What happens when a group of California-bred, Amoeba Music employees get together to form a band? A concoction of cool, California-infused tracks that will have you turning towards the sun's rays all summer long. Allah Las and their 2012 self-titled debut, produced by Nick Waterhouse, served as the perfect introduction to their meticulously crafted, vintage sound. After touring along the California coast and beyond, band members Matthew Correia (percussion), Spencer Dunham (bass), Miles Michaud (vocals, guitar), Pedrum Siadatian (lead guitar) are back at it again, releasing their sophomore album, Worship the Sun, September 16. The follow up is again produced by Nick Waterhouse and the first single “501-415” exudes the same garage-rock, California-inspired sound. Listen above.
We talked with all four bandmates at the 2014 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival to find out that one of them isn’t actually from California, another never worked at Amoeba Music, and one has an obsession with cheeseburgers. Plus, lots more about their music and upcoming album! Check out what went down below.
We hear that three of you guys worked at Amoeba Music (Independent Record Shop) together?
Pedrum Siadatian: Me, Matt and Spencer did. That’s how I met them. But they knew each other from high school.
How does performing at a festival like Bonnaroo compare to doing a headlining show at a venue?
Spender Dunham: Earlier today I saw a girl doing yoga, while watching a band perform. That doesn’t happen at a typical club show.
Matthew Correia: One thing that’s always different is usually they separate us. The stages are so big so we have to be really far apart from each other. And we’re really used to playing close to each other and hearing each other’s monitors, and stuff like that. We like to be together so we try to tell them that we want to be closer. And anyways, sometimes that affects the sound, but usually it works out alright. The sound at these things is usually great.
Tell us about your new album Worship the Sun and the writing process. How do you guys all work together?
PS: I think it varies from song to song. On the last record we wrote a lot of the songs together and we kind of hashed them out live because we were playing live all the time around Los Angeles then. And on this one, basically the songs were written while we were on tour for the previous record, by us individually, and we came to the table with ideas that we had kind of hashed out before working on them together. Once we brought those idea to the band we kind of fleshed them out into full songs, and they became what they are. Its been a different process, but its been something even more rewarding than previously. And something that we all feel really, really great about and really positive about it. And we’re itching to get the record out now to share with people.
Listening to the first single “501-415” it sounds like there’s some Latin influence on the record?
MC: Yeah there’s definitely some Latin. I mean we grew up in LA so there’s a lot of Latin of influence. I guess that seeps into the music. Stuff we listen to.
What you guys listen to?
MC: We listen to a lot. Tons of stuff.
What did you listen to on the way here?
MM: We were listening to this band called West Coast Consortium on the way here. It’s a band from the U.K. that wanted to emulate the Beach Boys. They recorded these demos that are kind like lo-fi, but they sound really nice.
In the next year, what are some your biggest goals, musically.
SD: Well we have a lot of touring coming up. I think we’d like to get started on a new record and make something.
Already? Nobody has even heard this one yet!
SD: I know, but for us it’s been done for a while.
MC: And I think it’s a lesson we’ve learned that if we don’t put the ideas we have now, on tape, then we’re just going to be rushing when the label is knocking at our door trying to get us to make the record.
MM: One of the goals that we have is finding a location outside of the U.S. that we wanna set up camp in and record there.
Awesome. Do you have any ideas of where?
MC: We have a couple of ideas. Latin America, maybe Holland. Places that we’ve been that we really like. Maybe it would be kind of demo album, maybe it will be a full album–we’re not sure.
Make three statements about the band. Two truths, one lie. The readers can decide which one is the lie.
We love doing interviews. There are four members in the band. There’s currently a bet between Spencer and Pedrum regarding the amount of cheeseburgers that Pedrum is going to consume on this tour. If he eats more than five then he has to buy Spencer a cheeseburger, and if he eats five or less than Spencer has to buy him a cheeseburger. Is that the truth or a lie? Nobody knows. I’m not saying that’s the truth, that could be a lie. Who knows what the truth or the lie will be.
Lastly, tell us about your podcast, Reverberation Radio?
It’s a podcast and a music curation collective that we do with ourselves and six friends of ours. Every week we have a podcast on iTunes, on our blog–reverberation radio. And it’s music that we’re currently listening to, stuff that inspires us, stuff that we’re influenced by.