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The Submarines: LA’s Sweethearts On Trapeze Artists And iPhone Commercials

True, they have a smash hit behind them landing their sound in practically every single iPhone App commercial known to man, but that doesn’t keep these LA sweethearts from keeping their cool. Although once lovers, The Submarines duo comprised of John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard insist the situation isn’t awkward, “We'd like to think we're still pretty romantic, as married couples go, but it's both tough and great to work with someone you're currently involved with,” says Hazard. Although the two of them produce everything they put out, they tour with a particularly talented live drummer named J Stare, or more commonly, J Stare Extraordinaire. Blowing up pretty much everywhere with their aggressively memorable indie-pop hooks and phrases, The Submarines make a very special sea-themed stop at The Independent tonight with Bodies of Water and AB & The Sea opening. Lucky for us, Blake Hazard had a minute to sit down and chat with us during their busy tour:


We know you guys are from LA, what do you think of our age-old Nor/So-Cal rivalry? We love San Francisco! Every time we come up we contemplate a move, but then we come home and love it here, too. We've sort of chosen to ignore the rivalry as much as possible. It seems like it's mostly carried on in jest anyway. Once people visit the other city, it seems hard for them to deny the merits of both. We Californians are awfully lucky to have two great cities in our fine state.

You describe your sound as shoegazer/ghettotech/folk. Explain exactly what that entails? The "shoegazer/ghettotech/folk" tag was John's joke. Trying to describe your own sound can be a real exercise in frustration. It's sort of like trying to describe yourself in five words or less -- it's only easy if you're trying to sell yourself for something--like a job or, ahem, a date. But being an indie band is sort of by definition not about selling yourself and your 'product.' At its best being indie means making art for arts sake. That's what we try to do, and to make some good pop songs along the way.

Are you really tired of talking about/playing/seeing You, Me and the Bourgeoisie on TV? No not at all, although I can imagine others might be by now. We still trip out over it every time. We also don't watch much TV, so it catches us by surprise on a bar television or something and we have a good giggle.

What was your goal for the new album?
We really wanted to make a record that would be fun to play live, to collaborate more and up the ante sonically. Our first album was written mostly when we were broken up a few years back and the songs are much more melancholy. After touring behind that album we were ready to freak out and sort of dare to enjoy ourselves a bit. We had wanted to do the remix album as soon as we finished Honeysuckle Weeks. There are a number of really talented Bay Area remixers on this project like AmpLive [of Zion I] and Wallpaper. It's really exiting to hear how the songs get re-imagined.

Do either of you have any nervous show habits? Oh yeah. I'm a nervous talker, so I have a tendency to chat on stage when John would rather be rocking. And I wish he'd pipe up a bit, but maybe we balance each other a bit that way. Left to my own devices, I might turn a show into a town hall meeting or something.

We saw you playing with The Morning Benders for NoisePop and you had quite the little following. Is it weird to see so many people that know your brand new songs by heart? If by weird you mean amazing - yes! It totally makes our night when kids sing along, though it's gotten a bit agro on a couple of occasions, which makes me immediately forget the words. The tour with the Morning Benders was great, and that show felt like a real homecoming for us.

What can a first-timer expect from your live show? A goodly amount of energy, joy, heartbreak, fire works, go-go dancers, tuxedoed orchestras, trapeze artists and a life-sized submarine. All that or your money back (except the last five things).


For more info check out The Independent’s website.