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The Lawsuits: Cool Cool Cool (Interview)

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Philly based band, The Lawsuits released their official debut on October 1, 2013, entitled Cool Cool Cool.” The album features 11 tracks of creative alternative offerings and the production is credited to Bill Moriarty and mastering done by Howie Weinberg.
Once described as a schizophrenic mix of modern Americana, The Lawsuits are known to inject elements of reggae, 60s pop flair and 80s refrains in their sound.

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Band members are: Brian Dale Allen Strouse (songwriter/vocals/guitar), Vanessa Winters (vocals), Brendan Cunningham (bass), Joe Bisirri (guitar) and Josh Friedman (drums).

The Lawsuits have shared the stage with the likes of Good Old War, Yo La Tengo, Frank Turner, Maps & Atlases, The Growlers, Freedy Johnston, among many others. The band also performed at notable hometown venues such as the Theater of the Living Arts, Rittenhouse Square Concerts in the Park, Johnny Brenda's, World Café Live, and NYC's Gramercy Theater.

Examiner had a moment to catch up with The Lawsuits during CMJ week just before the release of the debut album. The interview was conducted by Samuel Archer and the interview was transcribed by Nadira Norjahan.

Sam: So how are you guys doing today?

TL: We’re good.

Sam: I understand you guys are based in Philly and are about to released a new record.

TL: Yeah.

Sam: So, how did you guys meet up? How did you come up with your band name The Lawsuits?

TL: Well, we are not all the original members. Initially there were about ten people in the band, which formed in 2007. They made up the name then. There are now five of us. We have been working together with this unit for about two years.

Sam: So, is this really your first recording?

TL: Well, we have recorded before. We actually have created some underground recordings and tapes, but this will be our first official release.

Sam: Well, that’s cool. You have to start somewhere.

TL: Yeah, definitely.

Sam: So, is your recording project signed under a label or are you fully independent?

TL: We are independent. We aren’t signed to a label.

Sam: Oh, so you guys are “Hybrid Executives”? (laughs)

TL: (laughs) Yeah, I guess so.

Sam: You know, writing your own songs; doing your own recordings and such.

TL: Oh, yeah. Definitely.

Sam: So, when you made the decision to do this record, what was it like for you to go through that process?

TL: Well, we had to secure the money in order to do what we needed to do. Then we shopped around for different producers. We wound up going with Bill Moriarty of Philadelphia. It was a great experience with him. We never had the professional production experience before. He was able to tell us if something sounded good or bad. It was a really great experience.

Sam: That’s great! You guys have a tour coming up. Tell me a little about that

TL: Well, our kickoff will start in our hometown (Philly) and that’s where we will kick-off the celebration.

Sam: Oh. I might be able to make it out.

TL: That would be great! We will be in NY after that, then Boston and Rhode Island.

Sam: Do you guys travel in a van or something? I always wondered how that worked out.

TL: We used to travel in multiple cars. (laughs) It’s so much better now. It doesn’t even matter that it’s not a luxury van. (laughs) The end game would be that you’d rent a big tour bus and return it when you’re done. (laughs)

Sam: Okay. (laughs) So, what is the title of your record?

TL: “Cool Cool Cool”

Sam: Is that one of the title of one of the songs? What is the concept of the album and that title?

TL: Well, that is one of the titles on the record but as for the concept…well, um…pretty much the concept is about how everyone nowadays has facebook, twitter and instagram profiles and stuff like that and everybody is very…well, cool. You gotta do certain things in order to be cool.

Sam: Okay. So, that’s what kinda describes the whole album?

TL: Yeah.

Sam: Okay. So who does what? You know, like who plays what and sings and so on.

TL: Well, I play guitar (Brian Dale Allen Strouse) I sing (Vanessa Winters)

Sam: Okay. Do you play anything as well?

TL: (Vanessa Winters) Well, I put a little tambourine in there! (laughs)

Sam: Ah! Tambourine! That’s good!

TL: (Vanessa Winters) Oh! And a little keyboard!

Sam: I see! Tambourine and keyboard! Nice!

TL: (Joe Bisirri) I play guitar and I sing.

Sam: Okay.

TL: I play drums (Josh Friedman). And I play bass (Brendan Cunningham)

Sam: Cool. So, how do you guys like each other as a unit…and you can be honest. (laughs)

TL: (laughs) Well, it’s really great. We get to spend time together even when we’re not forced to. “Forced to” is a bad word. I mean, we hang out even if it isn’t related to a show or rehearsal. We all get to hang out and not be at each other’s throats.

Sam: Well, thanks a lot for your time guys. Good luck with your album and your tour.

TL: Thank you.

For more information, visit: The Lawsuits

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