music: interview: The Pity Party
Los Angeles duo, The Pity Party, recently had a residency in
Silverlake and played at SXSW in Austin. Future plans include a trip to the
UK. Check out their podcast track as well
The Pity PartyMyspace page
When and how did you get started?
We developed as a cross-continental theoretical concept come to fruition by extended stays in one another's company which involved minimal recording.
When you started did you have some sort of complete vision of what you would do or did it kind of evolve as you went along?
1) He always was to sing lower notes than me. 2) We were never to write lyrics in the first person. 3) New music should challenge. 4) We no longer adhere to rules 1 through 3.
If you were to state a mission, what might it be?
We would like to inspire people to be different in spite of the overwhelming pressure to accommodate. And don't throw so much trash out all the time.
You're a duo and bill yourself as having a big sound. What are your separate musical responsibilities?
M sings back-up vocals and plays guitar and uses his feet to effect his guitar as well as to play bass notes on what is called an Auto Orchestra. I play drums with my right hand and two legs, and keyboard with my left hand, and sing and interpret the melody lines.
Keeping things moving with just two can be pretty hard work! How do you find it?
I don't recommend it. It is a prison I think very few can endure for long.
Earlier in the year you had a residency at the Silverlake Lounge in LA. How did that go? Any interesting stories?
We just completed a monday night residency at Spaceland in Silverlake which exceeded our expectations. We had some fantastic groups join us, like Film School and The Happy Hollows and Meho Plaza. Interesting stories. Hmmm... Most of them can't legally appear in print, so-- >
As we speak, you're on your way to Austin's SXSW and you're probably answering after, so we'll ask about how it went and how you liked it.
SXSW is like going to war. We were rock and roll warriors. A lot of texting goes on at SXSW as a matter of fact, and half the time you find yourself having this abridged communication: "Are you going to see ______? How do you get in? Can we be on the list? Is it open bar?"
What have you got coming up?
We are finishing tracking our first full length which will either be titled "The Me-Chine" or "Hope For The Mainstream" or "I Love MGMT" or "Laundry Club" or none of the above, and then we will be in the UK for a spell playing shows and nurturing our existence overseas. We'll miss the boredom and the freedom and the time spent alone, though, probably.
What other LA and other bands do you like right now?
LA bands we love are The Human Value, The Happy Hollows and Meho Plaza. They fight the good fight. And we pretty much have pledged our eternal souls to MGMT. Check out the second to last track on their full length, called "The Handshake." It pretty much achieves universal synthesis.
Better tell us about the band's handmade merchandise as well...
Trash is free. And if you have scissors and glue and a sewing machine and thread and follow-through, you can turn your time into money by painstakingly hand-building every single CD case and hand silk-screening every single flyer and poster by repurposing trash, such as cereal boxes and billboards for fruity Smirnoff beverages. What's really cool is that our local aletrantive radio station out here, Indie 103.1, decided to package their most recent compilation in 100% post consumer-derived packaging because they were inspired by our use of trash! So we actually made a difference. Making a difference is so addictive. We can totally relate to Angelina.
And lastly: LA frequently gets a bad rap for various reasons - what do you like about living in LA and if you were to direct a visitor to just one spot, where would it be?
LA has nice weather and really psychologically fascinating people with profound and life-altering ego problems. If you come here, you really ought to visit the Watts Towers. They were hand-built out of trash by one crazy dude over like thirty years back in the day.
photo: Rebekkah Drake
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