Nigel Dennis From A Lull: "Band Names Shouldn't Be Over Thought"
A Lull is a relatively new band hailing from Chicago. In just a few years, they've developed a solid reputation for edgy indie pop and chaotic live performances. Currently on tour in support of Confetti, their impressive debut, A Lull seems primed for a larger audience.
Speaking from his car on the way to Santa Barbara and in anticipation of tonight's show at Dan's Silverleaf with Deleted Scenes, A Lull's frontman Nigel Dennis talked about the awkward band name and how the shows are not dangerous.
How's the tour going so far?
It's all good. The shows have gone better than I expected.
What did you expect?
This is our first time to tour the West Coast, so we didn't have any gauge to how it was going to be. So, it's been a pleasant surprise.
Have you've played the Dallas area before?
We've played Austin a few times, but this might be our first time.
The band has a very experimental sound. Do you worry about being too experimental to connect with a wider audience?
I don't think so. It's not really something that we think about. When we are creating song, we still think that we are creating pop music. It's just a different way of doing it. We just engage people at a different level than a regular rock band.
A reviewer once described your music as mystical and primal. Do you like such descriptions?
Yes, we like doing something totally different. We've gotten a lot of positive feedback. I think that people get it, which is nice.
Another writer described your singing as acrobatic and obscure. Do you think that is true?
Yes, because, especially live, it gets pretty strenuous. A lot of the vocal effects that we create in the studio can be difficult to pull off in the live show. But that has become part of the band.
At times, there have been as many as eight people in the band. Is the current five-piece configuration the best way to go?
Yes and we have been just five for a couple of years now. We only had eight members for a couple of shows. We had seven, then we were down to six and now we are at five. I think we are able to do just about everything we want to with five people.
One of your songs is titled "Pregnancy." Not too many men write a song about that.
The title doesn't really describe that song that much. The lyrical content ended up entirely different, but we stuck with the title.
How did you come up with the band name?
It is an Andrew Bird song that we really like. Band names shouldn't be over thought, I guess. But in retrospect, our name is really hard to say. We always have to repeat the name to people four or five times. It's kind of annoying.
Have you ever done a Google search of the name?
Yes, and I've done a Twitter search and it will say a lull in fighting somewhere.
Some of your shows have featured bottles thrown against walls and bags of trash being tossed. Is it dangerous to go to your shows?
No, it's all pretty controlled. The action is always 20 feet away from anyone. It's never been really dangerous.
Do you mind always being compared to Animal Collective?
I don't hear it really, but I know a lot of people compare us to them. I think that comes from people not really knowing us and not knowing who to compare us to. But we're fine being compared to them because we are all influenced by them. It's a weird comparison that just kind of stuck.
Is there another band you would rather be compared to?
I don't really know. It's hard to hit the target and describe our sound.
When you started the band, were you thinking that you wanted to make music that didn't sound like anyone else?
I don't think so. We were just influenced by various bands and we try to piece it all together. I don't think it was ever a conscious effort to try and not sound like any other band. It sort of just happened.
Some of your lyrics can be pretty dark. Are you speaking autobiographically or are you creating a narrative?
Some songs have a light sound so I try to create a violent theme to go against that. It's never that specific, though. I don't set out to write a dark or light song.
A Lull performs with Deleted Scenes and Botany tonight, January 31, at Dan's Silverleaf.