Ellis Ludwig-Leone, the brain behind Brooklyn band San Fermin, sat down with Richie T before their show at Salt Lake's Twilight Concert Series. He explains what San Fermin means, (how to pronounce it), and if Richie can join the band as the 9th member.
--- Classical Music Training ---
I was a music/composition student, classical music mostly…Most people in the band have the similar sort of thing going on...I think there’s a lot of different ways to write music and they’re all equally valid as long as you’re being honest. For us, there’s a lot of training, there’s a lot of intention in how we go about writing.
--- From One Man to Full Band ---
I wrote the record right when I graduated and then I took a while to record it. I just got my friends and random people to play on it. We got a record deal before ever really playing…We played one show with 15 people or something at Pianos, this tiny place in New York. Once we got that record deal suddenly it was like, “Oh, this has to become a band”…Alan and I, Alan’s the singer - the male singer, he and I have been best friends for years, since we were really young. Everyone else it was word of mouth or people maybe I went to college with or just, if you’re a musician in New York there’s a lot of through-the-grapevine sort of recommendations.
--- The Band Name ---
It’s the name of the running of the bulls festival. It’s the patron saint in Spain…I liked the idea of people putting themselves in danger for really no reason. It sort of feels like performing...["San Fermin"] was a lyric before it was a band name. So it was in the song “Torero” I think. Torero is Spanish for bullfighter as well. I was thinking about that and once I finished the record I was like, “Well, we gotta have a band name.”
--- Coordinating an 8-person Band ---
There are upsides and downsides for sure. I mean getting 8 people to Europe is a pretty costly endeavor. But when I wrote the record it was for like 20 something musicians, so I figured if you go any lower than 8, you’re starting to do a disservice to the music. Honestly, I chose the musicians as we were putting the band together such that I knew that they were good enough players that they could actually each do a number of things, in terms of the sax lines now sort of encompass sax and trombone and tuba. I’ve sort of smushed them all together into one player. It was an interesting compositional exercise to do that.
Richie T talks with Noodles from The Offspring about his nickname, favorite songs to play live, and what's still on his Bucket list of places to play. Read the brief overview below, or listen to the whole interview at the bottom of the page.
How he got his nickname:
From noodling on guitar. It was Tom Wilson, our producer for the first three records who got tired of cleaning up the takes, all the noodling on the take. Whenever I would mess up I would just kind of go off on riffing and noodling.
The first time we headlined a hometown show in the hometown show in the big local amphitheater was just amazing, just incredible.
Favorite song to play:
I love all our songs, honestly. I love playing them. You gotta understand, I don’t listen to Offspring records. I don’t know any musicians that listen to their own records. You want to be inspired by stuff, you’re too close to it. I do play along to the records, I put them on when I’m rehearsing or recording. In fact, whenever I’m just rehearsing guitar I love putting on our whole catalogue on shuffle. And whatever song pops up, just play along to it. I love it, but it’s also frustrating because I’d love to play more of these songs every night on stage, but you can’t play all the songs, not enough time.
Still on the Bucket List:
There’s still places we’ve never been, we’ve never been to Honk Kong, we’ve never been to Indonesia or Malaysia, there’s a lot of places in Asia that we haven’t been that I’d love to go to. There’s still places in Eastern Europe that we’re slowly still hitting. We did Bulgaria for the first time just a few weeks ago.
Catch The Offspring here TONIGHT at The Complex. Buy tickets HERE
Who is your favorite character that you have voiced?
I had a lot of fun doing The Tick… Kronk was the first Disney movie I got to work on and that was a great experience. They’re both right up there.
How did you end up getting to do the voice of Kronk?
A lot of the time they will have a character drawn out and have a story, but they don’t know what a character sounds like until somebody comes in a shows them. Since Disney is very secretive with their scripts I was only given a few pages. I didn’t know what Kronk was. Was he an ogor, a monster, or robot. He seemed like a renissance henchmen since he cooked, so I figured he sounds like he had a little more like a sensitive guy, kind of like a transvestite.
