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Monday, April 23, 2012

Cosmic Suckerpunch Press Shots


Cosmic Suckerpunch Bio


When your band is called Cosmic Suckerpunch, you had better be prepared to back that name up with some pounding, stellar rock and roll. Good thing songwriter Ari Welkom and company deliver on spacey licks and heady songs, rooted in blues and funk, and indebted to imaginative fantasy rock music in the spirit of Led Zeppelin. With a driving rhythm, Cosmic Suckerpunch has invaded the L.A. scene, and with their self-released debut, Good Morning, the band plans on waking up the rest of us with a primal scream.
There's a reason L.A. has become synonymous with making your dreams come true. Hollywood and the Sunset Strip having been cranking out stars for more than a century, whether purposefully or coincidentally, and new discoveries come every day. Take the case of Welkom, discovered as an actor before teaming up with guitarist Fabien Hameline on a movie set. The two realized their shared interests and respected talents could lead to a different kind of artistic avenue, and they first formed the musical act Ghost Robot in 2009. While that moniker's cuteness dried up pretty quick, they eventually recruited drummer Adam Timmerman and bassist Sebastian Hameline, Fabien’s twin brother,  for the full line up of what is now Cosmic Suckerpunch.

At first holed up and honing their chops in coffeehouses and small clubs, the band's popularity grew in the city of angels and they soon graduated to historic venues like The Viper Room and the House of Blues. Their eclectic and tightly packed sound easily brings in a wide fan base of both geeks and casual listeners. The group plays up a sparkling tongue-in-cheek science fiction vibe throughout their otherwise straightforward music, with themes like robot love and time machines popping up regularly and Welkom often adopting a Ziggy Stardust like swagger when he endearingly croons and stutter-starts his lyrics. Combining that nod to the original space oddity, the group zeroes in on perfectly timed effects and a nonchalant, happily head banging rhythm that never fails to produce a sing-along/jump-along kind of atmosphere.

Cosmic Suckerpunch is expanding their universe, starting by self-releasing their debut record, Good Morning. Even with the understated album title, the band transforms their live sound into a classic rock album, full of the same glimmering exuberance they've become known for. Having recently found themselves opening festivals and seeing bigger stages, the group is now ready to rock on a level of, ahem, cosmic proportions.

by Charles Swanson (MySpoonful) 12/27/11

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"In Love with a Robot" music video making of!

By now, most of you have probably seen our music video for our track "In Love With a Robot". (if not here's the link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUJX7ptmw_Uwww.youtube.com/watch?v=fUJX7ptmw_U ). The shooting of the video was full of  funny stories, from the conception to shopping props, to the finished product. So I thought today I'd tell you a little about it. A director's commentary so to speak. The video was directed by myself (Fabien), beautifully shot by my brother Sebastien, beautifully dressed by my girlfriend Lyndsay (who also designs all the artwork for the band, from the flyers and stickers to the album cover), and beautifully acted by Adam's ex-girlfriend and the band Cosmic Suckerpunch .


A year and a half ago, we played for the first time this song live, and after the show, one of the close friends of the band came to see us, and said: "That new song... I like it. It talks about a girl and her vibrator, right?". Which Ari didn't originally meant when he first wrote the lyrics of the song. But we thought what a cool concept that would be for a music video! So a year and half later, we shot it. Judged "Not suited for school or work" by the press, this video has generated a lot of controversies.

For me, the music video tells the story of this young puritan girl from the 50's that gets her first vibrator. She discovers herself, discovers her body. It's a story about a sexual liberation and revolution... and rock'n'roll.


So here we go...


We're here on one of our main sets. For the time of the shoot, Ari's living room has been transformed into a young girl's bedroom. And he has been sleeping there too for a few days, because that's his bed we're using here. Some guys wonder what it is to be a little girl, Ari has now the answer.






