Wartime Recitals dropped their summery self-titled chamber-pop debut EP on October 7th! With its recent release, we caught up with the Los Angeles quintet to discuss vocal harmonies, great bands from LA, and the Gonzo Comedy Show. Here’s what they had to say:
AMBY: Hey Wartime Recitals, welcome to AMBY. Please introduce yourselves to our readers!
Wartime Recitals: Hi AMBY, we are Wartime Recitals. An indie-pop quintet that is from the same area as NBC’s California Dreamin’.
AMBY: Congrats on the release of your debut EP! What was one of the highlights you had while creating it?
Wartime Recitals: It was fun being locked away without any distractions at Kingsize SoundLabs in Los Angeles. We had finished the album but had extra time in the studio and didn’t want to go home, so we wrote “Short Hair.” It was the highlight of our time there.
AMBY: There are some great vocal harmonies shown on Wartime Recitals. How did those become a large part of your sound?
Wartime Recitals: We never saw the group without guy/girl harmonies and we feel that they compliment the big sound we bring with the piano, electric guitars, and big drums.
AMBY: What is the significance of the EP’s cover artwork?
Wartime Recitals: Being in a band is like reliving our youth every time we play. After seeing this image online from photographer Caroline Hernandez, we felt she really captured the heightened drama of being young and risky, but with an urgency that’s common in all of our songs. This sex would be on fire if it didn’t infringe on any copyright.
AMBY: If you could invite any two people to guest on an upcoming album, who would you choose?
Wartime Recitals: We’d take guest appearances by Joanna Newsorn on harp and Andrew Bird on whistle (we heard he meets other whistlers and jams).
AMBY: Which other artists from Los Angeles should our readers check out?
Wartime Recitals: Our friends Twin Oaks make great songs. We were floored with the acts that joined us at our EP release show: Opus Orange with their natural rhythms and great pop melodies. Forebear with their cinematic sound that creates a surreal listening experience. Archer Black with their eclectic instrumental mix of instruments and vocals. Also check out Seasons and Hi Ho Silver Oh!
AMBY: What would a movie based on the band be called?
Wartime Recitals: ‘There Will Be Black Keys’ (Hugo, our piano player notoriously avoids writing in the key of C) directed by Paul Thomas Anderson of course.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Wartime Recitals that nobody knows yet?
Wartime Recitals: We were once the house band for the Gonzo Comedy Show. This entailed playing intros for comics like Tig Notaro, Maria Bamford, Guy Braunum, Iliza Schlesigner, and others at Hayworth Theater in Downtown LA. Our repertoire included the theme to Full House, Bell Bic Devoe’s “Poison”, Britney Spears’ “Toxic”, and others. We were known as Hugo and the Hu-go-girls. This is not a joke.
Thank you Wartime Recitals, for giving us your answers!
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Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout