The Lassie Foundation Interview
Long Beach, CA, in studio
Charles: That is the Lassie Foundation. What was the name of the track?
Wayne: The Promise Ring.
Charles: We have The Lassie Foundation here in studio. Would you like to introduce yourselves?
Wayne: I’m Wayne, the singer
Jeff: My name is Jeff, I play guitar.
Frank: I’m Frank, the drummer.
Wayne: Eric’s in the other room. He plays guitar also.
Charles: I hope you guys didn’t have too much trouble getting down here?
Wayne: We sorta found it. I did a mini tour of Long Beach, but it was all right.
Charles: Where are you guys from?
Wayne: Orange Country. Jeff is from here in Long Beach. Basically different parts of Orange County, Huntington. Over on the east side of Orange County.
Charles: Do you guys feel like you’re part of that big Orange County scene now?
Unknown voice in backround: nooooooooooooo
Wayne: No, not really.
Charles: Screaming no to be?
Wayne: No, not really.
Eric: Actually I was out on tour last month with Lit. We were out with Megadeth and they were rocking so hard ‘cause they’re so ripping.
Charles: You know we’re actually playing Lit next.
Eric: God bless you!
Charles: So how do you fit in?
Wayne: I don’t know, we just kinda do…I’m sorry, I’m answering all the questions.
Jeff: That’s good, that’s good
Wayne: We do what we do and if someone is digging it than that’s good, but we’ve never felt like a part of any scene. We’ve got friends in bands tat we think are cool but we don’t feel like we’re a part of any major movement. We really don’t look too much to the scene with LA or Orange County or where ever it is. We just do our thing and let it go.
Charles: How do you feel about success? Are you striving for a certain level of success?
Wayne: Well I’d like to quit my job and make millions (laughter all around) but the chances or that aren’t too brilliant at this point.
Charles: So what do you do work wise?
Wayne: I’m a teacher (more laughter), I think that says it all.
Jeff: I’m a student here at Cal State Long Beach
Eric: I’m starting a record company.
Frank: I play drums for a living.
Charles: So is there a student-teacher relationship here in the band?
Wayne: Yeah, I give him some French tutoring and he shows me Van Halen licks.
Charles: Not only did I want to talk but play some of the bands you’re into know and show where you came from, what your influences are, and what you’re listening to at the moment.
Jeff: This first track is from a band out of Cambridge or Oxford, one of those two places. They were basically the left over pieces of a band called Heavenly. This is their first record and the band is called Marine Research and I think the song is called “Hopefullness to Hopelessness”. It’s their first and only record so far.
Marine Research – Hopefulness to Hopelessness
Quasi - The Star You Left Behind
Charles: We’re back here on the Indie Shop. That was Quasi and “The Star You Left Behind”
Charles: It must be tough because there are four of you and you have so many different influences coming together.
Wayne: But that’s what’s fun. The weird thing about our band is that we’re a real strict democracy, and it really comes to bite you in the you know what from time to time. In a regular band you have the main singer/songwriter but they call it a band name, like Nine Inch Nails or something like that. With out band it’s real democratic. It can be really tough, but I think the end result is a song that sounds nothing like the original idea. Most of the time it’s really cool, at least we like it.
Charles: Can that be frustrating from an artistic stand point, where you come up with this idea you think is awesome and it gets twisted to the point where it is no longer recognizable?
Eric: I personally find it very frustrating.
Charles: I’m gonna bring out some dissent out here tonight….the band is over, it’s my fault.
Eric: It’s very frustrating because you spend so much time with this idea you have. Your ego dictates what you want to hear, and even though people try to bring something positive to the music, you’re limited by our ego and by other people adding their opinions. You never get to flush out the idea you originally had. The truth of it is that it comes out better when everyone is performing on it, but sometimes you want to say “this is exactly how I want it can you exactly do this”. Being on the other side you sometimes think “I have a better idea than this”. But as Wayne said, it has its rewards and its frustrations.
Wayne: So we’re soon gonna come out with four albums like Kiss did, four solo albums.