When we first started to design her bedroom, we had to make it girly. Ari being a single dude, there was not much to be used as what he had. So we had to shop a lot for the set dressing. We did thrift stores/craigslist/personal items, you name it. I think the only thing that is Ari's here, is the bed ( not the cover) and that blue cage holding a bird. Ari being a swell guy and all, he rescued "Birdie" from his court yard, and magically fitted the color pattern we were using. I thought it'd be a cool metaphor for our young girl's situation. She is trapped in a cage being her bedroom, but soon will be freed... by Cosmic Suckerpunch. The vanity table is circa 1950. The knitted blankets probably are too as they were knitted by Lyndsay's grandmother a long time ago. I didn't want to have plain walls, so knowing Lyndsay has some serious arts and craft skills, I asked her to paint something to put up. She came up with those 50's design inspired paintings, as well as that golden star you see in the wider shot. I am still looking for a spot to put it up in our home.


The little green robot made out of foam under the table lamp, is actually a pretty funny story. In the early days, we used to be called Ghost Robot, and one of Lyndsay's art assignment at school was to make something out of foam. She did the robot. I thought it would be cool to have a reference to the past of Cosmic Suckerpunch . 



The cat stuffed animal at the girl's feet, comes from a Goodwill store in Los Angeles. That item had become a legend in the store has it has been there forever, since no one wanted to buy it. Lyndsay was told that as joke, the employees would switch his place every week in the store. When she got it, the store was filled with celebration and sadness at the same time, like a kid leaving his hometown for the city.




We couldn't find a 1950's TV at a reasonable price, so we went for this circa 1967 Zenith model. A geeky dude sold it to me in the street.






National Geographic revamped.




We couldn't find a rotary phone anywhere, since no one uses them anymore. So we had Ari's parents express-ship us theirs, and we painted it in pink!

 The band set - a tribute to the late night shows of the 50's, especially inspired from the Beatles' first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964. The stars were all hand made. This location is quite interesting as it is the warehouse where Josh resides. For a while Cosmic Suckerpunch used to rehearse there. This place has quite a bit of rock'n'roll history has it used be were the band Suicidal Tendencies used to live and rehearse back in the days.



 The vibrator. It's one of the first props we got. At the end of a rehearsal at Josh's warehouse, I told him about the vibrator, and he told me "dude, there this sex shop down the street, they have everything you'd want!". Trusting his knowledge in this area, we all hopped in the car and went there. I checked in on yelp and had a 30% discount.




In the end, I think we're all very proud of this video, as it is such a fun video to watch. And I don't mind the controversy. Every press is good, right?


-  Fabien.










Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A personal story about playing at the House of Blues...

Here I am at the Outside Lands Festival...
not the HOB of course :)
Ever since I was a young kid, just learning how to play bass and discovering what I liked listening to, the House of Blues on Sunset was always this mysterious presence in my parent's yearly rounds of concerts...a place at which all the top groups performed, but also one that somehow maintained a homely vibe and ambiance. My dad still talks about getting the chance to meet Jimmy Vaughan (Stevie Ray's older brother) just outside the entrance, on the sidewalk of Sunset boulevard. I remember seeing The Roots perform there, and just being in awe of the energy coming off the stage and bouncing around the willing audience.

In the last couple of month's, I've had the opportunity to play this amazing venue as the newest member of Cosmic Suckerpunch, and it has absolutely been a dream come true. I didn't anticipate feeling so accomplished after any one gig, but somehow it just gets to me in a very special way playing in such a cool spot. I know I'm not the only one in the band looking forward to playing there again, but I just know that when we get the opportunity to play on the main stage in the main showroom, whenever that may be, I'm going to put every ounce of energy and emotion I have into that performance, because the venue is just that inspiring for me. Even though we are constantly working to get better as a band and that is definitely happening, I felt like our latest performance at the House of Blues, this past Monday, was our best show in a lot of ways. I can't help but think the venue played a big part in that.

