There once was a four year old seated next to his mom in a car somewhere in California. With the radio on and gas being pumped, the kid comes to a realisation as he hears both the clicks of the pump readout and the cracks of each snare hit from the car’s speakers.
Excitedly, he exclaims, “Mom! I’m psychic! I know when the next sound will happen… Now! And now!”
Calmly, the mom clarifies that–perhaps relieved that she’ll be sparing her kid from a life with a crystal ball– “No, son. You’re not psychic. You have rhythm.”
And there it was: Nick Lazaro‘s first lesson in music.
Today, Lazaro is known for being the hyperactive frontman for Twin Lobster and half of the electronica duo Moonwlk. In addition, he’s a sought-after producer and his list of clients reads like a who’s who in the local indie scene: Peryodiko, Autotelic, Paranoid City, Julz Savard, Carousel Casualties, and The Sunmanager are just a handful who Lazaro has worked with. Genre is not an issue and like Rick Rubin (who has produced albums by Red Hot Chill Peppers, Johnny Cash, Beastie Boys, and Slayer), he delves into each artist’s musical personality, looking deep into what can work for each client, and ultimately bring out their individual voice. In other words, he gets involved but still manages not to get in the way.
His insightfulness comes from equally being an academically-trained musician (St. Scholastica where he studied the double bass) and an explorative artist. Lazaro does not pledge allegiance to any instrument despite being technically accomplished; instruments after all are tools and he will use what is required for the moment.
In this episode of BillboardPH On Record, Lazaro shows you some of the gear he uses live with Moonwlk, and insights into the link between traditional and hi-tech instruments.
“All this stuff is cool, ” he says in a scene that didn’t make the final edit, “But if it all breaks down, I can just whip out a guitar and keep going.”