Lucky Boys Confusion Biography
"They're pushing these children/ for all the wrong reasons /so far/man you're crushing down their spirits"
-from the song 'Fred Astaire'
Hailing from the deep recesses of Chicago's suburbs, how could Lucky Boys Confusion be anything but what they are: a scrappy, kinetic, precocious fivesome whose divergent influences of punk, hip hop, and reggae, provide the propulsion for one wild ride, both live and on record. Their Elektra debut, Throwing The Game, produced by Howard Benson (P.O.D., Less Than Jake, Zebrahead) and mixed by Randy Staub (Metallica, U2, Veruca Salt.) is filled with memorable bursts of careening punk-hop - "3 To 10/CB's Caddy Part III" and "Child's Play" - and reggae-tinged gems - "City Lights" and "Not About Debra," as well as more pristine rockers like "Breaking Rules" , "One to the Right" and "Fred Astaire." As tight as a quintet as you're likely to find these days, the energetic bandmembers fuel each other - rhythmically colliding, forever changing speeds - often in the same song.
Vocalist Kaustubh (aka "Stubhy") Pandav a first generation American of Indian descent, and guitarist Adam Krier write most of the Lucky Boys' songs. They attribute the great chemistry of Throwing The Game to the time spent in Chicago area clubs nurturing their talents. Says Adam: "There is a strong family of bands where we come from that encouraged playing out." Kaustubh agrees: "We had been eyeing each other's talents when we were in other bands. Everybody knows each other so there was always real camaraderie." The two musicians originally met about four years ago at a Chicago area Battle Of The Bands. Kaustubh and drummer Ryan were in one band, Adam and guitarist Joe were in another.
The two songwriters decided to get together to write some new material, and the sessions began to click. Soon, Joe, Ryan, and bassist Jason Shultejann completed the circle, and Lucky Boys Confusion was born. They began doing shows almost immediately. "Our live playing has always been a huge factor in the appeal of the band," says Adam. "It's usually what reels people in. But we also had all these great, diverse influences driving us too. I credit our influences and our short attention spans. One of my favorite records growing up was the Beastie Boys' 'Paul's Boutique.' It was an album from start to finish, not just a collection of songs. On our album we didn't want much space between songs. Even though we were merging different sounds, everything ties together." The disc features an especially creative use of intros/outros, and compelling snippets in between tracks.
The do it yourself spirit of the group has been ingrained from the start. They first released a 4 song EP in 1997, calling it for lack of a better name - What Gets Me High. "That started the buzz," said Adam. "We built a kind of grassroots audience." Fans shadowed the band as they played bars and small clubs throughout the suburbs of Chicago.
In late 1998, again under their own banner, they released the album Growing Out Of It. The thematic collection was a good snapshot of life - Lucky Boys style - in the Chicago suburbs. "We sold about 6,000 copies out of our cars and at shows and local record stores," says Kaustubh. "It combined our first EP with new songs. We started to notice that the crowds were getting bigger. We could get 900 people into the Metro. We started playing the surrounding area, Milwaukee, Champaign, Iowa City, really getting noticed." They also added another EP to their catalogue, The Soapbox Spectacle.
A local radio station began playing one of their songs, "Dumb Pop Song," (which along with several other re-recorded gems from their indie repertoire, would reappear on the new album) and the word about the band began to spread beyond the Midwest. Elektra signed them in 2000, and the boys soon began working on their major label debut.
"It's been a great run so far," says Kaustubh. He cites the song "City Lights" as a kind of an ode to the monumental changes that have taken place in the last year. "When we went to L.A. to work on the album we realized we were looking forward to this next phase of working with a bigger label, but at the same time, we wanted to remember what was back there. That song's about having to move on with your life and having to let go of someone or something that's very dear to you."
The group does an excellent job of balancing their subject matter on the new album, which Adam says was a goal from the start: "Our songs reflect our experiences, reflect life. We wanted an equilibrium on the record." Adam points to a song like "40-80" as capturing the more playful side of the boys. "It's a fun song that captures our suburban run-ins with the local authorities, if you know what I mean. It has a message to it too, but it catches maybe what we're most about: delivering that message with a bit of levity."
Another corker is the blistering "3 To 10." "That is a straight ahead party song," says Adam. "We ripped through that right on the spot." The band's ability to juxtapose themes and styles has garnered comparisons to bands like 311 and Sublime. Says Kaustubh: "We love those bands, but the funny thing about being compared to them is we found out they grew up listening to the same music we did; reggae and punk rock."
The band also reveals a tremendous amount of depth on the new album. Songs like "Slip" and the anthemic "One to the Right" strike a chord with fans, separating the group from the slew of sound-alike out there. "Kids are still hungry for music with a message, even in times of watered down boy bands and testosterone fueled rap/metal clones," says Kaustubh.
Ultimately, of course, Lucky Boys Confusion is formed by the unique role each member plays within the group. "Joe was classically trained on piano," says Kaustubh. "Ryan is more like me, never been trained but has played around a lot. Jason is technically probably the best at what he does. His grandfather played, and Jason inherited his bass when he died. We all know each other so well. That can't help but show on record."
Maybe the best testament to their identity can be found in the title of the album, Throwing The Game. "It comes from an experience me and Adam had." Said Kaustubh. "In the middle of recording the album we were getting pressured to sound this way or that. You know, the growing pains of working with a new label. One night, after everybody else went home, we were just exhausted from all the back and forth and we just said screw it. We let them do what they wanted with our sound. Essentially, we threw the game. Later on we came to our senses and said: 'No way!.' We know who we are and we know what's best for us. In the end, we got our way and everybody loved the result. That's why we titled the album that way. To never forget. We've come so far. We're going to work our asses off to make sure this happens for us."
Please click here to submit the latest Lucky Boys Confusion biography
LBC | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/26/2006
lbc kicks....especially live.......their lyrics tell a story and you can really seriously get into them.....they rock....give 'em a whirl...you won't regret it!!
Is this review helpful to you? Yes No
Quite A Surprise | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/22/2004
I was like, oh, great, another band...
Then I listened to them.
I was greatly impressed. I mean, the music is pumped and well-organized. The lyrics are empowering. Seeing them live is much better, but the cds will not disappoint anyone. I actually bought the cd instead of hunting for it online... and I hate paying for music!
Is this review helpful to you? Yes No
The following area is only for review,
Recommend the artist to your friends.