Words and photos – Andrew Peters
It’s impossible to keep up to date with anything when everything is so up to date.
You might know Josh Landau as the front man of The Shrine (vocals/lead guitar). You probably know Don ‘Nuge’ Nguyen (bass) from his legendary skateboarding career or his band Arctic. Maybe you’ve come across Wilder Zoby’s (drums) production on Run the Jewels 3 amongst various other musical projects. You’ve seen Ben Brown (synth) play with Ariel Pink or The Cuts and you might have listened to Jordan Jones’(guitar 2) solo projects, or he served you at Amoeba. But one thing’s for certain, and it’s that you wouldn’t have heard about this talented group of barflies’ new rock and roll outfit ‘Easy’, until right now. The band was formed as a way to escape from their other heavier musical outlets and write some fun pop-rock ballads such as their debut single ‘Goodnight’.
Those up to date with the LA art/culture scene would be familiar with the 14th Factory, an industrial warehouse with over three acres filled with ideas, installations, video, sculpture, paintings, and performance, conceived by British artist Simon Birch. You may have even paid the pricey admission fee to check out the private museum on the outskirts of Downtown LA.
It was out of reach for many of the cheapskates and bar dwellers in Easy, until one night in the Cha Cha Lounge toilets, Sawyer Bell (museum caretaker), introduced himself to Josh Landau saying, “You look like my kind of guy, let’s party.” When they finally found out what each other did, Sawyer suggested the new band Easy should play at the closing party for the 14th Factory.
We went to check out the space and plan for the show, but realized we had to shoot something else there immediately. Nuge came and met us quickly, we shot a couple of quick skate photos around the place and planned to come back in a couple of days to shoot some band photos in the 2001 Space Odyssey replica room. The owner Simon had been renting out the room for thousands of dollars to big companies for photoshoots but for the love of beer and good times, he was letting us come back to shoot our pictures for free in good faith for the upcoming ‘closing show’.
The Space Odyssey room was as hot as an oven with the lights glaring at you from all directions. Sweating our asses off, we shot a bunch of photos but felt as if the space had more potential. With the moving picture genius of Daniel Duarte and sex appeal of Lexi Stellwood, an on-the-spot video idea was spawned. Within a few takes, the one-shot video was birthed and we’d had our way with the 14th Factory.
Sawyer got back to us the next day and said that the owner, Simon, found out we’d shot a music video in the space and was pissed that we had gone that extra mile. We thought the show was going to get shut down, but figured at least we have the video and photos.
But, time heals all wounds. As closing night approached, tension from the owner eased and the invitation to send off the museum was still open for Easy. Cheers to rich art dudes and the fruits of being in a band and partying in LA.
Upcoming tour dates:
Nov 2 – Pappy & Harriet’s – Joshua Tree
Nov 16 – The Echo – Los Angeles, CA