Interview + Giveaway with L.A. Girlfriend!
March 30, 2017, 1:18 p.m.
I sat down (electronically) with Sydney Banta of L.A. Girlfriend to talk best gigs, best songs, and best queens. Catch her this Saturday at Alphaville along with Clavvs and Exit Someone. You can win a pair of tickets by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your favorite dance song - the ultimate banger. See you there crew!! WBAR: Best show ever? Syndey Banta: That's a tough one, but a show I've thought about fondly was a last-minute Sunday night show I played in 2016. The headliner dropped out and not a whole lot of people were there because of the day, but I distinctly remember that particular performance being very fiery and fun. I lost balance on my platform boots and fell on my butt, but I recovered with a laugh, a smile, and some leg lifts. The audience approved. WBAR: Worst show ever? SB: My worst show ever was actually my first show! It happened a couple projects before L.A. Girlfriend, and was one of those experiences where everything went wrong. Silver lining: that experience set me up for future success and I think I'm a better performer because of it. WBAR: Greatest dance song? Bonus points: Greatest deceptively upbeat dance song with sad lyrics? SB: My pick would be Bizarre Love Triangle (extended remix) by New Order. Greatest deceptively sad, yet upbeat dance song: "Mamma Mia" by ABBA. I recently looked at the lyrics and had a "damn, it's so heavy" moment. I'm sure we've all belted parts of that song at some point in our lives. WBAR: How did you get into music? SB: My parents always played music in the house when I was growing up, and even now as an adult, I'll spend weekends with them watching old 80s music videos. When I was a kid, my older brother started playing instruments, and once he did, I wanted to do what he was doing because it looked fun. As he cycled through drums, piano, bass, guitar, etc, I would pick up whatever he wasn't playing at the time. Having it around in different forms my whole life definitely instilled an interest. WBAR: What drew you to LA, and how has the city crept into your sound? SB: I actually ended up in LA by chance. I went to college on the westside and as I got more involved with music, eventually made my way closer to the city. I can't say if LA has crept in to my sound per se, but it definitely contributes to how I approach the visual aspects of LAGF, like branding choices and video concepts. The city at night definitely has a moody, yet hopeful vibe to me. WBAR: Your latest video for Death & Peonies pays tribute to your Nana, a game-changing aerobics instructor. What was it like embodying her, and performing her legacy through your music? SB: Honestly, it's hard because all I want to do is show her all the cool stuff that's happening. She would've been so excited about that video. But in true Nana form, I try to carry on her legacy by reaching as high as I can and letting nothing get the way of where I want to be. She taught me how to be proud, stand out, and to not be afraid of taking risks. Being able to apply all those things to performing makes it feel like she's still with me every step of the way. WBAR: Your two projects for 2017 are twin LPs, REX and REGINA. Who are your favorite kickass monarchs in history? SB: Does Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty count? I know she wasn't exactly a monarch, but as a kid, she was a queen to me! King Moonracer from the Island of Misfit Toys is also one of my top picks because who wouldn't want to be half lion / half bird? I have a type if you can tell. ;) Check out LAGF's work and music at http://www.lagirlfriendmusic.com/.