By E.A. Poorman
Welcome to 2015. How’s it going so far? Ehh? Yeah, well there’s still time for things to get better. What better way to spend the time waiting for things to turn around than to wax ecstatic about a great new band? And not some new, well coiffed band out of Portland, Chicago, or Brooklyn. From right here in Fort Wayne. I’m talking about Lost Lakes. If you’re not, you will be soon.
It started a couple months ago when I heard this mournful and lilting track called “Shallow Talk”. Lost Lakes played a gig at the Brass Rail and posted a clip of them knocking it out of the ball park. I was impressed. They recently posted another clip of a new song they call “Sympathy Mistake”. This one was a little more banging and had some fangs to it. Okay, Lost Lakes officially had my attention. The band consists of Andrea Atwood on vocals, Christine Taylor on keys, Olivia Tatum on guitar, Karah Ellington on bass, and Paul Bates on drums. I tracked the band down in-between finishing up recording for their debut EP and preparing for an upcoming show at the Brass Rail on January 24th and asked them a few questions.
EA Poorman: So give me the scoop on the band. How did Lost Lakes become to be?
Andrea Atwood: Christine, Karah, Oliva and I have been playing in one way or another in my basement for about a year and a half before Lost Lakes, as we are now, came together. Paul came on to play drums in September of 2014. Before that I’d performed regularly with Wooden Satellites and Lee Miles and the Illegitimate sons for quite a few years. I’ve also had the pleasure of working with Dwane Ferren and Jason Davis at Off the Cuff Studio as well as on a live project with Chris Dodds and Matt Kelley.
Christine Taylor: I had been playing and writing for years in my apartment by myself, but had
never shared it with the public before except for a couple of videos I posted online. I decided to share the beginnings of a song I wrote with the band. We took it, ran with it, and transformed it into something else. To me, that was really the starting point. It gave us the confidence to go beyond just playing covers in a basement to realizing that we had the potential to write our own songs and play them live. We went through a few hiatuses, but at the end of last summer when Paul joined the band that gave us the momentum to go forward with the songs we had written and to play them out in public.
Paul Bates: I was brought on last. Olivia asked me come try out and I was dying to play drums again with a group. It had been a few years. I am currently the singer/guitar player for another Fort Wayne band, Ordinary Van. I was the drummer for a few bands in my hometown of Sacramento, CA.
EAP: Synths play a heavy roll in the atmosphere of the band’s music. What artists inform the sound and feel of Lost Lakes?
Andrea Atwood: I would describe Lost Lakes as dark indie pop. When I envisioned the sound of Lost Lakes I definitely listened to Interpol, Metric and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs for inspiration.
Paul Bates: Batman Forever soundtrack guides everything I do musically.
EAP: Lost Lakes are or were in the process of recording an EP. How is that going? Can you tell me about the recording process? Where was the EP recorded? Does the band like being in the studio?
Christine Taylor: We’re recording where we practice, which is also where I work, at Punch Films. The process has been really interesting to me, since I’ve never recorded before, but as a video editor, I can’t help but think of parallels and contrasts between putting a video project together and putting an EP together. There’s pre-production, production, and post, it’s definitely a different process, but everyone is looking forward to and anticipating the final product.
Paul Bates: It is going very well! There is no harder skeptic than the band itself and we really want to give something to our friends and fans. Pretty sure we only have one fan. Bless his/her heart wherever he/she is. Recording never goes fast enough to keep up with how enthusiastic we are for people to have it, but we hope to have it ready soon. I have done a lot of recording over the years so I suggested we do the EP ourselves using the vast talent and resources we have access to. We are lucky to have an amazing rehearsal space with great acoustics so it made sense to record there. My good friend Tyler Berggren is acting as engineer/co-producer for the EP. He will also be in charge of mixing and mastering. I find recording to be such an exciting process, I love how you can sit down and really pick something apart and look at it from the perspective of “what does it feel like to hear these for the first time?” It makes it a lot fun and keeps the songs fresh.
EAP: How does the songwriting process work in the band?
Andrea Atwood: Usually (though there are exceptions) Christine and I will get together and she’ll share some chord progressions she’s been working on, or we’ll come up with something together. Then I’ll take what she’s played and write the melody and lyrics for it. From there we take it to the band and Karah, Olivia and Paul add their own parts and the song evolves.
Christine Taylor: It always ends up being more organic and collaborative in the end. When writing a song Andrea might suggest a different chord, or I might give a few lyrics, or Paul will come up with a drum beat first that determines the feel and mood of the song, or Olivia comes up with a great guitar part and I mimic that in the bridge. It just really depends on the song.
Paul Bates: I just hit things, I have no idea.
EAP: I’ve seen the band in action live thanks to the wonders of Youtube. The songs are great. How would you all describe a Lost Lakes show?
Andrea Atwood: We’ve only had the opportunity to play two shows so far but both have been spectacularly fun.
Christine Taylor: I hope the audience just has a shit ton of fun.
Paul Bates: Like that one time in 4th grade when you tried showing off during a parent teacher conference and it didn’t work out so well, but you still got ice cream afterwards.
EAP: Are there any plans for some extensive touring in 2015?
Andrea Atwood: We haven’t discussed touring yet, though I think we’re all looking forward to playing out of town shows for sure. Right now we’re focused on getting our EP finished.
Paul Bates: Only if Kanye asks nicely.
EAP: A bit premature, but are there plans for a full-length LP? How many songs have been written up to this point?
Andrea Atwood: Definitely. We’ve already written a few more songs since we started recording and we’re looking forward to writing even more in the coming months.
Paul Bates: I sure hope so, the recording process is such a fun challenge!
EAP: So what does 2015 hold for Lost Lakes?
Christine Taylor: Keep recording, keep playing, and keep writing.
Paul Bates: More songs! More shows!
Lost Lakes are yet another amazing band emerging from an already excellent music scene in the Fort. Check ’em out at the Brass Rail on January 24th with Benny & The 25th & The College Ave Band and Digital Dots. Show starts at 10pm. And be on the lookout for that EP. Keep up with all things Lost Lakes at https://www.facebook.com/lostlakesmusic.