||The first time I saw the band VLA, I was 17 years old. The year was 1994, and it was at my favorite local club. A place where my friends
and I would hang out to see bands, as well as perform ourselves. As VLA took the stage, they were older, which made them separate
from us, just by their height. This produced a feeling of expectation; they had to be good. Before any sound hit the air, the singer (a tall
neatly dressed man with the look of a slightly mad-professor) raised a television onto his shoulder. The image that appeared was
a video version of himself, with thick rimmed-glasses, a curious blend of the weird and the wacky. The T.V. version shouted to the audience: "one,
two, three, four..." then the singer threw down the T.V. and the band erupted into their first song. What an opening! This was no ordinary
band. VLA was started by two brothers from Milwaukee; John (Vocals) and Steve Gripentrog (Guitar). They were joined by Pablo Baza (Drums / Backing Vocals), Tarik Kader (Guitar) and Linnea Ahms (Bass). Ahms was later replaced by Carlo Bufano.
They were an Art-Rock band who incorporated the sounds of Punk and Ska, Beatles, The Pixies, Talking Heads and Tin Machine. A big
sound that would have been enough by itself. But, there was more. In the midst of singing, Gripentrog would gyrate around the stage giving
himself over to trembling fits that sometimes led him to flop all over the floor. A wonderful and exciting visual, especially when he flipped
off a 4 foot stage, and shook in between the legs and bodies of the people in the front row.They were electrifying and they blew any other
band in the city away. Sadly, the band were never able to capture the intensity of their live performances onto a recording. Looked over by
every major label, the band seemed to miss the opportunities that other bands got and took for granted.
Looking back, I just think they were over the heads of the men and women in suits, even the ones who wore blue jeans. I traveled across
the city to many shows by VLA, most of them attended by only a handful of people. Most of their fans were musicians, who gathered like
those who would sit for a mystic in a village. They were a huge influence on my early days of listening to music and developing my own ear.
JesusWarhol Records is happy to release a collection of demos recorded in 1996. Quick and dirty recordings, that never come
close to the amazing sound of their live shows, but remain a link to a truly great band. Check out "Undiscovered Demos" now!
||Development of the coL documentary: "I.H.Y.W." has begun. New York City Photographer Antonio Gabriel has signed on as Director of Photography. The film will mix fiction with documentary style filmmaking, and also feature
a score by Of Life. coL is currently producing a new album for Of Life, called: "Zero Hype". He is also working on his 49th album in Los Angeles and Beijing, China. "Left To The Innocents" features guest appearances by:
Richard Sax Ross (Saxophone), Michael Neergaard (Flute), Nigel Lundemo (Drums), and Ian Walker (Bass).
||Glenn Campling of Tones On Tail and coL are recording new material for an upcoming JesusWarhol EP release!
It has been several years since Glenn has recorded new material. Both Artists are composing their parts and
sending tracks back and forth between the U.K. and Los Angeles.
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