Whether it's the ghostly plucking of floating guitar chords or the wet splatter of raw steak being electrocuted on the sidewalk, the members of ElectronicMeat know how to create sounds that bore their way into your brain and stay there. Approaching their music from a laser-injected, cinematic standpoint, the music of this Fullerton band is a blend of Radio Head, Sigur Ros and Ben Folds. So if you like your coffee house acoustic pop with two drops of acid and ambient vibes, this is the band for you.
Though their songwriting partnership has been brief, founders Javan Slagle, 18, (guitar/vocals) and Tysen Cahill, 19, (keyboard/vocals) turned their love of experimental arrangements into a promising buzz band of their own. Despite having just solidified the band's five-piece line-up last month, the duo has produced several singles, stacks of haunting music videos and an EP (titled Subconscious Lover) primed for a November release. Tonight they prepare to dose unsuspecting show goers at Detroit Bar with their contemplative, creepy, cavalcade of unrequited love songs, light shows and a beefy helping of creativity. Check out our interview with Cahill and Slagle after the jump.
OC Weekly: Have either of you come from previous bands or solo acts that gave you the foundation for the songs you create with ElectronicMeat?
Tysen Cahill: For a while I was in a band called Telegram. We did similar things in that it was kind of a pop band.
Javan Slagle: I played in a band called Down Jefferson. After that I started writing songs by myself, doing a solo act [called Chateudeef].
TC: I had a solo act that was more pop and Javan's was more experimental. So there's just a mutual respect for songwriting from different styles.
I first got acquainted with you guys by seeing the stripped down music videos you filmed on songs like “Breath Behind My Ears” and “Waste Away.” Did you guys come up with the concepts for those videos or did someone approach you with the idea to record those?
TC: The guitarist in our band [Zack MacIntire] is a really talented film maker. I've known him since I was really young. One of the great things about having him in the band was his ability to make films. One afternoon I was like 'hey come over to my house and we'll just shoot some videos.' We really wanted to do a lot of videos [with this band].
JS: Zack's also going to be shooting a short film for our single “Paris.” Very early on we decided we wanted to have videos as one of the main focuses of the band.
I like how all of your videos have that squishy steak filled with circuits and wires. It's a pretty literal translation of the band.
JS: We knew we wanted to use electronic meat [for the videos] since that's the name of the band. And the only way to do that would be to have an actual steak being electrocuted. We tried to hook up a steak to an electrical outlet, but that didn't work. We had to use gun powder.
Does your brand of contemplative “trip-pop” bring something new to the OC music scene, or at least re-introduce sounds that you don't hear everyday?
TC: We all come from really psychedelic backgrounds, especially Javan and Zack. And come from [music] like Lady Gaga and stuff.
JS: What we're really trying to stray from is that twin reverb and tambourine type of sound. We felt the scene was lacking dynamics and we wanted to add some of that to the scene.
You guys also incorporate light shows in some of your live performances. Is that something you're trying to incorporate more regularly on stage?
JS: That's a big part of our sound, our image and our motifs. I bought the laser light enclosures online and sent them off to my friend in Florida and he modified them for me. They actually listen to the music and coordinate the lights along with the music. We'll be using it at Detroit tonight and for the rest of our shows this month.
What's the current status for the release of your Subconscious Lover EP?
TC: We're aiming for a November release. We're trying to get a release show at the L.A. House of Blues on Sunset. Most likely we'll be doing it at the House of Blues in Anaheim.
JS: We've released singles from our EP, but not our entire EP yet.
TC: I think next week or the week after, we'll be releasing our single for “Breath Behind My Ears,” and then that'll be our last single before the full EP release.
Is a full-length album in the cards for you at this point?
JS: We're actually not going to be releasing a full length, but we're releasing a series of EPs.
TC: The EP we're releasing in November is being mixed right now, and we've written our second EP and we're going in to the studio in the next couple weeks and we're hoping for a late February or March release on that one.
ElectronicMeat performs with the Lexingtons, Son of Heatwave and Brother Cecil tonight at Detroit Bar, 843 W. 19th St. Costa Mesa. (949) 642-0600, www.detroitbar.com, 9 p.m., 21+. No Cover.