Earlier this month, when they released their debut EP I Was Admiring Her Through A Series Of Precision Cut Mirrors, we immediately found ourselves immersed in the slick sounds of New Zealand trio LA Women.
So we caught up with band member Jake Schdroski to chat the new release, their hometown of Masterton, and what makes New Zealand music so damn good.
Fresh off the release of their new EP I Was Admiring Her Through A Series Of Precision Cut Mirrors, we caught up with LA Women’s Jake Schdroski for a chat.
HAPPY: We’re loving the new EP man… but I’ve gotta ask, where’d the name I Was Admiring Her Through A Series Of Precision Cut Mirrors come from?
JAKE: That’s a good question actually. We couldn’t really think of an EP name, so we were searching through all these things and we found the first photo we posted on Instagram and it had that poem in the photo. So we reached out to this guy in Wellington who actually wrote that line “I was admiring her through a series of precision cut mirrors,” and he was real happy for us to use it, which was real super cool. But it really fits the vibe of the EP, which is dope.
HAPPY: The EP’s been out for almost a month now… how are you feeling about it now that it’s out? How’s the reception been?
JAKE: It’s been real good. We’ve had a few big blogs post about it and stuff, which is really good. But its been really positive, we’re really happy. It’s been a long time coming, so it’s real nice to finally have it out.
HAPPY: When you first dropped your first single Hurricane Love, it felt like you arrived with this already fully-formed sound… how long had you been working on this project before you released that first song?
JAKE: Yeah well me and my cousin Zac, who’s the drummer, we’ve been playing together since we were like nine years old… so we’ve been through all different types of bands in high school and stuff, but we started the LA Women project when we were probably about 19.
HAPPY: Yeah right, so it’s been brewing for a while…
JAKE: Yeah its been brewing for a while, we just had to get to a point where we decided where we were going to take it in terms of sound… but I think we’ve stuck ourselves in the right place now.
HAPPY: That track Hurricane Love is now sitting at something crazy like five million Spotify streams… what was it like seeing that track blow up so quick?
JAKE: Yeah its been crazy hey. It’s kind of a surreal feeling… putting out a song off the back of nothing and it doing so well. We got put on this really awesome playlist on Spotify, and we were just super overwhelmed about it at the start… but it’s awesome, yeah.
HAPPY: Was there any pressure when it came to following it up with the next single?
JAKE: Yeah, yeah for sure. We kind of left it for a while to be honest. We kind of left it for a while… and we were like “man, what do we do next?” But we wrote a whole bunch of songs, then put out this other song called Call On Me that felt right. We felt we were going the right direction with that. We steered a little away from what Hurricane Love sounded like, but it felt right to go in that direction.
HAPPY: Is it scary at all changing up your sound after the success of a song like that first single?
JAKE: Yeah in a sense I guess. It does get a little bit scary changing up the sound a bit. With the EP, we tried to include five songs from which our sound could evolve.
HAPPY: You released pretty much the whole EP as singles before the proper EP release… were you releasing things as you recorded them? Or were these tracks all recorded in the same sessions?
JAKE: Nah they weren’t all done in the same sessions…
HAPPY: Were the songs getting released in the same order that you were recording them?
JAKE: Oh yeah, yeah they were.
HAPPY: So you were kind of taking it one single at a time?
JAKE: Yeah yeah.
HAPPY: I also love the videos you guys have been putting out… they’re all so lovely to look at…
JAKE: Oh thank you!
HAPPY: How important is the visual element to you? Do you feel like visuals can enhance someones listening experience?
JAKE: Oh yeah for sure, totally. We definitely wanted to make a video for every song. We had to match the sound with the visuals. Again, it just felt right to do that. But yeah, I thin it’s super important to consider visuals for sure.
HAPPY: You guys are from Masterton New Zealand… I gotta ask, what’s the music scene in Masterton like?
JAKE: Oh it’s pretty bleak dude. I mean there has been some great New Zealand artists to come from there, which is awesome. Like Lady Hawke, she’s from Masterton as well… and also Flight Of The Conchords.
HAPPY: That’s a pretty solid alumni list…
JAKE: Yeah, hopefully we can keep the tradition alive.
HAPPY: Here at the mag, we’ve all been loving New Zealand music so much lately… we reckon it’s one of the most unique and interesting musical countries. Why do you think this is? Is there anything special about New Zealand that has lead it to make such great music?
JAKE: Yeah I don’t know. That’s a really good question. I think it’s just maybe because we’re so far away from everybody… maybe we’re a little bit bored here. Apart from rugby and all that, people wanna do something else. It’s exciting, there are lots of awesome artists coming out of New Zealand.
HAPPY: You mentioned before that this EP has sort of put you in a position where your next release could go in a number of different directions. Have you started writing new material yet?
JAKE: Yeah we’ve actually just finished out next single, which should be coming out in the next couple of months. I can’t put an actual number on that.
HAPPY: Is that going to be part of a full-length or another EP?
JAKE: I think we are aiming for a full length, but we’re going to put it out differently. I think we’re going to put it out either song-by-song or in parts… like three songs here, three songs there until it eventually becomes an album.
HAPPY: Can’t wait to hear it man!
I Was Admiring Her Through A Series Of Precision Cut Mirrors is available now.