By Ryan Williford Wednesday March 10, 2010
America, lighten up and let(yourself)live. I recently had the pleasure to talk with Jason of letlive about “Fake History”, their “GRASSROOTS AND GUERRILAZ” campaign, a zombie tour, and Tragic Hero Records’ speedboats (WHERE’S MINE?!?!!?!?!?). The album will be in stores April 13th and there are several pre-order packages here.
Audiopinions: So I just read about you guys’ “GRASSROOTS and GUERRILAZ” campaign. How did this all come about and how successful do you guys think it will be? What about in the long-term success of the band?
Jason Aalon: First and foremost, let’s make an attempt to remember what music was like before we were giving millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of prepubescent girls and boys rockin’ over exaggerated make up jobs to those “artists” wearing the brightest colored t-shirts and fitting the most breakdowns they could into the most recent top 40 hit. Don’t worry…I’ll wait. Now once we remember this, or once you asked your parents about what music was like before myspace and you have checked out a you tube video of Credence Clearwater Revival, James Brown, or the Stones then you will quickly realize these performers are conveying something you won’t find by adding a sixth member to your band who fills the position of “samples”, when in reality all he or she is doing is pressing the space bar on his macbook 3 times a set to fill up an empty space in the song with a quote from a Family Guy episode in hopes that Seth Mcfarlanes animated genius will distract crowds from the fact that they can’t write real music. Something you won’t find by being so br00tal your singer gets mistaken for a garbage disposal in use after thanksgiving dinner. And certainly something you will not find by being so “true” to the art and esoteric that you build a following fans full of shit and incapable of even spelling the word avant garde. But I digress. This campaign we are spearheading known as “GUERRILLAZ AND GRASSROOTS” is simply our ode to the essence that made music so powerful in the first place. It’s accessibility to any and everyone. All people. Anyone who wants to be involved can be involved. We will be playing on the streets throughout our county of Los Angeles as well as any others we can get ourselves over to. By playing in the streets we mean acoustic guitars, bongos, buckets and shakers. No mics so I’ll be projecting my voice in the vain of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Once again, I said we’ll be on the streets. More specifically on the sidewalks. Possibly at the top of steps in centers, plazas, and squares. We’re playing selected songs from our album for a couple hours every show…acoustic.
theletlivecrew.wordpress.com | twitter.com/theletlivecrew
This campaign is about sharing our music with whoever wants to listen, and even those that don’t. It’s about stirring up some buzz and bringing back the word of mouth. The support. Making this essence tangible for the people that make it possible for us to be a band. This campaign is about gettin’ down and dirty for one of the most pure forms of expression we have ever been granted. Thank you guys in advance. I know you have it in you to change the game. Oh, and shout out to the brothas and sistas in the struggle from the 16th century on, bringing real rhythm to the United States of America. Holla
AO: This campaign leads you guys into the month of April where you can a Canadian tour and your Tragic Hero Records debut. Let us start with the tour. How did you guys get on this tour and what is it like knowing you guys are touring with Dead And Divine, The Bled, and Blind Witness?
JA: It does indeed. Respectively. We got this particular tour with the help of our great friend and manager, Brandan Schieppati, also known as “one of the hottest men in metal”. We’re assuming it had less to do with our humble complexity as a band and more to do with the really good bone structure in his face. I believe there were some females on the “should we let letlive on the D&D, The Bled, Blind Witness tour?” panel, so naturally he appealed to them with that metal veteran charm and great jawline.
AO: Being newly signed, what bands would you guys be excited to tour with?
JA: Being newly signed, and I’m sure once we garner “oldly signed” status I think I speak on behalf of all us when I say there will always be one constant that remains in that catagory. That constant would have to be that rumored Refused reunion tour. That or Kesha.
AO: What dream tour would you love to be on with any past or present band(s)?
JA: See above…Oh and if James Brown came back from beyond the grave and decided he wanted to do some sort of unprecedented zombie tour. I’m pretty confident he would be incredible despite the fact he hadn’t eaten, drank, or moved in over 3 years. I’m sure of it. (see, I would have made mention of the late, great, King Of Pop, but it’s just too early to be humorous about such a tragedy. This may be one of the only times in this interview you find me being 100% serious. RIP MICHAEL)
AO: Now let us talk about “Fake History”, what is the meaning behind the album title?
