L/A/L - I Love To Love, But My Baby Just Loves To Laugh.
Following on from their superb "Destination 2000" lp, L/A/L are set to return to the fray in September with a new album - "Sea To Shining Sea" - on SubPop Rekkids. The lp will be preceded by a US 7" single & a US Tour with power-poppers, Beachwood Sparks.
L/A/L is essentially Sam Jayne - the project began in 1994 following the sad demise of his previous band, the influential & respected outfit, Lync. The 1st L/A/L lp - "The Greks Bring Gifts" - surfaced on K Rekkids in 1996 - recorded on 8 trak, it laid the foundations for the development of the L/A/L we know & love today.
Friends helped flesh out the band for the recording of the 2cnd lp - 1998's, "No.1 USA" (K) - & subsequent live dates. Word began to spread across the planet - in the UK the NME picked up on the band in their On section with very positive comments about "No.1 USA". The seeds had been sown. L/A/L was born;
Sam Jayne - Gtr, vox Brandon Angle - Gtr, bass Zeke Howard - Drums, Gtr Ryan Davidson - Bass
The band's 2nd lp - the wonderful "Destination 2000" (SubPop) - saw L/A/L develop & establish themselves as a true force to be rekkoned with. Packed with excellent songs, impressive attitude & powerful, searing gtrs - "Destination 2000" was one of the year's essential releases.
"Sea To Shining Sea" was mostly recorded at MagRecOne studios in Olympia. Titles featured include; "Miss Direction", "French Heroin", "Temptation Island", "Sam Jayne = Dead", "The Square" & "E.H".
trakMARX very own Leicester Banks recently trakked L/A/L down at their L/A/L Industries HQ to shoot the shit about forthcoming manoeuvres;
trakMARX - Give us a peek in your influence bin & tell us who L/A/L love to love.
Sam- Uhh... oh yeah - you know the Neil Hagerty solo thing that came out, the new Air & Daft Punk shit - I don't know... Peaches (as well as Peaches and Herb) ...I've been listening to Joe Walsh and the Pretty Things actually.
trakMARX - L/A/L or Love As Laughter - or does it not really matter that much?
Sam - No.
trakMARX - Being signed to a label of quality like SubPop must help with your profile. Are there any suspects from their extraordinary roster (past & present) you feel an affinity with?
Sam - Wow, I never really thought about it, but here goes: my Sub Pop faves (in no order) are Nirvana, Six Finger Sattelite, Elevator to Hell, Mudhoney, Wipers ( I know it's a re-release !), Fuckin' TAD!, Shins, Rapture, Dickless... who else? Shit.
trakMARX - All the best gtr bands in the world seem to come from the States right now - why do you think the US gtr scene is so strong?
Sam - There's always been a strong "guitar scene" (whatever that is). Rock n' roll doesn't "dissappear" in the United States. There is no "death of rock" or whatever that appears in the press from time to time. There has always been a handful of kick ass bands in the underground and there always will be. The only thing that threatens rock n' roll is the large scale music industry shoving platefuls of undelicious crap down America's, and the world's throat, and clouding up everything so it's hard to see the honest and hard sweat of the U.S. underground. If an underground band is signed on one of these labels basically the label is paying them a bunch of money so they can try to sell them to the same little fuckers that they fed the goo goo dolls to or whatever. But usually the big labels can't convince MTV beach party nerds that an underground rock band is cool because their tan asses don't want to get their Tevas dirty. So the underground community exists and will forever, probably even farther removed from the mainstream in the future as America's popular taste grows worse.
trakMARX - The White Stripes & The Strokes have recently caused massive interest in the UK with their respective live shows - what do you make of these bands & have you any plans to promote the new lp in Britain?
Sam - I like both bands. Yes.
trakMARX - How does the new record compare to "Destination 2000"?
Sam - Listen to it.
trakMARX - You hint at acoustic gtrs on your website - are we about to witness the more sensitive side of L/A/L?
Sam - We actually toured as an acoustic duo (Zeke Howard and I) to tour with J Mascis and the Fog in spring. We've played several shows locally like that too. The softer side, yes. It's mellow.
trakMARX - You share a few qualities with Trail of Dead in our book - what do you make of Conrad & the boys?
Sam - We are nothing like that dude.
trakMARX - Your sound has a certain punk rock attitude - do you mean it, maaaaaaaaaan?
