LABB formed at a strange and awkward time, somewhere between the end of grunge and the beginning of boy bands. The year was 1997 and at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, if you were in a band, you were either wearing flannel or one of those goofy Dr. Seuss hats synonymous with jam bands. We were not a jam band although, I?m not sure any of us knew what or whom we sounded like or if it really mattered. There were roughly five bands on campus competing to play Monday through Thursday at any of the places we were offered. LABB played many a Chinese food restaurants at vacant malls and dive bars with no windows and names like ?Seven O?s" and ?Kai?s Chinese Sports Bar?. We started off doing some originals, but mostly cover songs, which we never were good at but commissioned us to status of a ?gigging? band.
Our humble beginnings involved a constant cycle of practice spaces, starting in a lounge on the 12th floor of a high-rise dorm. We would practice in the early afternoon, when there would be less people around to yell at us. It was a good place to practice because a few of the girls in that dorm would print out lyrics for bands like Bush, Live, Everclear, and The Violent Femms to help us along. However, it was confining and we eventually moved on. The next space was in the basement of a frat house, the brothers were nice enough to let us play there whenever we wanted and aside from the low ceilings, smell and puddles of urine and water, it was pretty great. However, soon we were asked to find a new place so that they would have more storage space. Because cost was a factor we needed a free place to practice. LABB spent a year in an abandoned detached garage, with no heat, bathroom, or electricity. We had to run a plug from our friends neighboring house through a field to the shed, in order to get enough power for the sound and a lone light bulb.
Amherst has spawned some great talent and although I wouldn?t even try to compare us to the Pixies, if almost by osmosis, we were beginning to shape a spooky, poppy, indie sound that?s akin to the aforementioned band and other artist that hail from western Mass colleges. We managed to create our first EP (self-titled) in 1998 at Zing recording studio as a gift from John father and we also managed to tour a bit, get played on the radio, play some school functions as well as get rejected for various things time and time again. An exhilarating ride of ups and downs that was soon going to end.
John and I had heard about each other while at Boot Camp in Ft. Benning, Georgia in 1994. I was training with John?s cousin and never met John but heard he was a great guitarist. It wasn?t until freshman year at UMass that I met John and not until sophomore year when I brought him a cassette of the first two songs ?lucent? and ?odd black case? that I had written over the summer. It was then that we would form the band, fight over me not wanting to be the singer, fight over the name, and hire and fire many bassist and drummers. But now with graduation, John and I were going our separate ways. I was leaving for NYC for a six-month job training course and John was finishing classes in Amherst and moving to Boston.
When I moved back to Boston in 1999, John and I decided to regroup, I had been furiously writing new songs (material that would become ?Sugar High?) in NYC and John was anxious to continue playing. We move operations to Brighton (the heart of the Boston Music Scene), and scored our first show at O?Brien?s a few months after that. We sold out the room two nights in a row and knew we had arrived. We immediately began recording our first CD, ?Sugar High? which had moderate success and was featured on MTV.
During the following year (2000), we played with Disturbed, Cold, The Rustic Overtones, P.O.D., Apartment 26 and many others as well as opening in front of 25,000 people at Locobazooka. During the next couple of years LABB played many shows a month and sold out TT the Bears, The Middle East, Bill?s Bar, The Hardrock Caf?, and the Paradise Rock Club.
In 2002, LABB recorded a new EP, ?Driving your Shadow? with Jimmy Landry (Winefield, Elektra), and Dale Penner (Econoline Crush, Nickel Back). The disc sold over 2000 copies and was played on over 100 college and commercial radio stations. Songs from the disc were featured on MTV?s Fraternity and Sorority Life and the Travel Channel. LABB toured, playing packed clubs in Pittsburgh, Rhode Island, Nantucket, and New York City, playing with great bands like Punchline.
In 2003, LABB was asked to participate in CMJ?s best band competition, Pepsi?s new music contest (in which we were rated as a top 50 national act), and Boston?s prestigious WBCN Rock N? Roll Rumble. LABB (of course) lost all of the competitions because #1 we choke under pressure and #2 there were some great bands that were just way better?we were just happy to invited to all of these events!
Today, the year is 2004 and LABB is working on the largest and best CD, ?Coups de Grace?, to date, which will be released this Fall!! Thanks for visiting us and we hope you enjoy the site and come see us live really soon!
Kindred Spirits: XTC, Cross My Heart, Bob Mould, Get Up Kids, Gloria Record and The Promise Ring.