Interview of Squid Cult
Squid Cult took some of their time out to do an interview with us, please take the time to check out the band!
From what I’ve read Squid Cult was formed in 2017, based out of Los Angeles. What was it that brought you all together to form the band?
It was one of those weird “law of attraction” things…We actually all went to college at the same school, but Max and I didn’t meet Csongor or Dan until we’d all graduated. A good boy from Germany named Jon Bruns actually brought us all together out here to record some of Dan’s songs; we practiced a few times, and then after a long campaign of manipulation and psychological warfare he finally convinced us to start a real band.
What sort of influence has Los Angeles had in your music?
I don’t think our music would exist if we were anywhere else, at least not in this form. I read a really great essay recently that I think sums up how LA feels to a bunch of transplant artists like us…it says “No one loves you; you’re the least important person in the room…what matters is what you do here.” I’m into that idea. A lot of people like to describe LA as “fake”—but of course it’s fake, it’s almost like the fakeness makes it hyper-authentic. And that’s what we’re trying to do with Squid Cult, I think…create something amorphous and goofy and larger-than-life that’s somehow real at the same time.
I see that your album “All Boys Leave Home Someday” is going to be released soon. What was it like working on the album? How difficult was it to decide what to put on the album?
“All Boys” was honestly a joy to make, which is saying something considering we drilled the songs for like a year and spent pretty much 100% of our disposable income to produce it. We didn’t stress too much about which songs would make the album; by the time we were ready to record we had a good idea of the concept and which songs would work best in what order. There were a couple of game-day calls though…’Everybody Knows’ was a spontaneous in-studio decision, for example.
What is the creative process for the band, who or what inspires you to make your music?
I think we are all inspired by a wealth of different things. But it’s where they all intersect that is probably most fascinating. Where Max’s love for Latin grooves and imagist poetry meets my obsession with surreal, unsettling stories, meets Karter’s fiction-writer understanding of storytelling, and Csongor’s wild, improvisatory flights of guitar technique.
How do you all write your songs? Is it a collaborative process or does any one person write the music?
For “All Boys,“ all of the songs were Dan’s to begin with. He’d come to us with lyrics and melodies, and we’d all work together on the arrangements until we were happy with it. We all tend to be tweakers when it comes to writing & arranging so we sort of just experiment until someone puts their foot down and says “hey this is dope stop changing it.” For our newer stuff, Dan and I split the writing duties about evenly, and then Max & I figure out the rhythms and Csongor writes the leads. That method seems to be working so far.
Outside of the band what do each of you like to do, and how does that help you with your creativity?
We all have pretty varied interests, which I think helps keep things fresh musically…Csongor is a dedicated rock climber and a Rocket League champion. Dan is having fun being in music videos. Max reads a lot and writes poetry and is really into basketball. I’m really into ocean conservation and genre fiction so I spend a lot of time thinking about that stuff.
I see that you have played around LA, have you been on any tours out of state? Where are some places that you all would be excited to play?
We haven’t yet toured. We always seem to be too busy making records. Right now, we’d love to keep searching for other LA Squid Brains, and play here as much as possible. Out of town, I’d love to play the Victoria House in Beaumont, Texas. I know we’ll play Scituate, Massachusetts ASAP.
If you were to go on a dream tour, what bands would you like to have on the ticket?
This is tough...Our favorite bands from our general area right now are Jerkagram, Dream Clinic, and Sprain; can we have them?
What songs are your favorite to play (including covers), and what are the most requested?
‘Baby Blue’ is our big crowd-pleaser. It’s super catchy and I think it highlights what a pop genius Dan is, underneath all his purported insanity….personally I enjoy the crazier songs, like ‘Paranoia’ and ‘Scenes from Subspace,’ because they let me shake my booty and thrash around. Max I think likes the groovier stuff, like ‘Willie’ and ‘The Urinal.’ Csongor likes to shred.
What was the best show that you ever played, what made it stand out to you?
I’d say my favorite show was our Scary Scary Party last Halloween. We’d played a lot of bills around town where the bands never spoke to each other, and the audiences were very separate. We decided to just throw our own show at a bowling alley by Dan’s house with our friends Otto’s Space Grotto. They played noise music with green lasers and Narwhal costumes. I think Karter was Wednesday from Addams Family. All our friends came out, brought their friends, and we all bowled and made art. I think it was the first moment we said, ‘Ahha! So this is who we are.’
What are your plans for the future, do you have anything that you want to spotlight that will be coming up?
So much; way too much really. We’re writing a double album right now, where one half is kind of Pavement-esque slacker pop, and the other is all this totally bitchin’ loud experimental rock stuff. We also have two really, really long songs that are gonna come out on an EP together called ”Glass Mountain.” Then there’s this really evil synthpop record which we’re actually almost done with, and a swampy country record I wrote but haven’t taught the guys yet. I’m also working on a solo album of ocean-y pop music, and Dan has a whole folk album ready to record. If we can keep our shit together we might release six albums in 2019 or something. Should be fun.