Easy-going, LA indie yacht rockers untap their March residency at Harvard & Stone on Tuesday, March 5. Their affable riffs mixed with vulnerable vocals have splashed audiences at The Satellite and Central. On the surface bobs playful poetics (“Thunder” or “In Cairo” come to mind). But somewhere a proverbial hunk lifeguard watches, perhaps sipping a martini, lurking contemplatively. Unfooled by their cool, wavy demeanor, attuned to Brady Erickson’s narrative, which by the second line of Hotel Pool, has hung a man and invented an antagonist, a woman who spins him in circles. Stay dry and thoughtful or cannonball into their folk rock charm. But don’t miss the pool party this March.
The Ross Sea Party band members took a moment from the sun to jump into a giant email thread with Indie Rock Reviews.
Best Mexican food in LA. Where is it?
Mark: A response as difficult as the question, too many to choose from: For birthday gatherings and over-sized combo plates, El Cholo and their Chili Relleno. For late-night quesadillas, the big man who sets up shop next to the Thirsty Crow on Sunset does my belly good (and then bad given my intolerance for cheese). Then there’s La Cevicheria, their bloody clams and fish tacos take the prize, seriously — though it may not qualify for the prize since the owner is from Guatemala. And for the record, the worst ceviche I ever had was in Mexico: Eating lemon-infused canned tuna on a terrace overlooking the Pacific in Manzanilla is peculiar.
Brady: The only definitive thing I know about this is that the best guac is at the Salvadorian place on the corner of Glendale and Alvarado.
Best band you’ve ever had Mexican food with?
Mark: I think I ate a taco in Scottsdale, AZ, touring with The Californian.
Brady: Pantera. Seriously.
Jacquelyn: RSP, duh.
Also, what are you doing on Tuesday?
Jacquelyn: We’re kickin off our residency at Harvard and Stone. It’s super awesome because our friends Sadie and The Blue Eyed Devil’s will be there and my good friends will be DJing. So that’s already a great time. On top of it, we also have Fellow Bohemian on board who I read about in a blog and then I wrote to them and they said yes! It felt like inviting someone cool to my birthday when I was like 10. That’s true for all the bands we asked to play! We’re also super happy to have Moheak Radio presenting the month of shows and thrilled to have IRR on board!
That’s right we are sponsoring you. Cheese seques and all. So, you guys made a record. And got another residency. What is it like, playing the same venue back to back to back? Is it kind of like being a sous chef of sound?
Brady: It’ll be our third residency in LA… and one of our favorite things to do. You get to spend some time with the venue and the crowd. Settle in, do some talking, start with a peck on the cheek, take it slow.
Jacquelyn: For sure in the sense that you do a lot of prep work! I love residencies though because they are super fun and build a music community between bands, the audience, friends, and the clubs. That’s kinda the point of it all to me.
Mark: Good analogy. In keeping with that, we hope to create New American Ramen Fusion cuisine. With Executive Chef Will VanderWyden a.k.a Ramen Shaman at the helm, we envision four star restaurants in mid-major media markets. Hopefully after that we can parlay our success into a Disney-inspired eatery inside a Vegas hotel, then it’s on to reality TV in Japan.
Speaking of, what’s the first ingredient you guys would put in a Guy Fieri dish? And do you think he, a guy who can afford to lounge in any hotel pool, will ever be a beer-soaked RSP fan?
Mike: Paula Deen. Mmmm mmm, that’s some good ol’ American artery clogging goodness!
Will: Obviously the first ingredient in a Guy Fieri dish has to be cheese. That dude is the king of it. And I’ll go on record saying I hope he never becomes a RSP fan. These days an indie band has to make a lot of credibility… ‘allowances’, shall we say – like licensing songs for car commercials – but come on, you’ve got to draw the line somewhere. I’m drawing it at fire shirts.
I hear you on the fire shirts. Okay, let’s play a game. Any director, any budget. Who would direct the video for your next single? Also, what is the next single?
Mark: The late Nathaniel Hornblower. RIP. Hotel Pool ought to generate some good music video ideas.
Brady: Next single up will be for the song “In Cairo”. It’s in the cutting room now and gonna be something special. I’ve really been digging on Patrick Daughters’ videos in the last couple of years. Though, let’s set the budget real low; that seems to spawn the best videos.
Michael, your drumming gets better and better every show. Any bands/projects you look forward to sharing your backline with?
Mike: Thanks! I’ve been honored to be included in many of the Ross Sea Partiers side projects for the time being. As far as prospective ventures, well, I’ve been waiting for the Blue Man Group to give me a call. Until then, I’d love to sit in with Beck or even Prince.
Mark, you can sing. I didn’t appreciate how well you could till I saw a video of you singing in Swahili. Explain.
Mark: Why, thank you. Well, I enjoy singing. I reckon it comes from being raised in a musical family, not in the Carter Family sense, but in a Broadway sense — my high school musical résumé is extensive. I then played the fun yet daunting role of lead singer and songwriter for most of my “band” career before joining TRSP. I love harmonies, and this band has a humdinger of a time creating them. Check out Goodnight Insomniacs to hear more of moi — or maybe we can do a Guabi Guabi duet sometime.
Jacquelyn, how do you spell glockenspiel?
Jacquelyn: X-Y-L-O-P-H-O-N-E. At least that’s what most people think it is. I love the glockenspiel but it is an awkward name for sure. Although, our last sound guy at The Satellite had, what I believed to be a German accent, and when he said glockenspiel, it was like the word finally made perfect sense. It also is the thing I get the most compliments on after shows, especially from girls.
Almost as adorable as you playing it on “ In Cairo.” Any new or exotic instruments in store for RSP fans?
Jacquelyn: Well, when we were recording Hotel Pool, we used a lot of vintage gear and keys that were somewhat unusual. Mike even bashed a skateboard against a wall to track drums in “Thunder”. I got to play a marimba- which was super fun- on our tracks “In Cairo,” “Hotel Pool” and “Map”. There was talk of using a steel drum but it never panned out, fortunately or unfortunately. In the future hopefully we’ll throw in more percussion things into the live show. I’ve got shells, shakers, and tambos but I want more!
Sure it’ll be fun either way. Will, as a fellow bassist I have to ask, how do you feel about the idea that bass succeeds the less it’s noticed?
Will: I get that idea, but I’d phrase it differently – bass succeeds the more you notice when it’s missing. It’s a subtle distinction, but in our style I think it’s an important one. Dynamics are the rhythm section’s domain.
Great point. That said, any Jedi wisdom for young indie rock bands figuring out their rhythm section?
Mike: Creativity is subtraction. Always see the bigger picture; take more time figuring out what you can take out than what you can put in. We’re a band that plays to serve the song as a whole, not our own egos. I believe it was Nietzsche that said, “Leggo the eggo.”
There it is. Hey, thanks so much for hanging and talking. Anything you’re dying to tell the world before Tuesday’s first night of residency at Harvard & Stone?
Mark: I’m dying to admit to the world that while most of my puns are intended, a lemon flew off my plate today, and I shouted in solitude, “Lemon drop!”
Brady: I’d like to tell the world that everything is going to be ok.
Jacquelyn: I want all of you to come to our residency!
Speaking of instruments that sound better when Germans say them, check out The Ross Sea Party playing “In Cairo” at the Echo Outpost. Sometimes in bed I pretend Will Farrell is wearing a tyrolean hat, exclaiming, “More glockenspiel.” Oh well.