Ladada, “Give It Back”

Sjimon Gompers

Found off the self-titled EP from the exquisite Gold Robot Records imprint; our premiere of the David Damen directed video for “Give It Back” takes back the spirit of good and great times for all to enjoy. Founded by Virginia Beach based artist Josiah Schlater—known for his work in Jake Clemons, MAE, We Are Trees, etc.—Ladada is a popular art fusion of 60s institutions and testament to the modern artifacts of enduring, and incalculable inspiration. The video documents a lively party held at a Norfolk, VA artist space, where disco ball lit revelry is captured in both real time and slow motion.

Damen’s video for “Give It Back” begins and ends with a twilight by dawn light Ladada rooftop performance. The sublime and silhouetted sessions bookends the body of the video where Josiah, the band, and a group of friends boogie down to the moving melodies with smiles, laughter, and electric hula-hooped hedonism. The joy of giving, and taking back the reins of life is illustrated through a practice space party to remember, where the abundance of upbeat energy from Ladada is shared and mirrored by all in attendance. The honest expressions and desires for autonomous control found on “Give It Back” springs to visual life as one privy, exclusive event that carries the spirit of the song into something more inclusive than a vicarious passing glance. We caught up with Josiah Schlater to find out more about the video, and get hipped to all the latest from Virginia Beach.

Give us the scoop on the wild house-party/rooftop party video you guys did with David Damen.

There’s a shared musician/artist space here in Norfolk, VA that has a 100 pound disco ball hanging in the lounge begging for a disco dance party to happen. So, we threw one! And made a music video out of it.

What experiences from ex Mae, We Are Trees and solo musings on Virginia Beach have informed Ladada?

It’s been a privilege playing with such spirited acts as Mae and We Are Trees. All of the Ladada songs were written after playing with both bands, and were certainly influenced indirectly by them. The songs mainly came out of a period in my life when I was alone a lot, lived in an apartment by this breezy inlet in Virginia Beach, and was focusing on work and school. The apartment was down the street from the storage unit where I would eventually record drums, bass, etc. It was a peaceful time.

What was the Ladada self-titled recording process like for you, and how was it different from previous recording projects and groups?

The recording process was pretty basic. Lay a rough/scratch track of the song (guitar/vocals), record drums over it, then bass, then the actual guitars, then vocals! It was different from other projects in that I had to be the engineer and the player. It was difficult sometimes because I was using this prehistoric Netbook that would crash all the time, or lag like crazy.

What’s next for Josiah Schlater, Ladada and more?

I’m currently playing in a punk band called Mas Y Mas. A wonderfully talented and intelligent feller named Vinnie Meddis writes the songs, I play bass, and the ex-drummer of WAVVES Ryan Ulsh plays drums. It’s a fun band to be in. Other than that, I’ve been taking my time with writing, doing a lot of listening and to be honest, just living.

Other Virginia Beach artists that we have to listen to that the world hasn’t heard yet?

He just moved to Philly, but Suburban Living is from here. So is You’re Jovian. For art/punk you have Boneske. If you can find him online, Yesper is a real treat. The Seeers are an up and coming band; former members of a spectacular band called the Super Vacations.

The Ladada self-titled EP is available now from Gold Robot Records.

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