The Orange County teenagers make wonderfully heavy psych sounds. Debut album, Island Universe, is out on 18 March. Jessie Jones (vocals) and Louis Filliger (guitarist) tell their story.
You recorded the album with Crystal Antlers’ singer Johnny Bell as producer. What attracted you to working with him?
Filliger: The first time I heard Crystal Antlers was around 2004-2005 and it changed my concept of what could be done with music. So it was a pretty easy decision. Johnny seemed to understand our songs only after hearing them once. The track Red Queen has a tempo change that is 100 per cent Crystal Antlers-inspired.
Jones: He also said he had a lot of cats and psychedelic plants at his studio.
Does being a band in LA feel quite weird considering you’re in a place where everyone is trying to make it?
Filliger: We are a band from Orange County. The LA scene and the Orange County scene differ slightly but they are one and the same due to the fact that everyone is “in it to win it” and after a band plays their first show they think they are a rock sensation.
Jessie – people are already comparing your voice to icons of the 1970s. Have you been influenced by your parents’ musical tastes or is this a coincidence?
Jones: My parents like Katy Perry and those hideous television shows like American Idol and The Voice. I just think I have over-developed lungs and I can hear the difference in what does or doesn’t sound good. I am also sure that every singer besides Celine Dion has the same approach to music.
Did the Cat Song get its name from its stealthy metronomic beat?
Jones: I wish I was that creative. Originally I was fooling around with
pieces and stringing the lyrics along to keep the momentum and came up with the line ”nine lives left”. It was around the time when my first cat Luna was sneaking off at night.
What albums do you take on a road trip?
Filliger: The Resonars, Crummy Desert Sounds, The Go, Howl On The Haunted Beat You Ride and Conspiracy Of Owls, S/T. All of these albums have gotten us through the daily grind.