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FIRST THINGS FIRST: THE EIFFELS

The EiffelsPrior to the release of their debut EP a few days ago, The Eiffels were already hard at work on a follow-up.

“We began recording a few weeks ago,” says Sean Ulbs, the singer and guitarist for the Los Angeles-based synth-rock trio. “We didn’t have time to complete the project before our spring tour, so we will finish it when we get back.”

Ulbs did have time recently to talk about his band (whose debut features the 1980s-flavored “I Did It Now,” which received airplay recently on L.A.’s modern-rock KROQ) and some music-related firsts.

First music purchased with his own money:
Sean Ulbs:
“I think the first time I bought music was from one of those BMG ‘buy 12 CDs for the price of one’ mail orders. I remember getting a pretty good mix of the Top 20 types. I’ve always liked most genres of music, so I was interested in everything from rock, alternative, rap and R&B. I tried to get a bit of everything. Back then, MTV and the radio were my main sources for finding new music.”

His first concert:
Ulbs: “I believe it was a punk band some friends were into called Homegrown. It was at Canes in San Diego. I remember listening to music in the car in the parking lot before the show with my friends. The ticket couldn’t have been more than $10-$20. I still remember standing in the crowd with the red-orange lights and loving the energy of the bands. The inspiring thing about watching and listening to punk bands was they made playing music seem achievable.”

His first guitar:
Ulbs: “It was a black Fender Stratocaster. I still have it. I don’t remember how much it was, but I remember my cool older cousin coming with me to help me pick it out. He wrote down a few basic chords for me to practice after that. I don’t recall the first song I learned, but I remember another cousin introducing me to guitar tabs and being very excited about it. It immediately opened my eyes as to how possible it might be to play the kind of music I liked. I printed out the tabs for dozens of punk songs soon after and kept them in a binder.”

His memory of the first-ever Eiffels show:
Ulbs: “We played at The Casbah in San Diego with White Arrows. It was a great time because we’re fans of both the band and the venue. It felt great to play in a venue with good sound because before that, we had only rehearsed in our studio. It definitely gave the songs more life. We played six songs. We had a lot of friendly faces in the crowd, and they showed us a lot of love.”

The first word that comes to mind when asked to describe the Eiffels’ sound:
Ulbs
: “Universal.”

The first song written for the band’s debut EP:
Ulbs:
“ ‘I’m Ready.’ I wrote it at a time when things started clicking with my writing and process, and I was confident I found a sound that I wanted to pursue.”

— Introduction and interview by Chris M. Junior

The Eiffels on tour (schedule subject to change):

• May 21: Lestats — San Diego

• May 22: The Rogue — Phoenix

• May 23: Skybar — Tucson, Ariz.

• May 26: Lowbrow Palace — El Paso, Texas

• May 28: Spider House Ballroom — Austin, Texas

• May 29: The Prophet — Dallas

• May 30: Red Brick Bar — Oklahoma City, Okla.

• June 1: The Scene — Kansas City, Mo.

• June 2: The Social Room — Columbia, Mo.

• June 3: Grandbar — Chicago

• June 4: Daytrotter — Davenport, Iowa

• June 5: Sidewinder — Denver

• June 7: Crazy Horse — Boise, Idaho

• June 9: The Pin — Spokane, Wash.

• June 10: Funhouse — Seattle

• June 11: Firkin — Portland, Ore.

• June 15: Milk Bar — San Francisco

• June 16: Velvet Jones — Santa Barbara, Calif.

• June 17: Billy O’s — Ventura, Calif.

• June 18: Tiki Bar — Costa Mesa, Calif.

• June 20: Amplyfi — Los Angeles

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