By: Lexi Cardenas and Mo Paynter
Not many people can get us to willingly drive in the middle of rush hour traffic across Austin, but when FullNote was given the opportunity to sit in on a rehearsal with Ladyfang we couldn’t jump into our car fast enough. We knew we were going to be in for a treat but we didn’t know exactly how sweet that treat would be.
LadyFang has a dream cave studio that not only makes for a cozy rehearsal hang but we soon found out, was the science lab and creation space for Ladyfang’s new EP Replay. After getting our front row seat to a private concert and having our faces rocked off up close and personal, FullNote Record’s sat down with the members of this up and coming band to get a closer look into the brains behind the magic.
Cara A.K.A. Crawdaddy Jones
FullNote: What is your songwriting process?
Chocolate: Our previous process started with someone presenting a song and telling us what she/he hears. But this music was mostly us just jamming.
Pan Dulce: “Replay” actually started with a crazy dance rave patch that we were playing chords through and thought ‘Whoa that’s kinda cool’ so we hit record on our phone.
Cara: After last summer we had a shake up when we changed guitarists. Andre left and Pan Dulce came in. We started jamming to vibe with the new energy having a new person brought. Those three songs came right out so we decided to record them.
FN: We saw recently that you recorded this yourselves. What was your recording process?
Cara: We were really feeling our new music, but we didn’t have any money so we did it all in this room. We actually recorded my vocals in that small closet over there (points to tiny door clad with a Wonder Woman poster.) My one light was our Prince candle!
FN: The quality you guys got was amazing. You can’t tell you recorded yourselves.
Chocolate: Bringing Pan Dulce in definitely brought some engineering expertise for the recording process.
Pan Dulce: We did it all for $27 dollars. We just rented the mics.
Cara: We were duct taping socks to drums when they would rattle. Muffle it!
Chocolate: I was thinking that we should have named the EP $27.
Chocolate A.K.A. Chocolate
FN: What are you guys listening to these days?
Cara: I feel like we listen to everything. We’ve been listening to a lot of Sade lately. And Queen!
Pan Dulce: I’m on a weird 80’s post punk, weird low-fi style kick.
Rod: When I was growing up in Pakistan I was listening to very different music. Bringing that here and exploring with these guys has been a journey. We all share music with each other when we come into this space which is a magical experience.
FN: What's your favorite Austin venue to play?
Rod: ABGB is my favorite. They take care of you and there is a payout that you’re guaranteed.
Cara: Mark is always in the back saying ‘Hey, do you want more beer or pizza? Don’t eat that pizza, I’m going to get you a new fresh pizza.’ He’s so nice!
Rod: I like Stubbs too. They actually give us a crate of Lonestar.
Chocolate: So I guess just as long as you give us beer.
FullNote: Beer and pizza. Noted!
Cara: Yeah, and three of us actually work making pizza!
Rodney A.K.A. Rod or Rocky
FN: For you guys playing and booking in Austin so much, have you seen any challenges with it?
Chocolate: I believe that Austin has this comfortability thing they stick to where if you’re more eclectic it’s harder to book gigs because everyone wants to go get caught in that psych rock rut.
Cara: Which is beautiful and great. Psych rock is awesome but if you’re not playing it you’re like awww.
FN: What has been your biggest challenge as a band?
Cara: We went through a move from here to Brooklyn and back and we switched out members which is always difficult. Me and Andre were married and went through a divorce which was hard personally and obviously hard professionally. Trying to separate the two was very difficult but at the end Pan Dulce came on and it put us in a new direction which set us on another path. We’re all such good friends I don’t know if it’s actually a challenge, it’s just something we all went through together. We’re like a family.
Rod: Studio sessions are so stressful. The last month recording was hard. We were sitting in this room listening to the same song over and over again. But after we were done with it our first jam felt so good getting back into playing.
FN: This is an EP, do you guys have plans to put out a full album? Living in the digital age, there’s a case to be made for putting out music a few songs at a time rather than waiting a full year for a new full album.
Cara: We’re coming up with so much new material that we’re not even playing songs from our old album anymore. Our biggest constraints right now is that doing it all ourselves is difficult, but paying for it is also difficult.
Chocolate: We have enough songs for an album.
Pan Dulce: It’s a love/hate thing. That was the first time that I’ve ever recorded everything: drums, vocals, etc.
Rod: We had decided a week prior we were just going to record demos. We rented some mics from Rock & Roll rentals and decided to see what we could come up with. Luckily we have a great space we’re fortunate enough to get to use so we ended up being able to release them.
Brett A.K.A. Bredd or Pan Dulce
FN: What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?
Rod: I’ve been playing music for over 7 years in the Middle East and here and I’ve been through all kinds of waves and see how bands survive. I think patience is the main key. It’s being in a room with like minded people exploring, listening, and creating. I think that’s the only way to go...according to me.
Chocolate: For me it would be don’t take yourself too seriously. One thing we like to do at shows is throw in a cover in the middle of a song. Or like today, we reworked a song to be really silly by throwing in a dance techno patch. Just make sure you have fun with it, it’s the easiest thing to convey onstage. Good music with no fun sucks. Fun shitty music is still fun.
FN: Do you guys plan on going on tour?
Rod: It’s on our board right now. (Points to the brains behind the business, A.K.A... the dry erase board).
Cara: That’s all we got right now. East Coast vs. West Coast.
FN: It looks like it’s going well!
But for real, follow Ladyfang and look for them in a city near you! In the meantime though, catch their EP release this Saturday, February 23rd at Spiderhouse Ballroom and listen to their single ‘Replay’ below.