“Fever” is the new single and music video created by the rock group, “Larusso”, originating from Utah.
Larusso has a relevant modern rock sound, combined with a pop-punk flair. They toured extensively throughout the Southwest, with headliners such as, “Yellowcard”, “The Almost”, Transit, “Go Radio”. and “Cartel”, and have brought the largest audiences to their events. The faction is composed of: Aaron Condrat, on guitar and lead vocals, Nick Sasich, on guitar, Justin Trombetti playing the drums, and singing, and Tyler “Fizzy” Grundstrom, on bass.
Louder Than War had the pleasure of having the band answer some questions about touring, performing live, and feature projects.
Louder Than War: Can you give me a little of the band’s history, how you came together, how you met etc.?
Larusso has been around with this lineup for about 3 years, but the band has been around almost 12 years. Larusso has had a lot of different forms over the years, but we like to think that this lineup is where we really started to work beyond just being a “local” band. Aaron is an original member, he met Nick through a mutual friend and after Nick relentlessly asked Aaron to jam they got together and started as an acoustic act. At that point, Aaron was the only person left after the entire lineup left. Fizzy came in on bass after being a long time fan, and at the time was primarily a guitar player. Finally, Justin who was in another group with Fizzy called Mess of Me was recruited to fill in for a tour and to be honest just sort of ended up sticking around!
As a band, what are your musical influences?
Collectively, we try to draw influences from our diverse backgrounds and interests. That is, when we hear something that we like from any kind of song or genre, we like to try and incorporate it in our own way. We take a lot of influence from bands like Anberlin, Conditions, to an extent the Blink-182 type pop punk bands, etc. Individually, we have roots in everything from Led Zeppelin, to Def Leppard, Rage Against the Machine, etc.
You have toured extensively, what’s the funniest or most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to any of you live?
Actually, one of the funniest (and also coolest) experiences we’ve ever had was in Olympia, WA. We were booked to play in this little cafe type place and no one decided to tell us that every band on the show and the main promoter had cancelled. Our tour manager convinced us to play an acoustic show just for the hell of it with no one there, and before we knew it a homeless guy wandered in through the back door. 5 minutes later, he comes back with his girlfriend and a bunch of other friends (and their dogs). Long story short, Fizzy played Green Day karaoke with a bunch of homeless people. Really odd and funny experience but also really cool and powerful for all of us.
Do you have a favorite song that you perform live?
Aaron’s right now is Fever, but it changes constantly. Justin’s is Collision Course; typically gets a lot of crowd interaction an it’s just a high energy tune.
Who writes the music?
In this sense we’re very collaborative, and as we’ve been together we found out that our process changes all the time. Sometimes one of us will write and record an entire song, other times someone brings just a riff or melody to the table and we elaborate on it in a group setting. Fever was that way, Aaron almost didn’t even show us the riff because he didn’t think we’d like it, and then all of a sudden we were building a structure. Justin just got some lyrics going and it all came together. The Recovery off Life in Static was the same way. Conversely, Fizzy wrote almost all of Chemical aside from the little studio touches that get added here and there, Justin did most of Dear Pandora, etc. Lyrically, also very collaborative but many of the lyrics are Aaron and Justin.
What do you find most fascinating about performing live?
Aaron: It brings people who would otherwise never be associated with each other together. Only music has the ability to do that.
Justin: Personally, I love entertaining. While I’m not going to go much into playing style, Lars Ulrich of Metallica was one of my early stage presence influences. I loved the way he commanded attention and added to the show even behind the drum kit. It made me enamored with the idea of just putting on a memorable, kick-ass show; that is, I get to put a smile on people’s faces for an hour or two, and to me that’s super cool. Also, it’s very much an almost spiritual experience. Everyone in the room is on the same wavelength, everyone is there for the same purpose, and you’re kind of connecting it all.
What will your next project be?
We are hoping to be in the studio this Spring, we’ve got about 7 or 8 songs done so about half way there. Obviously, the record won’t have that many, but we like to go in with a lot to choose from so we can create the most cohesive album possible.
I understand you will be touring soon, where?
We are doing some one-off dates in San Diego (3/12) and Denver (4/9) soon here, and then another headliner at home in Salt Lake and probably Wyoming too, but our next step is a new record. We’re hoping to do a full length tour some time towards the Fall depending on when the release date, those details will just sort of depend on the representation and booking abilities we have to work with but regardless, touring is our favorite part, so we’re making that a priority.
Tell me the motivation and inspiration behind creating “Fever”?
Justin: Actually this was definitely an exercise in diversity for us. Like I said before, this was such a departure from our sound Aaron was scared to share it (frontmen, right?). All kidding aside, the lyrical content sort of speaks for itself. The song just had that kind of sexy vibe from the get go and we wanted to capitalize on that. Personally, I try to shy away from cliche and super “mainstream” topics, not because I’ve got some hipster aversion to it, but just because I like to be a little bit more personal with my lyrics. A lot of my contributions on this record have been about creating something more straight forward and accessible, but also learning to balance that with creativity and putting my own unique spin on it. We have a song called Declaration that was much the same way. So long story short, I felt like it was sort of a radio friendly song from the get go, but our motivation was to do something unique and cool in spite of that, not just write hits to write hits. That’s when your music starts heading in the wrong direction, in my opinion.
All words by Eileen Shapiro. More of Eileen’s writing can be found in her author’s archive.