Echolust from Long Beach – CA, formed in 2014 and their first ‘Fourier Series’ was out in April 2015, a few months later let out ‘Doublespeak’, ‘Zombie Birds’ singles, ‘Veldisa’ single March 2016, and in August ’16 came…Cleopatra Records! Never heard that band before, I trusted the label and gave it a try/listen that led me review their first LP ‘Veldisa’, just to keep you informed in the new underground, to listen and groove to their fresh shoegazing post-punk music. And since Last Day Deaf is a site that supports new music and the promising names, we decided it was about time to chat with the Echolust guys, who weren’t thrifty at all, and granted us a pretty torrent interview. Here it is!
Hello guys and welcome to Last Day Deaf, you are a new ‘rocket’-threesome from California’s ammo, please introduce Echolust to our readers…
Echolust is comprised of Philip Obens, Armond Angeles and Tony Lee Jackson. We’re based in the Los Angeles area and have been together since 2014.
Since ‘Fourier Series’ single in 2015, a lot has changed in the band’s character. Lots of keyboards then in a more electro-synth wave approach, less now with the band performing as a rock oriented group. What has changed in your perspective as musicians, and what was the actual need in transforming into a more live sound?
I used to listen to a lot of EBM and industrial right before I started Echolust. Early on, this was supposed to be more synth-oriented, a mix of Depeche Mode and De/Vision and VNV Nation with soft undertones to My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus The Mary Chain and ultimately New Order. However, I didn’t want to do this alone, I wanted to include other minds into this project. Upon meeting Armond at an Echo & The Bunnymen show in Los Angeles, his bass style, like Peter Hook & Simon Gallup, really significantly influenced the overall sound. Armond and I therefore recorded a few songs together, ‘Lotus’, ‘Zombie Birds’ and ‘Doublespeak’. We liked where the sound was going as it was getting fuzzier, noisier but not out of control. It felt like it was a contained mini-subatomic sonic bomb. Armond and I continued recording songs, with an EP in mind. Our goals were to also play live as soon as possible because we felt it to be important in order to get our name out in the L.A. scene. We did our first gig at a local dive bar in Long Beach, where Tony was in attendance. Later on, I asked Tony if he wanted to join the band as we were searching for that extra element to make that contained bomb grow even more. Tony was the final element that really steered the sound almost completely away from synths to guitars as the main driving force.
Your first ‘Veldisa’ LP, in November, has already gained some good reviews in dedicated media (including our’s as well). Tell us few things about your first LP, how was it artistically born and arranged, what does it represent for Echolust, and a few words on the title please, what is behind ‘Veldisa’?
First of all, this was supposed to be an EP but the songs and inspiration just kept coming, one song right after another. The theme behind all these songs is supposed to represent our take on three genres we all grew up with and love, which are darkwave, post-punk and shoegaze. ‘Veldisa’ is an anagram, that’s all we’ll say.
Armond: To me ‘Veldisa’ is a like an accompanying soundtrack to one’s reminiscing of an unforgettable past either your first kiss, a break-up, or something memorable in the past.
So, is ‘Veldisa’ the band’s new threshold, where Echolust will emerge in their next releases, or are we expecting more musical surprises in time?
We love the bands that evolve and change over time. We saw it with The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Joy Division/New Order. We see ourselves wanting to also evolve as our influences have done. We started out with an electro-synth approach and have evolved fuzzier and noisier.
You are generally tagged as a darkwave, shoegaze, post-punk band in the web but, non regarding the tags, where do you feel more comfortable to ‘fit’ in? What kind of music do you actually say you make?
We’d like to stay within the post-punk/shoegaze realm as our primary genre but also venture out a bit into the experimental world. Also, to have the flexibility going from post-punk to shoegaze or noise at which gives us more range to be more creative and as a direct result we have fans that either like the shoegaze, noise and the post-punk genre. So in way having multiple genres could beneficial for us in the long-run.
And where does your inspiration come from in making music? More than this, I’d like few words on your inspirations as individual musicians that play for the Echolust team, meaning that while listening to ‘Veldisa’ LP I almost felt the breath of older bands on my nape, and certainly don’t mean that you copy.
Armond: I’d say my musical input for the album was greatly influenced by those post-punk bands in the 80s specifically Joy Division/New Order and The Cure. There’s just something melancholy which I really dig in how the basslines drives their respective music.
Give us the band’s news please, touring, rehearsing, recording new material, what are you up to?
We had a show last month at The Echoplex for Part Time Punk’s My Bloody Valentine tribute night which was a truly our best live performance to date. Last week we were on tour in Pomona, San Diego, and Portland. The Portland event is the 3-day Post-punk event called “Out From The Shadows Fest” along with Second Still, All Your Sisters, The Electric West, Winkie, Bellicose Minds, Shadowhouse just to name a few. And yes we have several songs in the works that needs structuring. We are also adding a new member (keyboards) for our live performance and also perhaps for songwriting of the new material.
While reviewing ‘Veldisa’ I felt that, this is a keystone for the band, the map where the guys draw their id’s on, with musings carefully hidden in, and I am quite peculiar in your next release. Can you give us details on when are we expecting a new Echolust, and how will it sound?
Recently, we release a standalone single called ‘Barons In The Skies’ through The Blog That Celebrates Itself Records to give you an indication of the post-punk/shoegaze/noise approached that we currently experimenting with.
Can you share with our readers, few new bands and artists that you are recently keen on, please?
We love LA indie bands in Sextile, Second Still, L.A.Drones and Choreography. From San Francisco we like Whirr, Chasms, and Them Are Us Too.
Photo credits: Jerry Coria (1st one)