The band LODRO first came to our attention through a camera lens. Well, maybe a mental camera lens. The band, featuring members of Royal Baths and Friends, play an eerie, psychic rock that conjures mental images of a smoky, dimly lit bar in 70s Memphis or West Village. The guitar’s serpentine psychic creep sounds like it’s escaping from behind a velvet curtain in a smoky photograph.
To see that cinematic image realized, LODRO teamed up with photographer Jonathon Bernstein and stylist Laura Ellner on a photoshoot. Channeling their neo-noir vibes through the ghosts of psychedelia past, dark hues and decadent textiles recall Jim Morrison as much as Alice in Wonderland, against the stone walls of a spooky East Village basement bar.
Lesley Hann, lead singer and bassist, invited me over to the equally spooky ex-recording studio she shares with bandmates Jeremy Cox (guitarist) and Tyler Thacker (drums) to talk about the shoot, their recent tour with DIIV, how to soundtrack your tour van, and how style influences the collective brain matter of LODRO.
How fashion influences Lesley, Jeremy and Tyler as LODRO and as themselves:
Lesley: I’m not attending anything for fashion week and if you asked me about Dior’s fall line I wouldn’t know what the fuck you were talking about. But fashion just as a form of art and a form of expression is definitely important and definitely interesting to everyone in the band.
I wouldn’t say I have a fashion icon. I think I just observe a lot of aesthetic ideas from everybody that I see. I don’t wear the same type of thing all the time. Everybody to Die Antwoord to Twiggy has an impact on me.
On the process behind styling the shoot:
What you see us wearing is a combination of our own clothing and what the stylist, Laura Ellner, pulled for us. Laura runs the blog On the Racks, styled the shoot. It wasn’t like she came up and was like “you’re gonna wear this.” We sat down for like three hours looking at mood boards, her showing us stuff she could pull, us showing her stuff that we liked, just building an understanding of what we like, the three of us, each, individually would be interested in looking like. On the day of the shoot she had a big spread of stuff we could choose from.
On their summer tour with DIIV:
We started in New York and went as far west as Chicago and as far south as Atlanta. It was the first tour of this project, though all of us have toured in other bands before. It was awesome because our friend was tour managing plus, since we’ve all toured in other bands, we had acquaintances in every city.
On a spectacular show in Chapel Hill:
I think that the South has a pretty amazing appreciation for rock music in a way that certain areas of the country are a little more cynical about it. Or not enthusiastic. The crowd in Chapel Hill was just wild and everyone I met after that was just so sweet. I actually can’t believe we pulled that show off. None of us had really slept.
Why none of them had really slept:
We had not slept, really, at all, the night before. Our tour manager has access to this lake house an hour outside of Chapel Hill. So we played Atlanta the night prior and power drove to the lake house that night. We didn’t get there until like seven in the morning. And hung out and I was day drinking and hanging out on a boat. I got a really bad sunburn and basically stopped drinking two hours before I started drinking again because we just got up and went to Chapel Hill.
How to soundtrack your tour van:
I like soundtracking the scenery. There are certain albums, like The Black Angels that you can listen to a lot on tour because they just work out. Then there are albums that you have to listen to once on tour but you can only listen to once. And you have to pick the right time to listen to it. We did that with Electric Warrior, the T. Rex album. I’m speaking only for myself here but I think it’s essentially a travesty if you don’t listen to The Zombies’ Odyssey and Oracle one time at the exact right moment.
Photographer: Jonathon Bernstein
Stylist: Laura Ellner
Production Coordinator: Jessica Louise Dye
Hair/Makeup: Kai Stamps