Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Interview with Jeremy of LODRO

When I was in college, I used to walk around listening to Royal Baths' record Better Luck Next Life. It was an easy break from reality for me as it focused on the macabre side of life and non-life. At the time, I was surprised that more people didn't appreciate the album - songs like "Darling Divine" and "Nightmare Voodoo" were further evolutions of the Middle-East-Gone-Sinister sound they had introduced on their equally impressive album Litanies. Royal Baths had been the brainchild of Jeremy Cox and Jigmae Baer and seemed to be at the height of their career, though the band seemed to evaporate following an extended tour in the Spring of 2012.

I heard Lodro by happenstance towards the end of 2013, but the music was unmistakable. I knew that it was somehow connected to Royal Baths before I even looked up who was in it. Sure enough, Jeremy Cox was at the helm where he was continuing his journey through swamp-laden blues guitar and a mysteriously voodoo vocal trajectory. I got in contact with Jeremy and Lesley almost immediately after they had announced a release of their first 7". The 7" has a new Lodro track called "If Life Was Like A Movie" as well as a cover of "Snake Song" from the late great Townes Van Zandt's repertoire. I won't say too much more about the band as Jeremy covers everything else with his own words in the interview, but it's looking like a good time to be listening to Lodro!

You can check out the band's Facebook Page and also give their songs a listen on their Soundcloud Page

Jordan: When and why did Royal Baths break up? It seemed like things were going well since you guys had released "Better Luck Next Life."

Jeremy Lodro: Sometimes the outside perspective can differ drastically from the inside perspective.  There were many factors leading to Royal Baths disbanding, but ultimately it was the desire to start something new that made us set it down for good.  Initially we had called it quits after a 4 month tour from February-June 2012 in which we covered the U.S. twice, Australia, and Europe, with no financial backing or management.  We decided to give it another go that fall with some line up changes: Lesley Hann had just quit the band Friends, so she came in on bass, and she took over vocals for Jigmae, (upon his request). Turner, who had previously played bass, moved to drums.  We played ambitiously with this line up for 3 months, but it felt like a different band. 

J: I know Jigmae from Royal Baths was in Lodro at first and did the lyrics for "If Life Was Like A Movie." Is he still a part of the group?

JL: No. Jigmae left LODRO in October 2013. Tyler Thacker, (half of the band Greatest Hits), is now playing drums.  Lesley and I write the lyrics now. 

J: How did you guys get together and start Lodro? When was it?

JL: We started LODRO in January 2013.  Initial writing sessions were fueled by a cold winter and loads of pharmaceuticals. 

J: Your tone on guitar is super sinister, while the guitar leads seem to have some middle eastern influence in my opinion. How do you arrive at that?

JL: Thanks. I've always gravitated toward a more "sinister" sound - it's an attitude that I easily identify with. The middle eastern influence began simply from me being 17 and wanting to know how to play Dick Dale's "misirlou" - thankfully it's evolved a bit since then.  

J: What is neo noir punk?

JL: "Neo noir punk" paints a picture of our sound and of our attitude simply. Extraneous strings of recycled adjectives and/or lists of similar sounding bands seem to be the trend in genre definition at the moment, yet they usually fail to provide an idea of what a band is actually like sonically or aesthetically.
J: You guys have made a really great video for "Lazy Bones" the first song you put out. Do you consider that to be a visual representation of neo noir punk?

JL: Thank you.  Fatos Marishta worked on "Lazy Bones" with the aid of Jigmae's directing. To me, the idea of neo noir punk is represented quite clearly at specific moments, but it also takes time to veer off into other aspects of our personalities.

J: How important is telling a story in your lyrics? Where do you find inspiration for lyrics?

JL: I try not to concern myself with any one particular style when I write.  Sometimes it's vulnerable and honest, and other times it's sort of a reel through more vague thoughts and imagery.

J: So far you have put out a 7" on Tracer Sounds with a cover of a Townes Van Zandt song. You also have a couple more songs on your soundcloud. Do you have any plans on releasing those physically?

JL: We've just finished recording/mixing our first full length LP.  Some of the material that we have online is included in these new recordings.  We'll be announcing in the next few months. 

J: Are there any plans for you guys to tour?

JL: We have a U.S. tour scheduled for July.  Details to come.  

J: What are your views on body modification?

JL: Lesley and Tyler have a bunch of tattoos.  I have none. 

J: Do you think there's any chance that the Loch Ness Monster actually exists?

JL: Yes. 

J: Anything else you'd like to say?

JL: No.

J: Thanks Jeremy.

JL: Thank you.

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