Rob LaFond wasn’t a kid like you. He skipped classes and railed on the electric guitar he was given for his 14th birthday. He crashed sets at Worcester, Mass. blues clubs and learned to play the entirety of Hendrix’s The Ultimate Experience by the time he was 15. He engineered a 16-track recording studio in his dorm room at the illustrious but unconventional Goddard College, in Vermont. There he started to develop his own sound as well as work with avant-garde songwriters and independent filmmakers – resulting in great demand among the most popular musicians in the area to record with him.
LaFond grew up on his father’s record collection with classics from Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Petty, and The Beatles. “I like the carefree music of the 50s and 60s that had a really simple straightforward message. And also, the late 60s and early 70s when it mixed with psychedelia” he notes. He uses acoustic guitars, vintage instruments with organic sounds, and layered vocals to create the atmosphere for his songs adding “It’s important to me that a song takes you on a journey through space and time.”
He describes his recording process as, “I carefully choose all my session players and the instruments we use. To me vibe and feel of a song are much more important than the technicalities of the riffs. I like to keep it a little edgy and rugged rather trying to make everything perfect. I think music and songwriting has to be its own living breathing organism. I don’t like it when it’s too cookie cutter, you gotta dirty it up a bit. I think we live in a society where we try to make things too perfect, it’s not real life.”
In addition to his music, Rob is also a photographer and a filmmaker. He works with a variety of artists, brands, and culture creators to make compelling content. He’s done VR music videos and fashion shoots in Los Angeles, Prague, and Medellin, Colombia. His photography and video work have been featured on NPR, Rolling Stone, and Pitchfork to name a few.
After establishing himself in New England for school, LaFond co-founded an experimental rock project Modern Loss, releasing an EP and touring around the east coast. With an opportunity to come to California, he traversed the country finding a home in Los Angeles and working for Epitaph Records.
For 2007’s release Shadows in the Room, LaFond recorded himself on every instrument playing drums and vintage synthesizers. He calls the layered sounds the demo of “1000 Robs” which was his first solo project created over a winter in his loft recording studio in the woods of Massachusetts. His last release, the first in this series of three EPs, “When We Fly”, built on that classic Brill Building throwback sound, enlisting industry veterans like the Indie Mastermind producer Raymond Richards (Local Natives, honey honey). They recorded the EP in one week in Raymond’s West L.A Studio, Red Rockets Glare with music heavy-weights like bassist Jesse Ingalls (Ben Harper, Rickie Lee Jones), and drummer Adam Topol (Jack Johnson, Mason Jennings) in addition to his own skills. “When We Fly” reminisces on overcoming the struggle to gain a new view on life—a revivalist project with a distinctly modern voice. The first song “Born in the Sunshine” was featured as KCRW’s Today’s Top Tune.
His new EP “High and Low”, the second in his three EP series (that form a sentence: When we fly high and low…) was produced in the center of DTLA’s skid row at Royal Dog Records with noted producer Jean Paul Riva (Ruby Friedman, Mother Superior) who inherited his chops from his great grandfather Harry Warren, writer of American classics like “At Last,” “I Only Have Eyes for You” and “That’s Amore.” An impressive group filled out the sound on the EP including Ty Bailie (Katy Perry, Mudhoney) on keys, rhythm guitar and backing vocals by Brian Whelan (Dwight Yoakam), Matt Tecu (Jakob Dylan, Beck) on drums, with guitar and bouzouki from classic LA punker Zander Schloss (Circle Jerks, Joe Strummer), and bass from Ian Walker (KD Lang, Cher).
The new EP’s theme is taken from the opening track and single “She’s Dangerous” and features an unmistakable vibe of rebellious mischief making.