Interview with Dan Ponich of LA Solution Center
Today on What On What’s Good with Host Jovin Tardif, I am here with LA Solution Center. LA Solution Center is a brand new music collective launched in spring 2020 by Vancouver musician Dan Ponich. You may know Ponich from the bands’ Echo Nebraska and CIVILIANA. Fun fact: LA Solution Center will feature a rotation of different vocalists and collaborators for every release. Today in our interview, we discuss how LA Solution Center was developed, the debut single ‘My Piranha’, news about upcoming singles “Hot Trotter”, “God Could Be Afraid Of Us All” and “Hit A Nerve” and much more.
1. How was LA Solution Center developed?
LA Solution Center came to be after my band CIVILIANA decided to part ways. It was during the start of COVID and I had 2 important people in my life suggest I write some music.
I hadn’t written in years and just started throwing stuff down at my studio to see what would stick. Came up with “My Piranha” and it felt very refreshing making music that I would listen to. I halted past ambitions of wanting to make music I think other people would like and just started writing tracks that I would like to listen to, trusting my gut and not second-guessing myself.
I am not a strong vocalist and I believe in playing to your strengths. Working as a local producer/engineer, I had a long list of friends/clients that I both admire and respect so I came up with the concept of having guest vocalists on each track. Everyone was excited to jump on board.
Four finished singles later (and many more in the works), here we are!
2. What can we learn from ‘My Piranha’?
“My Piranha” is about being frustrated with the (lack of) progress in your life. It’s okay to feel that frustration and it’s even more okay to let it out. It’s a lesson in acceptance and release!
3. What was it like creating the song and music video for ‘My Piranha’?
Creating the song came very naturally. The writing and production kind of handled itself.
I co-own a studio (Park Sound Studio) in North Vancouver so I’m very fortunate to have studio time at my disposal. Calen Trentini, who performed the vocals, is such a natural star and totally has that “x factor”. When it came time to track the vocals, he made the process very effortless. I knew I needed a heavy hitter for the drums so I called my friend Paul Trounce from the band League of Corruption and he totally knocked it out of the park. I mixed it which took a bit of time and Dave Collins really brought it home with his mastering. He is amazing.
The video was a little more challenging in that I wanted to do something lo-fi and budget friendly but still have it engaging and fun. I ended up filming it all on my phone, at the studio, and sent it to Ryan Mitchell. He’s a killer local videographer/editor, and he really made it what it is.
4. Your musical influences include Chevelle, Damon Albarn, Spoon, Beck, Richard Ashcroft, Delton3030, Queens, The Verve, Kasabian, and Arctic Monkeys. Just for fun, can you tell us a few songs that you enjoy from these artists and why?
“Do I Have To Talk You Into It” by Spoon has been my jam lately. It just feels so good. The melody is so fun and.. bouncy? I’m not sure how to describe it. It’s just so fun to sing along to.
If you check out “Sleep Apnea” from Chevelle, you’ll see why it’s so influential to me. The guitars are so huge and the chorus is so strong and memorable. It’s such an anthem. Those elements are so integral to me. Heavy instruments don’t necessarily need to be paired with harsh/aggressive vocals. I love that dichotomy of Chevelle.
I think Richard Ashcroft is my favourite singer of all time.
“Love is Noise” by The Verve is just so powerful. It’s my favourite music video of all time. It’s so beautiful and stimulating. RA’s vocal performance in that song is incredible!! And I love songs that repeat the same chord progression throughout but find a way (via dynamics, arrangement, etc.) to keep the listener engaged.
5. What can we expect from “Hot Trotter” (October 2), “God Could Be Afraid Of Us All” (November 6), and “Hit A Nerve” (December 6)? What sort of genres should we expect?
With the next 3 singles, I’m venturing more into the trip-hop side of things. Don’t worry, there are a lot more heavy guitars, but with more hip-hop influence (all 3 feature rappers), samples, and electronic motifs. “My Piranha” was a great introduction, but I think the next 3 songs will be more defining in the LASC sound. More UK influence for sure. Think UNKLE meets… the next FIFA anthem.
“Hot Trotter” (October 2nd) will feature Caroline Stokes and G Deep.
“God Could Be Afraid Of Us All” (November 6th) will feature Colm Donnelly and Andrew Porteous.
“Hit A Nerve” (December 6th) will feature Megan Emanuel and Andrew Porteous.