Q&A with The Living Statues

The Milwaukee band performs live at The Viper Room on June 5.

[By Monica Harris]

Think The Strokes mixed with The Killers. This describes the music of The Living Statues, a handsome trio from Milwaukee who is bringing something new and exhilarating to the current music scene: good old fashioned rock ‘n roll highlighted by the passionate energy of frontman Tommy Shears. We chatted with the group about their current album and upcoming shows. As drummer Chris Morales says,   ‘Playing these songs is our favorite thing to do, the audience can tell that we’re loving every second of it.’

The group consists of: Tommy Shears (Vocals & Guitar), Chris Morales (Drums), and Alex Thornburg (Bass).

Q. How did you come together to form The Living Statues?

Tommy: Chris and I had played together with various groups in the past. In 2008 we broke off and started writing the music we wanted to play. We existed as a guitar/drums duo for a long time, and added Alex to round out the sound. Since late 2011 The Living Statues have been playing and writing as this lineup.
Q.  What music did you mostly listen to growing up and who inspired you the most?

Chris: Each of us comes from a unique musical background. I grew up being surrounded by a lot of “pop” music — artists like MJ, Prince, Kanye, The Killers. The guys introduced me into the classics in Rock n Roll.

Tommy: I was raised on The Beatles, so they’ll forever be my #1. I was also lucky enough to be musically conscious when the garage rock revival was happening. The Strokes and White Stripes are pretty high up there.

Alex: I’m a big fan of garage/punk rock – The Who, Iggy Pop & The Stooges, The White Stripes.  I like punchy riffs being shot through a tube amp while the singer spits on the floor.  Rock n Roll.

Q.  Is this your first trip to L.A. and are you excited about playing the Viper Room?

Tommy: This is our first time playing out here. We couldn’t be more excited to play the Viper Room. Even out in Wisconsin, that venue is a recognizable name.

WATCH “Knockin/Not My Fault”

Q.  What can we expect from your live performances?

Chris: Our live performances are where we thrive. We are all showmen who feed off each other and the audience’s energy. Playing these songs is our favorite thing to do, the audience can tell that we’re loving every second of it.

Q.  What is the most mischief you’ve gotten into on the road?

Tommy: Lets just say that the TSA doesn’t appreciate TLS stickers on the outside of their planes.

Q.  What things do you like to do in your spare time?

Alex: We are all avid vinyl collectors. From classic albums to newer releases, we consume music on wax. Many band meetings end at our local record stores. Looking forward to visiting Amoeba records.

Q. Tell us about “Strike A Match“– the background, where it was recorded, who you worked with.

Tommy: Strike of a Match was entirely self recorded, produced and released straight out of a Midwestern basement. The EP showcases all of our individual styles and influences which gives a great mixture of retro-pop and garage rock. We just recorded a live a music video for two of the tracks on this disc, Knockin’ and Not My Fault.

Q. Are you currently working on a new album and when can we expect it?

Chris: We are about to release a new single later this month called Our American Cousin with plans to return to the studio in July. Look for something this fall. Check out our website, longlivethestatues.com for the music video and all our latest releases. ~

Get tix to The Living Statues @ The Viper Room here.