Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lars Weiss - Part III

Lars with Uppercut at City Gardens, Photo: Ken Salerno

Here it is, the third and final entry from our interview with NYHC guitarist Lars Weiss. Thanks to Lars for giving us his time and sharing his memories. Don't forget to check out Lars's latest endeavor, Roughstars. -Tim DCXX

After Judge I went back to Uppercut for a few months and then we wrapped it up. We played our last show at City Gardens that fall after the Judge tour. I got to play bass on a Killing Time European tour in 1992. Anthony couldn't do it, so Dave from Vision sang. So much fun. Years before I had also played one of the Superbowls at the Ritz with Raw Deal. Arthur from GB also played bass with them. A few guys played bass with them over the years. The dude Alex Gopoian who I replaced on the 1992 tour was from Inside Out NY. Alex couldn't do that tour because he was in a live hip hop band called Justice System that was signed to MCA and had to devote his time to that. That band was sick...nothing ever happened for them.

It psyches me up so much to know people dig Raw Dead/KT and that they are loved by so many people. I mean, I grew up with those guys, that’s where I was from. I think it's so cool that they became such an important band. I looked up to those guys (and still do). I still remember when Breakdown played CB's for the first time (opening for Uniform Choice!) There’s a lot of young bands that look up to Killing Time and that style - I mean how many bands have names from Killing Time songs? I still see those guys: Sammy, Carl, Steve, the Uppercut and Raw Deal guys…it’s really amazing to still be close because of this music. I feel very lucky to have such a different outlook on things because of music I got into when I was 14 or 15. I feel like I have a point of reference that most people just don’t. I feel really fortunate.

Lars with Judge at the Safari Club, Photo: Dave Brown

Right After Uppercut I did a band called Giving Tree with Kate from 108 and Sean O'Brien who played bass on the KT record, "The Method." We did a single with Constant Change, played a couple of shows and that was it for bands for me for a while. I finished college and got a gig as a production assistant on film and TV shoots. From that I got eventually into being a sound engineer for movies/TV. In 1995 I bought a sampler. I wanted to do something new, something that combined samples and live instruments. A few years before, I remember when I was living with Chaka from Burn, when they shared Alan with Quicksand. Well, for a while Chaka and those guys were playing around with the idea of doing Burn with a drum machine. That kinda inspired me. That never happened, but I always thought that was a great idea. I also was really inspired by jungle music at that time. And that is what sort of inspired me also to get a sampler and learn to program drums, etc.

Around 2000 I started a label, Home Style Cooking, which is what I put the Alone In A Crowd re-issue out on. I did a lot of indie rap stuff, a lot of dance music. I have been doing that on the side since 2000. I'm not up to my 16th release on the label.

Lars with Breakdown and crew 1987/ 2005, Photo courtesy of Lars Weis

A bit later I started getting into audio-post work, engineering/mixing for film and TV, and started working at Sony Studios being an assistant in Audio Post. From that I started to engineer some music sessions. So I got to work on some hip hop and R&B stuff... I think I might be one of the few people who is on a "what's up" basis with both John Joseph and Ne-Yo. Now, I'm in law school..

Since 2004, I’ve been doing a band called Roughstars, we're like a disco band who love the Bad Brains (or sometimes I hope we are as cool as Burn with a drum machine!). We’ve opened up for a lot of great bands, TV On The Radio, Dangermouse & Jemini, the Rapture, The Virgins, MIA, a lot of cool bands. Had a video on MTV2, MTVu. I’ve been really psyched with it. I really wanna play with Foreign Islands, as they are another band that is doing stuff like us. Something that is totally modern, but still has that hardcore vibe. I produced both of our records and play guitar in the live band.

Thanks Tim and Gordo for the opportunity to chat about this stuff.

Lars back on the guitar with Roughstars, Photo: Rob Fields

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