Written By: Tara Thompson
The first full length release is always an exciting time in the career of any musicians. Alternative rockers, London Above, finally got a taste of that feeling when they released their album Lazar in March. Rock Island caught up with the band to talk about their first time working with a producer and what they've got planned for the future.
Rock Island: You were already playing most of the songs on the album live before/during the making of the album, how many songs did you take into recording? How did you decide which ones to stay and which to cut? Were there any you wanted to keep but didn’t end up making the cut?
Harry Parsons: We had 14 songs, and [Chris] Kirby chose 12 that he felt were the strongest. So we recorded 12, but 2 didn't make the cut. We would have loved to put all 12 on there, but there were a couple that just really weren't sounding right. The only remedy would have been to scrap them and start from scratch, but we decided to go with 10. Perhaps we'll re-record them and release them in the future in some way.
RI: Why did you decide to work with Chris Kirby for the album? Were there any other producers you wanted to work with or was it really just Kirby?
HP: We had initially set out to just do the whole album on our own, and we had already started recording it when Chris Kirby came into the picture. He saw us play a MusicNL showcase in Corner Brook, and approached us immediately after the set, offering to produce our album. We kept some of the parts that we had already done on our own, but we then started to play around with the songs with Kirby at the wheel. Some of the songs changed a lot, some didn't change that much. You can definitely hear Kirby's influence on the record. It was our first time recording a full-length album, and the first time working with a producer. It was a great experience. We became friends with his parrot too.
RI: There's some pretty interesting stuff behind the album title, what's the story behind Lazar, why did you choose it and how does it relate to the songs on the album?
HP: The album is named after Bob Lazar. He's an American scientist who claims to have worked at Area 51 in the late 80's, reverse-engineering extraterrestrial space craft. I suggested the name in the very early stages of recording and it stuck. It ended up tying in nicely with some of the lyrical themes on the record... the mysticism of the unknown, being insecure, fear of failure. He tells a great story, whether you believe it or not. And trust me, I'm still trying to figure that out for myself. His website is pretty interesting if you wanna kill some time... https://www.unitednuclear.com/
RI: Is there any plans for an official release show?
HP: Yeah! By the time this goes to print we should have our order placed for a small run of CDs, so we'll book a release show once we have those in our hands. We released the album online back in March. CDs are more or less a novelty at this point. But we're all fans of physical copies, so we thought we make a few.
RI: You did an atlantic tour in support of Creatures, any plans on doing something similar for Lazar?
HP: We don't have any touring plans at the moment sadly.
RI: Slab Fest is a new all ages festival featuring local acts, which is really the first of its kind in Central - what kind of effect do you think it’ll have on the all ages scene (that doesn’t have much of an existence) in central? Do you think it’ll help get people excited about young talent?
HP: Shows like Slab Fest don't really happen at all in Central, so we're hoping that it'll help show people young and old what kind of talented artists there are in Newfoundland. It would be great if we could inspire younger kids to pick up instruments. We're hoping that Slab Fest can become an annual event.
Listen to London Above here: http://londonabove.bandcamp.com/