The Licata Brothers - 10 Questions Interview
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
The passing of our musical mentor, Duane Thorin, in March of 2017 was the “catalyst” that inspired us to seriously begin writing our own songs. Duane supported us from the very beginning of our career in 2011, giving us vocal lessons and finding us gigs. We had been performing primarily covers at our shows but soon after his passing we became committed to writing our own music because we knew the only way to move forward in our careers was to study the covers that Duane had introduced us to and incorporate the best elements of those songs in our own music.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
The craziest thing that has ever happened to us in our music career was our first time busking in 2013. We were busking at a national park in Kentucky and after about an hour of playing a park ranger came up to us and said, “Boys, busking is illegal in national parks”. He asked us to stop and was kind enough to let us keep the money we made but as young teenagers who had never busked before, we were shocked but also found the situation very funny because we had been busted by the man for committing a federal offense so early in our music careers. It felt very Rock ‘n’ Roll.
What has been the high point of your music path?
We believe that the high point of our music path was the last show we did before the pandemic. We performed at the Altadena Coffee Gallery Backstage, our favorite music venue and a second home to us, in November of 2019 and we felt that it was our high point because we had sold out the room and were able to successfully incorporate our most recent original songs into the show with the other covers that we would play.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
When it comes to songwriting, one of us will usually come with a fairly flushed out song, show it to the other, and have the other person revise and finish the song. We’re fortunate that we compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses. While this method works well with our busy schedules, we are now trying to write more songs together from scratch because the few times that we have done this we have produced some of our strongest songs. We never have a particular method (lyrics first, music first, etc.) but we place the most importance on our lyrics because we know those are what will touch our listeners the most. We pay close attention to the stresses in the syllables of words and make sure our melodies follow those natural speech patterns. We’ll also usually start off with basic chords in our songs because they are easier to write melodies to and we will then substitute those simple chords for more complicated ones that will enhance the emotion and movement of the song but not distract from the lyrics or the melody.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
We believe the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today, and what we wish the music industry could change, is that many people in the industry are so afraid of taking chances. This attitude promotes complacency and kills innovation. There are no sustainable formulas in music. Some of the most popular songs ever written became famous because of how innovative they were.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
We would love to share the stage with The Interrupters. They are a ska/punk band that we saw live a few years ago and it was one of the best shows we had ever seen. They have incredible energy, know how to interact with their audience, and write catchy songs that have empowering messages.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
We usually prepare for a live show by emailing our players (usually a drummer and a bassist) the song files and charts a month before the show. After everyone has had time to learn the songs on their own we all meet at Pop Music Studios, a wonderful rehearsal space in Northridge, CA, and fine tune the songs. We’re good friends with the musicians we work with so the environment is always fun and informal while making sure we get done all we need to for the day. In addition to supporting and encouraging each other when we have to patch up rough spots in the songs, we find that laughing and making jokes makes the hard work of rehearsing enjoyable.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
Our latest single, “Since You Went Away”, was a difficult song to write the lyrics for. The music is actually pulled from the first song Tony ever wrote at age nine but we knew that we had to revise the lyrics to reflect more mature content. We spent many nights, working from 11:00 PM until 5:00 AM, writing draft after draft of the song. This song was a challenge because we wanted to make the song impactful and encapsulate what people had been feeling for the past year while keeping the lyrics conversational, simple, and general enough that they could be timeless.
What's coming up in the future?
We will be releasing our self-titled album on Friday, June 18th! We’ll have a livestream concert the night before to celebrate and we’ll be releasing a series of singles and videos this summer. Given what COVID regulations are in place this summer, we also expect to finally play again in front of people!
Tell us where fans can access your music?
Find all links here!
About The Licata Brothers
The Licata Brothers are an inspirational rock duo from Arcadia that has been playing in the greater Los Angeles area for over ten years. Jimmy and Tony Licata, starting their music careers at ages 12 and 9 respectively, grew up on classic rock and roots music, performing in the San Gabriel Valley and gradually expanding their radius to the rest of LA and even around the world (Canada, Iceland, and Panama to name a few). Their most recent album, Kindle the Flame, is available on all streaming platforms and they are currently hard at work promoting the first two singles off their next album, set to release on June 18th of this year. Being half-Peruvian, they are known to sing popular songs in Spanish as well as in other languages (Mandarin, Persian, and Tagalog). The Licata Brothers strive to blend the music they grew up on with more contemporary styles of music while having an uplifting message that has a positive impact on society.
Visit their Website for more information!