March 9th, 2012, 4:36 pm · · posted by GUEST
In just five short months, local indie rock outfit Tapioca and the Flea has gained a significant following, began work on its debut full-length album and even scored a gig opening for the county’s latest breakthrough act Young the Giant at the Observatory in Santa Ana in December.
While gearing up to shoot a teaser for an upcoming music video, the quartet gave some insight into the fast-paced rise of the band in a recent interview.
“It started off as a bedroom project,” guitarist, keys player, and lead vocalist Samuel Jacob-Lopez says. “I learned how to use GarageBand and I just started recording a whole bunch of songs and put them on MySpace – when MySpace was cool.”
The frontman decided to branch out and into a full band mid-last year when he opened for drummer Matt McClanahan’s group Dizzy Stilettos. That act also featured current TATF guitarist Ronnie Knott and bassist and keys player Frank Alva joined TATF soon after.
As a complete unit, the members share that they feel that continued experimentation is what is central to TATF’s writing process.
“This band is pretty much just saying ‘F*** you’ to all of the rules and trying new stuff to see how far we can go with it and how weird we can get,” Jacob-Lopez says.
In every other group he’s been a part of, Jacob-Lopez says he’d always want to push the envelope further.
“It’s my chance to try whatever I want to try and to be completely out-of-the-box,” he adds. “What I love about these guys I that they think completely out of the box as well.”
TATF is taking a short break from performing live to focus on recording. The band hopes to release a single sometime in April, but have been working diligently over the past several weeks to lay down the tracks for a full-length.
Aside from TATF, each member has his own side project. McClanahan is still pursuing his blues-rock venture Dizzy Stilettos, Alva is writing on an upcoming hardcore album with a friend, while Knott and Jacob-Lopez are experimenting in the world of hip-hop and R&B music. Despite busy schedules, the inspiration and inventiveness of TATF will never be compromised, the members assure.
“Even though we all kind of branch off and do our own thing, in some way, it all ends up coming back to influence the band’s music,” Alva says.
As the final touches on the yet-to-be-titled album come along, so will more performance dates, including a free show at 10 p.m. March 16 at La Cave in Costa Mesa.
By Cassie Rossel, for OrangeCounty.com. Photo by Jessetto Lopez.
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