There are some good quotes out there about doing things by twos.
“Two heads are better than one.” “There are two sides to every story.” “Take two for a better chew.”
Whichever way you do your sums, there can be no doubt that everything really is better with a friend. Especially true of first experiences. So we asked two members each from two different bands featured in the fast-approaching youbloom Los Angeles 2015 Music Festival & Conference to share with us their, well, side of the coin when it comes to reminiscing about that mack daddy of first experiences: the first band.
And just for fun, we’ve also got two solo artists to share their stories about the time they took the plunge.
It all adds up to double trouble.
Paul Weber ( Lead vocal / Trumpet / Percussion, DENMANTAU): “My first band is still the same one we founded 12 years ago called DENMANTAU. We (got together in) high school and have stayed together ever since. After graduation we went to Australia and New Zealand to discover busking, which quickly became our means of living. That enabled us to travel the whole world as I always have dreamed of. After touring two times in California we decided to move to the US, and have lived in Los Angeles over a year now.”
Julian Schonscheck (guitar/keys, DENMANTAU): “The first band I was ever in is still the same that I play in today, over 12 years later: DENMANTAU. We have quite a (history) behind us already. We started as school band, traveled half the world, played countless shows and street performances, and made the step to move from Hamburg, Germany to Los Angeles together, living off nothing but love and music. I feel so blessed to be in a group of friends that is so talented, loving and understanding. We live our lives so close together that this is not just a band anymore, it is family.”
They arrived in Los Angeles on a mission: to be the biggest band in the world. German born and bred, they’ve honed their chops and are stopping at nothing to share their tight, bohemian, insanely danceable music with every pair of ears from here to the moon. Set to be a highlight show at youbloom LA, you really need to see these guys. For fans of: the good Pearl Jam stuff, Jack Penate, Paolo Nutini
Robert Blue Moon(poet/emcee/other vox, Crvscxnt Moon): “The first band or collective I can say I was a part of was (called) Cream of the Block. It included me, my current band members Menlo and Kwazar, and a producer of ours named Chris Felix (of Cloudy River Music). We were young, talented and naïve we knew nothing close to what we know now, but we tried our hardest to make a movement via Myspace. Now that I look back on it, those were fun and easy times, but I am so happy that we have grown since then.”
Menlo Black(vox/raps/guitar/piano, Crvscxnt Moon): “My first music group formed in the halls of my middle school. P$C was created by a gang of T.I.-influenced southern kids. Although our run only lasted until winter break, we filled our lunch room with breakbeats built with table tops and Bic pens.”
Whip smart and acerbic, yet feel-good and uplifting, this is a group with cunning musical abilities and a tangible desire to venture beyond the well-tread environs of intellectual hip-hop. Crvscxnt Moon blend soul and gospel into a refreshing helping of music with something to discuss. For fans of: J. Cole, Blackalicious, Mr. Lif
Felice LaZae, singer/songwriter: “I’m a solo artist, but I always perform with a band so I guess my answer to this would be when I first started performing with my own full band live at a public venue (excluding school performances in high school and college). The first time I performed with my own full band was a few years ago at El Cid in Los Angeles. It was my first big show in LA. I remember I had been sick the week before and had to go on vocal rest so I couldn’t sing during our rehearsal. I mouthed all of the words while the band played without me. It was the oddest rehearsal, but by the night of the show, I was ready to go and it went great. I loved it so much and I’ve been gigging ever since.”
Joining the ranks of powerhouse women in the music industry – the kind who know exactly what weapons they wield in the form of vocal might, presence, and prowess – comes Felice LaZae, a blaze of a thing; confident, sharp as nails, and already racing her way to the top. Which is right where she belongs. For fans of: The Black Keys, Betty Davis, Imelda May
Shira Yevin (frontwoman, Shiragirl): “My first band was my own; it was just me and a DJ (back in the day before I had my whole punk rock band), (and) yeah, we were pretty bad. (The DJ) had never sung before, and I needed backup vocals, so I kind of just threw her out there on stage with me. It didn’t help that a lot of the first songs were pretty bad too. But hey, we were inspired, and we had the passion!”
Not one to mess with, Shiragirl’s been doing her own electropunk thing and making no apologies whatsoever for over a decade. Striking out on her own from an all-girl band to make music at once gritty and groovy, she’s all of the party and none of the prissy. Bring your best dance partner and get ready to rock. For fans of: Candy Hearts, a less trite Ke$ha, Natalia Kills