Amoeblog


Allah-Las Talk New Album, Play Moon Block Party and FYF Fest

Posted by Billy Gil, June 20, 2012 05:35pm | Post a Comment

Allah-LasThis year is turning out to be a good one for Allah-Las. This week saw the announcement that the L.A.-based band, who weave strains of ’60s Nuggets-style garage rock with ’80s Paisley Underground jangle and au currant surf rock swagger, would be releasing their self-titled debut album Sept. 18 on Innovative Leisure. Additionally, Allah-Las were announced as part of the FYF Fest lineup this week, taking place Sept. 1-2. And the band also is playing this weekend at Moon Block Party in Pomona Saturday June 23.
 
Allah-La's debut album was recorded at the Distillery Studio, a Costa Mesa-based haven for analog recording, and was produced by label mate and local rock hero Nick Waterhouse. The band, which consists of bassist Spencer Dunham, singer/guitarist Miles Michaud, guitarist Pedrum Siadatian and drummer/singer Matt Correia, already has released a video for the album cut “Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind),” a jangly powerhouse that calls to mind Them’s garage classic “Gloria,” but relaxed instead of manic, resplendent in its analog sheen and laid-back cool.
 
 
I checked in with Dunham, a fellow South Bay native, to ask about the new album and what it was like for 3/4 of the band to work together at Amoeba.
 
PST: Has it been difficult to capture the exact sound you've been looking for on record?
 
Dunham: We tried recording a bunch of ways with different people but were never really satisfied until we went to the Distillery.
 
PST: What has recording with Nick Waterhouse and at the Distillery afforded the band in terms of sound and direction?
 
Dunham: Nick grew up in Orange County and has known the owner, Mike, since he was about 16. Mike loves to tinker with weird electronics to create one-of-a-kind instruments and effects, like microphones that go through record player needles. Sometimes those kind of things can be very complicated and time consuming, so it was really helpful to have two people working together to set up strange reverb tracks and whatnot.
 
PST: Can you talk a bit about working at Amoeba and how that affected the formation of the band and development of its sound? And what did you do while working at the store?
 
Dunham: Pedrum, Matt and I all used to work upstairs in the warehouse as “case switchers,” which is where you take bins of used CDs and put them in fresh jewel cases. You get a CD player and a hold box and basically just listen to music all day. It's pretty mundane work, but you get to see a lot of unusual albums, and we were all exposed to a lot of new music.
 
PST: In addition to the screaming girls and whatnot, have you had a lot of older “Nuggets” fans and people like that be into you guys? Have you had any particularly strange fan experiences so far?
 
Dunham: We definitely have a healthy contingency of garage fans, but our main audience remains American Apparel models. Not too many strange fan experiences yet, but Patrick Campbell Lyons from the ’60s band Nirvana (UK) befriended us after hearing our old radio show on KXLU a while back.
 
PST: I was never really that into the punk and stuff that a lot of other kids from the South Bay were into. Were you guys always attracted to more of the rock n roll stuff compared to what the area is known for? Were you exposed to it by parents, older siblings etc.?
 
Dunham: I used to listen to punk and it will always have a place in my heart, but in high school we mostly listened to a lot of classic rock: Hendrix, Who, Rolling Stones etc. We also used to hang around Scooter’s, which was a legendary Hermosa Beach record store owned by Uncle Tim, who hosts my all time favorite radio show, “The Bombshelter,” on KXLU. His shop was about the size of a closet, and while the majority of it catered to the punk scene, he also kept an eclectic selection of rock and got us turned onto stuff like The Velvet Underground and early Moody Blues.
 
PST: Can you give me a top five garage rock and paisley underground list of records you're particularly fond of?
 
Dunham: Here's a mix of classics and current jams:
 
rain parade
The Rain Parade - Emergency Third Rail Power Trip
 









simla beat 70
Simla Beat - 70/71
 









simla beat 71











clap
Clap - Have You Reached Yet
 









zombies i love you
The Zombies - I Love You
 









galaxie 500 on fire
Galaxie 500 - On Fire
 










Allah-Las Tracklist:
Catamaran   
Don't You Forget It   
Busman's Holiday   
Sacred Sands   
No Voodoo 
Sandy   
Ela Navega   
Tell Me (What's On Your Mind)   
Catalina   
Vis-A-Vis   
Seven Point Five  
Long Journey

Relevant Tags

Jimi Hendrix (19), Allah-las (21), Fyf Fest (12), Moon Block Party (10), Rain Parade (1), Galaxie 500 (5), Nuggets (3), Garage Rock (13), Surf Rock (3), The Zombies (2), Simbla Beat (1), Clap (1), The Who (14), The Rolling Stones (17)