Kicking off our series of UMS Artist Spotlight, we had a chance to catch up with the members of Allah-Las this week in preparation for their performance on Friday night on the main stage during this years Underground Music Showcase.
(U5280) You guys are about to drop a new album on September 9th. What will be different about this album than previous releases in terms of writing process, touring, songs, etc?
(Allah-Las) Almost all of the songs on the record were written individually, as opposed to collectively as many of the tracks from the second and almost all of the tracks from the first record were written. We also spent a lot of time demoing and experimenting with production on this record, and it shows in the variety of the tracks.
(U5280) A few of you used to work together at Amoeba Music, what was that like, I can picture a scene from High Fidelity. Any weird stories you want to share from working there? (encounters, sightings, perks, etc)
(Allah-Las) Lots of strange folks working there, lots of strange Hollywood burnouts making regular rounds. Also a great record shop.
(U5280) You guys have worked with Nick Waterhouse in the past, what is he like?
(Allah-Las) Nick is a good friend of ours and we knew him before any of us had our music projects going. He's a great guy to work with, very knowledgeable and professional, and also a contemporary of ours who we feel comfortable with in the studio.
(U5280) You guys are about to embark on a fall tour starting here in the states then concluding in Europe, any memorable touring stories you want to share?
(Allah-Las) Too many. There was the time in Texas where we left Matt on the side of the road because we didn't realize he had climbed out the back of the van when we stopped for a pee break. Took us about half an hour to realize. He didn't have a phone or wallet with him, so it was good that we noticed eventually. One time in Germany we were escorted out of our hotel by police at 3am and ended up making friends with them, gave them records and all that. They were much cooler than the kid at the front desk who had called them.
(U5280) What can your fans of Denver expect this coming Friday at The UMS?
(Allah-Las)We rented that Tommy Lee rig that flips around so we're gonna have Matt up on that, massive pyrotechnics show, people flying around suspended by wires, we borrowed some tigers from the local zoo. Gonna be wild wild wild.
(U5280) Finally if you guys had to put together a super band (past or present) 1 vocalist, 1 guitarist, 1 bass player and 1 drummer, who would it be?
(Allah-Las) What? We already did.
Allah-Las is composed of Pedrum Siadatian (vocals/lead guitar), Miles Michaud (vocals/rhythm guitar), Matthew Correia (vocals/drum), and Spencer Dunham (vocals/bass). The band was formed in 2008 while three of the members were working at the legendary Amoeba Music record store. “We were all music fans before we were musicians,” says Correia. “We’ve spent a lot of time listening to music, and understanding what works for us and what doesn’t.” Their 2011 self-titled debut was nominated for independent album of the year by the A2IM Libbys. Of the debut, Pitchfork said, “it sounds like an effortlessly wistful batch of starry-eyed, minor-key beauties that gently ruminate on the usual young-guy subjects: sex, freedom, the ways the former can interfere with the latter and vice versa.”
In 2014, their sophomore LP Worship The Sun received critical acclaim from The Los Angeles Times who said the album “…lets the band’s trippy vintage rock absorb all sorts of new Southern California influences. Latin drumming, L.A.’s midcentury avant-garde beach culture and Laurel Canyon harmonies.” LA Weekly has noted, “their sound is steeped in the pop sensibilities of The Zombies and The Kinks, laced with Northern Soul, lo-fi funk and the ever-enduring influence of Arthur Lee and Love.”
The band has toured extensively with sold out tours and high profile festival dates throughout North, Central, and South America, Europe, South Africa, Russia, Mexico and Israel. For the upcoming North American dates will have the group TOPS supporting in September and October. See below for full tour dates.