If you missed The Soft Packs excellent debut album, you better listen now because it’s a great album. It is a really fun and exciting record that shouldn’t be missed. The band’s bassist David Lantzman took some time out of his busy schedule to do an interview with me. A big thank you goes out to him and FTW! for setting this bad boy up. Read how it went down below:
Will: I know this question is probably overkill for you but tell me about your decision to change your name from The Muslims to The Soft Pack. What was the moment where you decided that you couldnâ€™t go on as The Muslims anymore?
David: The Muslims name didn’t turn into a nuisance until we started getting more press on blogs and whatnot. We wanted to change the name for months before we actually did because it became apparent that people were interpreting the name in ignorant and even racist ways that we didn’t want to be associated with. Also, we were never trying to make some political statement or anything, contrary to some notions. It was disappointing that it offended some. We just thought it was a catchy name and not a bad word or offensive. With all that negative baggage we decided to move on from it.
W: Tell me about the history of the band. How exactly did you guys meet, and become the 4 guys known as â€œThe Muslims/The Soft Pack?
D: Matty and Matt started the band after college around the late fall of 2006 and wrote and recorded the first Muslims ep. They played they’re first show in January 07′, which I attended. It was really great, honest rock and I remember feeling very proud and fired up. For the rest of that year the band struggled with a rotating cast of drummers and bassists filling in for shows and not fully committing. I joined in November of 07′ after finishing school myself and Brian joined shortly after that before the first west coast tour in January of 2008. Matt and I have been close friends since age 12 and I knew Matty in high school as did Matt. We were friends with Brian through the San Diego music scene.
W: What was the recording process like for your first album? How exactly do your songs usually come together?
D: The first record Matt and Matty wrote and recorded in a friends garage. This current record that just came out was written musically by the four of us as a collaboration. Matt wrote all the lyrics. Usually songs come from jamming or someone having an idea and we all build it from there. We try to keep an open mind and switch instruments at times as well for writing. We try to keep it open, raw and honest.
W: If you had to describe your music to a new fan, how would you do so?
D: This record is energetic, aggressive, honest and kinda like post-punk meeting alternative rock.
W: I saw that you guys played 10 shows in one day! What was that like? Where the hell did you get all the energy from?
D: The ten show day was an amazing experience as well as pretty tiring. We were all zombies by the last show but we pulled it off thanks to the supreme organizational prowess of Sean Carlson and the FYF crew, who promoted the event. It was a proper tour of the greater Los Angeles area, traveling in a vegetable powered school bus. I think pizza, coffee and paced beer drinking gave us the big strength! That and we like to play.
W: How has the 2010 tour been treating you? What has been the best part of this tour, or any before it?
D: So far this tour has been great. Right now we’re in Glasgow which is a treat. Last time we played here people were chanting and shit. Even though there was only about 20 people it felt like arena rock. Scotland is a big highlight for us. It’s just no bullshit up here.
W: What bands would you say influenced you?
D: R.E.M, Pavement, The Fall, The Replacements, and James Brown are some influences.
W: I’m dying to know your opinion on bloggers and posting mp3’s. Do you think it helps a band, or do you think it’s hurting bands?
D: I think the internet has helped new bands get noticed much faster than days before internet and downloading. For that I think blogs’ postings of mp3s are great. I can’t really knock downloading and I don’t think it will go away anytime soon. I think it actually helped us a lot in the beginning and even today. Hopefully, people can get a good taste of the album and like it enough to go out and buy it.
W: What would you guys be doing if you werenâ€™t in a band?
D: I don’t really know, probably work in stocks and bonds or something.
W: What have you guys been listening to in 2010?
D: Lots of jam. At the moment Warren Zevon is playing. We’ve also been enjoying Funkadelic, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Steely Dan, REM, Felt, The Beaters, Nodzzz, Abe Vigoda, Dunes, Pearl Harbor, Darker My Love, Tijuana Panthers, Grey Goods and Graham Forest to name a handful.
W: Whats your â€œAlmost Famousâ€ moment. If youâ€™ve never seen the movie (watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qn3tel9FWU ), What is that one â€œdefiningâ€ moment that you will always remember during your time as The Soft Pack/The Muslims?
D:Â We just played on David Letterman’s Late Show, that was pretty psycho.
W: Favorite Beer?
D: Modelo Especial
W: A hot new band that I should post about that no one knows?
14. The Beaters from San Diego. Mind melting rock. Check this video out
Once again, I’d like to thank David for taking the time to do this for us!