INTERVIEW: The Brothers Landau

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’ve been hanging in, thanks! It’s nice to have one another in the difficult time we’re all experiencing right now. The pandemic has at least given us more togetherness time, and we’ve been able to write and record new songs faster than we used to do. How are you?

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “A Way Down”?

“A Way Down” memorializes our grandmother. She had a way of finding tranquility during the most trying circumstances. We wanted to honor her and highlight her ability to bring herself and those around her back down to groundedness. 

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Everyday life can get pretty overwhelming, and it’s easy to get lost in your thoughts and worries. We realized that it’s our loved ones that help us to come down from the tense state we find ourselves inhabiting, and so we turned that realization into a tribute to those who’ve helped us so much.

The single comes off your new album Haven’t Got A Name – what’s the story behind the title?

We swear we’re not just trying to use a fancy version of “untitled.” It comes from the first song on the album, which questions whether we’re all focusing on the right things in life. The lyric at the end of the song is “It’s time to name those things that haven’t got a name. Isn’t that why we came?” Our way of encouraging everyone to check in with what really matters.

How was the recording and writing process?

The songs on the EP were written in a time of change and personal turmoil, and so come from a more vulnerable place than some of the work we’ve done in the past. We really wanted to capture in a relatable way the emotions we were feeling when reflecting on these concepts, and in a way that we hope resonates with listeners. That’s what music is all about, isn’t it?

The songs were all recorded at Precarious Rock Studios in Los Angeles, where we had the time to boil songs down to their most essential parts.

What role does L.A. play in your music?

L.A. is our home; we grew up here and love it, but connecting with people can be difficult. Both with meeting new people and seeing your own friends across town. It can be a pretty lonely place despite being one of the most populous cities in the country, and it, for better or worse, ends up in our songs in one form or another.

The long commutes in traffic give a lot of time for thought and reflection, but they’re also incredibly frustrating and draining. After any drive home, you can end up totally exhausted, without much energy left even for making dinner, much less for songwriting. If you give into that unmotivated feeling, you might end up abandoning the very pursuits that give your life meaning. We wrote “Monday” about that experience.

How has the likes of Milk Carton Kids influenced your writing?

Their sober and honest lyrics and sparse arrangements are incredible works of art. Just like poetry, they’re able to distill worlds/volumes of emotion into brief scenes while also pairing it with catchy melodies and haunting harmonies. We definitely aspire to and admire their craftsmanship!

What were some of the emotions you got to explore on this record?

So many. The seemingly futile search for love in L.A., what true love looks like in romantic and familial ways, existential frustration, joy, yearning for meaning and purpose, gratitude, loneliness, and introspection. And more! 

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

We’re often inspired to write by internal feelings about external events. But on this record we branched out and incorporated parts of David Leverenz’s beautiful poem “For Nell and Chandler, on their Wedding Day”, which really touched us when we heard him read it at their ceremony. We also asked their friends for favorite memories and combined all the fragments into a picture of how two lives can come together and make everything around them brighter. “Steady Joy” is the result.

What else is happening next in The Brothers Landau’s world?

After our album drops (Aug 28!), we’ll have a virtual record release show followed by some new surprises. Join our mailing list/socials so you don’t miss anything!

We also host a concert series called Sound and Sight shows (@soundandsightshows) that highlights the best in local and worldwide talent. While most of the shows feature LA-based acts, we have some plans to bring together performers from around the world for a digital concert, which there is a particular need for among musicians and artists in these uncertain times.

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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