The Paranoyds released their debut album, Carnage Bargain, on Suicide Squeeze earlier this month. A raucous blend of garage punk, new wave and classic horror film soundtrack campiness, redolent of the joyous scuffle of Breeders harmonies, B-52’s playfulness, colliding with the serrated art rock edges of early Sonic Youth. Characterised by the urgent stream of the brilliant title track, the lipstick smeared attitude of the awesome ‘Girlfriend Degree‘ , the b movie abrasiveness of ‘Face First’ loosely about a stalker, is a riffle of riffs that scampers along burrowing its way into your head.
Watch “Face First”: https://youtu.be/FV5WEuMCcQg
The first single we heard from them was ‘Trade Our Sins’ earlier this year, a cautionary slowdance fit for the end of the night. Vocalist/bassist Staz Lindes warns “the train is coming” over a simple waltz of guitars and keys. It’s a mélange of lovelorn 60s girl group melodies and nifty waltzing riffs, mellotron keys, smeared with vocals that sneer like the best bubble gum punk. This is the sound of doomed love at the end of the line.
Formed in Los Angeles, The Paranoyd beginnings can be traced back to a friendship forged between Staz Lindes (bass/vocals) and Laila Hashemi (keys/vocals) over Myspace in their early teens. Bonded by a shared interest in local underground music, the pair eventually moved their online friendship into the real world. Laila’s childhood friend Lexi Funston was brought into the fold and the first vestiges of The Paranoyds began to take shape.
The Paranoyds explain the inspiration behind their name. “We’re living in the dystopian future. Our lives are completely tracked and programmed, our extension of ourselves is a handheld computer with a microphone and camera that stays on while we’re unaware, and, on top of everything, the extreme right is gaining continuous world power. What isn’t there to be ‘paranoyd’ about?”
We may be free-falling through a dizzying era of political and socio economic chaos displayed in a constant scrolling stream on social media, but The Paranoyds are dancing at the end of the world.
We sent The Paranoyds a few questions in order to get to know them a little better.
Hi, how are you today?
Good! We’re sitting in a cafe in New York and it looks like it’s the first day of fall!
How did you meet?
Laila and Lexi met in Pre-School–Laila met Staz in highschool and now we are all best friends.
What was the first song you ever wrote?
Trade Our Sins
What was it like?
Really baby. Lots of “oohs” and “aahs.” Staz was going through a Roy Orbison bender
How do your songs start out?
Usually someone will bring a verse and chorus, or a guitar lick, to practice and then we’ll figure out the direction and structure together.
What was the first thing you released?
A four song EP called, “After You” It’s on Spotfy 😉
What’s the music scene like back home?
Amazing, thriving, inspiring. It’s like a big family. Everyone is doing their thang and it’s awesome.
How would you describe your music in five words?
Weirdo pop garage silly string.
Which artists do you admire?
The Breeders, Devo, X, Television
What would be your dream collaboration?
Honestly any successful artist from any genre. It would be awesome to collaborate with peeps who are good at writing catchy songs!
What’s your recent single ‘Carnage Bargain’ about?
‘Carnage Bargain’ is about the people higher up wanting to get all this evil work done at a wholesale price. It’s impossible for us to get through a day without thinking of the thousands of migrant children in cages at the border alone, some without proper beds, soap, toothbrushes, and with lights on 24/7. We can not continue to ignore the black lives, young and old, taken by police almost every week. The plastic crisis. The mass shootings. The extreme need of prison reform. The opioid crisis. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The list goes on, and the hole gets deeper. Sometimes I can’t sleep and I wonder: do they sleep well in the White House? What else can I do as a privileged citizen? They want to get a Carnage Bargain. I want to pick up garbage.
Can you tell us about your new album?
It’s been brewing for a long time. We recorded it over the span of 9 months and really took our time with it. We love our first child.
What’s the best band you have played with so far?
So hard to say, because everyone we’ve played or toured with works so hard. We opened for X and that was amazing cuz they’re frigging legends.