WHRB and Lazyeyes Grab Pizza: An Interview on Markets, Lima Beans, and Marriotts

Lazyeyes played one hell of a set last week at the Great Scott as part of a 5-day tour on the East Coast with surf rock band Surfer Blood, and WHRB had the chance to grab pizza and talk with singer Jason and guitarist Sam afterwards. Lazyeyes are a genre-defying band from Brooklyn that play what some might call shoegaze, and what others might call dream pop. But don’t be quick to shoehorn them into any specific genre: they’re just about to release their new album this year, and based on their live performance, it’ll avoid the cliches of both shoegaze and dream pop. Check out this up-and-coming band’s music here and the full interview below:

You guys met in Brooklyn through mutual friends?

Jason: Well me and Sam actually met a long time ago from our other band “The Twees” but me and Jeremy Sampson, the drummer, we met through mutual friends and Jeremy Rose as well, we met through Sampson, they were roommates.

Sam: Yeah Jeremy Rose started playing in the band because our former bass player quit last minute before a tour. Jeremy Rose was Jeremy Sampson’s roommate at the time and he was like “You want to go on tour?”

Jason: We’re all still friends. Last time we saw him he jumped on stage with us and we all piled on each other. Remember? Like 10 people jumped on stage, I think I almost broke my spine.

Sam: I was there. I don’t remember.

What’s the best show you’ve ever played?

Sam: This one tonight.

Jason: Yeah, for real.

Do you like the festivals you’ve played better or shows like tonight?

Jason: Festivals are fun because you can play with bands you love. Those are fun, but also playing shows like this, to a sold out room, is super intimate and awesome. It’s a trade off. I can’t really say one is better than the other.

Are you playing any festivals this summer?

Jason: Not that we know of, because we just recorded this new record. We’re shopping around, figuring out what label is going to release it and then touring is going to follow that.

When did you start creating something original?

Jason: This is super embarrassing. When I was 7 years old, I picked up my cousin’s plastic guitar that’s completely detuned and I wrote a song and I just kept walking around for like 10 hours singing it and everyone was just like shut the fuck up.

And that’s how punk started right?

Jason: And then when I was 11 I begged my parents to buy me a guitar. My parents are from Iran. I’m first generation American.

There were many times when my dad threatened to chop it with an axe because he regretted buying it for me. He was like, I don’t know why I bought this for my kid!

And then I put it down, got super into hip hop and then started going back and forth between rock and hip hop.

Sam: I don’t think I even know how to play music now.

You did fantastic.

Sam: Thank you, that’s nice of you to say.

Jason: Sam is one of my favorite guitarists in the world.

That was really fun seeing you both interacting. It was like you were battling on stage at some points.

So in high school then, what did you listen to? What was on your iPod?

Jason: I have no memories from high school. I would just get really stoned. Very little recollection. I went to at least 4 different high schools in 3 years. I was a bad kid. I can’t really answer that.

Sam: I was home schooled. I didn’t go to high school. True story. So, same. I listened to a lot of records that I don’t remember. What really was in my always playing list was Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Nirvana, like the obvious things when I was a kid.

Jason: All I listened to was Floyd in high school. Literally just Floyd all day.

When you play music it feels like more than just the sounds. It feels like you can hold it and see it. If you could create visuals to accompany your music, what would those visuals look like?

Jason: I’ve seen some crazy shit, so I guess that stuff. I’ve made a homemade music video for “Darling Dear,” it’s online. We’ve listed it as an unofficial video. That was kind of my first time doing that, but I got a lot of old 35mm footage, chopped and screwed it all together. I’d say a lot of overlays and color blends.

Are you into cinematography?

Jason: I like it. I haven’t practiced it enough myself. That was my first run and it came out real good luckily enough.

We also like your Adaptation music video, an Oldboy homage.

Jason: Dude, that was funny. Marriott. We won some competition with Marriott.

