In a lot of ways, we come with our own stuff…we all do music outside the The Lavender Project…It’s a mixture of kinda doing it together but also bringing influences from outside (on song collaboration).

Kyle Crayton

Keyboards/Vocals, The Lavender Project

You are listening to the alternative hip hop band, The Lavender Project, born from impromptu jam sessions with area band Knee-High July, we talk origins, process when writing, favorite songs, the pandemic, and what’s coming up for this unique collaboration of sound coming out of La Crosse, Wisconsin. Watch Show.

Lavender Project Transcript

Amy Gabay 00:47
You’re listening to the alternative hip hop band, the Lavender Project born from impromptu jam sessions with area band Knee High July. We talk origins, process when writing, favorite songs, the pandemic and what’s coming up for this unique collaboration of sound coming out of La Crosse, Wisconsin. You can find more conversations on our website, lacrosselocal.com. I’m Amy. And I’m Brent. And this is La Crosse Local.

Lavender Project
I’m Fernando Mendoza. And I’m one of the vocalist, rappers you could say on the Lavender Project.

Lavender Project 01:21
I’m Kyle. I play keys and I sing as well.

Lavender Project 01:24
I’m Anthony, I do bass primarily.

Lavender Project 01:28
I’m Jay hertz. And I rap on the Lavender Project.

Lavender Project 01:31
I’m Stephanie and I also just sing.

Lavender Project 01:35
Not just sing.

Brent Hanifl 01:40
And we also have Carter playing the drums. And then we have Josh playing the lead on guitar.

Lavender Project 01:46
Yeah, Josh is out of town, out west. I envy him

Brent Hanifl 01:49
So we can talk bad about him right now?

Lavender Project 01:56
He’s so awfully good.

Brent Hanifl 02:00
So anyways, we got to see you perform at the Weber Center, which will be coming out here shortly for people to stream. How did the band come together? It was such a fun experience to watch you guys work collaboratively as you went through the set. How did the band come together?

Lavender Project 02:15
The first Garage Sessions we did with Knee High July was sort of like the first iteration of it in its own way. Like we, you know, we did that set. And then we just had such a good time. Kyle was there running sound for us. Poorly. (laughter) But we like the set ends and we just kept having such a good time we Scott playin. And Mike Makes and Dylan Overhouse decided to fire up the stream again. And that’s when Chris jumped on the mic and just let him have it, which is cool. And then from there, I don’t know, we all kind of realized, like, we started bringing more people into the fold and realized the chemistry was really there. And the creativity was there. And so we just kind of roll with it. And for the first, I don’t know, like a month of all of us playing together the first few sessions we wrote like four or five songs.

Lavender Project 02:21
We were awesome. About a half a set.

Lavender Project 03:04
Crazy. So honestly, the creativity hasn’t stopped. So it’s been, it’s been cool to play with it.

Brent Hanifl 03:11
Having such a large band, multi instruments, and the rapping going on, what is the process when you write music? Is it just kind of jumping in and just kind of mixing it up? Or do you guys come with some lyrics? Or what’s it like?

Lavender Project 03:24
We haven’t really nailed it down exactly. We’re still pretty young as a band. So we’re still developing it. But in a lot of ways we come with our own stuff, but we all do music outside of the Lavender Project, even beforehand. And so it’s a mixture of like kind of doing stuff together. But bringing stuff from outside maybe some past influence or past ideas we had.

Lavender Project 03:48
I’d say me and Fernando, we come in and there’s already like some keys laid down. And then we’re like, okay, we can pick from this and pick from that because we write so often for our own stuff. And then we can just separate from this and that and be like, Okay, this is a Lavender Project. This is our solo stuff. This is our collab stuff. We can all separate it from it. So it’s pretty nice like that, because we all like that chemistry, we can all just fit into it real quick. It doesn’t take that much time.

Lavender Project 04:13
I feel like too. It’s kind of fun watching like, we all have like Chris and Fernando has been working with each other for a long time already. So they have that chemistry down. You’re watching like chemistry develop between them and the rest of the band. Like I watched a lot of like times Kyle and Stef will kind of like nail in on a vocal kind of rhythm or harmony or something or Josh and Kyle, we all kind of grow off each other a little bit. We all kind of riff off each other and have ideas that influence each other. And a lot of times you have an idea you come in with but it’s kind of cool to give that outside input.

Lavender Project 04:45
That’s like one of my favorite things of playing with Anthony here is like we’re starting to vibe really well. Yeah. When I’m playing the low end, the left half of the keyboard. I’m definitely cueing into what Anthony’s doing largely and being supported by that. And hopefully supporting that as well. And I think recently we’ve been developing not only a chemistry like in our performance, but also chemistry and writing. After our like, first few sessions that Anthony mentioned, we, we had a really prolific first day. We came out of the gates, I think we had five songs, or at least the structures for them on that first day. And I think one of my favorite writing pieces is Yellow. We’re wrapping up that session. And I don’t know this ditty just kind of popped out and it was just laying there on the floor. And we all picked it up, like as we were putting our instruments away. (song plays)

Lavender Project 05:52
It’s one of my favorites. Yeah, long story short, yeah. I mean, we’re still in the process of learning how that all comes together. And it’s been really fun.

Lavender Project 06:03
Yeah, that’s, that’s kind of a joy. Just kind of to go at it loose and fresh and just kind of like, Alright, you play around with stuff till it pops out until it shows itself. That’s pretty sweet.

Brent Hanifl 06:15
Watching you guys perform to you know, it remind me of kind of those larger groups in terms of everything from you know, parliament, to Flaming Lips to something that’s like kind of exciting to see, just like a bunch of people coming together that it didn’t seem like it was in any particular genre.

