Meet the new music trio out of L.A. — from left, Hot as Sun’s Deborah Stoll, Jamie Jackson and WAZ, who just released their debut album Night Time Sound Desire. Here we talked to Deborah (journalist-turned-lyricist) and Jamie (singer-songwriter-composer) about their addictive layered synth sounds and how they got Shameless in their latest music video.
How would you describe your sound?JJ: It's eclectic. There are gospel and hip-hop influences; a lot of synthesizers, Giorgio Moroder-style synth work, and layers of vocals. I'm inspired by harmonies and layers — the Phil Spector style. And Deborah's an amazing writer, so there's a narrative to our music.
How did you two meet?DS: We met at a sound bath at the Integratron in Joshua Tree. It was a cool, mutual shared experience. We really connected, came back to L.A. and started working together.
JJ: I had some music recorded and was looking for a lyricist to help me flesh out the songs. That was the main goal — to finish songs; it wasn't to start a band. We spent an afternoon together, wrote three songs, then put together an EP. People started asking us to play live shows so we decided to give it a go.
The name of the band — how did you land on Paul McCartney’s Hot as Sun song?JJ: One of the hardest things in the world to do is find a band name that hasn't been taken. We were banging our heads against the wall. Then I was back out at Joshua Tree with Waz, who's also my husband, and we were listening to that McCartney record. I love that he put an instrumental on the album.
DS: You called me from the desert and said that's our name. It seemed so perfect.
Which song is a good introduction to your music?DS: Night Time Sound Desire.
JJ: It's a quick introduction and invitation to people to open their minds, listen to our music and have some fun.
How does being in L.A. impact your music?JJ: People say our music is bright and shiny and it sometimes is. But in L.A., because you don't really get defined seasons, when you have a cloudy day, you appreciate it a lot more. Personally, I love diving into that darker space. We want people to have a good time when they listen to our music, but you'll find we go deeper than that.
What's your style on stage?JJ: My struggle with fashion on stage is that I carry a lot of gear and I'm running a lot of synthesizers and looping things. I'm bouncing around and jumping — I don't want to think about whether you can see up my skirt or if things are falling off. We need a line made for musicians — a practical rock and roll clothing line.
DS: Something sexy and cool, but totally functional and easy to throw on. And that folds really, really tiny so you can tour and travel.
Your new When We Fell video stars Jeremy Allen White and Emma Greenwell from Showtime’s Shameless. How did they become involved?JJ: A dear friend of ours Jamie Wollrab, who directed the video, knows them. Jeremy came to one of our shows and became a fan of our music. It was an amazing experience and we're so appreciative to those guys. Actually, Emma came up with the idea of having it all take place in a bed.
Your music’s been on a few shows — Vampire Diaries, Glee, CSI Miami. What’s on your wish list?DS: Game of Thrones. I think The Heist would be good for it.
JJ: Girls. Desert Song would be fun on it, but I think The Heist would be too. The hook is "When love was bad, it felt so good, it was hard to tell myself the truth." I think those characters would definitely relate to that.