EMPT gets a ton of emailed songs from up-and-coming artists, most of which we regretfully do not get to post. However, once in a while we find a gem and reach out to the performers to learn a bit more. Today, writer Nicky DePaul catches up with Corsica Arts Club, an emerging band out of Los Angeles who captured our ear with their blissful take on summertime rock, “California I Follow.”
EMPT: You guys are as new as they come. Tell us, who are Corsica Arts Club?
CAC: Corsica Arts Club is Brendan and Arash. We’ve been friends since we were teenagers and we’ve been making music together for over a decade.
EMPT: What are your artistic goals? Are they the same as your career goals?
Arash: We try to write the best songs we can write, songs that we would enjoy listening to ourselves. There’s nothing we’d love more than to make a career out of it.
EMPT: How does your long-term friendship impact your writing and recording process?
Brendan: There’s a bond, an inherent understanding. It’s very easy to communicate both creatively and personally – our feelings, our aspirations, or how we’d like a song to sound.
Arash: We grew up liking the same music, discovering the same artists and albums together, so we have the same references for anything from melodic ideas to production ideas.
EMPT: “California I Follow” is very much an LA song, in the recent tradition of early releases from Best Coast or No Age: lo-fi, laconic, washed out. Does a sense of place infiltrate your music purposefully?
Arash: Not necessarily, though we can’t help but be influenced by our environment on some level.
Brendan: Whether in the narrative we’re telling or in the palette of sounds we’re using. At the same time, we strive to make music that’s universal, that can be appreciated regardless of the fact that we’re from LA.
Arash: If anything, we hope to evoke a feeling more than a specific place. All of our friends that we’ve played it for say it sounds like summer. That being said, I’d hope that someone who has never been to LA, but has a romanticized idea of it from films or television, hears the song and feels like they’ve been transported here. I love songs like that.
EMPT: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Arash: I literally have no idea.
Brendan: I’d say the same. I’d feel like something was missing. The absence of music in my life sounds like an incomplete life.
EMPT: Your Facebook lists some prominent influences: Bowie, Iggy Pop, Kraftwerk, The Beach Boys. What does it mean to you to be influenced by an artist? How does influence appear in your art? Are there any current acts you’re drawing from or would recommend to our readers?
Arash: There are certain songs or albums that elicit such profound excitement when we hear them, that strike such a chord, we’re almost immediately thinking about how to recreate those feelings. David Bowie‘s”Low” for example. When we discovered that album it felt like finding the secrets of the universe. We’re enamored by everything about it – obviously the songs, but also the story behind it, the production techniques, the album art. It’s hard to pinpoint all the ways our favorite artists have influenced us, but I’ll tell you that we keep Bowie and “Low” in mind when we think about sounds or instruments we’d like to use in a song.
As far as current acts go, some of our favorites include Radiohead, The Strokes, and Phoenix. The guys from Dawes, who we knew back when they were called Simon Dawes, have had an influence on us in the sense that they turned us on to The Band and Big Star. We can’t thank them enough for that.
EMPT: Nice. I remember the Simon Dawes days. They played at my high school battle of the bands contest. Next question: What are you ordering at the bar?
Arash: A Death In The Afternoon. That’s champagne and absinthe.
Brendan: *laughs* I don’t drink. Arnold Palmer. Or water.
EMPT: You get to plan one perfect day. What does that day look like?
Arash: I’d want to spend the day on some beach, probably somewhere on the French Riviera, with a good book or two, then have a party at night with all my family and friends.
Brendan: My favorite place is Cinque Terre in Italy. I’d love to go back there.
EMPT: Any future plans you’d like to share?
Arash: We’re constantly writing and recording music. Beyond that? There are some things in the works. Keep an eye on us…