Band Interview: Los Encantados

Los Encantados
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iheardin recently had the chance to interview rising six-piece Brooklyn indie rock band Los Encantados. Reminiscent of summer time sounds like The Beach Boys with the rock sensibilities of bands like The Strokes, Los Encantados drums up good time feelings no matter where you find yourself. The guys have a new album coming out next year and they don’t show any signs of stopping. And how could they – their melodies are dreamily hook-filled and their inspirations are pure.

From their press release:

The bands’ three EP series, The Same Damned Soul, is based on a true story which took place over the summer of 2010, between France, and New York and then France again. Most of it was written on the F train to Coney Island and on the C train to Rockaway during the summer of 2011. The Same Damned Soul was initially written by the band’s lead man James Armstrong, who wrote the songs as a means of personal catharsis, intended for just one special set of ears. Eventually, Armstrong’s band mates heard the music, and insisted on bringing the tracks to the stage and thus, Los Encantados was born.

Grab their latest EP, The Same Damned Soul (Part Three), or watch their “Ghosts” music video to hear what they can do and check out the interview below with James.

Catch their next show on December 8th at The Bell House in Brooklyn.

Ghosts from Los Encantados on Vimeo.

iheardin: I know that The Same Damned Soul was how Los Encantados first came about, but how did you guys all first meet and start playing music together?

James: I met Kevin first. We used to work together at EMI and we’d talk about music, etc at work happy hours. he had an extra ticket to see Tapes’n’Tapes, so I went with him, we had an epic night & we continued to see bands together. He had been playing music around town and was looking to beef up his band’s (the dunnie bobos) line up, I was kinda bored just DJing around town and jumped at the opportunity to play rock and roll again. Playing with him got me writing again, I had also been crushing on a girl so decided to troubadour the fuck of the situation. Secretly, though. It worked really well and the songs were fun so I showed them to Ben. Ben & I had many mutual friends and became great friends. He liked the songs and passed them to the drummer in his band, Evan. Then we needed a bassist. At our first rehearsal, the guy that was supposed to play with us didn’t show up and Jerome (good friends with Evan) was at a bar near our rehearsal space. Jerome had never played bass but loved the idea of it so came over. That was the band up until last fall. We were playing a benefit show & I wanted to cover Lost Paraguayous by Rod Stewart. We needed a sax player, so I asked a co-worker, David, to play. After playing and hanging a bit, I asked him to join us. 

How have things differed in putting together your debut full-length album versus your EPs? What’s your process in writing and coming up with the music?

The writing process was extremely self serving for the EPs – I had no intention if sharing those songs initially, so this record I’m thinking on a different emotional level. So at the very least the subject matter will be more varied. As far as the music goes, the rest of the band contribute a bit more – the EPs I wrote by myself – so it should make for a much more dynamic sound!

What band or musician would you most like to work with if you had the chance?

I have an idea for us & Giorgio Moroder. I’ve been dreaming of it during the days for the past week. It’s a secret though. I can only tell Giorgio. 

What do you hope your listeners will get out of your album? What’s something they should look forward to?

The concept behind my lyrics and the feel is “home.” I want it to convey a sense of comfort and assurance while maintaining a really fun vibe. Like a home cooked meal and a vicious house party all at the same time. 

How does New York, and maybe even more specifically, Brooklyn, influence you guys – be it your music, your attitudes, or even just your day to day?

It keeps us constantly working and trying to improve upon what was done previously. It also provides a wealth of inspiration. The push to constantly work and the inspiration are both products of the diversity and high, high volume of ‘things’ all within a small space. Thrive or die, XOXO.

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By David C. Sales

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