Lavender Project 06:31
Yeah, I think everybody has their own little, their own little way of writing or playing and it all kind of just comes together really nicely.

Lavender Project 06:39
I think that’s like, one of the purchases I made just before the pandemic was this little 808 machine, which I’m really happy getting that. It definitely prepared me for this. The situation here. A year ago, I wouldn’t have thought I was gonna be making like an alternative.

Lavender Project 06:56
Yeah, no way. No one saw that.

Lavender Project 06:58
I was playing bluegrass and other stuff.

Brent Hanifl 07:04
You said the song Yellow? Do you have any other particular song that really hits home for like, all of you together that you just feel like you really kind of got that one locked down more than others?

Lavender Project 07:13
Go Home is a big one. I think for us. Difference a big one for us. That’s sort of like our MO of a song almost, you know, it’s like it’s just mature.

Lavender Project 07:22
They’re wildly different. Yeah. Those those songs, man, I really

Lavender Project 07:27
I really like Aftermath.

Lavender Project 07:29
Yeah. I really like that. Just working on more stuff. So,

Brent Hanifl 07:34
Yes. Even just Yeah, can’t get enough.

Lavender Project 07:37
It’s kind of like the favorite song is almost the next one we do. We’re like, are we excited about this one? Oh, you know,

Brent Hanifl 07:43
Do you feel like the pandemic has helped in some ways, creatively with this project in particular?

Lavender Project 07:49
Yeah, for sure. It feels like you separated from your daily life, which is like going out places everything. So it’s like for an artist, you’re just sitting back and actually just like focusing on your music. So either if you’re me and Fernando, we just sit down and write to any beat that we hear, it doesn’t matter, we can correspond with our writing to any beat that we listen to. So it’s like that’s, that’s putting in our work for the day. And for anybody else. It’s like, Oh, I might be writing or learning some new VST or doing some new flick of the wrist, you know, just anything like that. That is getting you further in the day that you wouldn’t be doing. Not necessarily not being productive, but not doing as much as you would be originally.

Lavender Project 08:36
I was a big fan of going out on town. Doesn’t really help me hone the craft. Spending money at the bars. Not a wealthy man, but a little bit more wealthy now.

Brent Hanifl 08:50
I don’t even know if it’s $5 I can drink anymore. I’m a little older.

Lavender Project 08:54
So find out.

Lavender Project 08:57
Well, as you know, the world being the crazy chaos that it is. Really, it gives us a lot of writing material. Like Yeah, half the song so far. I kind of like, you know,

Lavender Project 09:06
yeah, Aftermath is a big one.

Lavender Project 09:09
Sort of like reflections on the chaos of the world right now. So

Lavender Project 09:13
Yeah.

Lavender Project 09:14
So it’s kind of lots of writing material out there. Yeah, I do think we’re pretty fortunate in having this collective.

Brent Hanifl 09:21
Yeah, this collective

Lavender Project 09:22
and collection

Lavender Project 09:26
Must be infectious.

Brent Hanifl 09:29
We’ve heard work from you know, kind of the separation of the bands coming together. But you know, we’ve heard word from each one of your different projects. what’s coming up next. I mean, we’re doing the garage sessions people are going to be able to check out music, but what are you excited about? That’s going to be kind of coming out in 2021 or 2022. With the band.

Lavender Project 09:47
So many things. Yeah, countless. I know Knee High July right now is in the process of recording an album.

Lavender Project 09:53
Yep, that’s doing really well.

Lavender Project 09:55
We share bassist and lead guitarist with them and a drummer.

Lavender Project 10:02
Oh shoot, I lost my train of thought.

Lavender Project 10:03
Oh, Yeah, Fernando’s got an album coming out, what’s it called?

Lavender Project 10:07
Trapped Forever.

Lavender Project 10:09
That sounds really good so far.

Lavender Project 10:12
I got to say, Yeah, I got this album coming out called Smoke and Mirrors. It should be out by this time. So I’m really excited about that. You can find that on Spotify, YouTube, iTunes, all that stuff.

Lavender Project 10:26
But, yeah for Lavender as a project, we’re just nailing down and learning some more.

Lavender Project 10:32
That’s what I’m super excited about writing more songs.

Lavender Project 10:35
Yeah, absolutely.

Lavender Project 10:36
I got a lot to show you guys.

Lavender Project 10:40
Well, we got some shows we’re kind of working on like I booked some stuff. We’re working on some other outdoor venues. We’re trying to try to do summer right and, you know, do concerts responsibly if we can, get out and play the outdoor venues and play whatever we get our hands on as far as that kind of stuff, but and I think as we’re doing that, we’re always thinking about the studio.

Lavender Project 10:59
Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Lavender Project 11:01
Like how is this gonna work in the studio? What can we make it? What can we do to make it better for the studio? I guess? Yeah. Well, we’ll hopefully have something lined up. By the end of next year. I hope. We haven’t really talked about it. But I know we all have intention of recording a studio album.

Brent Hanifl 11:21
It’s been enjoyable to watch and see and people will be able to check it out on Garage Sessions coming up. But if people want to follow along, where’s the best avenue for them to go to?

Lavender Project 11:31
Um, right now we have our Instagram I think is probably the best.

Lavender Project 11:35
And then we also have a Facebook page as well just called the lavender project.

Lavender Project 11:41
We’ll have them as we go too I’m sure, it’s not set up now. We’re gonna get YouTube, I think set up. To get some of our just other songs and singles and stuff out there that way. Until we have things fully recorded. There’s not going to be a whole lot, Spotify or things like that. Yeah, it’s all in the future.

Lavender Project 11:58
We’re a pretty young band. I would say maybe six months not even perhaps.

Lavender Project 12:03
With all I got going on man. That’s close enough.

Amy Gabay 12:12
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La Crosse Community Theatre

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