|not playing it safe
Shanda Boyett - February 8, 2012
If Stephen Malkmus was reincarnated as a petite blonde woman from Connecticut, he’d be fronting the post-punk band EULA in the guise of Alyse Lamb, the vocalist for the now Brooklyn-based trio that also consists of bassist Jeff Maleri and drummer Nate Rose. On a recent night, Lamb, dressed in a neon-striped unitard, played the opening notes of her set with a can of Tecate beer, pretty much out-ballsing every dude in the room. What I thought was punk-rock bravado, however, was just the practical choice of this seasoned guitarist.
“It was out of necessity,” she explains. “I would have had to bang a slide up the neck of the guitar to get that sound. And I was so nervous about dropping it. I didn't want it to roll off stage. The can just seemed to be the safer choice.”
That’s the only “safe” choice the band is making these days. They’ve released 6 videos in support of their 2011 LP Maurice Narcisse, including a new documentary about the recent show they opened for post-punk icons Mission of Burma.
How did the Mission of Burma documentary happen?
It came about by accident. Mission of Burma chose us to open for them at MIT in 2009 after seeing our video for Fight Riff. They asked us back, two years later, to open for them at Music Hall of Williamsburg. I can't believe I'm saying this but they requested US. It was beautifully surreal! A couple days before the show at Music Hall I thought, ‘They are the forefathers of post-punk. We need to document this.' Burma is such a huge influence and I really wanted to capture the experience. We worked with Collabo!NYC on our “Live from Big Snow” video, which was amazing, so it made sense to work with them again. They are magic.
Are you planning to do more videos?
Probably another video or two off this album.
That’s a lot of videos for one album. You must be really committed to multimedia. Why?
We like the flexibility that video gives us to showcase different aspects of our music.
Jeff: It changes the way people think about the music by itself and that’s kind of an inspiration for us.
Sounds like the Mission of Burma show was a major high note of the past year. Were there other highlights?
Finishing and releasing the album and moving to Brooklyn from Connecticut were definitely highlights. Now if we could just find a benefactor to help support us!
What has moving to Brooklyn meant for the band? You were pretty close in Connecticut. Now Jeff is still there and you and Nate are in Brooklyn.
It’s definitely changed our writing process. We used to be able to practice whenever because we were all together. Now that we’re scattered, we’ve had to be more structured and focused on how to get the most out of the two hours we have in a practice space.
Jeff: Knowing that we have limited time and it’s costing us money makes us work harder and more thoughtfully. Ultimately, I think it’s made us better songwriters.
Are you working on any new material?
We have five new songs demoed out and recorded. We just need to tighten them up and work them out as a band. The foundation is there. There’s a slow one. Some upbeat ones. It’s a good mix.
Are you playing any upcoming shows?
We have a lot coming up. We’re working on a tour West and down to Texas for SXSW. We’re also excited about opening up for No Age at Wesleyan University on March 8 and for White Mystery at Public Assembly on April 14.
Are there any other milestones you want to hit in 2012?
Finish the new EP. Tour Europe. Other than that we’re pretty happy.