Posted On 30 Dec 2014
Tag: 401k Music, 401k Music Inc., African music, All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, Ambulance LTD., Artist Interview, babes, band interview, Barracuda, Bon Iver, China, Doors, Drug Cabin, F Bermudez, Gauchos, Guns N Roses, hipsters, Hollywood, Josh Klinghoffer, Los Angeles, Macarthur Park, Manny Nieto, Michael Jackson, music interview, Nick DeWitt, Overpass, Paul Simon, Pink Floyd, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Reggae, rock steady, Simon & Garfunkel, Ska, South Dakota, The Doors, The Liars, The Overpass, Veronica Gretton, weridos, Wiggle Room, Yard Work
Nathan Thelen of Pretty Girls Makes Graves and Moonrats‘ fantastic new band, along with Marcus Congleton of Ambulance Ltd make up Drug Cabin. The band is a mix of sun-dappled pop, woozy psychedelia, and Laurel Canyon folk. Their debut EP radiates a laid back Southern California vibe. Drug Cabin have 22 songs in the can and will be releasing two albums in the New Year.
All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa got to ask Nathan and Marcus a few questions before they head back into the studio. Read more from their Q&A below.
Hi guys! How are you doing today? What’s on your agenda today besides our interview?
Marcus: Hi! I’m good thanks. I’ve got an MRI to examine my brain tumour. Then on to work at a Hollywood night club.
Nathan: For me, its the usual regiment of avoiding people and skirting resposiblilties.
Drug Cabin released the full-length, “Wiggle Room” in November and you guys also previously (albeit quietly) released “Yard Work” back in September. What’s the latest?
Marcus: We have a whole bunch of new songs to arrange and record. We aim to record and release 2 more albums in 2015.
Your debut EP radiates a laid back Southern California vibe. Where did you grow up and how do you think that influenced you and your style?
Nathan: I was born and raised in South Dakota. People are pretty laid back there too. I remember in 3rd grade, my teacher took a survey of hands on who the students preferred, Guns ‘N Roses or Michael Jackson, and it was split right down the middle.
When did you know you wanted to pursue music? How did your musical journey begin?
Marcus: The middle school talent show, 7th grade. We had a Doors cover band, played ‘when the music’s over’. We might have sucked, but I thought it was amazing. I quit playing baseball , focused everything on music.
I love your song, “Barracuda”, it’s a very unique and compelling track. Do you have a favorite song or one that is most dear to you and why?
Nathan: Not really. Each song is its own little affair. It will be the most important thing to me at the time of writing then there is a honeymoon period and then we start getting on each others nerves and need some space. I love playing them live with the band though. They get to be real shape shifters in the hands of different musicians.
What is your writing process like? How do you capture inspiration when it comes to you?
Marcus: I don’t think there’s any 1 way to do it. Some songs are kicking around for months , or even years before we find the right lyrics , arrangement , etc. Some songs we write very quickly, start and finish in a couple hours.
Veronica Gretton of 401k Music Inc. describes Drug Cabin as “a breath of fresh air – a modern day Simon & Garfunkel meets Bon Iver.” What do you think about that?
Marcus: We definitely use Paul Simon as a reference point. A lot. He is so great at writing a beautiful song, and adding interesting elements to make them even better. Like hints of reggae, African music , etc. and Bon Iver is probably really good, I haven’t heard them much.
Nathan: In fact, we toyed with the idea of being billed as” Garfunkel and Garfunkel” when we first were playing shows acoustically without the band. It didnt stick though. Maybe too many syllables.
Who were your major influences growing up?
Marcus: Doors, Pink Floyd , reggae , rocksteady, ska.
Nathan: My parents record collection, then any band that came through town and then back to my parents record collection.
Who is in your current playlist? Anyone we would be surprised to find in there?
Marcus: We listen to every/any thing. Some people are surprised that I love rap music- I’m surprise by their surprise.
You have recorded at Josh Klinghoffer’s (Red Hot Chili Peppers / Dot Hacker) house and worked with Nick DeWitt (Pretty Girls Make Graves / The Liars) who produced your debut EP. Is there anyone that you would love to collaborate with in the future?
Marcus: A studio owner and engineer named Manny. Dunno his last name but I’m gonna find it.
Nathan: Its “Nieto”. He is great. He just spent a year traveling through China with a backpack studio recording bands he met on his journey. He’s a very inspiring guy. We recorded both Yard Work and Wiggle Room with “F Bermudez” at Gauchos in Macarthur Park. He is amazing too and has a great ear and keeps it simple. If we only ever recorded with him at his studio I would be more than happy.
What has been your most memorable show so far and why?
Marcus: We played a bizarre and amazing after hours show in LA at the ‘Overpass’. Our set began at 3 am, and the crowd looked as if they’d been cast for a music video- hipsters babes, weirdos. A rare and pleasant surprise.
Nathan: We seem to play quite a lot of back yards and parties. Why not?!
What is on tap next for you? What are you most excited about in 2015?
Marcus: We’re excited to record more albums, maybe do another show at the Overpass.