Brandon Graham, singer and guitarist for Los Angeles-based rockers Nacosta, talks about forming a full band from a recording project and the group's new music. Nacosta plays at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, at Oberon's Tavern, 45 N. Main St. There is no cover charge.
How did the band come together initially?
It started out as a recording project in 2011 with me and my brother Shane (drums and keyboards). We recorded our debut album ("Under the Half Moon") and decided that we wanted to put together a full band so we could tour with it. We got together with Marc Agostini (guitars, vocals), Jace McPartland (bass) and Ian McLaughlin (guitar, keys, vocals) in late February to be able to tour in March when we released the album.
What was the songwriting process like with just the two of you on the first album?
The album was a collaboration between me, Shane and our producer Christian Gibson, who's an electronic music producer. We recorded all over LA in different studios and had a lot of our friends play on the album with us. It was a six-month process. We wrote songs in a lot of different ways, from writing on acoustic guitar to composing on computers. Sometimes I would bring in songs, and sometimes Shane would bring in songs.
How has the dynamic changed going from a two-person recording project to a full band?
I think it's really changed the dynamic in a positive way. The music is able to breathe, and it has more interplay. The songs are taking on a new life. We do a lot of instrumental improv on stage, and on this tour our sets are dominated more by new songs that we've written together. We're almost done writing the new album and will probably get right to work on it when we finish the tour in October. We don't really have a tried-and-true method for our songwriting, though. We go with whatever we think will produce the best result for the song. Sometimes it comes out of jam sessions, sometimes I'm bringing in a song and workshopping individual parts, sometimes the other guys bring in ideas. We just want to do whatever brings out the best in our songs.