Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wow indeed

We received this email a couple of hours ago from our website. Needless to say, this is the greatest email any of us has ever received.

'Title: Guys, wow

Text: Wow...

I was given your CD by error at the San Francisco Apple Store. I really digged the name of the band, I love ambassadors, diplomatic immunity and all that kind of politics international stuff.

And, plus, I was on LSD that day, and It was the day of the giant`s victory parade.

I used your CD`s cover as my Ambassador passport all day, it allowed me to do some crazy shit such as giving orders to cops, going through security lines, assisting and supervising the work of the city workers, I was completely tripping and I thought there was infinite peace and power in the status of ambassador I could prove using your CD.

You guys are just... completely connected with the most epic trip of my life yet. Thank you, and, Wow... im getting a new cd, I lost the one I had in the turmoil of all the things that happened that day... but I wish I had it , it`s so cool and I remember it perfectly... I wanted you to know your work has infinite repercussions over people, I don`t know If you planned this out but really, it is important, and , I love how universal it is. Ok , so, it`s about it. If i come again in SFO ill look around for one of your shows. See ya !'

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Lambo Chronicles, Part 2

In the 1st post about Lambo, we mentioned that we've barely ever seen the dude eat anything. He generally just consumes Heineken. The logical outcome of drinking a lot of beer is that you go to the bathroom a bunch, no? Wrong. This is John freaking Lambert we're talking about. Not only does he apparently lack the need for food, but apparently doesn't ever need to pee.

Except for one notable exception.

Almost 2 years ago, we had the (moronically stupid, in retrospect) idea to host a music festival. Take out the fact that we could barely play our songs. Ignore the fact that we had to build a stage and support for tons of lights. Forget about the fact we lost almost 1k on expenses for food, booze, a generator and other such things that one needs to host a festival. Isn't it a bit grandiose to throw a festival that you headline at your second show ever? Yup, we think so too. Only we didn't realize that at the time.

Anyways, the day was a lot of work, and by the time we took the stage at 9ish, we were pretty pooped. We had the brilliant idea to start a glowstick war without the foresight that those glowsticks might end up getting thrown at us. Not entirely surprisingly, that's what happened. Jake and Will threw hissy fits, with the highlight being Will flipping off the crowd and hissing 'Thanks for killing the buzz guys'. Good times all around.

Why do we mention all this? Well, because this happens to be the 1st time that any of us experienced John going to the bathroom. And 'experienced' is the appropriate verb here. Because in the middle of our set, John turned from the soundboard and started peeing off the side of the stage. Apparently, he had been mixing all day and hadn't really left the stage, so the best opportunity to relieve himself was midway through our set since the sun had set. So there we were, rocking out to some song only to have our sound guy pissing right next to us with the entire crowd completely clueless about what's going on.

So to recap, not only does Lambo not eat, but he doesn't pee, except for when we're all sharing a stage. God we love this man.

Song Stories: Fable

The second song we posted from the upcoming album is called 'Fable' and we plan on having it on the upcoming sampler that'll available for download in the coming weeks.

Fable is a Steve song through and through, but before 2009 that didn't always mean the greatest things (sorry Steve). Steve loves fantasy novels like a fat kid loves cake, so sometimes his songs had the tendency to sound like magical treks through far off lands. The type of stuff you listen to while fighting dragons.

But Fable kinda represented the 1st major change in how Steve approached song writing. It's dark throughout and it sounds like nothing we'd ever heard from him. It also lacks the classic song structure of verse>chorus>verse>chorus>bridge>chorus that you hear in most songs, but that's something that makes us like it more.

Like a number of the songs that we recorded, Fable is about loss, specifically the stories we tell about people when they're no longer with us. At one of the parts, Steve actually recycled some old lyrics from an awful song that we used to play called 'Out of Mind'. When we first wrote it, Jake wrote some offensively emo lyrics (sorry Jake) that included the phrase "it's a disturbing trend'. That was about the only redeemable section of the song, but it gets put to good use halfway through the song with a sort of call and response between Jake and Will.

Fable also is the 1st time we had a song with what we've dubbed a 'super chorus'. That's right--a super chorus. Curious what makes a chorus 'super'? Well, you'll just have to listen to find out. You'll know it when you hear it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Song stories: Cannibal

Last summer we recorded our first full length album, and we thought it'd be cool to give people insight into the stories behind the songs as we approach its release. Since we just posted Cannibal, it seemed like the logical first song to start with.

Cannibal was written in a couple of phases, starting off quickly but taking a little while to tie together at the end. The song first kicked off a year ago, when Jake started working on some of his most morbid lyrics yet (which is saying something if you ever really listen to some of the dark stuff he spews out). The idea that powered the lyrics was using cannibalism as a metaphor for heartbreak, more or less comparing heartbreak to the act of being eaten (we know, it's a stretch, but Usually our lyrics are works in progress--they take a while to come together. But it was different with Cannibal. Within an hour of beginning work on the song, Jake had finished what would become the finalized lyrics.

