La Dispute are already Michigan’s most interesting band and are quickly becoming the name on everybody’s lips. Their impressive and ever-expanding discography, featuring the recent split with their friends in Touche Amore, continues to turn heads and resonate with thinkers the world over. Having toured in 2009, the boys will return to Australia in early 2011 for a tour with Brisvegas’ own To The North. We caught up with La Dispute’s drummer Brad to talk Final Fantasy, abandoned houses and Tegan and Sara.
Hey pal, please start out by telling us your name, what you do in La Dispute and your favourite video game of all time.
My name is Brad Vander Lugt, I play drums, and my favourite video game is Final Fantasy 6.
What are the band’s major influences, musical or otherwise?
Oh boy, that would be different for everyone, but I’ll say for myself my family and friends are big influences on me. They’re super supportive and very inspiring people. Musically I’m really into jazz and blues, just watched a documentary on Dave Brubeck last night and it was incredible.
You guys gave us the pleasure of touring in 2009, what’ve you guys been up to since then?
Touring a lot, we’re in Canada at the moment. We recorded 2 splits (one with Touche Amore, one with Koji) and we’re working on our next full length. Very busy, but so much fun.
How did you guys feel the previous Australian tour went? What are you expecting from the upcoming dates in January?
We had a wonderful experience last time and expect nothing less this time around. To The North are some of the kindest dudes we’ve ever met, not to mention a fantastic band. Really excited to see those boys again. Looking forward to the summer weather as well! It’s so so cold at home at the moment.
The band’s recently been recording some new material as far as I know. How’s that been going?
It’s going very well. We’re excited to put out a new record! Experimenting with new concepts and sounds is a blast.
Has the writing and recording process evolved over the course of La Dispute’s existence?
Absolutely. In fact, we sort of reversed the process this time around. We’re working closely with Jordan to fit the tone of the music with his lyrical content. It’s been challenging but will hopefully make for a better record in the end. I guess time will tell!
Grand Rapids is geographically fairly out of the way. What’s the music scene like in your hometown?
It’s good and bad, just like everywhere else in the world. There are places to great things for the scene, and people working very hard to keep it alive. It’s becoming more difficult to find appropriate venues for us to play, but that will come with time I’m sure. We really love Grand Rapids though, it’s an amazing city.
What’s the best show that the band’s ever played?
Hmmmm. That’s a tough one. Honestly, the abandoned house show in Australia is one that stands out if my mind for sure. Bled Fest last year was great too. There’s far too many I think.
And the worst thing that’s ever happened to La Dispute?
Well our van got broken into in New York and that was a bummer. But honestly we’ve been so lucky, I’ve heard so many horror stories from other bands. If that’s the worst thing that happens to us I feel very fortunate.
What five records get the greatest rotation on the car stereo while you guys are on tour?
Tegan and Sara: Sainthood
Mouse on the Keys: Sezession
Tigers Jaw: Spirit Desire
Saves the Day: Through Being Cool
The Hold Steady: Boys and Girls in America
Any new bands you’ve heard lately that are worth checking out?
Mouse on the Keys. We just finished a tour with ENVY and they are friends with MOTK. Incredible musicians. (The new ENVY record is fantastic as well.)
Other than touring our fine country, what does the future hold for La Dispute?
Well, hopefully get the record out at a decent time next year and tour, tour, tour!
Thanks dude! Any last shout outs or comments?
Thank you! Shout out to Stu Harvey. He better come hang out this time!
Cheers, see you in January!