Daniel Kohn: Do you find living and working in Lawrence to be a refreshing break from the so-called music city hubs?
John LaMonica: Definitely, Lawrence has this great laid back feel where it's easy to get comfortable. It's a small place really, but whatever it doesn't have in space and size it trades with great creative people and a strong appreciation for art and music. I lived in Austin for a short time after growing up in Dallas and both cities have a lot to offer artists, so I'm not down on any big cities as places to pursue your craft but here it's just more fulfilling and I get to have a life and work on my music.
DK: Would you ever consider moving to NYC, Nashville or LA?
JL: Of course, if it felt right or worked out in a real chill way. I have been lucky enough to have spent a grip of time in LA and NYC over the years recording and performing. They're clearly different places with their own flow and feel.
I think if it felt right I would have to choose based on friends I have there and if I was feeling the musical climate. Nashville's never really attracted me in terms of wanting to live there, no disrespect to those that do.
DK: How would you describe your sound? Is it completely your own or a derivative from the work of your influences combined with your own spin?
JL: Hmmm, there's a sizeable chunk of what I make that feels to me like 'pop' for people who like electronic music. That said, at least 50% of what I do, especially right now, that is completely at odds with that description.
DK: What is 3rd Bass and how would you describe its events to outsiders?
JL: Dirty south. Swerved out. All the best bass music with a healthy dose of R&B mixed in. It frequently goes something like Scarface to Z-Ro to Brandy & Aaliyah to UGK and on and on.
DK: In what ways was the recording and writing process different for this album?
JL: Well at the time I wasn't all that well versed in the tools I wanted to use to make music in this way so it was entirely experimental...and the songs that appear on 'Volunteers' are combined tracks from two different sessions using totally different methods. For example all the 8-bit stuff on the record is a Gameboy emulator I wanted to learn how to use and the vocal, more traditionally structured songs were a produced in so many different environments and using so many different methods it's almost impossible to describe a blanket approach.
DK: After this initial run of tour dates, what are your plans for the rest of 2011?
JL: I hope to go back out for a small string of dates in the fall and there's been talk of UK dates in the near future. I've been hard at work for a while now on a handful of remixes, some collaborations and the next LP. One project in particular that I am incredibly excited for is the new Robot Koch record that is coming out this year. I contributed vocals to 5 tracks on his album.
So without getting too detailed I would say now's the time for the people out there to start following my blog and tweets as I give away new singles regularly.Volunteers is currently available on Moodgadget and check out LaMonica’s website for info regarding his upcoming tour.