Charles: You guys seem to be smiling at that idea?
Eric: I’m just said it’s frustrating sometimes, not that I’m disappointed.
Charles: How do you deal with that as an artist if you have that frustration there? How do you retain that viable bond as a band?
Eric: We just have respect for each other. Even if I have an idea and want to do it my way, I respect them enough. I’m in a band with them. Obviously if they weren’t in a band with me I probably wouldn’t respect them as musicians and wouldn’t listen, but there here bringing things to the table and I love and respect them enough to listen to their ideas and flush these things out. We always try to be more a slave to the song than our own egos or pride.
Charles: I do a show and it’s just me, and it’s not much of an artistic expression. From this standpoint it’s hard to understand where you guys are coming from when there are five people. You’re coming together and creating such great music.
Wayne: I think dj’ing, at least now, is one of the more prevalent art forms. I kind of disagree with what you’re saying.
Charles: I’m not really mixing though.
Wayne: Well you are really, you’re mixing the voice and putting, well you’re not placing the songs in order now. When you’re all alone in this room you do. So there is a certain amount of , a certain playlist you have to follow. You make it a part of you and it becomes an extension of yourself like any or most jobs.
Charles: Any one you’re lucky to have. Shall we play another song.
Eric: Ok, so here we go. I pick a song and get a bunch of “*&*#” and get “that’s lame. I think it’s a cool, epic, pretty song. It’s by Radiohead from their first LP.
Wayne: LP’s don’t exist anymore.
Eric: Their first long-play cd. I think it was their second single, perhaps their second single. “Stop Whispering”.
Charles: What do you think about the development of Radiohead? It seems to me that, where their not going off the deep end, their making a strong effort to be different from anything else out there.
Wayne: I’m not sure what their next cd will sound like, but the last one was really hot.
Charles: I hear they’re hiring brass sections and…..
Wayne: Sounds good to me. Whatever process they went through to get the last cd.
Charles: We’ll play something from their first LP, or CD as you have it. This is “Stop Whispering” from “Pablo Honey”.
Radiohead – Stop Whispering – Pablo Honey
Built To Spill – The Plan
Charles: The last pick was another choice of yours.
Jeff: Built To Spill. I just got into them a few years back. My girlfriend actually bought their records before. It took me a while to get into them but I think we all now really like them. I think they do interesting things with guitars and guitar sounds and write really interesting songs as far as structure goes. They stray away from first chorus-bridge type arragenments and do innovative stuff.
Charles: On your web page there are some interviews of the band where you stated you would like to do the same.
Jeff: We’ve attempted to. I forgot the cd, but we’ve recorded a new song and it’s pretty bizarre as far as structure goes. At heart we’re a pop band but within those parameters try to do something interesting and stretch the limits of where pop has been.
Charles: I’ve received an email that asks when you’ll be touring soon?
Frank: (in radio voice) The Lassie Foundation rocking the west coast……….I’m not funny, ever. I’m the biggest ….We will be touring the great state of Texas. On the 14 we’re in El Paso, the 15 we’re in Abeline, the 16 we’re in Dallas, the 17 in Austin at Emos and in Dallas we’re playing at Trees. So if there’s anyone out there please please please please come out and see us so there will be more than five people there.
Charles: I heard that when the Police first played here there were five people in the audience.
Wayne: The Police suck!
Frank: But it shows that you can still attain that lever of success.
Wayne: Nah. They toured for years, all college things. This is the first time we’ve gone out and taken a trip so we’re all really excited and are trying to put on something unique as opposed to what we normally do. Instead of just going up and playing seven or eight songs we’re trying to make it an arch, a total show if it. Eric?
Eric: The Arch!
Jeff: We’re gonna make it an interesting…aural experience. Obviously we’re not interesting live as far as not running around a lot so we’ll have cool sounds.
Charles: Like an indie opera?
Jeff: It’s about this young boy who wants to start a band and can only find freedom through music. Aren’t we gonna play “conquer me” next? Wayne wrote that song, so if you listen to the lyrics that what it is all about.
