Q&A: Lesands

20 Sep

Photo by Emily Shaw

By Allison Flaker

Lesands, formely known as Arrowws, is music today: conceptual, progressive, synthesized and outstandingly creative. These boys from North San Diego, Austin Taylor Tirado, Joel Plotnik, Andy Briehan, and John Fredericks, have yet to release an EP but have been playing an abundance of shows from San Diego to LA. They frequently can be seen at the Bootleg Theater and a couple weeks ago played The Troubadour with Mississippi Man and Neverever. Music blogs by the dozens are praising them for their song “Pretenders,” due to it’s musical ingenuity and the band’s intoxicating synth-pop sound. If you haven’t heard it yet please do yourself a favor and put it on repeat. It never gets stale and it’s more difficult not to dance than bust a few moves.

I caught up with lead singer Austin Taylor Tirado about their name change, musical inspiration and what’s next.

Allison: I know a multitude of people have probably already asked this question, but we still need to know. What’s with the name change from Arrowws to Lesands?

Taylor: Well to put it simply, we were advised to change it by our attorney we’re working with due to risk of future copyright troubles with other bands sharing the name, and turns out there were a few bands out there who were “signed” and already had the copyright to the name “arrows” or “the arrows,”  so we just decided to change it since we are still a new band and could still “start from scratch” so we did it.

Allison: The new name is very unique. What does it mean?

Taylor: To be honest, I just liked how the French article looked next to the English word. I thought it looked good written out and I guess it just made sense in my head at the time (especially compared to all the other crazy name ideas we thought of). Also, I think it had a lot to do on how it made me feel when I saw the word written out or spoken aloud, conceptually it felt perfect. So I asked a few friends for objective input and just went with it.

Allison: How important do you think a name is to a band other than as a vehicle to be recognized by? Has the changing of the name made a change within the band?

Taylor: I believe the sound of a band creates the name into something relevant and memorable. These days names can be so vague and acceptable because it seems to me that naming a band process has become more like naming a poem or a painting. It’s about the impulsive feeling it’s portraying without being too blatant or obvious.

Allison: Your music is so relevant to what’s going on in the industry and the way it’s shifting. How would you describe your genre?

Taylor: I really wouldn’t describe it as any specific genre, there been some people (bloggers, interviewers, etc.) that have classified our sound, but essentially all we’re trying to do is write good pop songs and I guess if we are welcomed by certain genres like “new new wave,” “chill wave”  or whatever it’s only by chance.

Allison: When did you start tinkering around with electronic sounds?

Taylor: I started working with samplers and different synths recently actually, about around the time the band stared. I grew up playing guitar so to not play anymore in the band was a different transition but I’m enjoying learning a new avenue of textures and sounds through electronics, the whole process of writing, performing and creating with samplers and etc. has been very gratifying to me.

Allison: Who has influenced you most when refining your sound – including bands today or ones you’ve grown up listening to?

Taylor: I love everything from Peter Babriel to the Shangri-las or even Paul Simon and Talking Heads. I also have a weak spot for a lot of those factory records bands of the 80s. The rest of the guys love a lot of different stuff as well, from rap to bluegrass our taste is pretty different at times but as a collective it works out pretty well. I guess the list can go on forever.

Allison: Lesands has had quite a bit of buzz, even internationally, before the release of an EP. What do you make of all the attention?

Taylor: We are all humbled and shocked by it honestly. I think the idea of people around and especially internationally get and understand what we’re trying to do is the best news to us. Its been nice to see how sweet everyone has been so far.

Lesands live at The Troubadour 8/31/2010. Photo by Brent Van Auken.

Allison: Do you have a release date or time frame for the upcoming EP?

Taylor: At this time we don’t. We don’t feel rushed to. We are releasing a few singles in the UK  in early October though. We”ll probably aim for later on in the year to release but we’ll see.

Allison: What other bands from San Diego should we be looking out for?

Taylor: Check out Writer amazing guys, good tunes. Though not from San Diego, other bands we’re friends with and love what they’re doing are Superhumanoids, White Arrows and Vanaprasta. Check out these bands if you haven’t already.

Catch Lesands this Saturday, Sept. 25 at Bootleg Theater with Hands and Kisses. http://www.lesandsmusic.com

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