Monday, July 26, 2010

Le VICE (interview, free MP3s)

Le VICE are a four-piece group from San Francisco, led by frontwoman Alex Lee. They play a variety of sounds, including hip-hop and funky indie rock. Their songs have the spirited delivery of live shows, but with a studio polish.

They'll be releasing their self-titled debut on August 17th, but Alex Lee has already recorded two solo songs that were featured on "America's Next Top Model." And Le VICE just shot a video for "Hard to Be Ill," which should be out soon, and are playing two CA shows in August.

"Shy Guy" is a great song with plenty of beats, rhythm guitar and catchy vocals. "Hard to Be Ill" is more hip-hop, with some funky synth added to the mix. Take a listen:

"Shy Guy"

"Hard to Be Ill"

I also got a chance to ask Alex Lee a few questions:

Le VICE started out as a live project. What's a typical show like?

LV: It carries a lot of energy that you would expect from an indie or a punk band. So it's fun to dance to and sing to. But underneath it has really good music and great players. The fun of indie music with the bourgeois swag of hip-hop and rnb. Think hipsters on a yacht riding fixie bikes and drinking Cristal. That's from someone who watches. None of those words are mine.

On top of that I would say that you're watching friends play together. You can tell we're friends when you watch us play.

You blend a lot of styles in your music. What's your process for writing and recording?

LV: Depends on the day. Sometimes it comes organically. Just playing things and putting it together. Coming to the studio and playing on the synths and with all the gear. And voila, a song.

On other days, we'll listen to a song and say let's make a song like that. But when it's done it sounds nothing like what we were going after.

Generally, I'll write a hook on the spot to get everyone hyped up. Then I'll take it and finish it up verse by verse on my own when I have a little free time in my mornings.

What are some of your influences?

LV: Musically ... everything. When you take the music that the four of us like, it's all there. Hip hop, indie rock, classic rock, jazz, neo soul, rnb, house, and all the rest. We take from everything. No type of music really goes overlooked.

Le VICE (official site)

- Laura Bradford

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