The Los Angeles–based band Mansions on the Moon has been classified as a wide variety of genres, ranging from hip-hop to indie rock to electronica. And, impossible as it may sound, they’re all oddly fitting. In the short three years the quartet has been together, they’ve already worked with big names like Diplo and Pharrell Williams, as well as played South by Southwest. The band’s latest self-titled album ditches their more lo-fi sound in favor of bright, dance-y music and catchy choruses you’ll want to sing along with. This Thursday, December 11, at 9 p.m., the band will finish up their North American tour at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club. We recently spoke with guitarist and lead singer Ted Wendler about touring, future plans, and catching snakes—for the sake of art, of course. For tickets and show info, call 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com.
You guys have been on the road quite a bit. How have the shows been? It’s been really fun—arguably the most fun yet! We’re gonna go back to L.A. after this and work on some more stuff, and then we’re gonna go back out again in March. If we had our way, we’d be touring all the time!
The music video for “Somewhere Else Tonight” is a crazy psychedelic journey through the desert, with a warrior princess adorned with skulls, and two best friends fighting off villains with samurai swords. How did you guys come up with those concepts? The video’s pretty wild. We were throwing around a ton of ideas. We were having think tanks, or brainstorming ideas, in my apartment. As commonly happens when you have so many creative minds, our ideas started to get frayed and went off on some tangents … Jeff [Maccora’s] brother Mark got pretty stoned one morning and was like, “All right, I’ve got it!”
Mark is a really great filmmaker, and he directed it. We got a lot of friends involved as actors. I collect skulls, as weird as that sounds, so we used some of those for the warrior princess’s outfit in the video. I actually caught the gopher snake myself while we were up there. Mark was apprehensive at first, but he was down to handle it for the shoot, so it worked out!
The songs on the new record sound a lot cleaner. What makes this album so different from your last? From a writing standpoint, these songs have been with us for a really long time. We’ve been saving them and even held them off previous EPs and LPs. In a lot of ways, this album shows the progression of us as a band, from back when we were in Virginia Beach to when we moved to L.A. It’s sort of a history of Mansions on the Moon from a creative standpoint. We really worked hard on the mix this time to make it shine a little bit more. Our other albums were intentionally sort of lo-fi, so we wanted this one to be a little more dance-y, a little more bright.