Interview with Pirooz Kalayeh on I Y Sliplshod Swingers: The Love Record.*
What will be on the record?
It will be 14 love songs. Some have been streamed on Shikow and Myspace. Some haven't.
Why love songs? Isn't that a taboo place to go musically? Why go Richard Marx on us?
First of all, I love Richard Marx. I got to slow dance the girl of my dreams, because I'll Be Right Here Waiting for You was rocking the middle school cafeteria. And second, I am drawn to love songs. They are my favorite stories, and I wasn't inspired to write about anything else. I love the push and pull of it, the not knowing. It's what I go through everyday. It's about me, really. Love is. And that's what makes the story so universal. Everyone loves a good story, and I don't know any story that doesn't have to do with love. Not for me, at least.
Now the songs on this record were not done track to track. Why not? Were you trying to make a particular sound? A feel?
Well, part of the beauty of things is limitations. I love trying to create with what I have available. When I started this record, it was just me and my brother and one microphone. By the time the record was done, it had gone from just me to a gang of 7 and better recording equipment. It was natural to keep the rawer made tracks together, and the more streamlined gems on the other. I also liked the challenge of making a live record sound like it wasn't live or that it was. That was a cool place to play, and it definitely made me step up on my abilities as a songwriter, since most songs were done on the spot.
On the spot?
We had one microphone. That meant doing a great performance or not. In most cases, we did well. Sometimes we rehearsed certain songs. Other times we wrote them right on the spot, or I had a chorus written and then we would start with that, and make up the rest.
Do you like working like that? Was it hard?
Not for me. I enjoy it. It's like theater.
Will there be another record?
I am sure there will be many records from The Slipshod Swingers.
How long do we have to wait for the next one?
Well, the Love Record will be out on Feb 14th. And the next one, will be out pretty soon. That's going to be an interesting record. Currently, we are playing with tracks in Italian and strange techno type beats reminiscent of space rock. I have no idea what the finished concept will be. There is some talk of a detective story, like Bowie's Outsider back in '95. Except our protaganist is not a serial killer. He is an man in Venice looking for his missing wife.
Sounds interesting. Is that what the track playing with the latest video is about?
Yeah, that's a special bonus for fans. It's a great track. We had Franky Ewing on guitar, myself on Bass, and John Posatko on Djembe. Panauh Kalayeh engineered the piece. He will be doing most of the record. So, yeah, that will be coming out by March 21st.
Now everybody's talking about how you're doing music, but no writing? What about books? When's the next comic book?
I don't know. I am still drawing comics, when I can squeeze it in. Right now I am looking for a theme that will excite me. As far as fiction, The Whopper Strategies is still coming out for eight more issues in Ellipses Magazine, and then I have to spend the next month coming up with a publisher. Hopefully, this will resolve itself, with a publisher calling me. I have no idea.
What about publishing it yourself?
I have thought about it. That may be the case. I would rather have strong distribution and a nice marketing team behind the novel. There are three in the series, and I don't want to rush into anything. I spent a while writing those novels, and they mean a lot to me, but then again, who knows? If push comes to shove and I have to create a marketing platform on my own, and get some books pressed, I am not going to think twice about it. Lets just say the decision will make itself when I am ready to make it.
What do you like about this record?
I like that it's reality music; the equivalent of reality tv. I also like that it feels like reading a book. I don't get that off of records too much, but when I finish listening to this one, it's like something's changing. I am guessing this must be because the album was recorded over so much time, with so many different Swingers, and that we did it live and improv. It is kind of subject to Los Angeles that way. This city is constantly changing. One day you are working a job, and the next your sitting on your ass wondering what to do with all your free time.
I hear you on that. Hollywood does seem to have that feel.
Yeah, that's what I like about this city. The weather stays the same, but everyday is different. And when you walk down the street or head up the 101, you get to hear it buzzing your eyes like crazy. It's all that dreaming. Everyone! Everyone is just dreaming of something, and you know that from the moment you get coffee from a barrista or even talk to a homeless guy on the corner. Everyone has a dream in this town, and not a single person has stopped living it. I love that.
So does that mean you're an L.A. Boy now?
Oh, well, that's what some friends say. I know some people would rather see me in a different story, but this one agrees with my personality. It works like me. It's the only place where I can have an idea, and see it come to fruition with such a great turnaround. I think that's a testament to the incredible community I have around me, the fact that everyone is so versatile and willing to explore, and that, oh, I don't know. It's good. [laughs] Yes, I am an L.A. Boy for now.
*Excerpt taken from Rock Beat.
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