Hanging in the Studio With Que Lastima
Sophie Sputnik sings in Que Lastima, whose new sophomore album Tempered Tantrums drops May 21.
Courtesy Que Lastima
When we last left Que Lastima, the band was melting speakers with its debut album, Fever Dreams, inciting riots at music venues across South Florida. The album cracked like a whip, making it tough to guess how they might move forward without retreading former glories. But anyone who's followed Que
Tempered Tantrums, the new album out later this month, uses the same instrumentation from the first — fuzzy guitars (Andrew Pino), Leslie Speaker organs, accordion, piano (
It all kicks off with an instrumental introduction, part military march, part languid matador fanfare. Reverb-drenched guitar fuzz mixes with
The band borders on the anthemic on "The Asylum" with the chant, “Let us in, or let us out!” The theme smashes like
Que Lastima has the unprecedented feel of a traveling medicine show taken over by swing-time horns, with melodies so sticky you're humming them before a song reaches its all-too-soon conclusion.
New Times caught up with
Que Lastima multi-insturmentalist and ring leader, Paultergeist.
Melanie Brooke Rimel
Did you ever want to snatch the guitar or bass away from Andrew or Chris and say, “Here, let me do this…” or did you prefer to let their personal styles inform the song?
Sputnik: When they were trying to figure out who was going to sing the "Poison" verses, I was sitting there spinning around in the office chair biting my tongue thinking, “MAN, I REALLY WANNA DO THAT.” But I didn’t say
Pino: I didn’t officially join Que Lastima until after Paul had already recorded the guitar tracks for the first album, and there is nothing convenient about learning guitar parts written by a keyboard/accordion player. [Under his breath] Although, I have to admit that “banana hands” has a decent grip on more than one instrument. This time around, it came out quite naturally. I wrote guitar parts for most of the songs, and all was well in the jungle.
I sense more of a Latin feel to the songs on the new album. Is this Andrew’s influence on the writing of the songs?
Pino: It was probably the leftover
Andrew, it sounds like you were given a lot of space for guitar solos. Did you approach their tone differently than the rhythm tone?
Pino: Believe it or not, I recorded the whole album on an inflatable guitar. You know, the ones for the pool… the ones that white people use in cheesy photo shoots. Those things get great tone if you know how to dial ‘em in. I would say I usually focus more on not filling in all the space with guitar work. When someone tells you a long story with a hundred details, do you remember it all?
Sophie, is there a song on the album that you’re not singing, and you wish you were?
Sputnik: I honestly just want to sing all of it. And I do. In my car and my shower. "Dark Eyes," though – that’s my favorite song right now. I wanna sing it always.
Que Lastima's Ian Lutz on saxophone.
Melanie Brooke Rimel
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[Aside, to Paultergeist] I think I prefer it when Sophie or Andrew sings…
[Aside, to Andrew] I think I prefer it when Paul or Sophie sings…
Pino: I have to partially agree with you on that. Sophie is the only one on the album who can sing. Seriously, she’s great... I’m making Sophie T-shirts, and is it weird that I collect her hair? WHAT ELSE AM I SUPPOSED TO MAKE SOPHIE DOLLS OUT OF, HUH?!?!? Me and Paul just kinda open our mouths and hope the audience is tone deaf.
[Aside, to Sophie] I think I prefer it when Andrew or Paul sings…
Sputnik: It all
Que Lastima Record-Release Party
8 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at Propaganda Lake Worth, 6 S. J St., Lake Worth.
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