Artist of the day: The Lion Faced Boy
The Lion Faced Boy are dead-set on making a name for themselves, and seem to be doing a damn good job at it.
Having only been together for eight short months, they have just completed a summer U.S. tour with We Are The New Year and Time and Distance. Their sound is vocally resplendent of Bright Eyes’ bite and warble, coupled with a blazing modern pop-indie-punk barrage of distorted guitar and spitfire drumming. They are fronted by Rob Scanlon on vocals and guitar, with Mark Dongivin on guitar, Freddy Marschall on bass, and Danny Figueroa on drums.
The Lion Faced Boy will perform with Set It Off, Patent Pending, A Play On Words and Cyrenia at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Tickets are $8-$11. Click here.
I sat down with Scanlon and Dongivin for some afternoon tea.
What brought you guys together?
Scanlon: Basically, one by one, we all filtered in. I started its as a solo project, then posted an ad on Craigslist. Danny contacted me first. We went into the studio with this producer Brooks Paschal.
Who, just you and Danny?
Scanlon: Yeah, Just Danny and I to start off with. He (producer) was basically Sullivan, a band from 2007. He’s their lead singer.
How did you end up working with him?
Scanlon: He contacted me after I put out the first solo EP, the acoustic one. Then I showed him a bunch of new songs that Danny and I had been working on. He dug a bunch of them, went from there and made this album where Danny played all the drums, a couple of my friends played guitar, I played guitar, Brooks played bass, and pieced it all together. Then we met Mark and Freddy, pulled them in and started writing with them. It’s been the four songs we recorded, the four songs I recorded, and about four or five that we’ve written as a band now.
You have about 15 songs. Not too shabby for having only been together for 8 months.
Scanlon: Probably more at this point.
Dongivin: Two albums’ worth at this point, I would say.
You said you’ve started working on writing songs together. What’s your collaborative process?
Scanlon: It depends on the song, or the material. We’ll be at practice and somebody will bring in a piece, like, “Hey, I have this, and I really don’t know which way I wanna take it.” We start playing on it, feel out where the drums are going, feel out where I feel like it should go, where Mark feels like it should go, argue it out, and wrestle with it. That’s one way. Another way is Mark will come in with a full song, and say, “This is what I wrote; what do you suggest?”
Dongivin: It’s a give-and-take process.
Scanlon: It’s become a mixture of putting everybody’s ideas in it, while still keeping that vibe that we liked in the first place.
Do you plan on releasing an album?
Scanlon: We have a four-track EP that we’re putting out. I’m thinking we should probably go back and record a couple more songs before we release it. But, we might release it and go back and do another four-track EP.
That seems to be a trend lately, releasing EPs instead of full-length albums.
Scanlon: The cost of it makes sense, man.
Due to recording costs, or the price of manufacturing CDs? Or are you just going to release it online?
Scanlon: Right now I think we’re doing digital. It makes sense these days. A lot of kids really don’t even like having the hard copies anymore. Just the younger ones, you know, kids my age, 24 or whatever, they still like their hard copies. They’re getting back into vinyl. That’s awesome, but younger kids, 13, 14-year-old kids, they don’t give a s---. They come to the shows, grab a CD, their friends burn it, and they all put it on iTunes. I sympathize with that: give ’em a download card and a T-shirt. Make it cool for both of us. We were thinking about paring it with a T-shirt. We saw these plastic USB wristbands. We were thinking about having our name around it, get it with the T-shirt; go that route.
It’s interesting the new ways things are being marketed and released.
Dongivin: You gotta find new ways. Everything’s been beaten to death so much, you gotta find something new.
Well, it is the future. You seem very determined to make yourselves known.
Scanlon: When I did the solo thing I jumped on it and put my nose to the grind, and Danny’s the same way: super aggressive, and Mark even more so. Freddy is right behind us. All four of us are constantly coming up with ideas: what can we do?
Dongivin: We talk to every person on Facebook; respond to every comment; talk to everybody at our shows and shake their hands; put our work in.
Scanlon: It’s not a matter of being a better band, it’s a matter of our personal effort to put ourselves out there. It’s not based on the music anymore, it’s based on who has the most friends on this social network.
Dongivin: It sucks and it doesn’t suck at the same time.
Scanlon: The music sells them going to the website in the first place, so it’s kind of a catch-22.
Ask your mom to ask her friends to “like” your band. Any last things TLFB wants to tell the world?
Dongivin: We are the Motley Crue of indie punk rock without the heroin.
-- Aaron Lepley, tbt*