If you think you know a Voxhaul Broadcast song, you’re probably right. Since the release of their 2008 début album Rotten Apples, the Los Angeles-based band continuously permeates the blogosphere with their psychedelic-inflected eclectic alternative rock. They’ve integrated themselves into the local artistic scene; everyone seems to know them or has heard their music; And only has good things to say.
Voxhaul Broadcast are the sort of local band that you see everywhere. They’re talented dudes that could easily be your friends or your cool local barista; frontman David Dennis worked briefly at a local juice shop we frequent. After our interview, we meet them for karaoke at a popular local dive bar. The timing was off, you know, because timing is everything–as evidenced in the title of their 2011 sophomore album–so instead we introduce friends and cozy up in a booth to philosophize with drummer and keyboard player Anthony Aguiar. This could be every night, but for Voxhaul Broadcast something less commonplace seems to be coming.
Through all their critical acclaim, Voxhaul Broadcast has been dangling their toes over the edge of success; dangerously, ecstatically, on the brink. With their newest album, 2011’s Timing is Everything, their upcoming EP Frozen Beach, and their increased radio play, including on KROQ’s Locals Only with Kat Corbett, it seems that the band might be poised to take their local charm to a global level.
On the “darker” sound on 2011 album Timing Is Everything:
Anthony Aguiar: “I think that the songs translated the way they did because we wanted to try rock; we wanted to try pushing rock. We wanted to be as rock ‘n roll as we could because we felt at that moment we were that band.”
DD: “I mean, I think we’ve always had a lot of darker songs, but maybe the way we recorded it we wanted it to sound darker. We made that decision tone-wise and chose songs that some of them were a long that vibe. But, you know, all of that stuff is not stuff is not really too conscious. The feeling of the songs just kind of comes out.”
On their new music including EP Frozen Beach:
DD: “The new stuff–we just kind of wanted to do something; try to come up with our own kind of sound. That just sounded like once you heard ten seconds of a song you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s Voxhaul.’ You know, because Timing is Everything, I really like that album but I feel like it’s so all over the place. I’d like for our fans to be able to latch on to a sound and be able to know what Voxhaul’s sound is.”
On the “liquidmation” effect in their new music video for “Turn The Knife:”
DD: “A lot of the times our videos have been big productions where…we look super-glammed out and it’s like, ‘Do I really look like that? I look awesome.’ This video is real to who we are, I think.
AA: It was pretty much just fifty-thousand stills that all mesh into one so it looks like all these stills are just flowing with each other very nicely. And it kind of hits our psychedelic-ness a little bit. It’s kind of a trippy video. It’s like the most creative thing we’ve seen and with the budget we’ve had too…”
DD: “It was definitely shot from a lifestyle standpoint. Most of it was from our neighborhood that we walk around in everyday.
On the neighborhood that they “walk around in everyday”–Silverlake and Echo Park:
AA: “It’s an artist mecca of things. Everybody I talk to is a musician or a photographer…”
DD: “Or they’re in film. They’re a bunch of people still working day jobs but still chasing dreams…A lot of them are living it. It’s just a mix-up of people just chasing it.”
AA: “It’s nice to have a conversation with people like that too. Everyone…wants to stamp their artistic view on the world.”
DD: “And it’s good to be around like-minded people because it makes you appreciate it.”
On some local bands that they’re into:
“Mini Mansions, they’re really cool. LA Font. Local Natives–they’re old friends our ours. Vanaprasta–they’re friends of ours. Eastern Conference Champions. Airborne Toxic Event.
On the phenomena of social media and how it has changed music:
David Dennis: “I grew up on a lot of old rock bands that are kind of mythical like the Doors and Led Zeppelin and it is kind of fun to imagine that kind of mystery that those rock bands had–in the modern-day. You know like Jim Morrison sitting around in the van being like, ‘Hey, so what should I tweet you guys? I just don’t know what to Facebook.”
“You can’t ignore it. It’s the way that you connect with your fans. We try to do it the best we can but we’ve never really been that great at it, but we’re getting better.”
On what they would change if they could go back in time:
DD: “I’d go back in time and make Tony a woman because I love him that much.”
AA: “I might try to get rid of Facebook and Twitter and keep it the old mailing list that we used to have and have fans write you letters. I think it was a little more personal.”
On their dream collaboration:
DD: “I’ve been listening to this song lately that John Lennon produced with Harry Neilson that’s called “Many Rivers” and just the mood I’m in this week, I’d say John Lennon. It could be a different person next week, but today I’m going to say John Lennon.
AA: “You know, I’ve always been a big Smashing Pumpkins fans from the beginning. Maybe Billy would be a little hard to work with. ..but I wouldn’t mind. He’s a brilliant artist, so he can tell me how to play.”
Frozen Beach will be out on July 24th. Go to voxhaulbroadcast.com for more details.
–Nadia Noir, CBS Radio Los Angeles