LiLA Talks "Daybreak"
Fri, 02 Mar 2012 09:41:42
"Stay awake with me 'til dawn if you've got the will," pleads LiLA singer Danny Klein on his group's new single, "Daybreak".
Certainly the line bares traces of Anne Rice or Charlaine Harris in its DNA, but it's also something of a rock 'n' roll call to arms for the Los Angeles-based melodic alternative quartet. Klein's beckoning listeners to see beyond the veil and look a little bit deeper into the darkness before the sun rises, and he does so within the landscape of an ethereally infectious anthem. Evoking extremes such as Coldplay and Deftones, LiLA wants you to get "lost" in their sound with them, and you just may when their next album drops later this year.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino Klein and guitarist Eddie Deering break down "Daybreak" and more.
What's the story behind "Daybreak?" What was the inspiration of the song? What does it mean to you? How did it come together?
Danny Klein: Paulo Coelho's line in The Alchemist, "It is said that the darkest hour of the night comes just before the dawn," makes a lot of sense. Darkness can mean a lot of different things to different people. For me, I've always felt a mysterious magnetic pull towards writing and singing—sort of like pushing through a beautiful darkness where anything can be created. It never stops... until those moments when a song is born and it feels like the whole world opens up. It's like the sun is rising. One night in the studio, Eddie started strumming the two chords in the opening guitar riff for what would become "Daybreak," and I remember waking up at like 4AM that next morning and furiously writing the lyrics and melody for that track. What's the meaning of it all? Find your magnetic pull and devote your life to it. It's why you're here.
The song feels evocative of a story and various visuals. Is it important for you to tell stories with your songs?
Eddie Deering: I love to get lost in films and art. So when I play guitar, I guess I'm always trying to create a space for the listener to get lost in what I'm playing.
Danny Klein: Yes, I guess it's hard for me to sing about going to the mall or whatever. Singing comes from a really deep place so it usually needs to connect to deeper sense of story.
What fosters that visual sensibility? Do you read a lot or watch a lot of movies?
Danny Klein: I see colors when I write. The colors turn into images and sometimes sharpen. When the lyrics for "Daybreak" came during those late hours of the night, it felt like I was seeing the light of dawn. I've always had these melodies swirling around in my head 24/7 and they never stop. I actually don't watch a ton of movies or read too many books—I think it all just comes from emotions, dreams, relationships, energy. The future—it all comes from the magnetic future.
What artists shaped you? Who's on your iPod now that you've listened to since you were a kid?
Danny Klein: As far as songwriting, it's amazing to look back at what artists way before us have done. I imagine what went on in their heads. Artists like The Cars, Elton John, Chicago, Bad Company, and Billy Joel display such brilliance in their writing. There are so many artists that shaped me growing up. Singers like Thom Yorke, PJ Harvey, Kurt Cobain, Chino Moreno found their space, and they maybe helped me find mine in a way.
My current iPod favorites for alternative music and rock include The Naked and Famous, Arcade Fire, Opeth, Adele, Interpol, Florence + The Machine, A Flock of Seagulls, and Air. As far as hip hop goes, it's Jay-Z, Kanye West, Josh Baze, and King Fantastic. Then for electronic music, I'd say DJ Kaskade, Moby, Boards of Canada, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Deadmau5, and Mord Fustang.
Eddie Deering: For me, it's Debussy, Satie, Cocteau Twins, Bill Withers, The Isley Brothers, Stevie Wonder, The Cure, The Fixx, Opiuo, Kaskade, Gotye, and Robin Trower.
What song of yours would you want to be remembered by?
Danny Klein: "Daybreak".
Eddie Deering: "Pierce the Cold" or "The Score".
Is it hard to stand out in a band these days? In your opinion, what separates Lost in Los Angeles?
Danny Klein: We write and play from our hearts and souls. We're not trying to be anybody. We love what we do. I think that translates and really reaches people in a way that maybe some other bands don't. Our fans are our life force and they just seem to get us.
If your album was a movie, what would it be?
Danny Klein: A mash-up of Inception and Blade Runner.
Eddie Deering: Drive.
What's next for you?
Danny Klein: Dial in the rest of the songs for the new album and play them for the world.
Have you heard "Daybreak" yet?
Buy the single here!