They say lightning never strikes the same place twice. And, as any good meteorologist will tell you, ‘they’ are talking absolute nonsense, and right now the rock gods are tossing fully charged bolts LA-bound. Amidst this thriving West Coast music scene CG Roxanne and The Nightmares are a perfect fit; energetic, visceral and talented, to boot.
The trio – broken down as Marlon Rabenreither (guitar/vox), Sam Thornton (bass), and Carlos Laszlo (drums) – run the gauntlet between hedonistic, couldn’t-give-a-fuck, Iggy Pop fury and cranked up Joe Strummer stompers. With two albums under their belt – Shanghai Lowdown and Bastards Au Paradis – in as many months, CG Roxanne and The Nightmares are currently putting the finishing touches to their latest EP, Halfway To Hollywood.
When these three pen a track they doesn’t leave it to marinate, the wheels are in motion and a release often follows – Shanghai Lowdown was written just ten hours before the band’s debut set. It’s a quick fire DIY approach that simplifies the formula with devastating results.
Junk Sick is a HERO exclusive play from the band’s new EP Halfway to Hollywood
Alex James Taylor: So what made you first form a band?
Marlon Rabenreither: We have been friends since school really, been playing together for years. CG Roxanne’s first show was at an art gallery about two years or so ago, it was supposed to be a one off show, with one off songs. But it wasn’t and now it isn’t.
AJT: Why CG Roxanne and The Nightmares??
MR: A good band name is a magical thing.
AJT: Are you guys quite prone to nightmares?
MR: I think Carlos has a lot of horrible nightmares all the time.
Carlos Laszlo: It’s true – at night I see very clearly.
AJT: I was curious where your EP name Shanghai Lowdown came from. The lead track is called Chinese Whisper, have you been to China?
MR: I have never been to China, but I went to San Francisco once, and they have a bar there called Shanghai Low I think. Thought it was nice place with a nice name.
CL: To me, the Orient has always seemed like a bad place to be out on the skids.
AJT: None of your songs are over three minutes long. I’m assuming that high velocity energy is essential to capturing the sound you aim for?
MR: Yeah, but also anything worth saying can probably be communicated in under three minutes.
CL: I can’t even think about the same thing for longer than three minutes.
AJT: Your two releases came within just two months of each other. You don’t waste time.
MR: We work quickly, when we go to the studio we make a record in a night.
CL: Process-wise what works for us is an all out fast burn. We do it in one night and just hope to recover.
AJT: You guys are recording your third EP now, how’s that going?
MR: It will be out very soon, we will be going back to Golden Beat Studios and working with Travis Pavur again.
AJT: What do you guys tend to get up to when you aren’t making music?
MR: Our manager keeps us really busy, he’s crazy. He doesn’t like for us to have any free time, he says it’s not good for us.
AJT: Marlon, You studied at Goldsmiths, right? How long were you in London for?
MR: I lived in London for almost four years. I studied at Goldsmiths and lived in South London, I hear it has changed a lot.
AJT: Do you notice any particular differences between the London and LA music scenes?
MR: I think the music scene in Los Angeles is pretty remarkable, in London I had a harder time finding the sounds I wanted to be around, there was a lot of James Blake type of shit going on. This band Fat White Family crashed at our place in LA when they were in town, they seem like nice chaps.
CL: I am glad to know there are still a few rock and roll bands over there. I’ve seen pictures of the rest of Europe before and from what I can tell it’s not guitar oriented
AJT: Is there one person you’ve always wanted to perform on stage with?
MR: It’s always been our dream to perform with Donovan.