe (8:00:04 PM): We saw David Lovering open for him once with his "scientific phenomenalism." Ken bought a shirt from him and he was so excited! This was right before The Pixies got back together.
RFSL (8:01:16 PM): I'm really glad I've gotten to see The Pixies play as much as I have.
shiloe (8:01:31 PM): Same here. Did you go to Coachella when they played?
RFSL (8:01:54 PM): Three times back when, once after they got back together at Coachella (that was an incredible line-up). And Frank Black twice in-between.
shiloe (8:02:16 PM): The Coachella thing was my favorite.
RFSL (8:04:26 PM): It was like the best musical buffet in the world... Broken Social Scene, The Black Keys, Radiohead, Belle & Sebastien, Air, The Cure, Beck, The Pixies... (O)
shiloe (8:01:57 PM): Pixies are another band that I got Ken into which ended up influencing our songs alot.
RFSL (8:02:10 PM): Who would you say influences you the most?
shiloe (8:03:08 PM): Musically, Pixies, Sleater-Kinney, the Cure (early stuff), Sonic Youth, the Beatles. Ken really likes how they always experimented with their music and never got trapped doing just one thing.
shiloe (8:04:39 PM): Lyrically, I always liked bands that were more about imagery than making a definite statement or telling a specific story. I like evocative lyrics. Stuff like Nirvana, Hole, Radiohead, Pixies. Their songs might not necessarily "mean something" in a concrete way but the lyrics really make an impression.
RFSL (8:05:56 PM): All of those bands made you feel like you'd been somewhere or experienced something you'd never lived through in their music.
shiloe (8:06:10 PM): Yeah, that's what we really like in music.
RFSL (8:07:03 PM): What local bands do you like the most then?
shiloe (8:08:40 PM): There are so many! We'll try not to forget any...the Monolators, Summer Darling, Kissing Cousins (obviously!), the Karabal Nightlife, Wait Think Fast, Death to Anders. There's a song called "Sitting on a Leaf" by Family Tree Analog that I was obsessed with for weeks because it was on our iPod but I didn't know what it was! Great song.
shiloe (8:09:11 PM): There are so many great bands around town and it's awesome that you can go out any night of the week and see them perform. Frequently for free, or like $5.
RFSL (8:09:36 PM): I hear you. That's my favorite thing about LA.
shiloe (8:09:49 PM): Oh, we played a Halloween show last year with Joy Shannon and the Beauty Marks. She does a great cover of Search & Destroy on the harp!
RFSL (8:10:07 PM): And that's not a "we're so cool!" sort of thing. It's a "we're so lucky!"
shiloe (8:10:10 PM): Oh yeah, and I loved Katie the Pest. Then they broke up.
shiloe (8:10:15 PM): I agree.
RFSL (8:10:36 PM): Search & Destroy on the harp?
shiloe (8:10:45 PM): Yes!
shiloe (8:10:51 PM): I think it might be up on her Myspace.
RFSL (8:10:57 PM): I think that's one of those songs with perfect lyrics.
RFSL (8:11:02 PM): I need to look that up.
shiloe (8:11:06 PM): Right on.
RFSL (8:11:26 PM): Cool. Well, that's all I've got for you guys.
RFSL (8:11:33 PM): Thanks so much for your time!
shiloe (8:11:38 PM): Thanks for interviewing us!
shiloe (8:11:43 PM): We read RFSL everyday.
RFSL (8:12:32 PM): Do you have an MP3 I could post w/ the interview?
shiloe (8:12:55 PM): Sure, we can give you something from the new EP. Gone or Alarms.
RFSL (8:13:10 PM): Ossum!
RFSL (8:13:14 PM): That would be great.
shiloe (8:13:29 PM): Ken loves Netspeak. I'm teaching him to read it. Do you like I Can Has Cheezburger?!?!
RFSL (8:15:16 PM): They posted a pic of my dog on I Can Has Cheezburger once and was so proud. It was like he was famous.
shiloe (8:15:27 PM): Aww!! We'll look for that.
RFSL (8:14:21 PM): One of the things I like so much about Classical Geek Theatre is that Mouse makes me feel better about writing in Netspeak.
RFSL (8:14:25 PM): I am teh pwnz0r!!
shiloe (8:14:33 PM): Netspeak FTW! LOL.
RFSL (8:14:45 PM): Ha!
shiloe (8:14:58 PM): Haha, Ken's all, "What's FTW?!" n00b.

- Gone MP3


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