(Left to Right: Jamie Leffler, Jerrod Bettis, Robert Cepeda, Chris Sanchez)
From Silverlake to Santa Ana stretches an emission of musical SMOG composed of sounds as diverse as the cultures and genres of the artist found there. An osmotic cloud of sounds in which somewhere within this cloudy membrane we find the cerebral dream-pop group DWNTWN representing influences of folk in one lightning flash then expounds in a rain of electronic synth-pop notes. This past week DWNTWN found a calm within this eclectic sound cloud to answer a Q&A for you fans out there.
NS: Which type of music did all of you grow up listening to?
DWNTWN: We all grew up in the 90’s so we listened to a lot of Blink 182, Sheryl Crow, Nirvana & Modest Mouse. Robert was really into Godsmack.
NS: What lead to decision to call yourselves ‘DWNTWN’ without the vowels?
DWNTWN: It just looks better without the O’s…
NS: In the video for “You Stood Me Up”, did you really get a tattoo?
DWNTWN: Yes. I now have two DT tattoos because I couldn’t think of any other tat ideas while filming.
NS: Your recent tracks have a significantly different element in comparison to your early material. Can you please elaborate on what this new element is that has been implemented into you music?
DWNTWN: Much more guitar stuff is going on in the new tracks. We still have an electronic feel in the songs though. Every song we write is completely different than the last one. Sometimes we feel like going folky and other days we feel like we’re writing for the Drive soundtrack.
NS: DWNTWN started out as duo consisting of Jamie and Robert. Was it scary setting out as a duo without a drummer and a bass player?
DWNTWN: At the time it wasn’t scary because it was all we knew, the two of us playing with a laptop. Now that we have a band, the thought of going back to duo seems like the most terrifying thing ever. Eventually, we’d love to ditch the laptop all together and make all the music live. So then we could slow some parts down or speed parts up and not be confined to the set bpm of the laptop.
NS: How has the addition of Chris and Jerrod enhanced the sound of the band and contributed to the image of DWNTWN?
DWNTWN: Well Jerrod has a lot of tattoos and Chris is Mexican, so they instantly made us cooler. Plus they are both very good musicians, which has driven Robert and I to work harder to get to their level.
NS: What is one thing that you can’t live without while on tour?
DWNTWN: Whiskey and blow. Jk, no drugs
NS: Do any of you have phobias?
DWNTWN: No, I’m a man
NS: Who takes longer to get dressed?
DWNTWN: Jerrod and Chris take the longest because they are always worrying way too much about their hair.
NS: Was it difficult to play the keys while Jamie was driving in ‘Driving Cars With Acoustic Guitars Episode 2’?
DWNTWN: Yes mainly because she almost killed me three times, her driving is terrible
NS: Has The 1975 heard and said anything about your Chocolate cover? (It’s amazing!)
DWNTWN: I’m not sure if the band has heard it, but their label Interscope heard it, and tweeted it, which was really nice.
NS: Do you plan on doing more covers?
DWNTWN: We have wanted to cover “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac for awhile now, so hopefully when we can do that soon.
NS: Do you plan on mixing any new genres into your music?
DWNTWN: I think our next EP is going to be all reggae songs. Jk… but you never know