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
"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 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
"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" HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Creeper_Lagoon/Dear_Deadly.ram">"Dear Deadly"
Ships"(RealAudio excerpt) and
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"
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."