Lazy Projector's lead singer and songwriter Aaron Shinn describes the band's music as indie rock "with an affinity for folk." While listeners may find their tunes more danceable and hooky than folk-based, Shinn's description isn't too far off the map. After all, the songs for the band's upcoming debut album evoco began as "acoustic-based folk songs". Descriptors aside, Lazy Projector small handful of recent singles point toward an album that promises to be your higher caliber indie pop. We are thrilled to share an interview Shinn about how these songs evolved and what else is ahead for the band in 2019. Enjoy!
Please introduce yourself and your bandmates.
Lazy Projector currently consists of Aaron Shinn, Tell Pryor, Matthew Schorr, and Samuel Marconett. We are a Kansas City based, indie rock project with an affinity for folk.
Tell us about evoco, the debut from Lazy Projector. What was the recording process like? What did you learn that you’ll take to future projects?
Evoco began with several acoustic-based folk songs. The original idea was to stick to their roots and leave the songs fairly minimal. As I got into the studio, I realized that It was a great opportunity to step out of my comfort zone; so, I began to build the songs to fit a slightly heavier and more complex sound. Once I had the early songs in place, I was able to play around with a few different styles in order to give the record variance and dimension. The idea was to build an album around a central theme of growth and rediscovery, from multiple perspectives.
The recording process began with recording a handful of demos. I then brought the songs to Joel Nanos, at Element Recording & Mastering Studios. Once in the studio, we used the demos as a blueprint, replacing the necessary instruments and building the sound from there. The process allowed for time to step away from the songs for a bit, allowing for me to come back with a new perspective. We brought several talented musicians into the studio such as Lennon Bone, Kian Byrne, Katlyn Conroy, Adam Mcgill, Hermon Mehari, and Joran Shinn.
I think my biggest take away from the recording process is learning when to walk away. What I mean is, finding the balance to where the work sounds polished and focused while retaining the energy and rawness of a live recording. I’m also learning to allow the music to form on its own terms without leading it into a specific direction.
How long have you been a songwriter? Who were your earliest influences?
I have been writing songs for as long as I can remember. It started with just humming and singing melodies as a kid. I think I bought my first guitar at age 15 and my first 8-track recorder soon after. My early recordings were mostly my vocals and guitar trying to keep up with each other before taking a sharp left turn and getting lost somewhere.
I have four older siblings, so at a young age they were introducing me to The Doors, The Beatles, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, etc. I think the first time I heard an album and was instantly caught up in the song writing was Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I was drawn to how Jeff Tweedy was able to tell these beautiful and heartbreaking stories without sacrificing melody and often with a sense of humor.
Describe how moving to Kansas City in 2015 marked a change in the music you wrote.
I was instantly impressed with the local music scene. It seemed like people were doing a little bit of everything, and doing it well. I quickly decided to focus on a sound that I thought could add to this community and bring something new to the table. Being around the talent here sets a bar and a standard to live up to. Now that we are playing as a full band, it has given the opportunity to collaborate during the writing process. Being able to bring new songs to rehearsal and bounce around ideas seems to give the songs a great energy.
What music are you currently raving about?
I currently have Pavo Pavo, Big Thief, and Rostam on heavy rotation, Tell has been diving back into the National, the Strokes, and the Beatles. Logan has been listening to the newest from Anderson Paak and Brent Cobb, and Emily is currently into Death Cab for Cutie and Keith Jarrett.
What’s ahead for Lazy Projector in 2019?
2019 will be an exciting year for us. We are releasing our debut album, evoco, in early spring, and we’re playing a handful of shows in Kansas City and the surrounding area. Looking ahead in the year, we’ll start on our sophomore album while releasing several singles intermittently.
Lazy Projector's book, music and movie recommendations from the Johnson County Library catalog:
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco
All Things Must Pass by George Harrison
Boxer by The National
Malibu by Anderson .Paak
Mysteries by Keith Jarrett
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
The Book on Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts