La La Lush
The timeline of the history of La La Lush reads like a “How-To” recipe for college bands in search of both on and off-campus popularity. Having played together for a short period of time in more casual settings, the quartet found early promise in their unique electro-rock sound and have played under their current name for “about a year.” Taking into account its relatively brief existence, the two most recent additions to La La Lush’s timeline become that much more impressive: on February 10 the band performed a debut album release show at Webster Hall.
“The experience has been an incredible learning opportunity for all of us, especially since we self-wrote, self-produced and self-funded this entire album,” vocalist Leea Borst, FCRH ’12, said. “The album is truly a product of our collective imaginations, and there is no feeling more satisfying than being able to share all of our hard work with our friends, family and fans. It’s been a trial and error based process, and we’re much wiser musicians because of every mistake and every success we’ve experienced along the way.”
Describing the songwriting and recording process for the full-length album, which is eponymously titled and features 11 songs, Borst and keyboardist Stephen Fedorowicz, FCRH ’13, hint at the collaborative nature of their product.
“We all contribute to every aspect and area of a song so to say one person is in charge of this department or that department wouldn’t be a fair evaluation of our songwriting process,” Borst said. “We have four very different minds with very different musical tastes and backgrounds coming together. The fusion of those four minds has resulted in our unique La La Lush sound.”
“I think once you do try to adhere to a formula, you lose a large part of the creativity that makes songwriting so much fun,” Borst added.
From the band’s name to its pension for practicing and playing shows in the basements of Fordham party houses, “fun” seems to be the end goal for the four musicians. Nevertheless, the band jumped at an opportunity to promote their first album at a venue a little more prestigious than the basement of the rugby house. Luckily enough, guitarist Steve Scarola, FCRH ’13, had “developed a working relationship with the booking agent at Webster Hall.” He decided a full length album release was a good enough time as ever to take advantage of the connection.
“The experience was a milestone for La La Lush. After playing numerous house parties at Fordham (which we love to do), playing Webster Hall was a step to the next level for us,” Scarola said.
“With bigger and better venues comes bigger and better sound quality. The little things like actually getting a proper sound check, are integral to the success of our show. The second I felt the kick drum rattle my bones at sound check, I knew our show was going to sound just the way we wanted it to.”
For any band, the sound check process is one that can be sorely missed when playing at a basement show or bar. For a band like La La Lush which prides itself on a collaborative, balanced sound all while bringing the noise as loud and fast as possible, a professional sound check is even more prized. For drummer Cashel Barnett, FCRH ’13, however, the added decibels are the real treat.
“The coolest thing about playing Webster was the sound system. It’s a small stage, but the speakers really pack a punch,” Barnett said. “Every time I kicked the bass drum the entire stage shook.”
For Fedorowicz, however, the simple act of playing music in front of a crowd outweighs venue prestige or location.
“When it comes down to it, every opportunity to play music live (regardless of the location) and have an audience rockin’ with you is truly a euphoric, and in some respects, a religious experience,” Fedorowicz says.
As for the La La Lush’s achievements thus far? Borst attributes the band’s success and its continued motivation to the four “F’s”: friends, fans, family and fun.
“What makes our shows different from other shows is we’re all just having the time of our lives on that stage. We’re four best friends just playing the music we love to play, and I think the audience really feels that,” Borst said. “We have the most incredible fans and we’re very fortunate to be able to call most of them our friends. The Fordham community has really embraced us as their local band and seeing those same faces at every show front row center is the most incredible feeling in the world. Everyone knows our lyrics and often times the crowd is singing so loud I can’t even hear myself in the mic–and how awesome is that? People come to our shows because they have a great time being in the audience. They’re just as much a part of our show as we are. Everyone’s dancing, everyone’s singing, everyone’s contributing in their own way. If you look far enough back into the audience you can see our parents standing in the back. We have a support system that many bands aren’t fortunate enough to have, and that support has become the foundation of this project.”
La La Lush’s next major show will be on March 23, at Sullivan Hall on 213 Sullivan St. near Washington Square. Like the band’s Facebook page for information on upcoming shows, as the band is booking multiple shows in the Fordham area over the next few months before the three seniors finish up their final year at Rose Hill.
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