Interview with vocalist/organist Jake “The Preacher” Cavaliere | By Hutch
“Blistering” and “savage” are redundant adjectives too often used in metal reviews—but when describing the Farfisa organ-drenched, sweat-inducing, pulverizing rock ‘n’ roll of Los Angeles’ The Lords Of Altamont, those words are appropriately succinct.
Formed in late 1999, these V8-powered mammoths of clamoring attitude and catchy choruses have charged through five full-lengths for legendary garage labels, Sympathy For The Record Industry and Gearhead Records. Now, the band are settling in for number six: The Wild Sounds of The Lords Of Altamont will be released via Heavy Psych Sounds Records on Oct. 6. Equal parts surf, garage, and psych, their revamped lineup delivers unrelenting rock ‘n’ roll. “I feel the album has all of the usual The Lords Of Altamont tricks, but with a nice new approach,” admits Jake “The Preacher” Cavaliere, sole founding member of the band and their main songwriter, vocalist, and organist.
Cavaliere can’t comment on The Wild Sounds of… without recognizing producer Paul Roessler of L.A.’s The Screamers. “Having Paul Roessler involved was tons of fun,” he says. “I really appreciated his input. He definitely brought another perspective to the sound and dynamic of The Lords. […] Things change, but we haven’t strayed from the big picture.”
While peers such as The Bomboras, The Boss Martians, and The Turbo A.C.’s have all waned, The Lords Of Altamont have kept their strengths and their legacy. Dani “Sin” Sindaco wrings a guitar like wet laundry, soaking every note of his fiery solos to push the sound and urgency forward. Each track echoes in the listener’s ears like wind from the open road. The Wild Sounds of… has emphasized the band’s best qualities with depth and kicking devotion.
“This album was put together a little different than usual,” Cavaliere comments on the preliminary writing. “In the past, we’d write several songs and go on the road for a year. Whatever they develop to on tour is what they end up on the album, mostly. Being three of The Lords live in Europe now, they would write and send me a song. I would write, send them a demo. And then, we’d work on them and send them back to each other. It was a slow process, but it worked. Technology.”
Equipped with the technology to link continents, the remaining factor became the band’s synergy. Their rhythm section of Rob “The Garbageman” Zimmerman’s bass and Steven “Knuckles” van der Werff’s drums is throat-grabbing from the first waves of the opener, “Like a Bird.” The quartet’s connection is brash momentum, and The Wild Sounds of… captures that. Cavaliere states, “We love playing live, [but] the mood of the album didn’t really take place till everyone was in the studio together and rolling tape.”
Cavaliere breaks it down: “Twelve days of live recording and around two weeks of overdubs and editing. The guys flew into L.A., we recorded at Kitten Robot Studios with Paul Roessler. We had a great time; Paul is fun to work with and the guys were very focused. I must say, there was a lot less partying than I am used to during a session.” Then, Dave Schultz took over with the final touches. “I suppose mastering brings a warmer compression,” Cavaliere adds. “Dave Schultz has done so many records we all love and probably didn’t know they were done by him. It’s actually one of my favorite processes of finishing the album.”
As L.A. veterans, The Lords Of Altamont have collected 11 killer tunes, like the behemoth “Take a Walk (On a Short Pier),” a steel guitar-laden, note-stretching joint, stomping defiantly. The one-two punch of opener “Like A Bird” and the second track, “Been Broken,” projects bouncy, organ-driven rock: fast tempos balanced with vocal harmonies. The tougher tracks—for dancing or fighting—incite uncontrollable fits. “Death on the Highway,” “Fever Fix,” and the closer, “Where Did You Sleep?” are standouts on the B-side. The sneering riffs stand domineering. Sindaco’s scorching leads mix well with the vocals and organ. All elements are given sincere weight, and the production is on-point, snagging that live energy.
This is Bondo, not polish.