As one of the first bands to perform at last year's Coachella, the Allah-Las had what could have been the thankless task of playing to only a few curious onlookers. Yet, by the time they got on-stage for their 2:10 p.m set, the band were greeted by an enthusiastic swath of several thousand fans. The quartet's laid back vibes under the scorching Indio sun were refreshing at the Outdoor Stage. Coachella was only beginning, but the Allah-Las' loose grooves and garage pop sound provided the perfect soundtrack in front of the waving palm trees.The gentle push-and-pull between band and crowd confirmed that not even the early set time could prevent the Allah Las from continuing their gradual ascent from L.A. garage scene to festival act.
Following the release of 2014’s Worship The Sun, the quartet embarked on their biggest year to date. In support of the acclaimed trippy, surf rock album that encapsulated the growing indie revival centered around psychedelic sounds, the L.A. natives zigzagged the globe, including local festival appearances at Coachella (“Having a trailer with [air conditioning] backstage was amazing!” singer/guitarist Myles Michaud says) and Beach Goth.
“Every year has been better for us,” Michaud says. “We’re getting more comfortable with touring and also with recording and writing. Last year was great, but 2016 is going to be even better.”
So far, that includes plans to head into the studio to get cracking on a third album. The Allah-Las have been busy writing and recording demos since September at their friend Kyle Mullarky’s place. Mostly it’s been Michaud and Pedrum Siadatian writing the songs, and Michaud says 25-to-30 of them are possibilities to make the final cut for the album.
The Allah-Las plan on moving forward with the recording of the as-of-yet-titled album later this month and are in the process of looking to rent out a space in Los Angeles and build out a studio. The band’s goal is to have the sessions wrapped up by the end of February.
While the songs are only in their early stages, Michaud says the tracks are a lot experimental, moving away from the garage sound that marked their earlier material. But the vision for how exactly the songs will sound is yet to be fully determined at this juncture.
“It just feels like music to us like it always has,” Michaud says. “It’s hard to describe what it is, but it’s definitely different than the first record and there’s more progress from elements of the second record. Making music is the best part of this whole thing. Being able to get into the studio and create songs is the most fun part to me.”
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Following the album cycle for 2012’s self-titled album, the group immediately headed back to work on their follow up at the request of their label Innovative Leisure. For this album, the band didn’t have that issue and have parted ways with the label and recently inked a new new deal, which they aren’t able to discuss just yet. But so far, Michaud says there hasn’t been as much pressure to churn out a new album quickly. “We’re making something that we really feel good about,” the singer says. “We’re making sure that it’s the best one yet as far as we’re concerned.”
Taking a break from recording, the band will start 2016 with a free show at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts as part of the Off Center Festival. Michaud says the band will play a few of the new songs at the show, some of which they have yet to play live.
“It’s been nice to slow down and work on these things in a much slower paced environment,” he says. “I never imagined we’d be doing this as a full time thing. We were surprised that people heard our music then, and we’re surprised now that it keeps going.”
The Allah-Las perform at the Arts Plaza for Off Center Festival’s Parties on the Plaza series at the Segerstrom Center, 600 Town Center Dr. Costa Mesa, (714) 556-2787, www.scfta.org. 8:30 p.m. Jan. 16, Free. All ages. For full details on Off Center Festival, click here.