LP: Vintage Pop – Our music is influenced heavily by 60s, 70s, and 80s pop rock music but we’d like to think it has some sort of modern edge to it. Melodically, our music is retro as is the instrumentation, for the most part. But, the production of our recording and lyrics to our songs may speak more to a modern audience.
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
LP: All over the place. From the Beach Boys to the Smiths, from Burt Bacharach to Bart Davenport, from Paul Simon to Joanna Newsom, from Stevie Wonder to Billy Joel, from Claude Debussy to Ryuichi Sakamato. From the Beatles to the Beatles. Great live concerts might inspire us the most.
CH.89: What made you want to start a band and how did you come up with the band name?
LP: We had each put on month-long productions of our musicals in 2013 (Nicky’s Made in Chinaand Max’s A Match Made in Hell), and when we were all finished those arduous but very fulfilling endeavors, we just thought, “What next?” So, we started a band. Our sister’s band, Foxtails Brigade, covered a song by Jon Brion called “Little Person”. We really liked the song and its lyrics a lot, but the Foxtails Brigade music video that accompanied their cover was really kind of the catalyst for naming our band Little Person. We kind of really related to the song and the video, and Little Person was the best name we could think of at the time.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new album?
LP: When we start thinking about recording a new album or even new songs, we really try to picture and hear a general idea of the arrangement and instrumentation. What songs will sound better with four-part harmony? Which will benefit from lush string orchestrations? Which will require us to be more minimalist? After that, we kind of think about how the songs will be ordered on the album. This idea might influence the production on each song. We often listen to other records, both old and new, to inspire us and to help us gain a better understanding of how we want to approach the recording of our album. Then we’ll think about how much time we have to record. There’s usually no deadlines, but Nicky gets a little antsy if we’re sitting on fresh songs for too long without recording them. But, sometimes it’s hard. We also pursue careers as comedians, which takes a good deal of our free time away, especially since we put on a monthly comedy show in the East Village. There’s a lot of new songs we have, currently, and we’re actually in the middle of recording a few. So, be on the look out for new material soon enough!
LP: We’d like people to easily sing along to our songs and, when the song is poppy enough, dance along to the music. We want people to listen to our songs and immediately want to relisten to the songs because of how catchy they might be. That’s probably the biggest standard we place on ourselves when writing music: make it hummable / catchy. Each song should be unique and approached as if writing your next hit. We also hope that, with certain songs, people find a level of catharsis and peace in the melodies and the lyrics. Above all else, we just want people to have fun.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
LP: Lifestyle as an artist consists of constantly staying up late, working on many artistic endeavors. Again, we also pursue careers as comedians, which takes a good deal of our free time away. So, while we work on our music concurrently, we often have no choice but to work into the late hours of the night. But, in a way, our best ideas come during the night.
CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way?
LP: We think it’s always good to have a general outline and direction for whatever pursuit you’re undertaking. When you have everything committed to muscle memory, that’s when you can start improvising. You’ve laid the groundwork, and now you can really start experimenting.
CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist?
LP: Don’t be bitter or cynical. Everyone finds success at different points in life. Never compare your career trajectory to that of another artist. Every artist has a different path, and if you’re motivated and willing to put in the time, you’ll find some level of success of which you can be proud.
CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?
LP: Yes. Uniqueness is very important. Never try to mimic another artist. You’ll come across as a phony. You can be influenced, sure, but your own style is a reflection of your honesty and voice.
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?
LP: Juggling all the endeavors within the limited amount of free time we have. Most of us have struggled, financially, at some point in our lives. That could be a serious obstacle for many when considering the leap as a full-time artist. But, if you’re good enough, it’ll happen.
CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?
LP: Being able to share your own creation with the world. It may sound cheesy, but when we perform on shows or watch a concert where the audience or crowd is so into everything the artist is doing, there’s no greater feeling. Peer acceptance is a definite confidence booster, and, sometimes, a standing ovation makes all the work you put into your product worth it.
CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artists that inspire you in any way?
LP: Already stated in question 2, but, in a broader kind of way, all these artists have one thing in common: good, strong melodies. Their songs are timeless hits. That’s what we strive for with our music.
LP: We think it’s great. As musicians, we have our own personal studio set-up just for us. Advancements in technology allow artists to become more well-rounded. For example, we create all our posters and album covers because programs like Photoshop allow us to not have to rely on a paid professional to do the job. Having your own makeshift studio can also allow you complete freedom and reign. There’s no time limit for when your next album should be released. Technology has allowed us to be able to work from home. When not abused, technology is our most important friend.
CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?
LP: In a way, yes. Not to sound self-important, but when you’ve chosen the life of an artist, you don’t necessarily have the stability of a 9 to 5 life. This is a good thing: you’re allowed flexibility and you never have to think, “What could have been if I had chosen my artistic passions over a financially steady situation?” There’s a bunch of neuroses involved with being an artist, but true, justified regret is rare.
CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?
LP: We love traveling. Favorite city might be our hometown, Los Angeles, CA. Paris is definitely magical. San Francisco is a beautiful-looking place, and New York City might be the best city for performing. There’s something about the energy of performing in this city and the history of certain venues that is hard to find elsewhere. In short, it’s hard to pick an absolute favorite city, but hope the rest of this answer helps.
LP: Nicky’s new favorite book is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. Max is currently reading it based on Nicky’s recommendation. But, other than that, Max and Nicky both agree that The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov is the best: it’s funny, it’s quirky, its surreal, it’s poignant, it’s a tear-jerker, it’s got everything!
CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your music?
LP: Currently working on a new album. Can’t wait to share it! Would love to headline internationally as Little Person in the future. Watching concert clips on YouTube – like Crowded House’s encore of their farewell concert in New Zealand, where tens of thousands of people are singing along to their last song; or watching Paul McCartney live and the same thing happens for every song he plays – is truly inspiring. We’d love for a large amount of people to be singing along to our songs eventually. It’ll make us think that we’ve contributed a level of happiness to the world…..Plus, we’d love for our musicals to be on Broadway one day.
CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?
LP: Being an artist means no other career choice will ever suffice in bringing true happiness or as much happiness as a career in the arts. Even if you’re struggling for the rest of your life and have to consistently work a side hustle to make ends meet, you’d still be better off than giving it all up for a less-than-desirable job. Being an artist means there’s nothing more important to you than your art.
CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your music?
LP: We just want people to sing along, dance sometimes, and have fun. We strive for a timeless quality, and, hopefully, that’s understood among all the influences one might hear in our music. At the end of the day, we just want to write memorable tunes that people can hum.