The Majesty 12, X files fans will know what I'm talking about, and if your not an X files fan then you will soon, but for very different reasons. The majesty 12 in reference here happens to be new group of southern Californian natives known as HOTT MT (Hour of the time, majesty twelve) who recently released their debut ep called I Made This, a strong electronica pop album with a very heavy eastern influence. The sound, which the band has called Thai gaze is an eclectic mix of nineties show gaze and modern electronica.
Upon the official release of the album the band hit the road, traveling east to Oklahoma to visit Wayne Coyne, lead singer of the Flaming Lips, on his birthday. The band showed up, unannounced on his porch that day and knocked on the door. Upon answering the door Coyne, who at first was on the phone but promptly finished the conversation and asked the group in to find out what they wanted. The Band, who had come, simply to give him a specially packaged, one of a kind cassette edition of the new ep had no ideas when asked by Coyne what they planned to do next, "Head back to L.A." Nick Logie AKA spooky says was all they knew. Apparently Coyne liked the response (or hated it, depending on how you look at it) cause he asked them to stay the night. That "night" ended up being four or five and the chance to help Coyne and the Lips out with some songs they were working on for other artists and a new original single and video he recorded with band, which has since gainied some good youtube play and the band a bit of a reputation with out even having played a single show up to that point.
By the time the band had returned from the great Oklahoma Voyage, barly one week out of the ep release the name HOTT MT had already began to be circulated and the buzz over the band and the collaboration with Wayne was blowing up. Spin magazine, MTV and the OC weekly all reported on the trip and the band who is gearing up for their first shows are as pumped as they are anxious and possibly nervous. "We've been really busy trying to get the live show looking and sounding awesome. It has been difficult to feel prepared with how quickly things have happened. we are realizing that good intuition is much more important for this project right now." Ashleigh Allard AKA Ashi, lead singer of the band says of the their preparation and feelings about the coming shows.
To prep for their debut show on march twelfth (MT) a few close friends and family were gathered in downtown fullerton two weeks before, for the band to try the new songs out on, and the experience was magical. With a full band backing the duo to round out the sound and allow the group to recreate the expansivness Of the album, Ashi and spooky destroyed a short set that included every song on the album. Ashi steels the spot light, with her bleach blond hair and golden formal esque dress, her energy never dies and, like the band its self their is a certain amount of Irony there, the tiny, white, bleach blonde, southern Californian calls her home Bangkok, (city of angels in Thai) California and has spent time around the globe including an artist residency in Beijing and has the vocal and physical energy along with stage personality of a much bigger person.
"We are used to immersing ourselves into art, so we find that we are able to trust ourselves and work well quickly." she says when talking of the bands discipline and approach to their music. "The song we wrote with Wayne had a different approach as it was based entirely on our experiences those few days in OK city. A lot of the songs on I Made This came from focusing on a specific location, such as mountain, or beach. A few of the songs were approached like making tom kha gai soup, or some curry - adding layers till it felt just right. Conspiracy theories, myth, science fiction, fiction in general, global economics, family, spirituality, social status, and all of the emotions that go with those ideas. There's a lot of things and ideas we're interested in and appreciate, in this project we try to address them all" but regardless of the concept it seems that this band is more about the sound and feel than it is about simply playing songs.
There is a special feeling you get when you see something unique and one of a kind. HOTT MT bring that feeling and the bands pop sensibilities lend its self to a what can only become a larger and larger audience. While the bands sound and image are unique and well crafted, the undertones of the songs are simple and catchy. One quick listen to I Made This and phrases such as You Know When Your Right and Every ones dumb but me seem destined to be trapped in your mind for days. The band may be new and may have only played a few select shows at this point but the vision is big and brave. With Flaming Lips in their corner and with such a mesmerizing show to see, this band seems destined for big thing.
"I grew up on Long Island, moved to Florida when I was 16, my parents told me we were going on vacation but we just never came back." That's the way Louis DeFabrizio tells it when talking about his childhood. " I moved (back to New York) to Brooklyn about two years ago.... This new record we just finished making is about starting over. So I guess the move has affected me a little bit" not that any one who has ever heard Gasoline heart would ever want anything about this band to really change all that much, but like the title of the bands last album suggests, Nostalgia Ain't What it Used to be, so change is bound to come. "I think the only thing that has changed, songwriting wise is I am trying to keep it a little bit more simple." He says of the changes that come with new scenery and time. And much like those lyrical changes sometimes it's the simplest of changes that can lead to the greatest of creations. It was that change of scenery that led to the newest of Gasoline Heart's lines ups and it's a Line up that may be the most special one to date for fans and for DeFabrizio. The guys in Gasoline heart's current line up have only been playing together for a few years as Gasoline heart but have been in and out of each others lives musically and personally for years. "Dave & I used to be roomies years ago in Florida, he really pushed me to start writing songs. He actually started The Kick with me (My old band) Then Squad Five O lost their drummer and they asked him to join and I got ditched. Now its kinda come back full circle, us playing together...and Casey McBride played bass on the record, he used to play in The Kick (as well)... this is the first time recording with Adam & Dave, those guys are a trip." he says of his band mates. Chemistry is everything and this Line up is chalk full of it. Adam and Dave who first began playing together when they both joined the late Squad Five O in the late nineties have been playing ever since as the duo aptly known as Adam and Dave's bloodline. With all this musical inbreeding and friendship one can only hope to hear what the band has up sleeve for this next release. The band just finished a new album and are gearing up for shows and the release with art work being worked on at the moment. The "new record was recorded in New York City at a place called Singing Serpent. We did it all live and it sounds pretty bad ass...Got a few slow numbers with some jammy parts. A few 2 minute songs and a few 8 minute songs. Its gonna be wild" he says of the album. Wild happens to be a good term to use when talking about this band. Louis has been very out spoken for his love of "wild" bands like pearl jam and Soul Asylum and much like his heroes, DeFabrizio has also never been afraid to speak his mind and be himself. "Last year I played Cornerstone Christian festival out in Illinois and I got kicked off stage after one song. I said f*#k on the mic and all hell broke loose. That festival is really the only connection we have to the Christian Scene if that even still exists." That incident made some headlines on a collection of blogs and christian news letters last year but it seems that Gasoline heart could really care less and seem only focused on heading forward."I hope people like [the new record], its very uptempo and straight to the point." and as was sung on the last album, You can't keep a good kid down. Gasoline Heart are a refreshingly organic and real band in a world of over produced pop hit machines. Here is a song writer who writes from his heart for his own ears and not some one else. with a new album in the works keep coming back for more info on when. for more info on the band check out http://www.facebook.com/#!/gasheart