What Laura Says
There is no formula or secret or certain set of instructions to finding an audience and eventually a label. If your are honest with yourself about your sound, and willing to release your music on your own positive things will happen. What seems to be extremely important these days is your ability perform live. On the road is where you perfect your sound and your ability to entertain and not just play the chords and sing the words. So in most cases it is a combination of hard work, long tours, and perseverance that wins in the end.
Coming together as a duo back in 2006 and later expanding into the band they are today, Phoenix's What Laura Says have worked hard on the collection of song they just released. In fact, Thinks and Feels, was originally self-released a year ago. Their sound is a mixture of blues, piano-pop, alt-country, and the most basic roots of rock 'n' roll. All of this shines in their live performances. It was actually all the buzz surrounding their performances that caught the eye of a young North Carolina label, Terpsikhore, and thus forming a perfect match both in sound and style.
Recently, What Laura Says was kind enough to answer a few of my questions.
Orange Alert (OA): Your new album, Thinks and Feels, comes out August 19th. Your band name used to be What Laura Say Thinks and Feels, and now it is What Laura Says. What can you tell us about the album, and what was the reason for the name change?
What Laura Says (WLS): Industry folk and fans alike just could not wrap their heads around the name What Laura Says Thinks And Feels. In this, the age of over-stimulation, it's understandable that such a name would be difficult to remember. After seemingly constant and tiresome recitations of the name along with all the confusion, we officially shortened it to What Laura Says. Not wanting to part with thinking and feeling, we decided to name the album Thinks And Feels, which is a remastered re-release of our debut album. The new release includes a new track and revamped art.
OA: Terpsikhore seems like a nice young label. What has your expience been like so far?
WLS: They are indeed nice, and young... Terpsikhore has helped to equip us with the tools necessary to properly put out a national release; this includes major funding for promotion and touring, proper distribution for our record, and also a chance to put out our follow-up! The union was very organic; we have felt since the beginning that working with a small independent would be the right choice for us, and thats exactly what ended up falling in our collective laps: a new label with some creditability (in that it was formed by the Annuals' boys) that is willing to take chances amidst the hazy uncertain climate of the industry in the 21st century.
OA: I really like the design and cover of the album. The colors seem to coincide with those of the recent Sunfold release (also on Terpsikhore). How much input did the band have on the cover?
WLS: The cover art has represented this set of songs since early 2007, when the album was self released. The pictures and layout were all created by the band, and were "freshened-up" for this official re-release. The colors, to us, coincide with the colors of the music; the whole package is meant to lend to your experience with the album. Our release and Sunfold's having a similar display of color is, shall we say, a happy coincidence.
OA: I've read that you made a lot of noise at SXSW this year. What is like playing such a large and ever growing event like that?
WLS: It is a great event, the city is set a-buzz by seemingly the whole music industry. And Austin is such a happenin' place anyway. We really enjoyed being a part of SXSW, and having the chance to share stage with artists like My Morning Jacket, Dr. Dog, Lou Reed and others. It was a successful showing for us, and we look forward to immersing ourselves in the mayhem again next year!
OA: What can fans expect from your live show in general?
WLS: Loud, larger-than-life representations of our greatest hits... a chance to rekindle one's love of the foxtrot and the lindy-hop! Seriously, lots of fun coupled with moments of intense self-reflection... and the blues, can't forget the blues. Ever.
OA: What's next for What Laura Says?
WLS: We're extremely excited by the opportunity to bring our music to more and more new ears around the country, and hopefully around the globe as well, as we begin our time of touring. We hope to start recording our next record as time permits this fall/winter/spring and continue down our musical path.
Couldn't Lose Myself If I Tried/Fashionably Moral/Illustrated Manual/Wish I Could Fly/Dot Dot Dot/Pairadice/Waves/Get Better Soon/July 23 (mp3)/One Thousand Faces/Done Whats Right
For more information on What Laura Says please visit their website.