The Lazy Kids on Craigslist, Peter Penguin, and work ethic

The Lazy Kids on Craigslist, Peter Penguin, and work ethic
Photo by James Dolan

The Lazy Kids came together via Craigslist, and more and more artists are using the online tool to meet others these days. The Minneapolis group will be debuting their first full-length album Peter Penguin, based on a fictional character that "is a dreamer, a traveler who has suffered from the rigors of adventure and the heartaches of love." The collection is hefty in intent but agile in execution, and assembled with great consideration and thought.

Gimme Noise spoke with lead singer, Oz, before the band's album release at the 7th Street Entry on Thursday evening. 

Band Members: Oz, Jeremy Kreuth, Dave Donovan, Alina Fox, & Chris

Gimme Noise: What's the story behind the band name? Are you really lazy kids, or is it a misnomer?

Oz: When I had first started playing guitar, I was in film school, and I had done a batch of solo home recordings I'm not particularly proud of while living on Lake St. One of my friends in school had deemed me the "Lazy Guy on Lake St", and so I was. Once we became a band, "The Lazy Kids" spun off of that.

We all have day jobs, and we work for the things we're passionate about, but other than that it's pretty much a gravy train of floating rivers, scooby naps, and bocce ball.

Why did you look to Craigslist when forming the band? Any fear of the crazies that are often found online? Do you think it was a successful tool in forming the band?

I looked to Craigslist because I didn't know where else to look for a band. There was a slight fear of the crazies, but usually it's pretty easy to weed those out right away. We had a few interesting tryouts, but ultimately it was a huge success! It's 3/5 of the band, and we are pleased as punch with everyone.

I think too often people wait around for that serendipitous moment where a kickass bass player walks by your bedroom and you're playing the Velvet Underground, and he just climbs in through your window and you start an epic jam. Not that that couldn't and shouldn't happen, but I really think it's something you need to actively pursue if it's what you want.

What was the sound of the band like before Dave, Alina, and Chris joined the group? How did the dynamic and sound change with the new members?

The songs themselves didn't really change structurally, but the sound is completely different -- essentially, the songs were brought to life. When it was just me and Jeremy, it was basically acoustic singer/songwriter stuff with drums -- albeit kickass drums.

Dave (Guitar/Synth) joined the project first, and his arrangement ideas add a ton of diversity and changed the vibe to many of the songs. Alina (Strings/Glock/Vox) joined a few months later and she brought a classical/experimental style of playing, which really adds to the mellow/warmness of the album. With that, we were able to start messing with harmonies too. As always, the glockenspiel adds a little whimsy to our lives. Chris (Bass) joined after we had finished recording. He fills out our sound and gets the toes tapping, but is mostly shenanigans.

Also, with a couple songs intended as duets, we collaborated with sixteen-year-old Mariah Mercedes of Gold Lion on four tracks. After a series of failed collaborations, we found her band through a local music database "mpls music-portal". That was the last thing we recorded, and it was really exciting when it came together. She really is wonderful.

Who is Peter Penguin, and what does he have to do with what The Lazy Kids do?

While it certainly wasn't a concept album, his story speaks for the general nature of the album and the spirit of The Lazy Kids.

"Peter Penguin is a dreamer, a traveler who has suffered from the rigors of adventure, and the heartaches of love. Hell, he's been shot in the chest 3 times, always just missing the heart. His peg leg, a reminder of his nights on the rough sea, his bomber hat a token of his days in the clouds. He looks as though he went a few rounds with a walrus. Beaten up? Sure. But he stands with a bouquet of flowers under his wing. A damn romantic. He's a penguin after all, and the sun still greets him in the morning with a friendly, bonjour!"

What are your expectations/goals with the new album?

Our goal was to make an album we were proud of, and I think we've already achieved that. Beyond that, our biggest fear was that it'd go unheard, so now I guess our goal is for it to be heard.

How did you come to working at Full Circle Studios, and how did Matt Bombich and Steve Murray contribute to the new album?

Matt had responded to a Craigslist ad I'd posted about mastering awhile back, and I went to check out their studio. Once I found out they were really cool dudes that we're passionate about music and sound, I knew I wanted to do something with them. Being in the boonies where the cows were mooing was a big plus too.

Matt Bombich engineered and mixed the album, as well as played bass on it. Steve Murray is the other engineer at Full Circle, and he assisted a bit with our project.

What can we expect at the album release show?

One of the many beauties of live performance is that you never know what will happen. But even though we're a pretty mellow band, it is a party after all. So, you can expect a party!

The Lazy Kids will release Peter Penguin on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at the 7th Street Entry with Gold Lion, Danger Ronnie & The Spins, and Satin Strides.
18+, $5, 8 pm

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