November 6, 2013

Interview: La Luz

Bow down, Luzers.

La Luz first showed up on our radar earlier in the year when Diana reviewed their EP, Damp Face, last March. We were taken by their own spin on classic California surf rock (despite the band residing in Seattle) and were even further impressed when we heard It's Alive, their first full-length album off of Hardly Art earlier in October. La Luz members Marian, Alice, Abbey and Shana harmonize and jam their way through eleven songs that make us feel like taking a dusky nighttime excursion down the coast. We were able to ask the band a few questions like what Luzers would have to do if La Luz was a cult, what It's Alive would sound like if it came out in both 2003 and 2063 and what they would be dressing up as for Halloween this year (and reveal what they actually did). Unfortunately, last night the band was in a serious car accident that caused damage to their gear and van, but you can help support the band by donating to their Paypal here (and by sending them a lot of love).

THE LE SIGH: Instead of 2013, it's 2003 and you've just released It's Alive. What would the 2003 version of the album sound like? 

Marian Li Pino:  Destiny's Child + Twee + Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Shana Cleveland: I was living in Chicago then so it would be a touristy nightclub blues record, obvs. And we’d all be white guys. Naw,’d be eleven variations of the song Californication. 
Abbey Blackwell: Definitely some Red Hot Chili Peppers with a dash of Weezer. Or the opposite ratio. 
Alice Sandahl: Weezer meets TLC. 

TLS: If La Luz was a cult and the members were Luzers, what would you require Luzers to do?

SC: Woah, I like this interview so far. One ritual, maybe the only ritual, would be the Soul Train.
MP:  For sure, Soul Train. Or I suppose just dancing in general. Learning the worm would be a top priority.
AB: wearing fun sunglasses would be important and would most likely show your dedication or level of superiority. 
AS: I’d ask them to make up an original dance move. Like it was your signature within the cult, your personal dance move. And wear sequins and glitter. 

TLS:  I saw on Facebook that you're a fan of Los Saicos and I am as well - what are some of your other favorite surf punk bands? Did they have any influence when the band was writing music for La Luz? 

SC: I found out about Los Saicos while we were wrapping up It’s Alive and I’ve written a few songs that are directly influenced by them that will probably end up our next record. Every song they played is so freaking good!! AHHH!!! When I was writing songs for this record I was listening to a lot of South American and Mexican and French and American garage. Bands like Los Yorks, the Hardtimes, Takeshi Terauchi And The Bunnys. Mostly just digging up all the compilations I could find that looked cool and that weren’t like crazy expensive. Mississippi Records has a couple really awesome garage tapes and world music mixes with some amazing tracks by bands whose names I don’t remember. I found the Trashwomen through Burger Records and fell in love with them. 

TLS: On the topic of surf rock, who would you rather pick - surfer boys or skater boys? 

SC: Besides a brief and demoralizing year in the San Fernando Valley, I have never lived anywhere where surfing was much of an option. Most of my boyfriends have been skaters though. 
MP: At first I said surfer boys, then realized I wouldn’t date boys, so if anything it would probably be skater girls because they’re really cool and tough. 
AB: Surfer boys. Going to California or Oregon as a teen always made my heart flutter, embarrassingly enough. 
AS: Skater boys and girls. Although I might steal a surfer dude for a hot second so I could learn to surf. 

TLS:  La Luz has the chance to collaborate with a pop star on a new song. Who would it be and what would the song be about? 

SC: I know who Alice is going to say! A pop star....Oh man, I dunno. I’m not really familiar with today’s pop stars. All I know is Justin Beiber, so I guess I’ll say him. Oh shit, that would be funny. Obviously the song would be a beach party song and the video would be us as his backing band while he was singing some kind of Beach Boys girls/cars/surf rip off and I would take a really cheesy solo that lasted five seconds and I’d make guitar face the whole time. 
MP:  Miley Cyrus because that makes no sense, and she hates cats as much as I do.  I assume we’d just do a surf version of “Party in the USA.”
AB: Yuck! They both make me feel icky. I love Beyonc√©. But maybe someone exotic and crazy like Lady Gaga. I like her. And her outfits are incredible! The sound would have a super catchy bass and drum groove and some repeating chorus. 
AS: Shana knows me all too well. I can’t help it. I’m a huge Beyonc√© admirer. I think it would be AMAZING to work with her! AAAAAAAHHHHHH! Or working with Timbaland. That’d be an interesting spin on our music. 

TLS: Halloween is coming up - what is the band going to be dressing up as this year? What was your best and worst halloween costume? 

SC: We’ll be playing in Madison, Wisconsin with of Montreal that night. I don’t think we have any idea what we’re gonna to for costumes yet! Maybe we should dress up as “Sexy” of Montreal, haha. 
MP: Can we ditch the sexy and actually just dress up as of Montreal?  I love this idea. 
AB: Yeah, no sexy. But I would dress up as Ben and be a cowboy! 
AS: The more recent costume conversation is three Waynes and a Garth. Guess who’d be Garth? 

TLS: It's now the year 2063 and La Luz is still putting out music – what does your most recent album sound like? 

SC: Somebody else wanna take a stab at this? 
MP:  Neo-Dubstep soul. Obviously. 
AB: Oooh Marian that's dangerous. Maybe we could have my sister rap a little on a couple tracks too. 
AS: Surfy blues? Our voices by then will be all crackly and low.

Order La Luz' new album via Hardly Art

Written by Emily Thompson