2KX are a multi award winning band that are thrilled to be back with a new album called Sussuration. I spoke with keyboardist and composer Lisa LaRue who said, “2KX is excited about being able to make music again, after taking a break due to health reasons. The track has a classic 2KX sound, and goes through four movements, the last illustrating sussuration which is the sound of wind through the trees”.
The album was produced and mixed by LaRue and mastered by multi-Grammy mastering engineer Adam Ayan of Bob Ludwig’s Gateway Mastering. Ayan is known for his mastering of bands such as The Rolling Stones, Nine Inch Nails, Rush, Linkin Park and numerous others.
What is the meaning behind 2KX and the name?
The band 2KX formed out of a project I had in 2009, which was called Lisa LaRue Project 2K9, meaning ‘two thousand nine.’ That project developed into a permanent band in 2010, and voila!! “2KX.” We have a core band consisting of Steve Adams on guitars, Mike Alvarez on cello, John Baker on vocals, Merrill Hale on drums, Lisa LaRue on keyboards, and Don Schiff on NS Stick. On this EP, and our last album “Fast and Blue,” we had various guests. On “Sussuration,” you will find Brenda K of the Panache Orchestra guesting on violin, and Michael Wheeler guesting on Dilruba. On Fast and Blue, we had John Payne of the band Asia, Michael Sadler of the band Saga, and many others.
For folks new to your music, can you explain your sound?
The bulk of our music is Progressive Rock, but we always have at least one track that is more Pop/Rock/AOR. On the Progressive Rock side, we have hints of bands like Yes. On the Pop/Rock side, bands such as The Flaming Lips have been named. You’ll just have to listen! The radio single is very catchy, and the full album version is symphonic, dramatic and emotional.
Who are your musical inspirations?
I know each band member has their own, but I can say that mine ranges from legendary Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman, to old movie scores and musicals, and our vocalist/additional guitarist is quite influenced by John McLaughlin regarding his guitar playing and writing. I can tell you, however, that all of the people in the band have played in or are still members of other Progressive Rock bands, such as The Rocket Scientists and Mars Hollow. Our lead vocalist was also a member of 1980’s Los Angeles cult band, The Little Girls who had one of the first videos on MTV.
What is your writing and recording process like?
Usually, one of us will write either a riff, a movement, or a whole song structure, and then we each have a go with it and add what we feel is coming from our heart. 9.5 out of 10 times, it is a perfect match and feel for what the original writer was trying to convey. We each record in either our home studios, or commercial studios, and then in the last 2 years, I do the mixing and production.
The album was produced and mixed by yourself and was mastered by multi-Grammy engineer Adam Ayan. How did that effect the recording of this EP album?
It didn’t affect the recording any, unless I decided to add something at the last minute haha…. I was able to do that, but didn’t do much of it. All of our members are veterans with recording, and I have mixed and produced various projects and learned from one of the best (John Payne), so it went smooth as silk. Adam had no issues with the mix provided him, and we were all very pleased with the outcome.
Your release involves a very cool feature in that one movement of the song “Sussuration” will be available (in limited edition) as a special 7”, hand-shaped lathe cut record. Why was this something you wanted to produce?
With each release, I like to provide something special. Whether it’s a booklet, a CD, a candle……. With the resurgence of vinyl popularity, I decided to go back an authentic, vintage version of a record and found a manufacturer who had the original vintage lathes and hand cuts each record in real-time. They are also ‘clear.’ These are not just ‘records,’ but real pieces of a historical process, and a piece of art. We’re very excited about it!
What is next for 2KX?”
Each one of us has various other bands or projects we work with. For example, Don has just enjoyed the release of a new Rocket Scientist’s CD, John is completing an album with Los Angeles-based progressive band Forever Twelve, and I am finishing an album with Italian composer/keyboardist Federico Fantacone. And, somewhere in there, we shall meet again and create some new 2KX music! We always keep people posted through our website at lisalaruemusic.com and our Facebook.
Listen to Sussuration on Breakaway Radio.