Backstage with Amazing Baby

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Published August 3, 2009

 

The ascent of Brooklyn rock quintet Amazing Baby has been a slow but steady one. The five piece has the stuff of a musical mainstay: friends in high places (Stella Schnabel is a fixture at their concerts); touring chops, having opened for MGMT and Phoenix this year alone; and a grasp on a crucial element missing in much of today’s music—a convincing wail. Combined with intricate arrangments of effects pedals and gritty riffs, that makes for a sound that is pleasingly vintage without feeling derivative.

A recent session by the group at Cali-based Shockhound studios (posted above), might serve as a preview for what’s to come at this week’s Lollapalooza in Chicago, where the band will play on the Citi-stage with Asher Roth and The Virgins. “It was fucking crazy,” guitarist Simon O’Connor says. “We drove about an hour outside of LA to the Hot Topic Factory, where, apparently the Shockhound Studios were located. Lo and behold, all the workers had dog collars and pink hair, making bondage pants and My Chemical Romance posters.”

Fortunately, the heavy-guitar infused (the band is dubbed with the “psych rock” label, something the boys laugh at) went over pretty well with the Hot Topic crowd. “We played on a stage in the middle of the office, where goths and metalheads were all typing on computers. It was exactly what I thought the Hot Topic office should be like but I never thought it actually was.” O’Connor, along with bassist Don Devore, snagged some spiked bracelets and wallet chains, while guitarist Rob Laasko picked up a flask belt-buckle. Will Roan and drummer Matt Abeysekera stuck to sunglasses.