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Giovanni Giusti and Eric Victorino are using the tools of the digital age to bypass The Man, a.k.a. the record labels that run the show, hold the rights, and walk straight to the bank with all this power.

Many artists know all too well the sacrifices involved when taking this route to expose their work, and for smaller bands especially, it simply isn't worth it in the end. Through Kickstarter, a site that allows anyone seeking funds to accept donations - in this case, from fans – The Limousines had the freedom to produce their sophomore album Hush free of contracts, free of a label.

The generous donations offered up by The Limousines' fans allowed them to hone in on their craft. The result: a maturity, a depth of sound, a certain emotive gravity within this latest creation, proving that this duo has more to offer than just social commentary and playful vocals: they can piece together a musical dance floor speckled with the lights of passion.

Throughout Hush, The Limousines seduce us with synth-heavy intensity that would make The King of Pop proud, while lending a vocal and emotional vulnerability that has evolved since their first album, Get Sharp. With song titles containing as much underlying complexity as the lyrics themselves, songwriter/frontman Victorino impresses the listener with his desire to unravel, or perhaps just appreciate, the human psyche and how our actions unveil themselves on a dynamic canvas – something both beautiful and frightening.

Heather Pugh (Songfacts): "The Future," from your Get Sharp album, is an upbeat, realistic anthem that conveys an optimistic shoulder shrug towards the smallness of life and all of the things that we often put a lot of importance on. Can you expand on what experiences or epiphanies you've had that led to this way of seeing life?

Eric Victorino: The working title of the instrumental that we started with was "An Indian Burial" - I know Giovanni's choices for tracks when they're in their early stages are almost always arbitrary, but something about the phrase caught my attention. I imagined the history buried beneath cities, the bones of people with dreams about the future. I think it's interesting to keep in mind that all of these events we witness in our lives, the things we think are so important, they're all fleeting. We're temporary. Everything about us, our cultures, our myths, our problems and our victories and ultimately our species, everything is temporary. And that's OK. It's OK because it has to be OK. We are all going to die, and even the most successful of us will be forgotten. There's no arguing with time.

Songfacts: "Square Circle Triangle" and "Triangle Circle Square"... a video game controller reference? What's the deal with these songs in terms of connection to each other and relevance to the album?

Eric: The two tracks serve as markers, dividers of light and dark. Everything is made of simple shapes. You can learn to draw by recognizing the simplest shapes in any form. Anyone can draw a circle or a square, anyone can paint a masterpiece.

Songfacts: "Very Busy People" seems to be a commentary on modern culture and perhaps the self-destructive lifestyles so many people indulge in.

Eric:
So come on over and knock on our door
It's open, whatchu waiting for
We might be sprawled out on the floor
But we still make lovely company
Pull up a chair, I'll pour some tea
We'll shoot the shit 'bout everything
'Til you get sick of politics and flip on the tv screen
We stare at the tv screen

How is your life and music affected by living in a society where we are all "connected" yet so very disconnected? What is your underlying hope when writing songs that critique a society that seems very lost in itself?

It used to be that the only people who had to deal with a constant flow of information all day and all night were people like Air Traffic Controllers - very high stress lifestyle. But now we're all in our own little control towers, doing all this work with this information - none of it is as important as it seems. None of it is as urgent as we think it is. But we feel important when we feel busy, don't we?

Songfacts: There's a darker synth vibe going on in "Undercover," and actually in most of your songs from Hush, and we really dig that. How did the creative process differ when making this album as opposed to making your earlier albums?

Eric: Hush came from an emotional place. Get Sharp was written from a snarky kind of sarcastic angle with almost no emotional investment. Lyrical stuff in Hush includes a lot of relationship issues. Falling in and out of love. Keeping secrets. Ultimately being left alone.

Songfacts: The lyric "Sometimes I feel, I feel like, just gonna give up, just gonna give it up" from the song "Grb 09042." If a song had a face, this one would be gorgeous. The head-bopping beat and somber vocals overtop soulful backing vocals lend it a dark, romantic edge. Who's who with vocals in this tune? What sort of creative aspects went into making this song?

Eric: Giovanni sings lead vocals on this song and I am the higher voice that comes into the background about halfway through. It's true, sometimes giving up feels like the only option. GRB09042 is the furthest point of light that we can see. It's completely out if reach.

Songfacts: "Gimme Control" is a total blast back to the '80s, with Michael Jackson blessing you from his grave. Summoning dramatic visuals, what would a music video for this song look like in your imagination?

Eric: I think this would be a hardcore S&M video. The song is about power, about who takes the lead in a relationship, who fucks who.

Songfacts: Who's rocking out on the sax in at the end of "Fool's Gold?" Love it.

Eric: The sax player's name is Adam Beach. He's from a group called The Uptones. Gio composed most of the solo after Adam had laid down a bunch of improvised passes - then Adam came back in after learning Gio's version and he played it live. He's played with us on stage a number of times and it's always a pleasure.

Songfacts: What's the reference to yellow and blue in "Little Space"? Was there a specific experience or thought process that inspired this song, which seems to hint on love gone wrong?

Eric: The space between any two colors is another color, but it doesn't exist until the action to mix the two is taken. Once you've mixed the yellow and the blue, you've got green and you can never separate them back to what they were before. You can't undo the past. You are what you are.

Songfacts: If you could choose or imagine the perfect atmosphere for performing your music live, what would that space look like in terms of location, time of day, crowd size, etc?

Eric: I think it's more about the people who are there. Venues and crowd sizes aren't really relevant to how much I enjoy performing.

Songfacts: What's the writing process like for you guys? Is there a method to your madness in terms of creating and combing music, lyrics, reformulating?

Eric: We mostly stay in our own worlds. Gio does the music and I do the words. It's relatively simple.

Songfacts: What live show stands out as one of the best you've had up to this point, and what made it so special?

Eric: My favorite was probably Outsidelands 2010 in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco - 18,000 people. It was a highlight in my life for sure.

September 6, 2013. Get more at thelimousines.com.
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