Getting to know: The Other LA… from Lafayette, LA!
THE OTHER LA is a 4-piece rock band fronted by ARIA the high-flying rock muse and backed by the melodies and riffs of McKenzie Lee. Drawing on Louisiana’s musical soul of adversity and transformation, the music is a mix of destructive outside forces balanced by an insatiable appetite to lyrically explore a world seen differently through the prism of the Asperger mind.
When they visited the studio a few weeks ago, The Other LA gave us the inside scoop on their big move to Nashville to pursue music full-time, read all about it below!
We started going to Nashville round about October 2017. That first trip Aria was up there with her Grandparents just on vacation. But since the band is a part of every moment of our lives, Aria set up to write with Zac Maloy (The Nixons & Writer for Warner Music Group) and Skidd Mills (Skidco Music) both Grammy Winning artist. The experience was so good Aria and Mackenzie started going up regularly sometimes with a purpose to write or record/demo songs other times just to be in the mix.
Seems like a lot of fun but it is scary – the story of our lives. Recently we had to think about that. An AR rep asked us what is the BAND? We started out with the typical BIO type of stuff. He stopped us and said “NO, NO – WHAT IS THE BAND / WHO ARE YOU??” It was like some BIG PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTION. So, we started thinking well we have struggled in life. We deal with Asperger, being bullied, shunned by friends, family, girlfriends and boyfriends because of being on the road so much; losing everything more than once after a family bankruptcy and again after watching everything burn in a house fire – the struggle is real. BUT despite those things WE have FUN and that is what helps us deal with struggles. So, the answer to “Who we are” is – “JUST LIKE MANY OF OUR FANS, WE STRUGGLE BUT WE ALWAYS HAVE FUN AND LAUGH”
This crazy move to Nashville is just another “overcoming a struggle by having fun”. The struggle right now is transitioning from high school kids to full time touring musicians. It is not about the money (because we still only barely break-even on tour), it’s about pursuing the one thing in life that gives us hope and happiness. Most people after high school go to college or get a “real” job, so Nashville is our University. We are not sure if the move will help us on our journey but we figured jumping into the deep end of the pool was better than never getting in the water. Understand there is nothing wrong with just playing music in your hometown but the likelihood of that leading to playing music full-time is very limited. The IDEA is to put ourselves in a place with the best opportunities and potentials that can help us move to the next level – which for us IS becoming a FULL TIME TOURING BAND.
Being in a full-time band is so much more than just practicing and playing shows. You need jobs to help support yourself and many times help pay for the tour. You MUST be an expert in Marketing, Booking, Accounting, Merch, Video, Design and so much more. And we say YOU because if not you will have to pay someone to do those things – AND WE CHEAP. But instead of worrying or groaning about these things we just have fun learning how to do these things. It makes for long days but our love for the music and how we can see that the music speaks to our fans make dealing with the extra “STUFF” so much more fun.
While it is scary moving to Nashville it will be a lot of fun. Just going up for a month at a time (March and May) have already yielded so much. We have signed with a major booking agent (Andrew Goodfriend of TKO) to help us with the National Festivals, we have 10 new songs unreleased, created some great contacts inside Sumerian, Concorde and Warner Music, expanded our tour reach to the three new states (Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina) and gained a lot of new friends. Nashville may be our new home; Lafayette Louisiana will always be home. So, Lafayette, we will be back and look forward to seeing you at next “local” show. Be on the look-out for our releases of Speak Soft, Waiting on the Rain, Hear My Mind and others.