Allah-Las on their love for LA, new music and coming back to Australia

Allah-Las on their love for LA, new music and coming back to Australia

Photo by Tony Accosta
Words by Tammy Walters

Los Angeles lads Allah-Las have Australia marked on their touring map in 2020, for a long overdue five-stop tour.

They made their debut Down Under back in 2017, playing sold-out shows to rave reviews, and adding additional dates to meet demand. Now, having just wrapped up their West Coast tour leg, the boys are enjoying a quick spell at home before making the long flight across the Pacific Ocean.

“We had such a good time last time. Really excited to get back and all looking forward to it,” says drummer and accompanying vocalist Matthew Correia.

Since their last Australian adventure, Allah-Las have not only toured the globe, but also released their acclaimed fourth LP in early October. Out via Mexican Summer, Lahs – a play on their own name – was rehearsed and recorded in the boys’ own studio. They set themselves up in their LA. hometown over the space of a few months, attempting to bring the whole recording process in-house.

“This last one we recorded in our studio, well, in this space that we have in downtown Los Angeles. We recorded some of it on our own, and we brought in a friend Jarvis [Taveniere from the band Woods] to help engineer, and he also produced and mixed. It was a great experience,” Correia explains.

“We tried to get that first spark of influence, record that and get it out instead of having multiple layers of ‘Oh, we recorded the first demo here and then went to the studio’ – you always lose something in the second studio recording. It was just a different process and we had a little more time and space and it was comfortable, which worked for this record. I don’t know that we’ll do that again, but I think it worked for this one.”

Despite a change in the recording process, Allah-Las did not have a change in their group dynamic. The boys have maintained their collaborative nature inside the band, from their humble beginnings as casual colleagues at Amoeba Records, all the way through to their fourth LP.

“I think that having four people writing together and trying to make something unified is a really hard thing. I think we did that really well on this record, maybe more so than others,” says Correia.

“It’s always been a collaborative record experience [and] I think that everybody has strong ideas of what they want. For everyone to get that across is really important to us – that makes for a stronger project and stronger albums.”

Another element the boys have also maintained is their strong lyrical and sonic connection to their environment and the LA surrounds. Like Quentin Tarantino and his love letter to LA this year with Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Allah-Las too depict a romanticised illustration of the cityscape.

“Most of his films based in LA are little love letters to Los Angeles for the people that really know that area. He puts little details in that only Angelinos would know. There are things that we consider classically LA, and these are places that influence us.

“I think that we have an honest idea of what we think makes Los Angeles a special place compared to other cities and I think he illustrates that really well in his films, and music is for someone else to say that. It’s hard to talk about that ourselves, but we hope that it’s conveyed,” Correia says.

“I think we’re a product of our environment and what’s going on in our life and what we’re listening to and where we’re travelling to, and I think this record is a real honest interpretation of how we’re feeling right now.”

Hopefully that feeling is well rested and energised for their shows Down Under.

Allah-Las will play the Croxton Bandroom on Saturday February 22. Tickets available through the venue website.