ROXY SSMF ARTIST PROFILE: THE LIMOUSINES
By: Brent X Mendoza
Bay Area based electronic duo The Limousines have been building serious buzz in the four short years since their formation. Comprised of multi-instrumentalist/producer Giovanni Giusti and songwriter/vocalist Eric Victorino, the pair began collaborating on tracks through email correspondence, constructing several of their first songs without ever having met face-to-face.
Now signed to Silverlake’s Dangerbird Records, whose discerning roster includes Silversun Pickups, Fitz and The Tantrums, and Hot Hot Heat, the band is poised to expand their electro empire beginning with a highly anticipated showcase at this year’s Sunset Strip Music Festival.
Staying true to form, frontman Eric Victorino spoke to The Roxy via email to challenge the popular conception that “drum machines have no soul.”
What’s the most exciting/shocking/strangest/craziest thing you’ve done in a limousine?
I’ve never been in a limousine. What’s it like? Is it like, totally super crazy?
For those that don’t know, could you describe your songwriting process (or at least what the process has been like thus far)? How has this unorthodox style of collaboration influenced the music?
We don’t have guitar players, or drummers, or bass players to argue with so our process is unusually respectful and collaborative.
You’ve played alongside some pretty big acts? Who were you most excited to share billing with? Any surreal and/or star-struck moments?
Seeing your name on the same poster as a band you’ve grown up listening to is pretty cool; lots of people being at the show is fun too; but you rarely meet the bands you open for, much less have any meaningful conversations or surreal moments in which to be star-struck. I try not to meet people I admire anyway because they’re just regular people and they never live up to the expectations I set for them in my mind.
Man vs. technology seems to be a running lyrical theme throughout your work. Is this an outgrowth of being an electro band? Do drum machines have souls?
I’ve never played an instrument on stage, so nothing is different for me in The Limousines than it’s been in my past bands… Just less shit on stage to trip over and less guys to bump into. Humans vs. tech is an unavoidable theme in music, and books, and movies, and art these days. Lucky for us, they haven’t made a computer program that’ll write good songs; so we’ve still got work to do.
Whether we make noises with things made out of wood, or metal, or plastic, or microchips doesn’t matter to us. There are always going to be people who feel like a band is cheating somehow if they use anything but traditional instruments. Conversely, there are always going to be bands like us who tell those people to go fuck themselves.
What are you currently working on? What do we have to look forward to in the second half of 2011?
I think right now we’re pretty much working on figuring out what the hell we’re doing wrapped up in this silly business. We love to make music, so we’ll keep doing that. As for hopes and dreams for the rest of the year, whatever…
The Limousines play The Roxy’s stage during the Sunset Strip Music Festival street fest on August 20. For more information on the festival visit SSMF.com