Brooklyn warehouse dwellers and self proclaimed “neo-noir punks”,LODRO play dark, edgy music. Vampish,sensual vocals, drawling guitar and looming drumbeats; LODRO’s sound is the sound of the underground.
We grabbed guitarist/songwriter Jeremy and asked him to introduce us to the band, and let us know what they are up to…
BM: Tell us how LODRO came to be ?
JC: I came to Brooklyn in late summer 2011. At the time, there was a former performance venue where a bunch of kids were living called Market Hotel. It was right beneath the tracks in Bushwick. It had a huge decrepit staircase, massive street rats jumping in and out of the garbage, and a plethora of random people’s beloved junk and musical equipment in a massive room, (in which bands had previously performed). I fell in love with it immediately, and ended up crashing/living there on and off for the next couple years.
I met Lesley there about a week after I arrived, while she was shooting a music video with her previous band, Friends. We quickly bonded, and she joined up a few times to play drums in the band I was in at the time, Royal Baths. Royal Baths were in need of a bassist at the time, and she recommended Turner, who joined immediately. Throughout the next year we toured the world in our respective bands, meeting up here and there around the U.S. and in Europe; Lesley rode with Royal Baths through a Spanish leg of our EU tour, and I rode with Friends for a week in the UK.
Our first rehearsal was in January 2013. Turner was not in the band at the time. Jigmae Baer of Royal Baths was playing drums and writing lyrics. We recorded a demo of Townes Van Zandt’s “Snake Song”, in Market Hotel. It was absolutely freezing – there was no insulation in Market Hotel, and we had to take breaks because our fingers would freeze to the point where we couldn’t play. We kept warm with a variety of pharmaceuticals and whiskey.
BM: Other than the booze and meds, what brings you together as a band?
JC: We share a deep cynicism yet simultaneous curiosity for life; this set of personality traits connects us and drives us.
BM: As with all bands, I like to find out about how you chose your name – LODRO. It’s unusual and quite intriguing?
JC: LODRO is an acronym, but it’s a secret. So it’s a “secronym”.
BM: Are you the main song writer for the band ? Or do you see it more as a collaborative approach?
JC: It’s always more or less collaborative. Often Lesley or I will share a half-formulated idea, and the other two will provide the rest of the variables, to flesh out and realize a complete song.
BM: What kind of stuff inspires your songwriting?
JC: Inspiration comes from our surroundings, so each song is its own story about a piece of our lives.
BM: How about musically? Do you come from a musical background?
JC: My parents were constantly listening to music, but no one in my immediate family was musically inclined.
BM: Was there anything from your parents collection that you are particularly fond of?
JC: I will always love Neil Young’s “After The Gold Rush”, it’s a beautiful and heart-breaking record, and was played constantly in my house growing up.
BM: Any particular bands that you are all influenced by?
JC: We all draw from a large variety of artists, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly who influences us most, and it’s song by song. The Velvet Underground has been a constant influence in my song writing
BM: What about how LODRO sound? How would you describe it?
JC: Dark, dirty, loud.
BM: Do you think is also true of your live set?
JC: Our live show is loud and abrasive. We all love playing shows, and it’s apparent in our performances. I try to deliver a mix of heartfelt energy and skill when performing. We don’t talk on stage much though, banter is sometimes overrated.
BM: What’s more important to you? Playing live or getting in the studio? Or do you think the two go hand in hand?
JC: Both are very important creative processes. Playing live is an important release for me, I start to go crazy without it. The studio is a very creative time, and provides us with the opportunity to lay down a song to its best potential.
BM: Tell us about your gigs – what was the first one like?
JC: I think our first show was at the warehouse performance space, “Shea Stadium”, in Brooklyn in February 2013. We invited all of our friends and people reacted very well
BM: Which gig has been the best so far?
JC: My favorite gig was in Nashville Tennessee on a two week tour with DIIV, last year in July 2014. Nashville has a deep appreciation for rock and roll, something that can be hard to find in New York.
BM: And the worst ?
JC: My personal worst gig to date was when I was in Royal Baths. We were living in San Francisco at the time, and on tour with The Fresh and Onlys. One night we were performing at the now defunct Monster Island in Brooklyn. I drank two bottles over wine and fell off the stage several times, all the while shouting at the promoter for reasons I can’t recall.
BM: You seem to incorporate quite a bit of art into your work…
JC: Artwork is very important. It provides a visual accompaniment to our sonic presentation.
BM: Where does the artwork come from?
JC: We have a few close friends who are photographers, and they capture certain moments of our lives that tend to reflect appropriately upon our music. We tend to use these as a backdrop for the art.
BM: You’re currently working on getting your debut album out – how’s that going?
JC: We’ll be self-releasing the full length in the next couple months. There’s no overall theme to the album, rather, it’s a collection of pieces written over the course of a year. We’ll be performing here in NYC for cmi and various other dates to promote the upcoming release of our full length.
BM: I’m really looking forward to hearing it – but until then do you have anything available that can give us an idea of what to expect?
JC: One of the tracks, “Life’s Better” is available for listening on our Soundcloud. The lyrics were written by Lesley. We wrote the music to it back in 2012 in a hotel room in England. We self-recorded it at home in our castle in Bushwick on a reel to reel tape machine, a Tascam 388.
LODRO are :
Lesley Hann: Bass, Vocals
Jeremy Cox: Guitar, Vocals
Turner Halsey: Drums
Photo Credits: Main Pic – Johnny Maroney: Second Pic – Ebru Yildiz:
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