Still Waters Run Deep In Creeper Lagoon

Debut album produced by Dust Brothers uses loops and samples to expand rocksound.

SAN FRANCISCO -- For Sharky Laguana of the San Francisco-based

quartet Creeper Lagoon, the time he spent recording the band's debut album

with production maven John King of the Dust Brothers was like stepping into

another world.

"They're like the stoner kids in high school you always knew and grew up

with. There's not really much difference now, except that Marilyn Manson is

working with them," said the 27-year-old Laguana, whose description of the

residential hotel where he used to work the graveyard shift gave Creeper

Lagoon its name. "There's rock stars everywhere. It's fun to live in that

fantasy world for a second, where they've got all these platinum records on

the wall."

The Creeper foursome -- comprised of 25-year-old singer/guitarist Ian

Sefchick; David Kostiner, 24, behind the kit; Geoffrey Chisholm, 32, on

bass; and Laguana on guitar, keyboards and the occasional lead vocal --

will release their first full-length I Become Small And Go on the

Dust Brothers' Nickelbag Records label on May 19, with future albums slated

to be issued by Dreamworks.

Creeper Lagoon came together gradually. Laguana and Sefchick went to high

school together in Ohio; separated when Laguana moved to San Francisco;

reunited when Sefchick, excited about label interest in one of Laguana's

projects, moved out as well; and only solidified in their present form with

the addition of Kostiner in January.

Laguana and Sefchick came of age soaking in the sounds of artists on

eclectic indie labels such as Homestead and Dutch East India Trading,

Chisholm was weaned on British bands (The Clash, Psychedelic Furs, Teardrop

Explodes, Echo and the Bunnymen) and Kostiner is a classically-trained jazz

drummer.

"It's not just about all rock, it's about projecting emotion and hopefully

taking the audience with you someplace and going someplace yourself,"

Laguana said. "You want to be playing the music and you want to be feeling

it inside of you like every inch of you looking for it. It's like that

epiphany where it wells up inside of you..."

On I Become Small And Go, soaring anthems such as

HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Creeper_Lagoon/Empty_Ships.ram">"Empty

Ships" (RealAudio excerpt) and

HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Creeper_Lagoon/Dear_Deadly.ram">"Dear

Deadly" (RealAudio excerpt) were graced with a touch of Dust

Brothers production magic, as Dust Brother John King worked with Creeper

Lagoon at his Silverlake, Calif., studio, helping them polish the sampled

dimension of some already-solid rock songs.

For his part, King said he was impressed with Creeper Lagoon's willingness

to incorporate loops and samples into their anthemic rock songs.

"I heard their EP and I loved the way that this rock band that had really

cool rock songs had unabashedly worked some loops into it," King said. "I

thought that was cool. I like people that have open minds about such things

and aren't really like pigeonholed. Because a lot of rock bands just

wouldn't do that, and, vice versa, a lot of more loop-oriented bands

wouldn't do more straightahead rock stuff."

King's work with Creeper Lagoon is most apparent on

HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Creeper_Lagoon/Wonderful_Love.ram">"Wonder

ful

Love" (RealAudio excerpt), as the samples add texture and an

expansive, sweeping feel to a song that could be just as much about a

yearning for the end of winter as any love affair, with the lyrics "Leaves

on the ground/then a snowstorm/the backyard is covered in white/can I hold

out/it's cold out/lost in the shade/I was waiting for sunshine."

Blending rock with technology is something the band sees as being important

for the sake of the audience, Sefchick said.

"When you listen to music, you don't want it to just be blaring at you the

whole time, like the Ramones. They've already covered that pretty well. You

want the music to take you some place," said Sefchick, a self-described

audiophile who makes the band's guitar amps himself.

"When you go see a show at the level we're at, at bars and clubs and stuff,

you want to be stimulated," he added. "You know, a lot more than if you

just listen to a record, you want to be stimulated in a direct way."