Late Cambrian is a Brooklyn based Indie Electro/Pop/Rock band that creates catchy tunes from the mind of the band’s frontman John N. Wlaysewski, who is involved in practically the whole process of making the songs. I met him through my pals, Regret the Hour, at an event they both played called Converse Get Out Of The Garage Music Contest for 2015 at Rubber Tracks. You can’t meet a nicer human being than John, as it was incredibly easy to invite him to my college radio program at Hunter College, and we produced a great conversation that you can listen to HERE. John is a highly creative and experimental musician, who has undergone many phases; impacting him to continuously create original sounds, melodies, and vocals. He feels that he’s been really hitting his stride creatively, and finally starting to produce music that sounds more and more of where he wants to go. He just hopes his fans will be go along with the ride he wants to take them on. In our interview, John divulged on his process, his evolution, and the future of Late Cambrian, so fans and newcomers will get juicy and informative details of this up-and-coming band! Enjoy!
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Bob Franco: Let’s start with your musical influences and how music has been involved in your life?
John N. Wlaysewski of Late Cambrian: When I started playing guitar i was listening to a lot of classic rock; Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and other bands from the 70’s. It informed my playing a lot, those bands had great guitar players with really creative riff ideas. I’v gone through a lot of different phases of music. I was really into Weezer – Pinkerton for a while. I spent a summer absorbing Radiohead albums and another summer listening to Phoenix and Battles. Every new band teaches something new about production and recording and singing. I’m always learning something new about how to express myself through songwriting because of all the great music out there.
Bob: Describe how you evolved as a musician, particularly your transition from guitar player to lead singer…
John: It took a long time to get from guitar player to singer. I’ve always been the guitar player in a band, giving my input from a musical perspective. Learning to sing was the best thing. It opened the doors to new forms of expression. The new music we have coming out soon was written without a bass player. I am so happy I got to play bass and synthesizer on the new music. The guitar has kind of taken on a different role in the music now. It’s more of the atmosphere and lead instrument, whereas, earlier on in the band it was the main rhythm and the driving force behind the sound. I can’t wait ti unveil the new songs and put them on stage!
Bob: How would you describe Late Cambrian in sound? How have you evolved since your recent album Golden Time?
John: Late Cambrian has grown up in public, that is to say, we’ve been in a constant state of evolution since we got together. The first album , The Last Concert, sounds like crunchy college rock with squealing guitars and distorted bass. Social Season and PEACH were Power-Pop records. Golden Time was really close to where I want the sound to be, it’s more of an electro pop/rock record, but the newest stuff that we are writing and recording is what excites me most. Our first single, ‘Dark Heart (Where Can We Go Now?)’ is straight up Electro-Pop, almost EDM but with live drums. We have a second single coming out real soon called ‘Yearbook Photo’ that moves into Passion Pit territory and I love it. I’m feeling really good about the new music after Golden Time. Our bass player left the band after Golden Time, and I’ve been writing a lot of the new stuff starting with bass lines. I love playing bass and I feel like the new EP will be a great new sound for us.
Bob: So you have a hand in writing the lyrics, the constructing instrumentation, and mixing; what’s the most difficult aspect of that for you?
John: Among other things, I’m also a producer, and I love putting on the producer hat when looking at Late Cambrian stuff. Creating the riffs and melodies and filling out the music with strings and percussion is so much fun. I think the hardest part for me is writing lyrics. They tend to just show up when I’m not expecting it and I have to be ready to write them down, and then grab a guitar and play and sing the song in order to create more lyrics. For me, writing lyrics is about tapping into the song emotionally and letting the universe speak to me through the music. When I sit down to write I don’t always get good lyrics. I feel like a medium channelling lyrics rather than a writer. Sometimes I wish I could just write them.
Bob: How do you incorporate the other members of your band?
John: With most songs I have written and mapped out the music at home and recorded a demo of the song. I send it to the band and they write parts and we eventually get in a studio and work out how to play and record the new music. We all add our special feeling to the songs to make the Late Cambrian songs, but they do start as demos that I send around to everyone.
Bob: What do you consider your greatest success as a musician?
John: When Late Cambrian toured the UK, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, The Netherlands and Germany opening for Wheatus (Teenage Dirtbag). We played non-stop, 26 shows in 30 days. I learned so much on tour, and met so many new friends and fans. The shows went so well that we sold out of our merch twice (I had someone mail me new stuff from the USA). It showed me that taking our songs to another country might be the best option for Late Cambrian to get our music to new people.
Bob: Thanks John, you’re always a great interview! Is there anything you’d like to plug?
John: Please visit our official website: http://www.latecambrian.com and check up on our progress, watch music videos and stay up to date on new shows and music. Thank you Bob.
Late Cambrian is on Twitter, Facebook, and most social media.
Hey! I'm Robert Franco, but I go by Bob. I love movies, television, cartoons, comics, music, beer, football, hockey, Conan O'Brien, Bill Burr, Tom Hanks, and dogs. I've had an extremely eventful 24 year of living, which has impacted my writing and mindset tremendously. I have a quirky, sarcastic, and dark style that I hope you all enjoy, and please check out my youtube video... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIvgFWXNv94.