Newly signed to Polydor Records, Landon Jacobs, Jason Suwito and Hayden Coplen – or Sir Sly – put out a couple of pop-whoppers in the past year, getting a lot of music fans excited on both sides of the Atlantic. The one that grabbed Londonist’s attention was Ghost, which elegantly combined the accessible with the eerie.
The American threesome have spent the last few months putting the finishing touches to their debut album, which they will complete after their current tour ends later on this month. They’re hitting London’s The Lexington on Tuesday night and we thought we’d run the Londonist Q&A past them in anticipation of the show.
How and when did you guys first form the band?
It was in August 2012. We decided to get together and write a song. Ghost was the first one that was written and from there we decided to continue writing as Sir Sly.
Who came up with the name?
Landon did in a quick moment one day while writing songs. It immediately felt right and we didn’t want to spend any time second-guessing ourselves, so we got back to what was most important: writing songs.
Were there any other options in contention for the band name when you started out?
Luckily, the naming happened so quickly we never needed to throw any other names around. We all feel immensely grateful for that, because giving something a name is never an easy task.
You first emerged via the pretty legendary label of cool, Neon Gold, which seemed like the natural home for your music. Was it easy getting Derek and Lizzy on board?
Derek was one of the first people to approach us when Ghost was first released. He was excited about teaming up with James Passmore from [London-based label] National Anthem to put out our first vinyl. They’ve been continually supportive which we are thankful for. We had the privilege of playing the Neon Gold showcase at SXSW, which was our favorite moment of that trip.
How do you split the song-writing duties between the three of you?
It’s a collaborative effort. The three of us write and record simultaneously in Jason’s studio. We usually get together in the morning and talk about what has been inspiring us, figure out a jumping point for a song, like a bit of a melody, a chord progression, etc. Then we launch into recording the song right away. We tend to finish writing as we record. We all enjoy being in the studio immensely. That’s where the band started and it will always be the most important part, for us, moving forward.
You played your first London gigs here in May at Queen of Hoxton and Electrowerkz. What were those shows like for you?
We’ve always looked forward to playing in Europe so it felt like a huge milestone to be there in the first place. That feeling of accomplishment is the first thing that comes to mind from that trip. It was incredible to be such a new band and to have people showing up to shows in a completely different part of the world.
We really loved Ghost here at Londonist HQ. Would you say that this track is a good representation of the overall sound on your album?
It’s pretty hard to describe or categorize your own songwriting but the other songs are definitely a similar blend of electronic and live instrumentation.
When are we likely to get the album in the UK?
We are aiming for something in early 2014.
Do you go out to live gigs in LA much yourselves when you’re not touring?
We like to go to shows at The Observatory and the Echoplex. The Constellation Room in the Observatory is one of the best sounding small rooms in the US.
Which of the following are you more likely to do when you’re in London next week: (i) buy reproduction prints of Amy Winehouse in Camden Market; (ii) see the view of London from The Shard; (iii) go on a Jack The Ripper tour of East London; or (iv) all of the above?
Actually, none of the above. With any free time we’ll be eating Halal and Indian street food.