The alternative three-piece band, consisting of Colin Thibodeau (vocals/guitar), Joel Alicea (bass) and Drew Lanzafama (drums), began jamming together loosely in high school, but decided to solidify as a group in Richmond.
Initially, Lance Bangs performed under the name Colin Thibodeauxx, but as their creative juices flowed and songs were written together, they decided to change their name to represent their transformation into a group as opposed to a solo act.
“The project was turning more from like just my solo work into like, a collaborative effort,” Thibodeau said. “So, I would say that’s the main driving force behind changing [the name], was just us practicing a lot more together and writing stuff. Our collaborative efforts are way better than just my solo, hang out in my bedroom, smoke weed and write music efforts go.”
Lance Mountain, which dropped Sept. 6, marks the first official release as a group for the boys. Prior to this EP, the band already recorded two EPs and a split album as Colin Thibodeauxx. It’s five tracks of what the band likes to call “bedroom rock”, short and catchy rock songs that were written in do-it-yourself, fuck it jam sessions, with inspiration from bands like Taking Back Sunday.
“I like to call us…we’re clearly not what you’d think of as bedroom pop, but maybe bedroom rock,” Thibodeau said. “We do it all ourselves, and we write all these songs in a basement or a bedroom.”
Though it was recorded in a basement (like many Richmond contemporaries do), don’t be fooled – the sound quality is surprisingly high, courtesy of Thibodeau’s father’s recording equipment. His brother, who mixed it, also did a fantastic job, resulting in an EP that sounds like it was recorded in a studio.
The interesting thing about Lance Bangs, besides their bold first EP, is the fact that they keep it simple and have no plans to change their formula any time soon. The term do-it-yourself is perfectly applicable to a band like Lance Bangs. Using average equipment, they still manage to create a dense, layered sound on their heavier songs. It’s an embodiment of the spirit of Richmond.
While Lance Bangs has undeniable talent, they’re a testament to the guys who just plug in, play, and see what the fuck happens.
“I’m not really a big pedal guy or effects guy,” Thibodeau said. “I stick to two pedals, and I’m like, pleased with what we’ve been working with.
They stick to jamming – it’s how they write their songs – and don’t really want to try any other methods. The quality of their work is impressive, especially considering they stick with the basics.
“We’ve never really tried to stray off into something, like, to be crazy,” bassist Joel Alicea said. “We’ve always just kind of been jammin’ with what we have.”
The band recently returned from a two-week tour with Sports Coach, hitting east coast cities like Miami, D.C., New York City and Boston. And though they have love for Richmond, their current goal is to spread their wings and play more gigs outside the city.
“To get where we are now, not that we’re anywhere,” Thibodeau laughed, “To be playing the amount of shows we’ve done now, we had to play anything that was given to us for a whole year. So now that we’re like, we did this tour, and we’re about to put this [EP] out, we’re trying to play less in Richmond, and just more out of town in Virginia. We don’t want to flood the market and ruin everything.”