Charles: Along that note….
Wayne: First I want to give a shout out to my internet chat room buddies. Under the name of Ren this is Frank so everyone light up that screen with your requests. I wanna give another shout out to my old lady at home in Huntington Beach. (kiss sound).
Charles: Anything else you guys would like to add?
Wayne: I gotta be a dj, I can do this job!
Charles: Well, you start at Disneyland and work you way up!
Wayne: So you had to bring that up?
Charles: So you’re gonna play one of your new songs?
Jeff: This is a pretty fun one. One of the most rock and roll ones that we’ve recorded to date. I hope everybody likes it.
Charles: How would you define rock and roll?
Jeff: Yeah, tempo wise, there’s lots of energy and there’s three chords for the most part. It’s rock and roll.
Eric: Your mother.
Charles: You don’t know how appropriate that is for the station. It’s a common saying around here. This is “Conquer Me” from the “El Rey” ep. This is coming out?
Jeff: February, next month.
Charles: And where can they find it?
Jeff: Your local mom and pop record stores like Fingerprints on Second street and all the indie stores like Aarons in LA. Also from our web site on the internet.
Charles: You can find the link on the Indie Shop web site.
Jeff: or at thelassiefoundation.com
Charles: This is “Conquer Me”…………….
Charles: So I started the wrong song. That was “El Rey”, also available on “Pacifico”, which was also a Buffy track.
Jeff: That ended up being on the season ending episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since the original finale was cancelled due to the Columbine incident.
Frank: We are big, big, big fans!
Jeff: It was part of the big senior prom scene and they were dancing to El Rey. It was surreal to see it on TV and hear your song, watching 200 high school kids dancing.
Charles: And it wasn’t cable TV.
Jeff: No, no.
Frank: Let’s hope so.
Charles: Yes, please!
The Lassie Foundation – Conquer Me – El Rey ep
Sleater Kinney – Get Up
Charles: That was Sleater Kinney with “Get Up” and one of your new songs, “Conquer Me” from the “El Rey” ep. We’ll have an acoustic set from you soon.
Wayne: We’ll try. We’ve never tried an acoustic set thus far. It will be groundbreaking radio.
Frank: Want me to get that?
Charles: Sure, help yourself. These guys come in and work on the computer, answer phones. I have some paper work if you’re in the mood.
Frank: Is Candy here?
Frank: Is Charles there?
Charles: That’s me.
Wayne: Talk to him on the air.
Charles: Unfortunately we don’t have the capability for that yet. Did they say who it was?
Frank: No, he just hung up. He said “he’s on the air? Cool, I’ll call back”
Charles: That must be station manager Mike. He’s done everything here.
Frank: He sounded nice over the phone.
Charles: He is, he’s mister nice. Have you enjoyed the chat room?
Frank: Thanks for everyone….I got lots of chat room hugs. Hugs are never strange. I can’t say one of the screen names because it’s a little bit dirty.
Charles: That must be Sarah.
Frank: Sarah, high Danish. Placebo, what up? Ok Placebo, if you’ve heard this type in “I’m wearing my pajamas”. Viva boy.
Charles: This is too much fun. Would you like to play one more song before you do your set.
Frank: This is from a band I know nothing about. A band called Red Red Meat.
Charles: Is Morrissey gonna chime in on this one?
Frank: I hate Morrissey, sheesh. I love Morrissey. This band, a friend of all of us called Chris Cobair is in a super cool band called Duralux. This band is called Red Red Meat and the track is “There Is A Star On The Manger Tonight. It’s full of all sorts of crazy sounds.
Red Red Meat – There’s A Star On The Manger Tonight – Enjoy
The Lazybirds – Come To Life
In studio acoustic performances:
The Lassie Foundation – I Can Be Your Man
The Lassie Foundation – Promise Ring
The author reserves all rights for the above interview. Please notify me with any intentions or desires to re-broadcast the above in any manner.