Archived: Shmat's Features
The Shmat has decided to discontinue the Features section for Shmat Records. That is to say, there will be no NEW interviews or features. If you are a band that was featured here earlier, rest assured that your feature will be archived here for eternity (or somewhere near that).
Like Shmat's Reviews, any future Interviews and Features will appear on the Palebear site.
Please note that the Shmat and his Peoples take no responsibility for typos, inaccuracies or misinterpretations contained within these articles.
September 18, 2003 :
The Shmat would like you to read up on one his favorite LA bands, Fonda. The Shmat has a great appreciation for a band like Fonda, who, despite the members' busy careers, still finds time to put out some sleek, fresh-sounding, Brit-pop every couple years. As far as the Shmat is concerned Fonda's 1999 release "The Invisible Girl" ranks right up there with the dreamy pop albums of bands like Heavenly and Ivy. And, 2001's "The Strange and the Familiar" more than satisfied the Shmat's nostalgia for shoe-gazing, trance-pop of the late 80's and early 90's. Fonda's latest cd is "Catching up to the Future," and it's sure to be another essential addition to any serious indie-pop fan's collection.
Recently, one of the Shmat's Peoples sat down with David Klotz from Fonda to get the lowdown and the grit on the band. David plays guitar, sings and co-writes the songs for Fonda.
- interview by
Your website says you and Emily (Dave's wife and Fonda's singer/organist/co-songwriter) met back in the 90's on a movie set. What was the movie and what were you both doing on the set?
Dave: Yeah, our bio has gotten a little glamorized over the years. Emily and I were working together at a production company in Los Angeles called Working Title Films. When I was there, they were making a number of films including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Fargo, and a movie called Panther which was shooting in town at the time. We didn't meet on the set...it was more like the production office, but that doesn't sound as good, does it.
You're both still involved in the entertainment industry. What kind of work do you do and what projects have you and Emily worked on over the past few years?
Dave: Emily is a screenwriter. She has done a number of projects for Working Title Films and Paramount Pictures. None of them have been produced, but it's her job and she gets paid to do it, which is amazing. I am making a living by music editing for TV shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Tru Calling.
With busy professional careers how do you find time to devote to Fonda?
Dave: I guess it's more of a hobby, but that word makes it seem like it's less serious than it is. We do take it seriously and spend a lot of time doing it when we can. We really budget our time well. I expect everyone in the band to learn the songs as best as they can before we ever have our first rehearsal.
Is Fonda something you'd like to be doing full time -- or is it just a nice diversion from working life?
Dave: No, I would not want to spend all my time touring or promoting. Even if we were more successful, it's not something Emily and I are into doing any more as we enter our thirties.
Who are the other members in Fonda now and what are their musical backgrounds?
Dave: Dave Newton is the more experienced member of the band having spent many years playing with great The Mighty Lemon Drops. Our bass player Johnny plays with a twee-pop group called Aberdeen and Adam, our drummer, is just as busy as Emily with his day job at a video game company.
"Catching Up To the Future" is your third full-length cd and your second on Hidden Agenda Records. How would you compare it to your previous releases (in terms of sound, lyrical content, time devoted to songwriting and recording, etc)?
Dave: It's better recorded, better performed and the songs are...er, better?
Does Hidden Agenda expect you to do a lot of touring in support of the cd? Will you be playing around the U.S. -- or will you mostly focus on the West Coast? Any dates to announce?
Dave: Well, Parasol would love it if we could tour and come this Spring, we hopefully will do another West Coast tour like we did for our last record but we can only do what we can do.
What bands, musical events and/or musical periods would you say most influenced Fonda's music?
Dave: Well, everyone in Fonda can tell you something completely different, but for me, I have really been influenced by bands like The Smiths and REM and also by a great deal of British pop from the Early 1990's. If you open up an issue of NME from 1992, chances are one of my favorite bands of all time is on that page (MBV, Lush, Ride, Curve, Pale Saints, Boo Radleys, Adorable etc. )
What's the first recording you ever bought?
Dave: Keep Feeling Fascination by The Human League
What's your earliest memory of music?
Dave: My mom bopping around our living room to The Beatles.
Do you feel like LA has a strong and supportive indie music scene?
Dave: I think LA is too big to have any kind of scene. There are probably dozens of indie music scenes.
How would you compare LA to other music scenes across the country?
Dave: I don't really know. When I went to college in Boston, I recall that more people went out to see more local bands than usual, but I don't know if that was a regional thing or if it was just a college age type phenomenon. I used to always see the same people at every gig. In LA, it's too big to get that same kind of familiarity.
What are some of your favorite places to play in LA?
Dave: Spaceland has always been good, but I like how loud The Knitting Factory mixes our guitars!
Aside from Fonda, what bands should people be listening to?
Dave: Well, Tigerella, of course! And, I think The Delgados and Broadcast are
bands we should ALL be obsessed with.
Archived Shmat Features
American Analog Set
East River Pipe
Elliott The Letter Ostrich
Damon of the Swirlies
The Ladybug Transistor
Shiny Around The Edges
Dave Klotz of Fonda