The Lost Years
By Victoria Banegas
Cities of Origin: Riverside.
Kindred spirits: The Velvet Underground, Hole, Nirvana and Sonic Youth.
Frequents: Back to the Grind (Riverside), Worthington’s Tavern (Riverside) and The Blood Orange Infoshop (Riverside).
Although their sound is post-punk, The Lost Years has some heartwarming, personal experiences to share with the world. After recovering from an eating disorder in 2007, member Joey Reynoso used this experience to write the latest single “I’m So High,” a song that deals with his post-traumatic stress and transcendence into his identity. Their EP entitled Revenge and Reincarnation, expected to drop in the summer of 2014, also deals with intense emotional experiences as means of influencing the audience to fight through struggles and enjoy life. This album has been in the works for the past year, including singles that are expected to drop early in the New Year. Not only is the band working on new material, as part of the queer community, The Lost Years will be participating in various queer and women’s rights festivals—promoting its music while simultaneously supporting a great cause. With a handful of shows coming up in the next month, there is no reason to miss such an inspiring and entertaining band in a live performance. Costumes, dancing and guest musicians all add to the vivacity of its shows, creating intense energy and fun vibes. Although the band is fairly new, The Lost Years is getting around quickly, and it is sure to become an IE favorite.
What are your influences?
Nigel Hamblin: ‘80s, ‘90s, punk and post-punk. ‘90s alt-rock, Sonic Youth, Nirvana and a ton ‘60s music. I take a lot of influence from Peter Tosh and Brand New as well as a variety of genres and periods.
Joey Reynoso: I would say a lot of ‘60s music for me too. Especially with the use of melody, and the way things were recorded. I like very romanticized atmospheric music. I adore Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood, The Mamas and Papas, The Grass Roots, The Everly Brothers, The Ronettes, all things Phil Spector, all things Lou Reed. And then of course you got “the god father of punk” Iggy Pop. Then we got our punk, post-punk bands and poets: Hole, Beat Happening, The Wipers, Henry’s Dress [and] The Raveonettes.
Tell me about your song writing process.
Reynoso: It works in a number of ways.
Hamblin: There is no one way we write our music. Sometimes Joey writes lyrics and I come up with the riff for it.
Reynoso: Sometimes I write the lyrics and a general idea of a chord progression, and Nigel will perfect it, and other times Nigel comes up with a riff, and I’ll write lyrics to it. As far as writing lyrics though, I journal a lot and pour out many of my ideas there and sift through them later. Two of our more recent songs “Bad Boy” and “Honey Bee” happened very naturally—Nigel was playing guitar, and I had some rough versions of lyrics that I had written just the day before. He just kept playing, and I wrote and re-wrote, and in about an hour we had two new songs. We’ve also done this thing before where we write in journals separately and then swap them with one another. Then we make a variety of creative responses to each others journaling—sometimes it’s pictures, drawings, poems or relative anecdotes.
Hamblin: It’s a very interconnected process.
Reynoso: For us, being a band is largely about being great friends to each other, being a support system, having clear communication and understanding each others emotions and experiences. I’ve opened up to Nigel about some crazy life experiences I’ve had, and when I explain to him what my lyrics mean I think it bonds on a deep level that helps the song come to life.