Thursday, October 06, 2005

RFC Interview - Laromlab

Headlining Saturday night at Big Horse is a former Chicago artist known as "Laromlab." Armed with a laptop, 8-bit music software and a sexy interpretive dancer, Laromlab rocks his audiences with a unique brand of electronic music he calls "Crisco Disco." RFC recently caught up with Laromlab via e-mail to discuss his upcoming gig and what it's like being an electronic artist living in Kentucky. RadioFreeChicago: Tell us more about your music...obviously the first thing that comes to mind is that it sounds like the soundtrack to a Nintendo game. How do you make your songs sound like this and what was your inspiration for doing so?? Laromlab: My music is the product of a dysfunctional childhood. Today most parents just tend to plop kids down in front of a television or a video game and they think it won't mess us up... well look at me! I started out doing electronic music in 1998 and just got bored with the tasteless Fruityloops drum beats and synths and needed something more. I first found out about Gameboy tracking (the Gameboy Camera actually has 3 16-step sequencers built into it) and moved onto a product called Little Sound DJ (which Bjork sold on her website for awhile). Then I decided I wanted a "beefier" sound out of my music so I looked around the Chiptune message boards for something that said it had a little more bass and quickly stumbled on the SID chip of the Commodore 64 and the Vic20. So I decided to stop using an actual Gameboy and start using an emulator with software and also added a Commodore 64 emulator to the mix with MusicMachine64. My inspiration is more or less out of a love for the sounds these machines make and the machines in general. I think something like what I do just sounds better even if one is not aware of how it is produced. I have yet to this day heard some of the sounds that the SID chip produces even rivaled in any other program or on any other synth. The simple answer is: it just sounds cooler! That's why I gave it the name "Crisco Disco!" RFC: I hear that you used to live in Chicago...why did you decide to leave? I also hear that Laromlab is backwards for "Balmoral," the street you used to live on here? L: The real answer is not so exciting, but the long and short of it is I moved here before I got a college degree because I loved the city so much. I decided that life without a college degree was not for me so I came back to Bowling Green, Kentucky...which if you talk to anyone who has lived there, has a certain quality that sucks you back into it. It is a crappy little town, but I love that crappy little town! I definitely have plans to move back to Chicago someday...and yes I used to live on Balmoral Ave in Andersonville, right at Foster and Clark. It is by far one of the best neighborhoods in Chicago. When I come back I will definitely be scoping out that area again, assuming it hasn't gotten all "yuppiefied" RFC: What can we expect from your live show? L: Dancing! Dancing! Dancing! The show at the Big Horse Lounge on October 8 is gonna be the only show on this tour where my very beautiful colleague Madame Pink Pearl will be accompanying me!! Without her I am nothing! My live shows are usually left up to the audience to create a ruckus outside of my wall of beats and synths but when Pink Pearl is on stage we pack a one-two punch! Pink Pearl is very skilled in interpretative dancing (but not that cheesy pretentious stuff!!) and will more than likely provide a bubble show for everyone in attendance. Also the audience is always encouraged to be a part of our festivities, I prefer a party atmosphere in the club or bars that I perform in! RFC: What's in store in the near future for Laromlab? More tours? A new record?? L: Well, I don't plan on slowing down anytime soon. I still have yet to do a really huge tour and I would love to do that at some point. At the end of October I am heading out to the Southwest and I'm sure will be playing the likes of Memphis and Oklahoma City as well as other locales in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas. As for a record, I have a new one pretty much finished. It is a piece I have been thinking about for a while where I thought of a huge list of countries and decided to write songs in the same Crisco Disco style (but maybe with less Disco and more Crisco) that represented each country. For instance, "I Love Antarctica" has a very frigid but happy vibe to it, which is how I think of Antarctica and "I Love Iraq" has a very militaristic vibe and a very marchy sound to it! RFC: Anything else we should know about Laromlab? L: Just please come out and support me if you see I am playing a show in the area. It is really rough touring right now with the gas prices [so bad] and all of the support at shows helps keep me on my way to the next show! And don't forget to check out some of my music at: Laromlab's Saturday show starts at 8pm with openers I Don't Mind the Air, The Oaves, Pyrite, and STAR. The Big Horse Lounge is located at 1558 N. Milwaukee. Also, Laromlab will be performing as an opening act Monday night (10/10) at Nihilist, 2255 S. Michigan Ave., Apt 4E. Festivities begin at 8pm. --- More facts about Laromlab: Favorite memory of Chicago: Costello's Deli in Logan Square (by far the best deli in all of the land) Favorite Nintendo game: Definitely Tetris. I take on all challengers! Currently listening to: Numbers "We're Animals", Andrew Thompson "Egad", any quintron and Miss Pussycat,any Lightning Bolt and Foxhole "We the Wintering Tree"(these are my hometown guapos) Best thing about living in Kentucky: like I have to answer that....Bourbon!!


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