Lobster Party - Uncut & Unedited

Interview by Kyla Wyllie
Photography by Annika Cimas

Lobster Party is a well known, local indie band that has been rocking the venues of San Diego for years. Now, post breakup and reunion, we sat down with them to talk about future music, major influences, kissing on stage, and yet another departure? This is our first uncut & unedited interview, so sit back, read on, and enjoy.

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So, can you tell us a little bit of backstory about your band?

Matt: Yes! Levi, you go first.

Levi: Well, in high school, Matt and I were juniors, Grant and Connor were seniors, and Matt walked up to us one day and was like, “hey do you want to start an indie rock band called Lobster Party?” And we were like, “yeah, that sounds sick.”

Matt: Fun fact, I based it off of the Red Lobster ad, where they have a promotion called “Lobster Fest,” and I was like, “that’s a great band name!” But then I screwed it up when I presented it to them, and the rest is history.

Grant: And I’m just the drummer so Matt walked up to me one day and said “hey, do you want to play in a band?” (Matt: Yeah, true.) It was my senior year in high school, and Matt and Levi were still juniors so they had an extra year, it was a great commitment.

Sick. So, if you had to come up with a weird name for your sound, what would you call it?

Matt: Well, I would say Lobster Party is probably like… (Levi: Hot dog rock!) It’s hot dog rock, it’s scum rock…We’re part of a collective called Scum Dungeon Records. It’s just basically the four of us just trying to make a record label. It’s for the lonely souls on the dance floor that like, are always getting crosses made out of fingers thrown in their face when they dance. But yeah, we’re just here to be angsty, be teens… maybe angsty teen metal? I don’t know… Let’s just say it’s bad.

That’s a pretty great description (laughs). Okay, how do you think music has changed you as individuals? What would you be if you'd never had music?

Grant: Well, I'd probably still be in college if I didn’t play music. (Levi: Same!)

Matt: Also, chicks wouldn’t be into me as much as they are. Can you put in that chicks are super into me? (Yes, yes we can.)

Grant: So, Levi and Matt are both kind of in between college life right now. (Matt: We’re dropping out!) Exactly, you heard it here folks. (Matt: Don’t tell my mom, we’re taking a leave.) Yeah, but for me… Connor and I are like, the committed college students. (Levi: Well Connor is studying music.) Yeah, he’s studying music so I’m the only one who’s not studying music. I’m still in San Diego at USD studying psychology and theology… Which is not music, obviously, but it’s like one of those extra things on top that makes life that much sweeter.

You guys were broken up for a long time - what was going on during that period?

Matt: Well Levi and I got into a huge fight (all four laugh). No, but actually, they (Grant and Connor) went off to college, and Levi and I were still in high school, but then we went off to college to. We were all at separate schools and couldn’t really do anything - we weren’t broken up because of bad blood or anything, we’re all still the closest friends. I called them more than I called my mom. Yeah, they’re my best friends.

Levi: But when we do break up, we want it to be like a huge fight on stage.

Matt: We’re going to throw crap at each other. (Grant & Levi: Yeah!). We’re going to cook a lobster on stage, too.

Grant: I’ve been looking for an excuse to clock Matt in the face for so long!

Well, let us know when that's happening and we’ll be there.

Grant: Oh, we will. I’m just going to be on stage on my drum throne. I’m not going to do anything - I’m just gonna watch it all and then eventually walk off stage.

Matt: Yeah, everyone wants to punch me. That’s what this band has become. Everyone hates me enough to want to fight me, but they need me.

Levi: We’ve pitched so many music video ideas that are just like…

Matt: Basically, in every music video, I get punched. But we’ve never filmed one yet (everyone laughs). That’s the basis of all of our videos, is that I will be punched at some point by one of them, if not all of them. 

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So who are some of your major influences?

Matt: Mac Demarco, he’s pretty big for us. Vampire Weekend is kind of the band that got this whole sound started, too.

Grant: Bombay Bicycle Club! Their first album was influential for us.

Matt: For me as a human being, I think we all love Father John Misty too. All these people that we’re listing, I don’t think we sound anything like, we can’t tap into that exactly, but they really influenced us to keep creating. Oh! Pinegrove, how could we forget! Pinegrove is number one influence on us right now, they’re great check them out.

Grant: Yeah, I think it’s funny because Connor, Levi, and Matt all have pretty similar music tastes. But for me, I grew up listening to - like - metal and classic rock, so we have these metal, sort of surf-pop-y infused drums. I have a double bass pedal that I use in pretty much every performance, so sometimes you hear some harder rock, some metal, sometimes even like punk-esque drum beats. 

