Midtown dance rockers This Luxury go glam
Glam is once again sexy, or so it seems for the moment, and the members of This Luxury want to bring that classic yet distinctively Hollywood entertainment style to the stage in Sacramento. The group—Jeff Rydman on drums, Anthony Biagi on bass, Brett Harrison on synth, David Carl on guitar, singer Chris Magaña—melds rock guitar riffs and pop vocals with synth and dance beats to create a sound that the five piece says the city has been missing. I met with the ensemble to discuss its former identity, armpit lickers and the band members’ secret love for each other.
What was the inspiration behind the provocative flyers and posters around town? You know, the ones with the girl licking her own armpit?
Magaña: There is a website that I reference all the time called Flashglamtrash.com, and it’s a great website if you want to find stuff like that. It’s exactly how it sounds—just trashy, glam stuff. You can post pictures from parties and shows. I just thought, what is going to catch people’s attention? We were walking all over town and people would go “Hey, you guys are the armpit band.”
There is something sexy about it. It’s just provocative, and in our music we try to be provocative. That’s kind of our thing. We try to make music that’s danceable and sexy.
The band was originally called Tough Luxury. Then, This Luxury. And some call you T-Lux. Tell me about the name.
Magaña: The original concept was just an indie-rock project with a dance influence. The name changed initially because, when we were about to release the record, we realized that there was one already in Australia in the ’80s, so it was the kind of thing where it wouldn’t Google instantly when we decided it was a good name. It worked for almost a year until it was time to publish, and then we said, “No, it’s been somewhere.” We actually had to dig, so it’s not like it’s a popular band. But we wanted to be the one and only This Luxury, and we have done our research.
How did the band form?
Magaña: Anthony and I started it. I had left another project where I was signed—I just decided to start something different—and so I suppose it was me that started it. I was the first person with the concept. … [Harrison] is the only one where we hit up Craigslist, and it just worked perfectly. Everyone else was either word of mouth, [was someone] that we knew or we had worked with before.
What was the band you were in before?
Magaña: It was Sound Boy, and I was with PopSmear Records in San Rafael.
What sort of drum sound were you looking for?
Rydman: I have always been a rock drummer, pop-punk mainly, so this is definitely different for me. So, I was way too fast, much louder than they wanted. When they told me the direction [they wanted to go], it was fun for me to do something different.
Did you have to research different drum styles?
Rydman: [Magaña] would make me mix tapes, like he was in love with me. No, really he made them for the whole band.
What would you put on these tapes?
Magaña: I’m a huge fan of Ima Robot. That was one of the big influences that I gave [my band] to listen to. [Rydman] was the only one that hadn’t really listened to this type of music. It’s easy to reference this type of stuff when we’re in the studio, and we go, “Hey, that Black Kids riff could go here.” Not literally, but that type of riff or that type of drum sound.
Describe the band’s style.
Magaña: I always say it’s a Hollywood sound that we’re bringing to [Sacramento]. It’s something that is just a little more glam and electronic. In a year, there have already been a couple of bands that have come out of the woodworks, but a year ago we felt that it was something different for this town.