The Ross Sea Party is a Los Angeles-based quintet whose indie rock manages to house both the wisdom of age and the carefree spirit of youth. I listened to each one of their songs listed on Facebook for all of five seconds each before deciding that I simply must know more about such an intriguing group. They were kind enough to come by my house in Silverlake for a performance, and I think that the following video showcases their tight vocal harmonies, infectious guitar melodies, and perpetually changing instrumentation quite nicely. It was an intimate but intense performance, beginning with the rollicking rock romp of "Return to the Sea" and ending with the mellow and bittersweet "Flags". When I went to the final night of their Monday night residency at the Silverlake Lounge, they had filled up the place nicely with fans who got incredibly involved in the band's show: there was the usual singing and bobbing along, but several brave souls were even outright dancing. The video below contains all four of the songs they performed, with cut points listed below. Read on below to find out about the quintet's plans for a full-length album, what they took away from their residency, and possible mantras for the band.
0:00 Return to the Sea | 4:03 Broken Arrows | 8:13 Thrill of the Night | 11:13 Flags
video by Jimmy Mehiel
Laurel Kathleen: What did you take away from your residency at Silverlake Lounge?
The Ross Sea Party: The thing that seemed most important about it was the sense of community that you create when putting together all these shows. There were 5 Mondays, so it really was a lot of bands to book. Surprisingly though, as soon as we started putting the nights together, there were so many bands that came to mind that we had played with and become friends with in the year or so we've been playing around LA. While being musicians in one of the larger cities in the world had has its intimidation factor, it's a different thing when you're looking at it from the perspective of booking the shows. Then you're just stoked to be surrounded by all these great bands.
LK: Tell me a little bit about your upcoming full length album. Is it an expansion on previous themes or songs, or something else altogether?
TRSP: It's actually interesting that the word "expansion" is in the question, when in some ways we've thought of the evolution of the band as being the opposite of that - more of a refinement. The EP that we released last year was the foundation of the band - we were really coming together as a band at the same time as we were recording it. Along the way, we've probably learned a bit more about ourselves in terms of what we like to do and what we do well. So the full length will feel like a more specific and in depth exploration of some of what we felt were the most successful elements of the previous release.
LK: Is there a phrase or idea that sums up the band?
TRSP: Not that comes to mind, but it would be amazing if there was. I suppose since our name ends in "Party", we ought to have a formal statement of some political or moral agenda. How about "Peace, Love, & Rock n Roll." We'll work on it.
LK: What is your proudest accomplishment to date as a band?
TRSP: We all have a sense of pride of just being out here doing what we love. There's no two ways around it - it takes a lot of commitment and hard work. Late nights and long hours. Along the way, it's been incredibly rewarding to have done this residency, been to SXSW and a bit more touring… at the end of the day though, we do share a culture of "who gives a sh%#, I'm just proud that we're making music and putting it out into the world however we can."
LK: What is your biggest goal for the band? To play a particular venue, go on tour with another band, et. cetera?
TRSP: All of us probably have different ideas of specific goals we'd like to see fulfilled. Michael is dying to tour Europe, Will would love to tour with The Walkmen. Collectively though, we've all got our eyes set on finishing a genuine and ambitious album that speaks to people in the way that our favorite records do.
The Ross Sea Party's latest EP Plains of Id is now available for listen and FREE download on their Bandcamp page as well as for purchase on iTunes. They will perform next in Santa Monica at Central Social Aid & Pleasure Club on September 27th and the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles October 27th. For more information on their upcoming performances and album releases, please visit their website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter. After all: it's never too late to join The Ross Sea Party!
Photo by Nicholas Maggio