One of the best things about going to concerts for me is listening to a new band for the first time and feeling the music. When you see a band you really like, you’re singing along, familiar with the music. Maybe you’ve seen them before, but even if you haven’t there is a certain familiarity there. Not so with unfamiliar bands, but each time an artist or band steps onto a stage somewhere, they have a chance to move you, to make you feel something. You can read all about the time I heard Pebaluna for the first time here. After the show I was able to meet band members Lauren Coleman and Jonathan Grillo. Lauren was kind enough to answer some of my questions, which you’ll find below. Look out for Pebaluna’s debut album Carny Life, due out September 18th.
So, without further adieu, here is my interview with Lauren Coleman, vocalist for Pebaluna.
Kevin Collier: For those who have not heard Pebaluna yet, how would you describe your sound?
Lauren Coleman: The kitchen sink. Everything I ever liked or appreciated, I wanted to implement. And since everyone in the band enjoys different kinds of music, there are a lot of different elements to each song.
KC: When I met you, you asked me what my favorite venue in Southern California was. I’ll ask you the same question. What’s your favorite venue in SoCal?
LC: I’ve had so many good nights at the Troubadour, whether it be playing shows there or watching them. The staff has been very kind, especially the security. Not to mention it’s an iconic place in LA. The first time I played at the Troubadour, my dad told me about how he had seen Led Zeppelin there in the 70′s. Sitting in the green room, that’s all I could think about.
KC: Your album Carny Life is set to release September 18th. What can we expect from the album?
LC: I hope people can just listen to it and enjoy it. I know that there are a lot of fans of RX Bandits and of Matt that are looking forward to the band’s endeavors, so I’d like to warn people that it really isn’t in the same vein. Matt wanted to play more of the producer role so he threw the reigns over to me as far as writing goes. So although it has a distinct touch that comes from him, the core of it is something else entirely.
KC: Would you consider releasing an album on Vinyl in the future?
LC: Absolutely! I love the sound of vinyl! As soon as it’s possible for us, I’m sure we will.
KC: Your band has a very laid back vibe. Do you think you’ll ever wear your hair in dreadlocks?
LC: I don’t know if I’d ever grow full dreads. I think I’d go nuts if I couldn’t comb through it.
KC: I understand you’re a Louis C.K. fan. Any other comedians you find particularly funny?
LC: Oh absolutely- Dave Chapelle, Aziz Ansari, Chris Rock, Jim Gaffigan, Daniel Tosh… It really goes on and on. I really enjoy comedians that have an equal level of intelligent observations to match their shock value. When someone can offer insight into peoples’ minds through humor and make people laugh at themselves, I think that’s amazing.
KC: What’s the feeling the day of a show, before you go onstage?
LC: Playing a show is like getting on an airplane. I don’t think about flying at all while I’m packing, going through security, waiting to board– until I’m strapped in and the doors close. That’s when the nerves come. It’s the same way for playing a show. I don’t feel nervous at all until I’m at the venue and see the stage. The first song is a little terrifying but once I’m singing, nothing else really matters. I’m lucky because the rest of the band has such great musicianship, I only have to worry about myself.
KC: Do you find there’s a camaraderie among bands when you play a show together, or do you even interact with the other bands?
LC: It depends. There’s always some friendly people in each band and as the night progresses you might end up hanging out. But more-so after we play. Before-hand I’m warming up, tuning and just making sure I’m ready.
KC: You guys covered Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Best cover since DMX in my opinion. You also covered “Makin’ Whoopee.” Are there any other songs you want to cover? Will we see any cover songs on Carny Life?
LC: There aren’t any cover songs on Carny Life, but we love playing covers live. That’s how Matt and I first started playing together. We all just like playing songs we enjoy playing, whether they be ours or other artists’.
KC: What was the recording process like for Carny Life?
LC: With half the songs on Carny Life, I would bring a song a cappella to Matt and he would write the music around it. We would then bring in different friends and musicians for each track. Once I learned piano, ukulele and guitar, I wrote the other five. There were songs along the way that didn’t make the cut, and the songs left standing were just the ones we put the most work into and liked the most. However, I’m already looking forward to the next record because now I just present a new song to the band and if they’re stoked on it, we work it out together.
KC: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
LC: Yes. There are certain people who have always shared, commented on, and supported what we do and it does not go unnoticed. We truly appreciate it.