Chicago trio Lala Lala performing at the Blockhouse in Bloomington on April 1st.
“We all went to speed dating and we were playing connect four, two on one,” Karla said.
“And we bonded over our love for kayaking,” Lillie said.
When we talked to the members of Chicago trio Lala Lala, they didn’t want us to know how they really met.
“We try to come up with lies for that question because the answer is really boring,” Lillie said.
They have been playing together for a year ‘and some change’ and released their first full length album, Sleepyhead, in October of 2016. We met Lillie, Abby, and Karla when they played at the Blockhouse in Bloomington with Ian Sweet and Cherry Glazerr on April 1st, 2017. It was the longest tour Lala Lala has been on with other bands so far.
“It’s been really inspiring and fucking fun,” Lillie said. “Hopefully someone will give us money or something so we can do it more.”
Lala Lala described the bands they are touring with, Ian Sweet and Cherry Glazerr, as “pro campers” and while on tour they have been learning about camping and have stayed in some neat places. They agreed that camping in Dinosaur Valley State Park was the highlight because of the fossilized dinosaur footprints.
“I touched a raptor footprint,” Abby said.
Besides setting up camp sites across America and playing shows every night, they enjoy reading, listening to podcasts, and sleeping while on the road.
Lillie, Abby, and Karla
Lala Lala’s music could be described as pop, grunge, rock or a number of other genres. It is hard to place them in any one category because their songs explore a mix of styles.
“Everyone describes every band as post punk and shoegaze so those have been thrown at us,” Lillie said.
Their style is a combination of their individual influences which include Abby’s idol Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, Lillie’s obsession with Broncho despite how “mainstream” it is and Karla’s love for the bands Palm and Narwhal.
They are all self taught musicians.
“I got one of those books that has chords in it and a DVD of some guy teaching you the chords,” Karla said. “I learned like three chords and I would just write annoying songs about my brother and then my mom was like ‘That’s pretty good!’ and then she got me a nicer one and ever since I’ve been upgrading.”
Abby started playing guitar when she was six and moved on to drums when she was 11.
Abby on drums
“I would just listen to stuff and try to recreate it and that’s how I learned to play,” Abby said.
Lilly started playing guitar a few years ago when she moved to Chicago and wanted to start writing songs. She writes the majority of the lyrics and music for Lala Lala.
“I come with a skeleton of a song. I write really simple, short songs and they write their own parts to jazz it up,” Lillie said.
Besides playing in Lala Lala, Karla and Abby have a two piece called Date Stuff and Lillie has a solo project called Blanket.
Some of their favorite bands from Chicago include Grandkids, Dehd, Options and all of Karla’s friends’ bands.
Lala Lala’s plans for the future include touring the west coast in August, recording in the fall, and getting a new van.
“When we go over a bump it’s like you’re on a ship,” Abby said.
“Sometimes it goes so far one way it’s like ‘will we make it back?” Lillie said.
“It’s also so messy that you can’t clean it so we’re just gonna get a new one,” Karla added.
Since the interview the van has been listed for sale by Lillie, if anyone is interested they can make an offer.
LILLIE'S SOLO PROJECT BLANKET
KARLA AND ABBY'S DUO DATE STUFF