JA: I just recently did another written interview where I answered this question and informed the interviewer I would typically prefer answering this in his physical presence because I could use my hands and make faces indicative of how much I mean my answer. But seeing as how you have twice denied my video chat request on AIM, it looks like I’m gonna have to try my hardest to make those reading this interview believe in the essence of this pivotal album in 500 words or less. So…while writing this album we would often find ourselves in discussion after sessions. We would discuss various matters that span all across the board. Ranging from socioeconomics (or socio-economics. Take your pick) and national dignities to what color the letters should be on our Myspace. Needless to say, we are a rather opinionated band. We all see things through different lenses, but understand we would like the same results. Now let’s transpose that thought on over to the macro scale. Over to society. Over to the world. Your world, which in turn will directly affect OUR world. Since the beginning of time not just man (and woman, for all you very capable feminists reading this) , but all living organisms, have been striving to succeed. More primitively, we consider this success, survival. In order to succeed and survive, all things have been forced to be manipulative. It is the inevitable. Here lies the difference in what we have been advised throughout popular thought and what has actually happened. The huge difference in two simple little words – adapt and manipulate. I am absolutely certain that you have been told that man has adapted to his surroundings in order to advance. When in actuality, man has manipulated, taken advantage of, or exploited his environment to ensure success while surviving. This has remained the case up until right now. As I am writing this to you, I could turn on the TV and find a prime example. Right after that, I could look out my window and find another, just as exemplary. That is the FAKE HISTORY. It is the highly publicized alternate reality. It’s what is said to advertise images, condone icons, promote fear to all of those willing to subscribe. Now don’t get me wrong, I do not fault people for believing in the sense of security society has worked so hard to convince them of their entire lives. Not at all. All I am doing is telling that society that I’m on to their bullshit. I’m telling that society, all those societies, that I know about their FAKE HISTORY and I am certainly not the only one. And after April 13th 2010, slowly but surely, more will become privy to this issue. Not a shameless cd plug. More so, a definitive date on the timeline of change and good ass cds.
AO: The album cover seems so simple and old, what is the reason for this?
JA: The cd cover, as well as all images within the album itself, are all images taken by us. We set out on a few specific trips to capture images we felt strongly about. Images we felt would imply a relationship that beautifully grimy city life and the underestimated excitement in rural living. Also, the cover is actually a picture of a man we came across by chance while walking to our cars to leave downtown L.A. after calling it a day. We’re so grateful that we opted for the longer route back to our vehicles. This man was all by himself playing his prized and polished saxophone for whoever would listen. The most captivating thing about it was, to this man, that saxophone and those notes he was playing were all he needed. It seemed as though he felt he was playing Carnegie Hall and the whole city was his audience. Inspiring really. As far as the layout goes, we really dig on the art on older jazz records. They were always so simple, yet so cool. I’d be a liar if I said we weren’t taking a page out of Otis Redding or Charlie Parker’s play book.
AO: Were there any other labels other than Tragic Hero Records talking to you guys? If so, which labels?
JA: Yes, as a matter of fact, there were. But the only reason Decaydence/Fueled By Ramen was on it was because they got me confused with Travie from Gym Class Heroes.
AO: What was the whole process like and what attracted you guys to Tragic Hero Records?
JA: It was very ideal. Enchanted even. It’s pretty much the best experience you could have dealing with a label. We’ve developed a very personal relationship with those running the label, and the fact that they bought us all cabins and speedboats don’t hurt either. Word to these other labels..get on that TH level. Ya dig??
AO: What has the experience been like since signing the contract?
JA: Money, cash, hoz.
AO: What are your thoughts of illegal downloading and CDs getting leaked onto the internet?
JA: Downloading music shouldn’t be illegal. Not supporting the artist should be.
AO: Thanks you for your time, any final thoughts?
JA: GUERRILLAZ AND GRASSROOTS. STAND UP.