Los Angeles in California is not only the home of many of the world’s famous film and music stars and a place of sunny beaches, but much more importantly is a city of great changes and opportunity for those who are prepeared to work hard to make the most of it. When the Canadian based punk band the Asexuals split, its singer and songwriter Sean Friesen decided to leave Canada and moved to L.A. Joined by his friends and fellow musicians Alfred Mueller (vocal, bass) and Dave Conrad (drums), he formed a brand new band La Motta.

Their self-titled debut album La Motta was released this year already on the English based label Boss Tuneage Records and on the Toronto label Does Anyone Stare in Canada. La Motta’s dense but uplifting and catchy sound is very energetic and freshly inspired by Sean’s impressions of California. "I think I love you California", a line from 'Love California', sums up his feelings perfectly

La Motta are at the moment rehearsing and playing round L.A. and attracting the attention of many new fans. Sean was kind enough to speak to Pennyblackmusic in an interview about some of the band’s plans and hopes for the future.


PB: Before forming La Motta you played for nearly 18 years with the Asexuals. Did you find it hard when the band split up and how did you feel about music then?

SF: Yes, the Asexuals had a long run much longer than most bands. We toured widely and recorded 5 albums over the years. It was pretty cool. The band started touring when we were pretty young and we were all way into rocking out. I was kind of bummed when the band ran out of steam, but La Motta has definitely filled the musical void for me.

PB: You, Matt Taylor and Peter Johnson then formed Shimmer and recorded an album 'Moonshine'. Why did the three of you decide to do that and was it intended to be just one-release project?

SF: Before relocating to LA I started a band called Shimmer, but I just couldn't get excited about starting a new band in Montreal. I think someone threw a bottle at me at a gig and that Keith Richards quote rang in my ears, time to change the backdrop.

PB: When was it that you first started thinking about forming La Motta and how did you first meet Alfred Mueller and Dave Conrad ?

SF: I started La Motta almost immediately with Dave who I meet via Joe Sibb at Side One Dummy records, but the original bass player went awol in Echo Park I went by his pad one night and there was only a couple empty boxes. So that was an aborted attempt. We eventually reformed after I met Alfred.

PB: Do you see La Motta as completely new beginning after the Asexuals?

SF: Ya La Motta feels pretty fresh and clean, but I guess there must be a musical connection. It's still power pop after all.

PB: What was the main reason for you moving to California ? Was it for musical reasons ?

SF: Yeah, the main reason I moved to LA was to make music and I honestly feel I don't think La Motta could have made as powerful a debut CD anywhere else. LA has a lot of drawbacks for a band but it does force you to get your shit together. It’s very competitive with new and creative people coming in all the time.

PB: Your debut album, ‘La Motta, came out in Canada on Does Anyone Stare records. Why did you choose this label?

SF: That's a Boss Tuneage hook up. I'm really not up on Canada anymore. I haven't been back since I split except for five days three summers ago. It's way too cold up there dude...

PB: The UK release of La Motta came out on Boss Tuneage records, which is run by Aston
Stephens. The Asexuals were on Boss Tuneage as well. Why did you decide to keep on collaborating with Aston?

SF: Aston is one of those rare guys in the music biz. HE PAYS BANDS. Other labels just don't. It's that simple, plus he releases music he digs so it's all good for Mr Boss T. The music biz could use way more Astons then it wouldn't have to suck for so many bands all the time.

PB: Could you tell me more about your new album ‘La Motta’ and what meaning it has to you? Was it inspired by California and you moving on to somewhere new?

SF: Yes, California was pretty inspiring .The tunes are just about what it's like trying to get by in fabulous Hollywood. The first couple years for me were pretty crazy times but very exciting and I think that excitement comes through in the music.

PB: All the songs on the album are relatively short – about 3 minutes long. Was that intentional?

SF: I've always been a big fan of the 3 minute pop song. I like to keep things blood simple cause that's the mark of a good tune. If you can't strip a tune down to a vocal and a set of chord changes, it's probably just a wanky lame ass tune that's not worth hearing.

PB: Joey Santiago, of the Pixies, also appears on the album. How did that come about ?

SF: Alfred is a huge Pixies fan and so am I as well. I met Joey at a recording session and later called him up to see if he would track some guitar parts. His tracks totally take a tune to another level. We were so stoked to have Joey track parts on the La Motta CD. Is there a cooler guitar player out there? I really don't think so.

PB: Have you played any live shows yet? Also if so, how did people react to it and did you enjoy the experience?

SF: We have to start playing outside of Hollywood. People come to our shows and dig us cause we ain't all lame ass trendy Hollywood faux glam, but most acts are just trolling for record contracts and that atmosphere is kind of depressing.

We have our sights set on Europe as soon as possible. The Asexuals always did well in
Europe.

PB: What are you working on at the moment and what are your plans for the near future? You mentioned touring Europe in fall...

SF: Yes, we will be coming. No worries. We want to go to places like UK, France, Austria, Germany, etc. La Motta would also like to record a 7 inch single that you could throw on your bad boy juke Box, a cover tune and a surf instrumental B side.

PB: Do you have any expectations from La Motta or a dream you would like to come true ?

SF: Touring as widely as possible would be sweet, I toured for a month with the support act for Bon Jovi as a guitar techch. Taking La Motta to that level would be cool. You never know shit bands have done worse.

PB: Thank you.














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