Matt: We were all in jazz band too, so I think that plays a part in the overall structures of songs. There’s some jazz chords and such - but it’s not jazz! I don’t want to turn anyone off from listening.

What was the strangest experience you guys have had on stage?

Matt: We all kissed once. (all three burst laughing)

Grant: Except for the drummer! Except for the drummer! Grant didn’t do it, I didn’t do it!

Matt: But I would like to go on the record stating that Levi, Connor, and I did kiss.

Levi: Can you explain? Explain.

Yeah, was it just a peck or was it a passionate kiss?

All Three: No, it was a peck, it was a peck!

Levi: It was a very manly peck!!

Matt: We were all like, “I LOVE YOU MAN!” And then, you know.

Levi: Yeah, okay, so it was like a strong, masculine peck is what I’m hearing. (Matt: Nahhhhh, it was pretty feminine…) STRONG MASCULINE PECK. Okay, Matt’s was feminine but everyone else’s was masculine.

Matt: I’m passionate with my lips. (everyone laughs) 

Grant: And I just want to repeat: the drummer was not involved in that one. (Matt: But I was thinking of Grant while it was happening.) Right, okay, fair enough, I’ll take that. So this is our strangest experience at a show?

Matt: Well I don’t want it to be about kissing someone. We were playing this one show and we were super stoked because we had all these beach balls. We set them loose, and the big bouncer guy they have in the middle just grabbed them and popped them all (everyone bursts out laughing). So that’s kind of our strangest experience on stage, super fun.

Oh god, I know that bouncer you’re talking about.

Matt: Yeah, he’s a great guy though, I’m not trying to dis him at all. He’s also huge and can totally beat me up. If you’re reading this, I completely respect you.

Grant: For me, my strangest moment as a drummer, would be this one show - we played with a band and they really needed a drum set so I leant them mine, and - uh - they trashed my drum head on the kick drum, so I played a broken bass drum for our entire set. Oh, and this one time we played a show after school - when we were all still in high school - and I'd had a baseball game right before, so I showed up in my firty baseball uniform and played. That really showcased my…uh… (Levi: Fashion) That’s right, my great fashion.

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Can we expect anything new from you guys?

Matt: Oooooo, well -

Levi: We are attempting to record a new album. We finished the drums, it’s coming out eventually, (Matt: Look for it next winter!). God knows when (Matt: Next winter, actually. God knows, God knows). Other than that... well Matt and I are moving to Seattle, like together, (Matt: We’re not a couple! Just putting that out there), and Connor is probably going to stay…

Matt: I mean, okay, I’m just trying to use this ad to get chicks. 5’s and 6’s are accepted, 7’s and above would be best. (the entire room bursts laughing) 

Levi: This is probably going to be one of the last times we’re all in the same state for a very long time. We want to play whenever we’re around each other, but, you know, it’s come to a close.

Grant: Yeah, so I’m the only one that’s staying in San Diego. I still go to college here. I’m not bitter about it at all - sometimes I get a little pissed at school when I’m just like, really itching to play some music and I can’t do that because the guys aren’t around. The plan, for the future, hopefully will be: I’ll try and come up to Seattle whenever I can and play shows with them, and same when they come back home.

So, this is serious? You’re not, like, faking your death to sell more albums right?

Matt: Well, there will be an album release with a lot of the material we have, and then Levi, Connor, and I all have some solo projects going on right now. Connor’s is called… well, it’s yet to be determined but it’s going to be sick. So hit him up for more info! My project’s called Sorority Girls, and it’s a little bit more dancey, a little bit more funky. 

Levi: Yeah, I have a solo project called Drench Fries, Matt and I are moving to Seattle to pursue music, so we’re going to be doing a lot of that and playing shows together. Matt and I have a band called Tight Pants, too - it’s a duo. We’re moving up there with another one of our friends who’s doing music, so we’re just going to be like, living the dream. Except we’re going to be almost homeless.

Matt: There’s no dream, we’re living the nightmare. Don’t tell my mom. I told her it was going to be fun.

Aw, is there anything else you guys would like to add?

Matt: Sorry Connor couldn’t make it everyone. I know you’re probably reading this just to hear what he had to say, but (Levi: He has nothing to say!) he’s working at Lego Land right now.

Levi: Connor works at Lego Land. Let’s make that public right now.

Grant: He’s an usher; he gets paid to hand people 3D glasses and tell them to stay in line. Easiest job in Lego Land, some might say.

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