Lord Classic: the 19th century's greatest band
They dress like courtiers of Louis XIV and shot their new video in a secret psychedelic weapons compound in New Jersey. Who the hell are Lord Classic?
Do you remember the days when rock bands were, if not outright gods, at least decadent dandies prone to troubling, extravagant visions? Well, that's what we have on hand today. Dandies dreaming about becoming gods. Brooklyn's Lord Classic are so deep into their rock'n'roll fantasy that almost everything seems reasonable now, including dressing up like Victorian royals, releasing their first album on deluxe gatefold vinyl, and promoting it via extended music videos that drip with druggy cathode psychedelia. And they're doing it all on your average teenage garage band's budget.
How? Magic, quite clearly. Of course, none of this would even matter if they weren't so blindingly good. With a sound steeped in the darker corners of 70s hard rock and tempered with the hazy sheen of classic AM pop radio gold, Lord Classic is the greatest 19th century rock band in operation. Today, we debut their latest visual masterpiece, The Sixties/Cyberpellets video. But first, Classic Rock joins Lord Classic in their drawing room for a snifter of brandy and a few twice-told tales.
You should know going into this that Lord Classic is about 78% mythology, even to themselves. The only empirical facts we can offer is that the band consists of three glamorous and mysterious characters: Mattley Mountain (bass, vox); Pauly J (vox, guitar); and Mossy Ross (drums). There's a violin guy sometimes but apparently he's an apparition. Everything else I would say is true to somebody, but not everybody. Like how the band formed, for example. “Scoliosis brought us together,” explains Mossy Ross. “Years of wearing Victorian corsets did a number on my back, and Paul was my massage therapist. We started playing music together and needed a bass player. We met Mattley spinning piano scrolls at a local bar, and Paul knew immediately that he was a bass player based on the music he was playing.”
I call these “Piano Scrolls” LPs, but, yeah,” shrugs Mountain. “They came into the bar I was spinning, heard my B-Boy, New Jack Swing, and Funk records, and had me sussed for a bass player, which I was, and am.”
And that's really all there is to it. They were Lord Classic the moment they all met. And being Lord Classic required them to dress like Lord Classic. Some would say they look like pirates. In fact, most people would, because they look like pirates. But they are not pirates at all.
“We represent the four aspects of the French royal court in particular Louis XIV's ridiculously opulent vibe,” says Pauly J. “The only exception is that time has passed, and the mansion has rotted. The Princess. The Aristocrat. The Military. The Clergy.”
“Our clothing is the only thing we've hung onto since leaving the aristocracy, adds Ross. “This is the only way we know how to dress”.
“If you look at the grand scope of the history of rock line-ups, some of the greatest show-persons were absolutely covered in great attire,” Mountain points out. “The simple yet effective look of Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding being made to have their hair permed to match Hendrix's hair, to the elaborate, impossible costumes of GWAR and KISS. If you're on stage in front of people, give them something more than a dance pose and a shitty guitar chord."
And that's exactly what Lord Classic has done these past few years, slaying the peasants all over the east coast. And now that their album is out, they plan on sailing the ocean blue to conquer strange new shores.
“This record is our business card, really, “ says Mountain. “A full length, gatefold business card. We want to crack Europe and Asia. Europe in general seems to really appreciate a good piece of vinyl. We have a standing invite to Australia. Someday they’ll get us a chair.” Insert rimshot.
“We need Germany to witness our live show,” adds Pauly J. “In fact, we need all of Europe and Scandinavia to crack open the chocolate box that is our record.”
“Yeah,” nods Mountain. “A world tour would be nice.”
Lord Classic, as ever, think big. Which brings us, neatly to out main event, the debut of Lord Classic's new video. We're seeing it the same time you are, dear reader, and the band were no help in describing it, so we turn now to its director, singularly named Milkbuff.
“The band came to me and told me they wanted green screen and something a la Beat Club the mid 70's,” he explains. “I responded to them in the first video for “the 60s”. We hunted down a Swedish TV Host named Linnea, who flew in from her island compound in the Arctic circle and blessed us with her nordic pizzazz. In fact, that’s the TV show she hosts in Sweden - 'Nordic Pizzazz Tonight!'”
Classic Rock has no idea if this is true, but why not?
“To film the video, we retreated to a secret psychedelic weapons compound in New Jersey - the fridges were stocked with anti-gravitation Gin; plush, shag carpets; neon lights; and so many cupholders. Just craziness. That environment gave way to a delicious attitude of grooviness. We turned the lights and cameras on, and voila. We just had fun, and kept it as light and simple as possible. That’s what “the Sixties” was supposed to be all about - getting groovy and enjoying some unpretentious video.
Cyberpellets was of course a completely different beast, but due to time constraints, we were forced to film it in the same time, and space. This video is also the representation of a psychedelic jam whose atmosphere transports the listener through a series of feelings. It’s a hard rocker at first, and remains deliberate in its direction. It felt to me like the dark side of a drug experience. You know, the sort of thing that strips the ego and abducts it to a different world until you wake up at 5pm the next afternoon. Without getting too heady on you” - too late, but go on - “In Cyberpellets, the ego has been abducted by itself, and hence an interplay of both separation, by way of abduction, and self-voyeurism.”
Milkbuff goes on like that for awhile. It makes either less or more sense as he goes on, but really, it's just a goddamn rock video. Amazingly enough, the fever-brained director agrees.
“Yeah, you could just forget everything I just said, roll a spliff, and listen to and watch both music videos, resting assured this evening that the world hasn’t gone totally beige on beige and people are not only still carrying the torch of psychedelia, but ready to groove on it through the 21st century, and beyond.”
Amen. I think. At any rate, Lord Classic are not only a stellar rock'n'roll band, but they're a bunch of interesting motherfuckers. And if you like them, you probably are too. “Lord Classic fans have exquisite taste in music,” notes Ross. “The average Lord Classic fan realizes that rock is neither sleeping nor dead,” adds Pauly J. “It's merely time traveling.”
For more information, and to purchase the Lord Classic LP, visit the band's website.