Did you want to do voices as a kid? And if so, what did they sound like?
I was the smallest kid in High School, 95lbs and wearing coke bottle glasses, I’m blind as a bat, but I would do John Wayne. You had this 95lb kid walking around doing John Wayne impressions.
Listen to the full interview below
Richie T talked with Andy Tongren of Young Rising Sons about the success of their single "High", achieving the dream of being signed to a record label, and produce inspiring songs. Check out the overview below, or the full audio at the bottom of the page.
Formation of the band:
We’ve been playing together for 4 and a half, 5 years now? The other three guys have been playing together even longer. I was going to school in New York City, and just playing acoustic down at this bar and they happened to be there looking for a new singer, and approached me afterwards and said “hey, come jam with us” and it was just instant chemistry. We became best friends first and then band mates second. We’ve been going ever since and yeah, finally put all the right pieces together and started seeing some progress so it’s been really exciting.
We’re very collaborative, usually one person will come in with an idea, melody, lyric whatever it may be and we’ll bounce it off each other so it’s something we can really stand behind and something that we’re all proud of.
“High” was the same thing, it’s about our band really. You know we’ve been playing for 4 and a half, 5 years and a lot of what we did didn’t work so it’s kind of about those lows and the lows making the way for the high, and making them that much more worth it, once you actually get there.
Being signed to Interscope:
I think growing up playing in bands our whole lives, the ultimate goal was to sign a major record deal and once it happened we were like ok, well now what do we do? We know the hard work is just starting, we’re ready to kind of get down to the bare bones and just work, and we’re really excited to do that. But signing with Interscope was very very exciting and has been nothing but wonderful.
We heard our song on the radio for the first time, I wanna say three weeks ago or so? We were driving to LAX to fly home from our first tour and we heard it on the radio. It was just such a surreal moment, and that’s what this whole thing has been, it’s just been a collection of very surreal moments. You kind of have to pinch yourself every once and a while and remind yourself that this is real life.
“King Of The World”
Steve came up with that melody while he was working at a grocery store. He was stocking produce and wrote that melody and brought it to us.
Julian Casablancas is 36 today, so X96 thought we would look back at our 6 favorite songs from The Strokes and his solo career.
Rumor has it The Strokes have a new album in the works and Mr. Casablancas' side project, Julian and The Voidz will have something in the future as well.
In no random order here are the six songs featuring Julian any that playlist should include:
1. "Last Night" - The build up, the beat, the pinnacle: "Laaaaaasssst Niiiightttt..." I can't count how many amazing night have started or ended with this song.
2. "Between Love and Hate" - From 2003's "Room On Fire" this song provides apathy to either traditional gender roles or the end of a relationship. I am not sure which, maybe both, but you can sing your voice out to it.
3. "On the Otherside" - Again, not so much a ray of sunshine of here, but then again if you wanted that you would listen to Pat Boone. Now sing that damn hook out loud!
4. "Taken For A Fool" - Knocking on the door of Rick Ocasek and The Cars, this would the poppier side of The Strokes. One of my personal favorites. How this song was not a massive hit is a cultural mystery.
5. "Out of the Blue" - This song has the swing of a 70's TV show theme. That isn't an insult. It's a moving, traveling, outliner of a song. Perhaps it has something to do that it's from Mr. Casablancas' first solo album, "Phrazes for the Young."
6. "Red Light" - "Get yourself a lawyer and a gun." That line hits my head a bloated-headed hammer. What else can you say? It leaves one at the end of culture, society, a relationship and perhaps wits. Grim advice has never been so well-placed.
Let me make a small suggestion for your weekend. Go down to your favorite watering hole, put $5 in the digital machine that used to be a jukebox and set up a playlist of your favorite songs from The Strokes. All will be fine in the world.
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