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- Posted on Feb 18th 2010 2:15PM by Virginia Hernandez
How did Little Black Dress form?
I run a studio in Dallas that we all record at. One of the engineers and I, on our off time, would get songs that we'd been working on and just work on them when there was nothing to do in the studio. So there was never a plan to start a band. And then, after a while, we had like 15-16 songs and we decided we should pick the ones that sounded like they were in the same vein and start working on them. Some people heard some of the mixes we were doing and the label wanted to put it out.
So how did you come up with the band name?
It's hard to come up with a band name. I was watching some show on Discovery Channel or something, and the theme of the show was something like, "Top 5 Most Important Things to Women" ... and I think number one was Little Black Dress and they said it over and over and over a thousand times. I was like, "That is the most important thing? that's crazy!" It's hard to find a good name, so we thought that sounded pretty good.
What were your musical influences at that time?
We were listening to a lot of Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine around that time, because one of the other engineers, Nolan, was just then getting into that type of music and a lot of the old keyboard bands. So, nothing new that was coming out we were really interested in, so went back and listened to old stuff.
How would you describe the sound of Little Black Dress' album? Is it a direct descendant of those influences?
A little bit. A lot of those bands like My Bloody Valentine ... it's great stuff, but there's still an awesome thing about a simple song. So we didn't want to take it all the way and just be self-indulgent, and just make noises for an hour long on the record that we just like but no one else would. So we still try to keep the songs pretty short, but there's definitely a shoegaze influence from the early '90s, late '80s stuff -- no doubt about it. We weren't trying to get into that, but it just kind of came out that way.
What have you been listening to recently?
We've kind of gone back to a Beach Boys thing ... it's always good to go back and listen to a bunch of Beach Boys stuff. As far as new stuff, I really like that Phoenix record that came out about a year and a half ago. They did a really good job on that. Besides that, it's still older stuff like Talk Talk and New Order and Joy Division and stuff like that.
You have a famous musical past. How did that experience in the music business inspire what you do now – or did it?
The best thing about the Deep Blue thing was that without that band we wouldn't be able to afford the studio, we wouldn't be able to afford the time to do whatever we want to do now. It's one of those things -- we were a band in college and everything just worked out and it kind of exploded. And now we're getting to do exactly what we want to do and not have to care about making a radio hit. There's not really a gun to our head or managers telling us, "People who are 14 might not like this!"
You're preparing to play during SXSW week here in Austin. Have you toured with LBD before or is this the first set of gigs?
We play every now and then, but it's not a lot. One of our first shows was actually last year during SXSW at the Idol Records showcase. You know, unless you get on a tour that's already going on, something that's worth while, it's almost kind of pointless to head off and play to nobody or to people who have no idea who you are. We still play enough to keep it going, so at least if we play a show, it's still pretty good. It's so different now than it was 10, 15 years ago as far as touring. We don't play as many shows as we probably should.
Do you recall anything really bizarre that you experienced when you were on tour in the '90s?
We were playing a festival in Vienna at a horse track and Santana was there and he was supposed to play after us. We got a phone call at our hotel that said, "Santana wants to play before you guys." We were just like, "No way, we're not going to let Santana play before us, [the crowd is] going to kill us!" And they were like, "Well, Santana would really like to play before you guys" and we were just like, "We don't get it, whatever." But he's the big deal of the show, so he gets to do whatever he wants ... we just didn't understand it. We get to the place and it's this giant horse track in Vienna and we think, "This is great." Then, all of a sudden, during the end of [Santana's] show, clouds come over right when he finishes and we're getting our gear on stage and a monsoon starts up and completely trashes everything. So we found out Santana can predict the future!
Everybody has a musical guilty pleasure. What's yours?
Any time a Culture Club song comes on. I love it. And my new one right now is Pixie Lott. She's this Australian pop singer and she has this song called, 'Boys and Girls' and it's so cheesy pop heaven. It's awesome. I'd never be in the car with my friends and play it, but when it comes on, I dig it.
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