The next day Jake was listening to a new album (Heart On by Eagles of Death Metal) and the first track just sort of jumped out and slapped him across the bearded face. Taking a cue from the track "Anything 'Cept the Truth", he started working on a song that used a lot of sliding power chords, turning up the distortion to get a full pulsing rock sound. Although it seemed sort of weird at 1st, we all joined up on doing banshee screams after the verse, sort of turning it into a guttural craziness midway through. For the chorus and bridge, we decided to really mix things up, writing our first ever ska sections. We wanted to a short song, but with enough variation to keep your attention from section to section.

What ended up taking the longest to hammer out was what would be the lead melody of the song. We tried a number of different options for the first few months, but eventually Steve came up with an idea that stuck. We're all huge Nels Cline fans, so Steve channeled his inner Nels and decided to basically go batshit crazy throughout the song without having a typically 'melodic' lead line. It only took a couple of takes to lay down in the studio, and we also discovered something pretty funny--whenever Steve gets really into ripping a solo, he starts kicking his leg like a horse unconsciously.

Once we had the lead guitar finalized, the song really came together. We hope you like not only the song but getting a peak into the story behind it--we'll post another one of these in the next few weeks talking about Shine.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Lambo Chronicles, Part 1

If you know TLA, then you know of our sound guy, John Lambert. If you're new to us, then you are missing out on the single greatest man to have graced this fine planet of ours.

As part of our blog, we'll be doing occasional updates with stories about Lambo. It's pretty hard to sum the guy up without meeting him--he alleges that he's 38, but we think he's more like 4500. A 4500 year-old wizard to be exact. One of these days we swear he's just going to start levitating around the ranch.

So anyways, this first installment starts from the fact that Lambo seemingly never eats. We have known him for a few years, and not once had the man eaten in front of us prior to roughly a year ago. Sure, he would consume stuff, but almost exclusively cigarettes and bottles of Heineken (which by the way, he opens with his teeth).

However, spring '09 we went down to LA for a string of shows, and the 2nd day we went to IHOP. Lo and behold, Lambo ordered food, and he ate it! A plate of pancakes and bacon to be exact, pictured above.

This was such a momentous occasion that we had to capture it on photo and blog. In the year since then, we've seen Lambo eat one other time (Burger King). But nothing can compare to the very first one, it was a revelation.

So if you're keeping track at home, our best account that John Lambert eats once every six months on average. If that doesn't make you want to know more about the guy, then you probably like to kick puppies.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

First show of 2010 announced!

Have you been missing your TLA fix? Are you itching to hear our new material? Are you up shaking at night because you are desperately searching for meaning in a world without shows by your favorite band?

Um, well, ok, let's just assume the answer is a resounding "YES". In that're in luck! We're busy scheduling out some shows for the upcoming months, and the first one that you can come to will be the last weekend of March. Here are the pertinent details

Boom Boom Room
With Vinyl, DJ K-OS of Digital Underground
March 27th

You can get tickets ahead of time here (we recommend this, there's a good chance this show will sell out. for serious).

Anyways, we're psyched about the show, and we can't wait to see folks out there. And if all else fails, you can rock out to 'Freaks of the Industry'--how could you say no to that?

P.S. Sorry about the lag between our 1st and 2nd blogposts--we promise we'll be better members of the blogosphere going forward.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Our first blog

This is our first foray into the blogosphere, so please bare with the introductory post as we find our bearings around here.

Since blogging (as best we can tell) is aimed at giving thoughts and updates on the world around us, here are some thoughts and updates:
  • Have you heard that song "Sweet Disposition" by Temper Trap? It's everywhere these days, and it is freaking beautiful. You have to check it out. Anyways, we mention it because Steve recently wrote a song called "Autumn" that is somewhat similar. We won't be debuting it for a while since we're working on getting the album material ready for shows, but it's somewhere on the horizon.
  • If you like blogging in shorter form, check us out at
  • How on earth did the Jets beat the Chargers yesterday?
  • If you would like to get on Will's good side, buy him a chocolate milkshake.
  • In the studio version of Man and the Sea, we're going to have 8 part harmony at one point. Eat your heart out CSNY.
  • Jake loves writing in bullet point. As you'll see from this blogpost and future ones, it's affected the whole band.
  • Our thoughts go out to the victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti. If you are able to support them, just search "Haitian Relief"--there are tons of organizations doing great work in this time of need.
  • Phil recently bought a synth that we'll be debuting in March. It makes crazy sounds, we think you're gonna dig it big time.
  • We'll be posting our first mix of Fable online in the next few weeks. Keep your eyes peeled.
Alrighty, that's it for today. And too to bid you adieu, we'll join in the tradition of technogeeks everywhere: