Artist Interview: The Lawsuits

The Lawsuits are masters of all music. This Philly band plays pop, they play folk, they play country, and above all, they play them well.  With shows scheduled in New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, this four-piece band is quickly gaining popularity. Their debut LP, Cool Cool Cool, comes out today, October 1st, with their CD release show October 18th at Johnny Brenda’s. Rock on Philly got a chance to interview Brian Strouse, the band’s songwriter, lyricists, and guitarists. Check out the interview below, and be sure to get the CD and come to the show… you’d be a fool to miss out on either!


Rock On Philly: Hey Brian, great to talk to you today! To start, let me ask about your new album, Cool Cool Cool. Where does this name come from?

Brian Strouse: The name is from the actual song on the album. It is just about how the typical reaction to everything now-a-days is a whatever sort of thing. We have been tired of trying to be something that we are not, and so in so many words it is us throwing our hands up and “saying cool whatever it is what it is!”


ROP: How has your band grown more comfortable in what you are?

B: I think that when most bands start they typically have a leader, the brain child of the operation, and they set out and say “these are my favorite bands so I am going to try to make a band that is a total mix between this and this.” We have certainly fell into that for a little while. I am assuming we have always been a little bit different in a sense that we have always been playing different types of music still underneath the name of The Lawsuits. With this last album, and from here on out we are done with the “well we are this type of band so we are going to make this type of music.” That is just not what we do. We are going to do anything we want to do when creating new music.


ROP: Does that make you guys have a hard time defining the genre of your music?

B: Absolutely, we have always run into that problem! We have been called blues-rock and folk-rock and country and electro something or another. Anything and everything under the sun we have been called and that’s fine. That’s really not up to me. If you are going to call my band something there is nothing I can do about that.


ROP: How excited are you for your CD release show on October 18th?

B: Yea it’s going to be very exciting, I think it will be a lot of fun. We are putting a lot of work into it. For a long time we had tried to go out there and play these shows and play them really well, play our songs really well in front of people. We are sort of shedding that skin and trying hard to actually put on a show. When you pay money to go see someone, you want to be entertained. Okay—the music is good, everyone loves good music, but are they really entertaining you? We are trying to really put on great shows now!


ROP: How are you planning to play your new shows different than previous shows?

B: I don’t know, I guess be a little more prepared. Instead of knowing the music inside and out, know the shows inside and out! You are just gonna have to come and see! I can’t give away our secrets.


ROP: What was the funniest moment you and the band had together?

B: Usually funny moments occur when four of us are together. It’s always funny to be somewhere at 11:30 AM on a Tuesday when most people are at work in a cubical, and you are in Iowa or something, sitting on the side of the road smoking a cigarette, it’s just fun!


ROP: What’s the coolest thing about having fans?

B: We start to see more people coming to shows and people that we don’t know, which is really important. That was like the turning point, when we started having shows and all of the sudden people in the crowd act like we know each other, and I don’t know these people—I’ve never meet them before. How cool is that? They are spending their time and money to see us play. That is so cool to me.


ROP: What kind of advice do you have for bands trying to make it?

B: I’d say play everywhere, all the time. Mind you, I am totally aware that we are nowhere the point where we need to be. If you think Kurt Vile had a day named after him, that is crazy. You put in a lot of time, did a lot of great work. Or a band like Dr. Dog, these bands that are worthy of having statues made out of them, well maybe not but still! Just strive to be better than you are. If you are at the ground level, play everywhere and everything.

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