Electric Guest nests with Danger Mouse for debut LP
Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Updated: Thursday, March 15, 2012 16:03
Electric Guest is storming the L.A. scene with its upbeat and catchy songs and have even caught the attention of Danger Mouse, who produced the duo’s debut album, Mondo. Matt Compton and Asa Taccone come from different backgrounds but work together effortlessly to make music that instantly makes audiences want to move.
They haven’t even released their debut album yet but the hype around their music keeps building. College Times caught up with Compton and Taccone as they toured Europe before hitting the road in the US.
If Taccone looks a bit familiar, it might be because he’s the spitting image of his brother Jorma of The Lonely Island. Needless to say, they’ve got a bit of a different sound despite collaborating over the years. Regardless, this band is definitely one to watch this year.
College Times: You’re touring in Europe for the first time. How’s it going?
Matt Compton: Going great. I've been surprised about how many people knew the songs over here. Plus, people are very hospitable. Paris has been our favorite so far – amazing people and culture.
Asa Taccone: I'm still getting used to a lot of it because it's my first time touring, being in a band, [or] going anywhere outside of the states so, for me, it can sometimes be overwhelming, but it's going quite well.
Are you being received differently there than in the US?
Compton: We just did a residency in L.A. at a club called The Echo. Each week more and more people were coming out to see us. Word seems to be getting out.
How does Electric Guest compare to the members’ previous work? Where do everyone’s experiences and/or influences lie?
Compton: I've been touring since I was 19 to 20 in different bands [Engine Down, Cursive, other bands]. This one feels very unique. Asa and I come from different musical backgrounds but agree on so much of what works and doesn't work in music. I think we made a really interesting album and have been super excited about the reaction it has gotten so far. As far as influences, it's continued to change. It started with metal. Then in high school I started going to shows at the Cat’s Cradle in [Carrboro], NC. I got into Merge Records and the music scene there. In college, [I was] more into bands on Touch & Go. Now I listen more to scores and ‘60s French music. Later in life I'd like to compose more for film.
Taccone: This is my first band or album really. I've done other small projects but nothing like this. I used to write songs thinking someone else would end up singing them but Brian encouraged me to keep singing. I grew up on a lot of hip hop, and when I was younger [and] produced quite a bit of it but then I tired of some of the things I encountered so […] I stopped. My taste changed a lot and I got really into songwriting, which is when much of the album was written.
How did you meet [producer] Brian Burton [aka Danger Mouse] and what was the recording process like?
Taccone: I met Brian over the phone at first. I used to call my brother who lived in L.A. and play him my little songs over the phone. One day he put Brian on the phone and I played him a few things. He told me to send him more stuff, which I did and I eventually ended up moving into his old room in the house that he was moving out of. I guess you could say he's been my mentor. It was great recording together because beyond music we're good friends. We went on trips to get inspired and hung out quite a bit while doing the album.
Mondois going to be released pretty soon, how would you describe the sound you were going for?
Compton: The album is very diverse. I'm not sure we were going for one certain style or sound. We pulled from so many different places. Ultimately we wanted the songs to be able to live in any environment and still hold up, meaning that you could play one of our songs on just a piano or acoustic and still feel the same emotion, idea, feeling.
What did it take to get to where you are now – touring in anticipation of your debut album?
Compton: We've been working on our live show for a year now and I'm really excited about the way we've transformed the songs into the live setting. I hate seeing bands that play the album exactly as it was recorded. I think that when you see a band live the songs need to have a life of their own
What is it like to work with Jorma [as the director] on your music video [“American Daydream”]?
Taccone: Super comfortable. I think that was the most fun I've [had] all year actually. Except for that headbanging thing I did. I couldn't move my neck for two weeks after that. It was shot in slow motion so the song was double the speed and I had to do that scene way too many times.