Los Angeles based musician Rob LaFond recalls, “I grew up on hip hop, rap, and pop music in the ‘90s. Everything from N.W.A. to Vanilla Ice. My first concert was The New Kids On The Block, and it was Donny’s birthday, and I got hit with cake.” His influences are diverse, and one can hear a little Tom Petty in “Open Road,” and his dramatic “She’s Dangerous” recalls a blues-rock overtone of Dire Straits.
Jimi Hendrix was LaFond’s very first inspiration when as a boy, he got the Ultimate Experience compilation. “After I got the album I begged my Dad to buy me an electric guitar, and when I got it, I tried to mimic all of Jimi’s riffs on that album. I secretly practiced some of his guitar moves too, trying to play behind my back and with my teeth. I’ve always like a bit of showmanship in a performer, especially if it’s done in a cool way. I’ve incorporated some of it into my performances, but no burnt guitars yet.”
Like many artists, he started out writing songs in the style of those he admired most, and in “Sky,” the first track of his Shadows in the Room CD, you can hear how he was influenced by the spoken-word rap in the Beastie Boys’ “Namaste.” LaFond describes his process: “I usually get into a very specific person and then I will listen to them over and over again, trying to learn their intricacies as an artist. Then I put a twist on it and try to incorporate it into my own style.” Those influences can be heard for example, in his “Springtime in LA,” where one might imagine Led Zeppelin with the dropped-down open tuning. “I think musical style comes out of people trying to sound like the ones who influence them, but when they put it through their own lens, it becomes something new and unique,” said LaFond. “It’s most important to be yourself as an artist.”
Check out this great write-up from Big Bull Blues HERE.
LA Blues and Folk Musician Rob Lafond released his second EP High and Low this August. Especially the single “She’s Dangerous” is very catchy.
Blues influenced single “She’s Dangerous”
The lyrics are in style with many blues songs you know: about your “dangerous baby” and the troubled life this can bring you. The guitar riffs are addictive, and also the honky tonk piano additions and thrilling backing vocals at the end complement this song positively.
“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. “
Hollywood Noir Video clip
Well, about the “She’s Dangerous “video. This is a true Hollywood Noir film meets Martin Scorsese or Tarantino movie scene. It is nicely done and brings some Rock ‘n Roll attitude to the song. The video work is nicely done!
Influences from Neil Young to Tom Petty
Rob Lafond’s music is overall folk influenced. Artist like Neil Young, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan are clearly an influence and hearable through the music. Here and there you’ll also hear some Exile on Street Rolling Stones through the music. Of course, Rob Lafond created his own liquor mix of music out of the influences.
I’m looking forward hearing more music of Rob Lafond in the future and maybe a more raw-edged addition to the lyrics. Follow and hear more music of Rob Lafondhere.