Exterior of Doug Weston’s Troubadour nightclub in West Hollywood, CA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Okay, so I like to consider myself open to new music of any genre, but I’ll be completely honest when I say I don’t know much about Electronic Dance Music or Dub Step. So last night when I ventured out to the Troubadour, a venue I have been to often in years past, I was feeling a bit out of my comfort zone. I was excited to see Robert DeLong’s live show, however. Having not seen his show before, I had some idea of what to expect, on paper. I had heard his recorded music and read other press about his live shows, but what I got was far beyond even what I anticipated. I arrived at The Troubadour early, even with the traffic I encountered at The Hollywood Bowl. Robert DeLong greeted me right away, he then introduced me to his girlfriend, who was co-running the free face painting stand they had set up. The glow in the dark face paint stand should have been my first clue that this show was different from what I have experienced in the past at the Troubadour.
(Photo Credit: Facebook)
Robert took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some of my questions:
Kevin Collier: How would you describe your music?
Robert DeLong: I would say it’s something like a hybrid between indie-pop flavored ”songwriter” rock and roll and electronic dance music. Something like that.
KC: Tell me about Bothell, WA. What was life like growing up there?
RD: Bothell was a great, small suburb of Seattle, with generally nice, hard-working people who wore a lot of flannel and listened to cool,though depressing, music. It was rainy.
RD: APU was an interesting experience – I learned a lot about music theory, composition and arranging, singing and drumming at APU, and that has of course made things easier. Also, I really began to dig beneath the hood of my composition software, Logic, which set the stage for my production techniques and live show. The religious element of APU also influenced my music, if you ever get a chance to mull over my lyrics then I think you can decide for yourself what sort of influence APU had in that category.
KC: You played drums for a band called The Denouement. Can you tell me if there is anything on the horizon for the band?
RD: The Denouement took a hiatus as all of our lives got busy with our individual artistic endeavors – we have an album mostly done we will finish someday; the band will play some shows sans me in the future, but who knows, really. Either way I would never be making music the way I do if it weren’t for that band I don’t think.
RD: Triple excited! Seriously, though, Glassnote is an amazing label with great artists and a staff that has years of industry experience, and I am excited to work with them for the next 1 million albums.
KC: What was the inspiration behind your orange “X” logo?
RD: Truth Movement, the year of the 201X, the esoteric sciences of
KC: You performed at South By Southwest (SXSW) this year. How awesome was that experience? How
would you describe it to someone who has never been there?
RD: SXSW is the most amazing thing. Everyone should go because it is like a giant music industry party, with bands hiding behind every possible door. Just prepare yourself to get sick from exhaustion, and don’t drive there. Driving across Texas is terrible.
KC: You have consistently produced new and original music for about two years now through your songs of the month offering. How long does it take you to come up with and record these songs?
RD: I am constantly producing music, for every song that I release on my SOTM I have probably 15 more unheard. Creation time varies depending on the type of tune – I can rock out a good minimal house track in 3 hours, but anything with vocals generally takes longer. Songwriting can be anything from 2 hours to 2 months.
KC: How does it feel to be featured by KROQ as part of their locals only showcase?
RD: It’s awesome! The KROQ team has shown me a lot of love, and I am excited to play a show presented by the most influential alternative rock station on the West Coast.
KC: Tell me about your residency at The Observatory.
RD: It was fun, the Observatory staff really got behind the thing and made it something really radical. I love that venue, it has great lights, great sound, and cool people. It’s a good thing for Orange County, I think.
(Photo Credit: Facebook)
As for the show itself, I really can’t think of an adequate way to sum it up. I was in a room with what seemed like over a hundred other people, dancing as one, almost involuntarily to the extremely catchy music that Robert DeLong created right before our eyes. He controlled the movement of the nebulous amoeba that was the crowd with an Atari Joystick. He seamlessly combined live vocals with prerecorded and recorded on-the-fly loops and tracks, fantastic drum work and even sneaked in an acoustic guitar during the encore.
(Photo Credit: Facebook)
I was pleasantly surprised not only by his act, but opening acts Incan Abraham and Tapioca and the Flea. I had not heard of either band before the show, but I really enjoyed their music. Incan Abraham opened with what I could only describe as electronic hard rock and they were awesome. Tapioca and the Flea brought to mind Robert DeLong’s prior band, The Denouement with their video game hipster chic, all wrapped up in a poncho. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on these two bands, and you should too.
(Photo Credit: Tana Ghandi)
I drove home around midnight, mostly speechless and with a limp (Did I strain a hamstring dancing?) So, when Robert DeLong asked “Did I leave it all to chance or did I make you fucking dance?” I think he has his answer.
I want to thank Robert DeLong for taking time to interview with me and Patrick Mundy for hooking that up. Glassnote records has a crazy new addition on its hands. Do yourself a favor and check out Tapioca and the Flea
, Incan Abraham
and Robert DeLong