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OC Music Scene

Hangin’ Ten with Lauren from Aloha Radio

Local prodigy Lauren Mulderrig teamed up with Alex Barnett,Chris Hori and Captin to create Aloha Radio. Fresh out of the studio from recording EP Big Wave Madness, Lauren sat down with ocmusicscene to talk about surf music and subcompact touring.
Q: How old were you when you wrote your first song?
A: I was 14 when I wrote my first song, it was three or four chords on guitar and it just kind of spilled out of me. I have been writing ever since.
Q: You’ve been spotted playing keyboards, guitar and ukulele – any other instruments in your repertoire?
A: My main instrument is my voice. It's a demanding and difficult instrument because it's a part of my body so I am teaching myself to channel it and be able to perform under any circumstance-especially for touring life. Acoustic guitar and ukulele are my primary musical instruments. I also know a bit of harmonica, glockenspiel, bass and lap steel. I would really love to get into drumming soon. I am by no means an expert at all of these instruments but I aim to be well rounded.
Q: Your early influences were country artists – how did you evolve into a "surfer girl"?
A: Most of my lyrical influences still are country/folk artists especially Patsy Cline and Joan Baez. I really love the writing styles in their songs. I actually started surfing at the same time I started getting into music so it was a natural progression for me. When I found surf music I felt the genre and personality of the genre fit me much more as an artist, but country, folk and indie inspired my musical foundation.
Q: You and bandmate Alex Barnett toured the country in his Scion XB… good touring vehicle?
A: Surprisingly for 2 people YES! We also pulled a small trailer with our equipment and it worked out really well for us. We got a lot of attention and for some reason people always thought we were hauling a dog or a baby? There were a few times we got caught in snow and one time I got it stuck in the mud but overall little Scion stuck it out and drove across the country four times! For Alex and I it didn't matter if we were in a Scion or any other vehicle, we were going to tour no matter what. Now we have 4 to 6 band members so the Scion might be a little tight, we definitely need to upgrade to a van!
Q: You recently released Big Wave Madness, the debut EP for Aloha Radio. How was making this record different than Stability, your 2005 self-release?
A: This record was completely different from both Stability and Planes, Trains, and Clean Getaways. My first album was acoustic with a few simple harmonies. It was a collection of my first songs and was recorded at Alex's old studio so everything was played or recorded by Alex and me. Big Wave Madness is much more exciting with a full band and a new sound.

For Big Wave Madness Aloha Radio recorded with Carmen Grillo, our producer/engineer, at his studio in the valley. We also had help from our producer/business manager, Mark Eddinger who co-mixed our tracks with Carmen from across the country. We tracked the EP in two days, one day for instruments and one day for vocals. Most bands track seven songs in a week or more. We had to be completely focused and this recording experience was much more demanding than any of the previous sessions from my other albums. We all really had to push ourselves to get through the tracks in such a short amount of time. This EP was meant to be a demo but we were all so happy with the performances we decided it had to be released.

Q: Surf music was first popularized back in the early sixties. Is this genre finding a new audience today?
A: I definitely think so. I have always been inspired by the sixties and I see a lot of surf punk/ lo-fi bands on the rise. Surf is one of those genres that shouldn't have been forgotten about but it has been. I think the instrumental music is amazing but it wouldn't be found on mainstream radio today. That's kinda my little mission with AR, bring surf back to the masses. I can already see hints of surf throughout our culture from fashion to photography to art. Surf music will make a comeback and Aloha Radio will be part of that movement.

Q: How has your approach to songwriting evolved as your career has progressed?
A: I feel there's more intention and thought put into my songs now. When I first started writing most of my songs came from personal experience. While many of my songs still do, I try to write songs people can sing along with and dance to. It's more about having fun and less driven by teenage angst.

Q: Your new EP is available online and through iTunes –where can your fans see you perform the songs live?
A: We have shows almost every weekend. We perform all over Southern California especially in the OC and LA beach cities.

Q: Any new releases planned for 2011?
A: We are currently working on our debut album. We have a lot of new material and we may re-record a few songs from our EP. We are planning to record the album in 2011 but it probably won't be released until 2012.

Q: With your burgeoning music career, do you still have time to hit the waves?
A: ALWAYS! Surfing is my inspiration, my new found muse. I have to hit the waves to create more music for Aloha Radio. I also do it for myself, to escape the craziness of life. When we start touring you can bet my board and wetsuit will be in our trailer so I can catch a ride anytime we are near a body of water!

For more information about the band, including upcoming shows and to join their mailing list, visit their website.

-Alan Corcoran

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  1. I just saw Aloha Radio live a couple weeks ago. I have to say they kick ass.

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