After seeing The Deadly Syndrome play recently at Spaceland, it’s pretty apparent to me why they’re being considered one of the LA music scene's most promising new acts. Their set’s full of energy, their music – which clocks in at a comfortable place somewhere between Wolf Parade and The Police – is catchy infectious and blows away their recorded demo work. They basically just destroy it live. So, I checked in with the band to learn more...
You guys haven't been around very long but have been quickly making quite a name for yourself. Have you been letting all the attention go to your head? Are you all smoking cigars constantly and only talking to old friends through your newly acquired personal assistants?
We've been trying really hard to get big heads but really the attention has been very scattered and within a certain scene.
No, but seriously. What's your reaction to the reaction the band's been getting?
We’re happy. We're really surprised that people in France and the UK have found us, and listened, and like it... We're happy about it. It is exciting. Enough said, we suppose... We're happy people like us. Happiness.
It's great that you have only played a dozen shows and are already getting paired up with bigger local acts like Monsters Are Waiting. It's a testament to how good your live performances are: You all really seem to have a lot of fun on-stage.
We LOOK like we're having fun, but all of us are mortal enemies from different schools of ancient thought. (We're happy.)
How did you all start playing together? You knew each other in college, right?
We began by looking at one another. Mike counted us off. Jesse and Will met in college. They moved to LA, Mike came out here from New York and met Jesse through a girlfriend. Chris met Jesse through work... And we all wanted to play music. So we started practicing up at Mike's house, and re-writing some old songs, and writing new songs. Happy!
Who would you mark as some of your influences, either directly or indirectly?
Our influences are kind of hard to nail down. We sound like different things to different people.
Jesse: Harry Nilsson. Tchaikovsky. Elliott Smith. Animal (from the Muppets). Meg White. Jon Bonham. Arlen Thompson. Keith Moon. Brian Chase. Matt Hensley. Bill Waterson. Johnny Cash. The Kingston Trio. Steve Martin. Jack White. Bonnie "Prince" Billy. Jorma Vik.
Mike: Fugazi. Moody Blues. Kraftwerk. I like a lot of different stuff. The Doobie Brothers. Silent Majority. RJD2. Public Enemy. Metroid Theme, Super Mario Theme, Legend of Zelda Theme, The Notwist.
Chris: David Bowie, Neutral Milk Hotel, Public Enemy, Mos Def, Tricky, Massive Attack, My Morning Jacket, Wilco, Bob Dylan, Radiohead
Will: My dad used to teach me southern rock on guitar, so Lynyrd Skynyrd... I used to listen to a lot of Dire Straits, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Peter Frampton. I didn't listen to "indie" rock until college, and then it was Postal Service, the Shins, Modest Mouse. Also: The Eagles, The Doobie Brothers, a bunch more 70s rock. A guy named Steve Ochoa was my guitar teacher in high school and he started teaching me classical stuff, by Tarrega, etc.
What's the name of the band from?
We're not entirely sure. It's silly. It was between The Deadly Syndrome and The Last Temptation of the Lightning Bringers' Orchestral Majesty.
What's next for you? Are you looking to record and self-release an album or are you waiting for backing from a label? Any tour plans?
We're kind of waiting and seeing what happens. A label would be cool, and we'd love to work with a producer and have them shows us how to capture sound the way we want to. That's not something we're the best at. Or at all good at. But we're writing more songs all the time, and we really want to tour. We're looking for the right booking and the right timing and the right weather patterns, also for venues with well maintained roadways that lead to them, and money. And transportation.
Last question: What other bands here in LA are you liking the most these days?
Oh No! Oh My! (ok, not from LA, but...), The Bronx, Monsters are Waiting, Let's Go Sailing, 8-Bit, The Penfifteen Club, Chris Pontius and the Big Nasty, Sea Wolf and GUNS AND ROSES.
That's it! Thanks for your time.