Willoughby/ April 21, 2011
April 21, 2011
We met up at Gus’ house (slash studio) in Echo Park on a Thursday night. Since the last time I’d been out there, the entire setup had been switched between what used to be the control room (living room) and the “studio” (dining room), but that was definitely a good thing for trying to fit, let alone film, five band members, instruments, and two cameramen. Of course, things were already running behind when we showed up, Gus was still getting sounds for the drums, mic’ing up amps (they actually had to run and borrow a mic from next door as they were one vocal short). Now anyone who’s ever seen Willoughby, or heard anything that’s come out of Gus’ studio for that matter, will attest that they probably have the best tone in all of Los Angeles. Well it’s no accident (nope, turns out it’s not simply a matter of going down to the local thrift store and buying a bunch of nice tube gear and vintage instruments from the 70’s), but rather a slow and meticulously perfectionist tweaking and tampering until everything sounds just right (and, after all was said and done, will now put every other sound recording I do for these videos to shame).
Once everything was eventually set up, it was a rather quick run-through of a few songs, with extended breaks between for beer and eventually pizza. Amazing tone aside, these are great songs performed by exceptional players. Catchy hooks, precise and melodic arrangements, and cleverly crafted lyrics bounce along with a sort of mesmerizing clarity that manages to walk between illustrious bluesy rock yet somehow be intimately restrained. They also threw in a cover of The Sorrows that’s been making it into their live shows of late, which was a treat.
Rumor has it there’s a new album on the way, so get excited: facebook.com/willoughbyrecordings
Sound: Gus Seyffert
Camera: Elliot Glass & Dave Smallen
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