Sam - Can't help it. Like Fred Cole: "I'm pissed off pissed off pissed off - it's just the way I am". Yeah there's a lot of attitude, that's the kind of music I like! Passionate fuckin' music. Check my resume. I'm a punk.
trakMARX - Are you as excited as the NME about what's occurring in Detroit right now, or are us Brits just missing 100's of happening regional scenes all over the USA?
Sam - Yep, you sure are.
trakMARX - Are you looking forward to the forthcoming film, "MC5 - A True Testimonial" & have you chekked the mighty Radio Birdman comp recently released on SubPop?
Sam - Is the life of the MC5 really that exciting? Me n' my friends probably smoke way more weed than those guys. That's probably why we can't play guitar as good. And our hair's not as big. Mmmm... Radio Birdman... Hey they had Ron Asheton on some shit right? Cool.
trakMARX - Any bands operating in your locale you admire enough to rekkomend?
Sam - Focus North and Osirus Gold.
trakMARX - Long term development of a group can take time & have harsh financial implications. Are you familiar with the Gospel according to Steve Albini regarding rock bands & finance, & are you managing to hold your heads above water?
Sam - Money is no object when you don't have any.
trakMARX - What constitutes success for L/A/L?
Sam - I tend not to think about the big picture or whatever, success is like, "oh the art is done and looks cool" or " that was a good show and we got to play with bands I really like." There's not really a goal essentially. Goals are for soccer.
By the time you read this, "Sea To Shining Sea" will be in a decent rekkid shop close to you on Sub Pop Rekkids - like the man said, if you wanna hear what it sounds like, go fuckin buy a copy.
Leicester Banks - 2001
Vexing Fuzz Core Akimbo
l/a/l - "Sea To Shining Sea" - Subpop Rekkids
1. Coast To Coast 2. Temptation Island 3. Sam Jayne = Dead 4. Put It Together 5. Miss Direction 6. My Case 7. Druggachusetts 8. French Heroin 9. The Square 10. E.H.
Sam Jayne is back, & this time he's all over the USA like a rash. "Sea To Shining Sea", coast to coast, LA to NYC - sit back & take it all in. Don headphones 4 for yr. first listen, board the aural Greyhound, strap in & enjoy the warped view.
Following up Oct 2000's aptly titled "Destination 2000", Jayne & co have skratched away any ambiguity from their soundscapes that may have been present last time out & nailed it firmly to the bus floor, pedal to the metal. The opening "Coast 2 Coast" kicks yr. head in from the off. A lanquid riff is decorated with a bass melody that grows to the la-la-la-la-la of the hook. The gtrs sound enormous, the kit slams fierce & l/a/l come on like "Dirty" era SYouth with a skewed pop sensibility. "Temptation Island" keeps up the pressure with a avalanche of riffage & a wail of a tune. Two down & the cards are on the table, the stakes have been raised - nothing has intrinsically changed, but everything has grown considerably in stature.
"Sam Jayne = Dead" is the result of some graffitti in a toilet & the composer is invited to come & have a pop. This could well be the Joe Walsh influence Jayne talks of above seeping out, shoot me in the head - why doncha. "Miss Direction" is Jayne's most traditionally structured offering to date. Could be The Dream Syndicate covering a long lost Velvets gem, it mutters "hit" repeatedly under its breath as it eats up 7 minutes of disc, seemingly in half the time. Elsewhere there are washes of psychedelic colour, nuggets rescued from the vaults, pebbles picked from the beachfront of punk rock. Jayne has a healthy hint of the John Lennons deep down inside, & he's not self concious enough to bother trying to hide it. "The Square" speaks volumes about the concept behind "Sea To Shining Sea"; a fucked up modern day sea shanty, hauntingly effective & as addictive as crack.
Many scribes have laboured l/a/l's affinity to the Stones. Not so sure about that one - Jayne has integrity, originallity, humility & honesty which are not usually associated with Mick & Keef (post Brian Jones). If the last cultural reference to quality gtr sounds you can make is The Rolling Stones then you really should get out more often. "Coast To Coast" has bredth, depth, width & height - it's multi dimensional as well as multi functional. It saunters, it struts, it cajoles & it demands - to ignore it would be dangerous as well as rude. Jayne is, as he says, a punk (check his resume) with an expert's grasp of the lineage of his subject, & with "Coast To Coast" he has made a thouroughly modern punk rock rekkid. All over the US right now gtr terrorists are skratching their heads & thinking; where do we go next? The answer is back to the drawing board, suckas.
What's the new lp like, Sam - we asked. Go fuckin listen to it, said the man. H/e/y, what's a poor boy suposed to do!
J/e/a/n E/n/c/o/u/l/e - Oct 2001