When we last caught up with Austin's Lauren Burton - you can read it here - she was emerging as a solo singer/songwriter with some plans to form a band and release an EP. So, she's now done both, and the proof of it will be tonight when Lauren and The Black List release their debut into the wild. Time for Indie Sounds to get a progress update ...
Indie Sounds: So, what's happening at Frank tonight?
Lauren Burton: Lauren and the Black List is releasing our self-titled EP tonight at Frank! We're playing with Dead Black Hearts, the History Department and The Greatcoats. We take the stage at 11.30pm.
Lauren: We had only been a band for two months before we were given an opportunity to record an EP, so in June, we had these insane practice sessions and hopped into the studio with Roi Zerda, who engineered/produced our EP for us.
Roi is seriously one of the best people on the planet. He taught us so much about recording, gear, stage presence, and the music business itself - I can honestly say we came out of recording a completely different band, and I mean this in the best way possible. He gave us confidence and helped us really develop our sound on multiple levels. If it weren't for Roi, we'd be so lost right now. The guy changed my life.
Download Lauren and The Black List @ Bandcamp.
IS: And say something about the songs - what they are about, or how they came to be written?
Lauren: Well, there are four songs on the EP. The first one, Bend and Break, was written in April and was written about a bad breakup. I called it bend and break because I realized that in a relationship, you can't bend until you break to be with that person. You need to find someone who can handle your own strength and not change for anything.
The second song, Father, is about a few things. I guess it's about entering a religious community and expecting to find love and comfort and the benefits of friendship, but then experiencing the exact opposite. It's about the complete isolation I felt when I tried to involve myself with this community, and the utterly ridiculous behavior that took place. Writing Father was sort of a "screw you" to all those folks.
Hold me, the next song on the EP, was written for my Dad back when I lived in Kentucky. He used to have to go off and work in Texas for several months before we all could move to Austin and live together. I missed him.
The final song, Raindrops, was the first song I ever wrote. I suppose it's about just being young and having a crush on a boy - but not letting him into your heart.
IS: How did Lauren and The Black List come to be?
Lauren: Well, I had been playing shows by myself for about four or five months by the time I met Bryan [Winslow], who was attending Texas State with me at the time (I now go to UT). We played several shows as a two piece and really had a blast, but I wanted to expand my sound and really give it more umph. Lance [Osborn] was in one of my classes and he's pretty much the funniest goofball ever, and he just so happened to play bass, so we tried him out and he fit perfect. Kyle [Vanderhoof] came along a couple weeks later, after trying out a couple drummers we met him and just knew he'd be awesome. We began practicing three times a week and got a set together, and have been playing shows ever since!
IS: What's the songwriting/song development process for the band?
Lauren: Our songwriting process is pretty simple. Most of the time, I come up with the vocal melodies or the chord progressions, and then we all get together as a band and jam it out all at once. Everyone develops a part and after a few hours we have a new song.
IS: With the record release out of the way, what's next for the band?
Lauren: What's next for the Black List? Well, we're already looking for SXSW shows to play, and are looking into booking quite a few shows in February as well. Hopefully we can hop on and do a quick tour during the summer!