In the Parish Room, where we've played these last two times within the House of Blues, there are relief sculptures of famous musical artists up on the slanted ceilings. When we played "Hey Joe" underneath the relief of Jimi Hendrix, I almost got chills looking up and seeing his face in stone staring down on us...it was an interesting type of energy that urged me to push forward and really play my heart out and do everything possible to honor his legacy. That's the way the whole place makes me feel, a place where good music is propelled to the forefront and held in the highest regard...and it's such a good feeling to join the group of artists who've helped make that reputation possible throughout the years.

-Josh (the new bass player)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Kinderschokolade

I am proud to say that beside the guitar sounds, there is something else I brought to the band Cosmic Suckerpunch. And that is Kinder Chocolate, (pronounced Kinderschokolade for more exotic appeal). This O so sweet! delicacy was invented by an Italian company (the same that makes Nutella), yet first introduced in Germany in the late 60's, the same year Axis: As Bold as Love (previously talked about on this blog) had been released => sign of greatness. Kinderschokolade has been mostly successful in Mediterranean countries such as France, Italy, Germany and Eastern Europe, which is why it is so hard to find it in the U.S and why no one really knows about it. For us Europeans, Kinder Chocolate is deeply engraved in our childhood. 
 
Which is why one day, on my way to rehearsal here in L.A, it is with nostalgia that I found a pack of those at a local market in Little Armenia. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It has since then been the usual snack for the band at our extended 4-5 hours rehearsals, as, let's not forget about it, Kinderschokolade is full of nutrients. High in sugar, which is enough to give a little boost to keep you going, and calcium-filled milk, which is good for bouncing around and head banging and stuff, and let's face it, it's pretty yummy. So thank you Kinderschokolade, even if your package is little outdated, and not very appealing, you rock. 
 
- Fabien
 
 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cosmic Suckerblanca!!







Hey everyone!! One day out from shooting the first portion of our very first MUSIC VIDEO!! Tomorrow morning we are heading over to Ari's now transformed apartment to shoot the scenes involving the beautiful actress/ singer Whitney Blair. I don't want to give away too much but she's "In Love With A Robot". The boys tried on suit jackets yesterday morning in LA's fabric district and were pleasantly surprised as how nicely they clean up. They are shooting their scenes on Saturday night in Josh's also transformed warehouse. So keep an eye out for the release of our very first music video! - Tizz 
 


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday morning rock history

As you might know, I am not only a vinyl collector, but also a Jimi Hendrix fan. So yesterday, when, in a local store with Josh, I found an original vinyl edition of the abum Axis: Bold as Love by Jimi, I couldn't help myself from getting it. So here we are today, the feared Sunday morning of Carmageddon.

Today I need to do some sound experiment with my rig, do some pre-production stuff for the music video we're shooting with the band next week. But first, what a better way to start a Sunday than with a cup of Joe and some good ol' Jimi Hendrix? When listening to him, I am always amazed by two things, 1-that Jimi Hendrix, who learnt how to play guitar, very much self-taught,  and played it in the subway, went to become one of the most incredible guitar player ever, and one of the major influences of modern guitar, who influenced probably every single rock band in the history, (from the Rolling Stones to Cosmic Suckerpunch). 2- that in something like 5 years, (1964-69), the same thing happened to music than what happened to technological evolution at the beginning of the 20th century: a rush of discoveries never seen before, raising the bar to an unforeseen level. All the effects that were invented in the 60's are the same we're using today (most of which were invented by mistakes and experimentations) such as flanger, chorus, large reverb, delay... There is no such thing as new effects invented nowadays, just combinations of those from the 60's that are now called "new effect". But really, back then, they invented everything. As you can see in the picture, even Bijou, our unofficial mascot, is interested in reading the liner notes. I mean who wouldn't? Hendrix, for instance, is one of the dudes that invented distortion, as simple as it is. Imaginary discussion between Hendrix and a dude that never heard of him
"Dude: What's your name?
Hendrix: I am Jimi Hendrix
Dude: What do you do?
Hendrix: Errrr.... I invented distortion...
Now that's thinking outside the box."

Time to get to work,

FabZ