Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Laura V. video from The Meaning of Life!

  The Meaning of Life is more full, and lush, and deep, than a three piece really has any business being. If you're listening to Play Fuego and think it's studio tricks, I got news for you, I've seen them live and they pull it off, almost effortlessly. I've always felt that there was a sort of supreme beauty within an electrical circuit, a flawless math of humming electrons, a loop of echo and oscillation, an om made of ohms... Christian Gallardo coaxes that akashic entity out of his guitar rig like a snake charmer with an entranced cobra. With Gallardo's guitar providing the backbone of the band, bassist/vocalist Marta DeLeon drifts between drawn out melodic lines, and ornamental accents ad lib. DeLeon is one of the best lyricist around. Her deft use of imagery leaves the listener wondering if she's a surrealist or a symbolist, yet wholly satisfied, regardless of which conclusion is drawn.
  
Christian feels no pain from rose thorns.
  The Laura V. video officially drops today, and it's a perfect fit for the sensual, yet guarded, single off the Play Fuego EP. The "Instagram meets cabaret"-style video drifts from the absurd to the overtly sexual, and shifts between shots of the band on a beach, and a small group of people at dinner party (or perhaps a couple at dinner, depending on how you choose to see it). Anyway, it's stunning. Deep and artful, yet self aware, absurdist, and at times funny, the Laura V. video is probably as close to a visual representation of TMOL as one could really get. Check out the video at the bottom of the page. I sent Marta and Christian some questions via email, and here's what they had to say:

Hearts Bleed Radio: Is Laura V. a real person? Where does the inspiration for the song come from?

Marta: Christian called it Laura originally after Laura Palmer from "Twin Peaks" as a nod to his affinity for "her" and for us to have something to call our new jam in the practice space yelling over loud amps. The song is dedicated to a close family friend, Laura Vasalo who is deceased like the fictional Laura. It's not directly about either ladies. But I guess to me, both were laughing smiling ladies in the high school hallway surrounded by a group of friends. A lady's name as a song title never gets old.

HBR: Marta, as a lyricist you rely heavily on imagery. I feel like in Laura V. there's a battle between the spider and the halo. I see the spider as representing temptation or the guilt of giving into said temptation. Wearing the biggest halo, and/or waiting the longest to run is the other side of the coin; a partner is trying to have the upper hand (or possibly even do the right thing) in an obviously failing relationship. Is that accurate? Is it more open to interpretation? Or did I miss the point completely?

Marta: Thanks! I never put those two together as a narrative in the lyrical lines literally but I like listeners to project their own emotions and interpretations of what the song means. I think pop songs lend themselves also to that quite well. Using pop references words like "spider" or "red dress" can be open-ended yet emphatic. A spider could be menacing or helpful and protective like in "Charlotte's Web". A collage of emotions, whimsy and longing are the common thread. Someone who waited for the perfect love and when it showed up with all it's complexities they ran away. Not too get too deep, too much bodega Redbull at 11:30 pm.

HBR: Where did you get the inspiration for the metaphor, "We're like gloves inside?"

Marta: I love playing on words and am inspired by the way idioms are used in hip-hop's phrasing for example. "Fits like a glove" is where that lyric grew from and it fitted the melody phrase quite well too wink wink. It's describing a kinship that you can have with another person or animal or song you hear, something comforting.

HBR: Christian, you play really understated guitar lines, but make them come out sounding incredibly lush. What are you using for gear, and who are your biggest influences?

Christian: I've always loved the Beatles post '66, after Paul died, Honey's Dead from Jesus and Mary Chain, the first Suede album, The Cure's Disintegration is a simply wonderful record, Sonic Youth when Kim is singing, Yo La Tengo, VU. 80's bands. I'm highly influenced by pop. Well, I absolutely adore delay pedals, all of them. But my favorite pedal is probably my vintage Boss OD-2 Turbo Overdrive. And to answer your first question, I grew up in Chile, country of lush landscapes and steaming geysers.

HBR: Tell me a little bit about the filming of the video. What was the hardest scene to film? What was fun, and what was a chore?

Marta: First hats off to Jeremiah McVay and Stephen Huber. Both attended NYU Film school and worked tirelessly to shoot, edit, cross their eyes for us, etc etc. We fell into a good situation and glad that Break Thru Radio TV, where Jeremiah works on mostly live music footage can help distribute it. The beach scenes were very fun and cold so hard for us to sustain running around scantily clad on a 40 degree day. We lucked out on the sun and got some Jean Godard type red and blue color moments. Jessica Flanagan (El Jezel) and Hans Viet (Birds In Weather) who are both remarkable musicians were sports to actually swim in that icy Coney Island water. I got a leg cramp and had to run in a circle for some takes, that wasn't very rock and roll.


"Laura V." by The Meaning Of Life (presented by BreakThruTV) from BTRtv /// BreakThru Radio on Vimeo.

HBR: What's on the agenda for The Meaning of Life now that the video is out? You're playing Glasslands on 8/15, correct?

Christian: Like a lot of people say, writing the ULTIMATE pop song! Just keep on writing simple songs with only two chords. Simplicity is 'el camino', amigo.

Marta: We hope the video opens up people to hearing and seeing us in new ways. It's marks the one year anniversary for our debut EP Play Fuego that will be downloadable for free off our Bandcamp page from 8/14-9/14. Laura V. is on that as well. Currently we are tracking a song at a time with Brian Wilson like ears and overdubs and schedules, money, and our engineer becoming a papa all come into play with that timing. Hopefully, we'll have something to unleash as a fall single. We want to travel, we want to cook for you... Yes, Glasslands 8/15 is our next show with Eastern Hollows our near and dear talented builders of space rock, and Slowdim coming all the way from Boston are really a grand group of players, Phone Home are great and have a great name, no?

I would say they absolutely do. More info on that show ---> here.

Like TMOL on Facebook ---> here.

And please like HBR on Facebook ---> here.

See you at a show.

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