by Lorie Lewis Ham
In July, I had the pleasure of interviewing the members of Loomis and the Lust and seeing them perform in Fresno. One of our teen correspondents, Jesus Ibarra, joined me and has written a review of their latest album. Kings River Life Magazine will be keeping an eye on this young rock band as their success continues. Their music style is old rock with a bit of California sunshine.
The band was formed in 2007 and retains two of its original members — lead singer and guitarist Will Loomis, and bassist Noah Babcock. “Noah and I have known each other for four years,” said Will, who feels the group they have now is pretty solid. The more recent members are drummer Anthony Sonetti and lead guitarist Mike Dapra. Anthony and Mike are from Pittsburg. Anthony came to California to attend the Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles where he graduated with honors, and he brought Mike out when Loomis’ guitarist left to play for Katy Perry last year.
“Feels like a real band now which is cool, but we definitely had a revolving door for awhile.” Will, age 25, became interested in music at the age of seven when he began taking guitar lessons. He’s always listened to a wide variety of music from country to classic rock and the different genres have all influenced the musician, singer and songwriter he has become.
Noah, age 22, also became interested in music at a young age. “I wanted to be a musician all of my life.” He got his first bass guitar when he was 14. His music tastes are eclectic as well. “I listen to pretty much anything I can get my hands on.” His favorites include Led Zeppelin, Pantera, The Clash and some jazz.
Anthony, who just turned 22 and shares a birthday with Ringo Star, grew up around musicians. “I come from a very musical family so I’m sure that came into play.” He grew up watching MTV with his parents and a friend of the family introduced him to the drums. He loves all types of music, including pop music greats like Madonna and Lady Gaga.
Mike, age 22, was actually influenced musically by Anthony. “What got me serious about playing music was playing with Anthony. We were in a band together back in Pittsburg and it was just a hobby until I started playing with him.” Mike loves Led Zeppelin and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. “Any kind of group really that has a lot of expression and personality.”
“When coming up with a band name, it had a lot to do with alliteration,” said Will with a laugh. They wanted to use the name Loomis but found there were a lot of bands with that name. “So we took ‘the Lust’ because the alliteration sounded good. Now I’m questioning that because everyone’s like how do you spell that and what is it?”
“I think it’s ironic that it’s like four ugly dudes and we’re called the Lust,” added Noah with a smile. The fans at their concerts seem to disagree with that description.
Finding their own style took a little time but they have certainly landed on it now. With their first EP, Nagasha, their producer wanted them to push each song in a different musical direction. Will admitted this didn’t seem like the best idea as a band shopping for a label, but it did help them figure out what style suited them best. “By doing that we found the ‘Bright Red Chord’ sound and people responded to that.” “Bright Red Chords” is on the original EP as well as on the new one, Space Camp, which is set to be released on iTunes and Amazon on August 10th. “It has a more unified sound.”
Will writes their songs though he says everyone contributes. “I do write most of the lyrics and the melody.” His goal is to create short, catchy songs that can sound good a cappella or with only an acoustic guitar. “I think that’s kind of the test of a good song, and if it tells a story.”
Not only do they travel across the country in a single SUV, they live together as well and have a recording studio in their home. They were initially concerned as to how it would work but so far they feel it’s going really well. “It’s not as annoying as we thought it would be,” said Will with a grin. At first, it was kind of hard with people eating other people’s food and taking up the time in the bathroom but, Will said, they found a routine. He also feels it’s helped them do better when on the road since they’re already used to spending all their time together. “We’ve already learned how to live together and we get along pretty good so it’s just like any other day. We’re fortunate to have two guys that are really funny dudes (speaking of Anthony and Mike). They keep everybody light-hearted and laughing.”
Jesus asked what they do to entertain themselves while on the road and if they get to see any of the local tourist attractions. “XM radio comes in handy,” shared Will. They also enjoy playing mini golf and camping. Although they try to take in the local flavor by eating at local restaurants instead of chains, they don’t always get to enjoy tourist attractions.
When at home, they pretty much live and breathe music. They are busy writing new songs, promoting their music, recording and practicing. “You go to bed thinking about it and you wake up thinking about it,” said Noah.
“We all spend a lot of time staying strong in our individual areas,” said Mike.
Loomis and the Lust plays all across the country, with Fresno being one of their favorite stops. Noah stated one of their funnest shows was at Evel Knievel Days in Montana.
“It was cool, there were a lot of people watching,” said Will. “But it’s hard to follow a jet pack.”
When asked for one thing about them most people might be surprised to find out, they each had something:“I took dance class for seven years,” shared Mike.
Noah is into gardening. “So much so that I’ve worked on a couple ranches and farms. It’s good money and something I really enjoy so why not. Something I dig,” he said with a smile.
Anthony loves movies and can quote from many of them. “He can also do a really good Marty McFly impression,” said Mike.
Will has a pet tortoise.
As to their hopes for the future, they want to keep playing music and keep getting better though, if they end up on Top 40 radio, that would be great. But their focus is on videos. “We really want to get YouTube videos to go with our songs because I know whenever I check out a new band I check YouTube,” said Will. With this goal in mind, they are focusing on releasing EPs instead of full-length CDs so they can save some of their money to produce videos. They’re latest video is for the song “A.D.D.” from Space Camp and is set to be released on August 9. You can subscribe to Loomis and the Lust on YouTube and enjoy many fun videos from the road and their first video for “Bright Red Chords.”