Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

« Previous Post | Pop & Hiss Home | Next Post »

Boom Bip talks residency, playing with Josh Klinghoffer, Eric Avery

November 30, 2011 | 11:28 am

Boom Bip

L.A.’s bounty of starving musicians makes it relatively easy for a beatmaker to find a decent backing band, and a major incentive to shop local. L.A.-based Boom Bip has proven that, and then some, during his current Wednesday night residency at the Satellite. With buddies such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Josh Klinghoffer and former Jane’s Addiction bassist Eric Avery in town this week, the eclectic indie beatmaker is grabbing from the best of the bunch to help him bring his latest album, “Zig Zaj,” to life. The typically one-man show known as Bryan Hollon is using a rotating cast of musicians every week to offer a loose, jammed-out rendition of his new tracks.

On Wednesday night, Klighoffer and Avery will join Hollon to add a little more psychedelic haze to an already trippy set of songs. As he continues to plan ways to re-animate his studio-born cavalcade of moody, layered sound, Hollon spoke with Pop & Hiss about the fun of flying blind onstage and getting by with a little help from his friends.

With all the sound layering on loops you create on “Zig Zaj,” what are some of the main things you try to keep in mind when it comes to adapting it to a live setting?

It’s really difficult to do that. And I’ve learned that over the years. There’s a lot of instrumentation going on, and I make it all myself. When I do it live, I have to put band members together to do it. But a lot of times, I don’t even really remember what I actually recorded, so I’m kind of relearning the songs as I’m teaching them what to do. It turned out to be a really daunting task, and trying to re-create the album perfectly song by song is nearly impossible.

With these residency shows, I’ve decided to get friends involved as well as guests on the record and people I’m working with. Half of the set is structured songs, and the second half of the set is all about sticking to a loose structure and then improvising beyond that. I find that to be way more rewarding than trying to retrace a song as it is on the record.

This week, you’re playing with Josh Klinghoffer of  the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Eric Avery, formerly of Jane’s Addiction. Describe your chemistry with these guys and how you plan to utilize them for the show.

They’re both an incredible safety net for me because I know whatever happens onstage, it’s gonna be good. I’ve played with Josh a lot onstage, and he’s always a loose cannon. You never know what he’s gonna do, but it’s always good. This will be be my first time with Eric onstage. We’ve recorded music together, but it’s all been studio stuff. But he’s such an incredible person and performer and the chemistry and friendship is already there. So I’m thinking I’m gonna be much more relaxed for this show, even though I don’t really know what we’re gonna be doing.

What led to you and Josh collaborating as much as you have in the last few years?

I met Josh about five years ago through mutual friends. But we quickly realized that we have very similar tastes in music. So he, and [bass player] Josiah Steinberg and this guy David Toohey started a music club where we’d get together on Friday nights and bring five songs that the others in the group hadn’t heard. Josh and I learned a lot about each other from that. So eventually, Josh and I would get together afterward to record these ideas we’d been inspired by in the club.

Do you plan on incorporating some of the “Zig Zaj” remix material you’ve released recently into your live show?

I have at shows in the past. The improv pieces are taking the place of a lot of that. We have some festivals coming up in the U.K. and France and I want to try to develop the set a different way. But the set we have now is designed around the local shows and the fact that I can have these guys, like Eric [Avery], Josh [Klinghoffer] and Money Mark, who are all here living in L.A. But when we take it on the road, I’ll probably pare down the band and make it a little more dancey and electronic.  

So the goal is to rotate band members every week?

Yeah, I wanted the shows to be special and to pull off something local that I can’t do anywhere else internationally. I’d never be able to bring these guys out on tour;  they obviously have much bigger projects. It’s great that we can all meet here at a place like the Satellite and just have fun.

Boom Bip performs Wednesday with Useless Keys and Muzz at the Satellite. 1717 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles, www.thesatellitela.com. 9 p.m. $10. 21+.


Pop & Hiss premiere: Big Gigantic's 'Nocturnal'

Jovan 'J-1' Coleman of Dam-Funk's Master Blazter dies

-- Nate Jackson
Photo: Boom Bip. Credit: Ryan and Sonia Rickett.