Laika, a new band from Rhode Island, is ready to share their unique sound with eventful shows.
Guitarist Jeremy LeClair first met drummer Alec Smith in high school and often practiced informally together. The two played on and off, until LeClair met Matt Dzikiewicz last semester at the University of Rhode Island and learned they had mutual friends. LeClair said they jammed together for a while with Dzikiewicz on drums and LeClair on guitar. After exchanging songs that they had previously written, LeClair mentioned Smith, and they decided to try out playing with both Dzikiewicz and LeClair on guitar.
Right before the fall 2014 semester began, Laika played a last-minute show at the Funky Junky in Providence. LeClair said over the past couple months, they played at the News Cafe in Pawtucket and the Wheel House in Narragansett. He said that the band loved opening for the Massachusetts band And the Kids at the Wheel House.
As a band, they are fans of Kurt Vile, Spoon and The Growlers. When considering the genre of Laika, LeClair expressed that it is hard to categorize themselves. He said they are a mix of rock, folk and psychedelic music.
Dzikiewicz explained how Laika wants to put on “crazy live shows”. The band wants to portray an intriguing and curious presence during their performance so that they will be remembered.
“We want the shows to be strange, for the sake of being strange,” LeClair said.
Growing up, Dzikiewicz looked up to the band Tapestries. He said Mike DeCosta, his brother’s friend, made him want to make music. Dzikiewicz said he aspired to be what he was and still looks up to him.
On the other hand, LeClair said as a kid he was really big into folk festivals, since he lived right next to the Newport Folk Festival. He said the events had a large effect on him, and after seeing the bands perform, he wanted to make music himself.
Instead of going through another source, Dzikiewicz and LeClair explained how they want to take the “do-it-yourself” approach for their upcoming album. LeClair said that Laika wants to get involved with everything on their own, and incorporate their friends’ talents. They would like to make their own shirts, have friends record their music videos and graphics on the album and have crazy makeup for their shows.
“We want people to remember who we are after leaving our show,” Dzikiewicz said. “We don’t want people to come to our show primarily for our music, but for an experience.”
LeClair said that they would like to play at small venues, and when people walk in, expecting a typical band, they will end up walking into a crazy, visual event. The two joked that their band practice is more like a “thinking practice.” LeClair described themselves as an “experimental” band, where they want to focus on deep, philosophical issues. Dzikiewicz and LeClair collaborate on songs, and are trying to involve more instruments like a bass, a ukulele, a keyboard and a trumpet, to give the band “more options.”
Smith attends the Community College of Rhode Island, making it harder to practice all the time. LeClair said that, although it would be easier to have him at URI with himself and Dzikiewicz, Smith is always very eager to play after not drumming all week. LeClair said Smith adds a new perspective to the group when he comes to practice.
Laika’s next show is on Dec. 30 at AS220 in Providence. Dzikiewicz said that the band plans on doing something new like face paint or playing barefoot. Their music can be heard on Soundcloud and the band is hoping to put out an EP, along with music videos, over winter break.
Right now, LeClair said Laika is currently trying to get arrangements down. They are in the process of creating a YouTube channel, and are looking for sponsorship deals to get their name out. Their goal is to have an album put together by April 2015.