SXSW '12 Bus Sessions: PAPA (Los Angeles)

Written by Aidan Rush Posted in: SXSW '12 Bus Sessions on May 08, 2012

“All that matters is writing good, honest songs. That’s what I care about as well.” This quote comes from PAPA leader Darren Weiss, and was part of his answer to a Buzz Bands LA interview question about whether or not he pays attention to what’s on the indie landscape right now. This excerpt comes after the part in which he states,  “I don’t look to too many other bands of this time. I don’t necessarily see us fitting in.”

Having seen Darren play and sing an original song right in front of me, I can tell you that both parts of his answer to that question couldn’t be more dead on. And that couldn’t be more of a good thing.

Weiss grew up in a family that supported his love of music, but not so quietly wished it would be more of a hobby than a career.  Playing in punk rock bands was the next logical step for Darren, and soon after that, a cross-country migration for school on the east coast in New York City. It should be abundantly clear by now that this is an artist intent on exploring any and all experiences available to him, even if it means immersing himself in uncomfortable territory. (He once rehearsed in an illegal practice space sandwiched between an 18th century cemetery and the Hell’s Angels’ headquarters.)  I mention this chain reaction because it speaks well for the evolution of Darren’s songwriting and where it is now.

The obliviousness towards indie rock contemporaries, the well-rounded east coast/west coast perspective, the stints with other bands (Girls and Dawes back when they were Simon Dawes) and above all, the honesty, have combined in this case to create some outstanding music.

Watch Darren play “Show Me Your Chromosomes” on the bus above, and catch them live on their Californian tour starting mid month!

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