Metal Blade Records On May 17, As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis appeared in…
- Posted on Mar 12th 2010 7:57PM by Gloria Vargas
How did your band start?
My brother Jesse, Ben, who plays keyboards, and me started playing together since we were around 14 years old. Jesse and I played the saxophone and the piano in high school, but around 14 we started to learn the guitar and the bass, started to play regularly with Ben and take it more seriously. We have been playing together music every year since then. When we started going to college, we only got together during the summers, we would play and record using Princeton as our band name for any gigs even if not all of us were there. One summer we all got together in London and since we had time to spend together we tried to play as many live shows we could, anything we could get, we really hustled. At the end of that summer we had recorded a 6 or 7-song EP in Ben's dorm room. It was the first time we felt we could record and do this in a more permanent way.
By the end of 2005, we knew we were going to come back home and do this full time. We had a lot of songs already written for a full length album, but Ben thought it will be a better idea to release an EP as introduction, that is when we came with the idea for Bloomsbury which we published after we graduated.
How did you come up with your band name?
The band was named after the street where we lived, Princeton Street in Santa Monica. We started playing together when we were all going to the same high school.
What are your musical influences?
I would say that my personal influences vary quite a lot; I like quite a lot of music. But there are a few people that influence my songwriting like Ray Davies from the Kinks, Leonard Cohen, My Bloody Valentine and Scott Walker, these are people I obsess over. As a band the influences have changed over time, and we all have our different tastes and they inform the music we do. For example, Jess is very much into dance music and disco so we have added some of that in our music. There is good overlap in all our tastes.
How would you describe your sound?
I always have a difficult time making an appropriate characterization of the way our music sounds; I do think it is pop music though. Even at the most abstract there is always a melody and choruses and things like that. I would describe as rhythmic-orchestral-pop, something like that. I just think it is not a great idea to start throwing labels because if you are an artist that evolves whatever label will be obsolete by the time the music reaches the public and you are already working on something new.
Do you get played on the radio?
We get played in stations like NPR and such. Getting played on the radio is not a goal but if it happens it will be nice, a nice surprise. I do listen to the mainstream radio and wish for more diversity and newer music. It boggles my mind what stations play, I listen to rock stations and they play 90s' Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day and Foo Fighters. No new rock music or other sounds, maybe because the stations started in the 90s and they got famous playing that kind of music and they decided not evolve. So yes, it will be a surprise to get more play on the radio.
Do you play at a lot of festivals?
We haven't done many festivals yet. SXSW is the main one for us right now. The major festivals don't get bands unless they are quite successful already. We haven't gotten to that level yet. It will be nice if all those festivals, Coachella, Bonnaroo and others; didn't have all the same line up and gave more opportunity to smaller acts.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
Well.. It is actually Foo Fighters. I listen to Everlong all the time. I like a lot of music that could be labeled as guilty pleasure, I love Cindy Lauper! Girls just want to Have Fun is pretty good. But I don't feel guilty about it. Another song I like a lot is Return of the Mack, by British rapper Mark Morrison.
Beatles or Stones?
That is tough, but I would go with the Beatles because I'm a slighter bigger fan of them. But I love the Stones too, ask me again in a year and I may say definitely the Stones.
What's next for your band?
We have written most of our next record so we are focused on that. We are working with an ensemble called Los Angeles New Music Ensemble on the arrangements; the sound is going to be very different. It will be just a few chords and a lot of rhythmic. Hopefully we will record it over the summer and release it sometime next year.
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