Sam: The hotel?

Jason: Yeah...and they were like ‘Yo, we’re gonna let you film in any of our locations, stay in our hotel’ and then we were like, ‘sure’. Then we made this fucked-up music video and they were like ‘We can’t let our viewers see this. This is not family friendly.’

Because the theme of Oldboy is so dark?

Jason: Yeah! And they were like we can’t have that. And we’re like dude we just did this music video for you. So we got our publicist at the time to get it out on some blog and we released it. But thinking back that was fucking hilarious.

Sam: Well if I had done that video, obviously, I would have had the band on the road, go into the hotel room and we would go, “Oh my god this is so comfortable!” We would comfortably sleep and then the alarm would ring and we would get the wake up call on the phone. They’d be like “Hello?” and then they’d be like “Yes, hello, you asked for a wake up call, 10 a.m.” and we’d be like “Yes, I should get up now.” Then we take a shower and we’re like I can’t believe how nice the soap is in the shower! Then we go.

Jason: But then you see, it’s like: “rooms starting at $129”.

Sam: Right, exactly. So I guess that’s what they wanted. But we failed to give that to them.

We should do it but with their competition at the end...what’s their competition?

Jason: Hilton?

But something not that great like Motel 6?

Sam: Yeah, exactly. I like it.

From your Lazyeyes EP to your New Year EP to your new album, is there a narrative going on? Is there something connecting all three?

Jason: Life experiences, where we were at that point in time, how we felt.

Sam: That’s the long answer. Short answer is no.

We have a question for Jeremy [Sampson].

Sam: I can field that.

Jason: We can definitely answer it.

He said in a previous interview: “I’m super stoked about the markets.” What was he referencing?

Laughs

Sam: How did you know that? I thought that was stricken from the record.

Jason: I’ll explain. Sometimes they mock me. I’m a business major and I’m also a music manager and I manage the band. And the term market is the term for a place! Not an actual supermarket! Like different markets, which is the Tristate area or the West Coast. It’s called a market. Different states! And they mocked me for that!

Wow, we were wondering if you were into supermarkets or what was going on…

Jason: I just went along with it and started saying yes there are so many supermarkets where we are going to. This is going to be great.

Sam: Unrelated, I’d just like to call out my girlfriend right now. My girlfriend is super awesome and I really like her.

Going from the studio to live performance, are there difficulties in translating the music live?

Sam: Anything you’ve heard from a studio, I wasn’t playing on. So it was hard for me, but that was a translation I had to do. It was a little bit of work to try and figure out what was going on. No one was able to explain to me what guitar part was my guitar part.

Jason: That’s kind of hard to explain.

A lot of overlap?

Jason: Yeah.

Sam: There’s a lot of things, like this part means more than that part and you can’t really listen to a record and hear that. Your two EPs, it was extremely hard for me to read what you were doing and what I was supposed to be doing. So yeah it was kind of hard but we figured it out.

Alright, we’ll wrap it up, one more question. As everyone knows, tomorrow is a very special day for a lot of people. April 20th. Of course, it’s: Lima Bean Respect Day. Lima beans are an excellent source of potassium and iron. So what are you guys going to do to celebrate 4/20, Lima Bean Respect Day?

Jason: Get really stoned and eat lima beans.

Sam: Well when I was a little boy, I didn’t like my lima beans. Now as I grow, I have realized the power of the lima bean. When you ingest the lima bean it sometimes hits home in a certain way and there’s nothing like it. There’s nothing like having enough lima beans that you just don’t care about anything anymore.

Thanks to Lazyeyes for the wonderful interview, Inbound Pizza for hosting us, and the Great Scott for putting up with our shenanigans.

Amanda Glazer is a DJ on Record Hospital, who hosts a weekly show Wednesdays at midnight EST. Andy Kim is a DJ on The Darker Side, who hosts a bi-weekly show on Saturdays at 9 PM EST.