Escalator Hill
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Escalator Hill

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Band Rock Folk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Take A Ride Up Escalator Hill"

Between surprise trumpet player walk-ons, extended percussion jams and moody tempo changes mid-song Escalator Hill is a good time that you'll want to be a part of."
--Kush Magazine; March 2011 Volume 3, Issue 3
- Kush Magazine

"Interview: Escaltor Hill"

Next Tuesday is The Lonely Wild's final residency night at LaBrie's in Glendale and the supporting acts include Wires in the Walls and Escalator Hill -- which means it's a damn good night for folks who appreciate Americana rock and free new music.

We spoke with opener Escalator Hill about their plans for the night, their recent recording of their upcoming album, and oh so much more.

How long have you been together now? How did you all meet?

Escalator Hill has been in existence now for nearly one full year in some form or another. I had first starting playing with the idea that I was going to write songs for a unformed project that was to be called Escalator Hill in winter of 2009.

Come January of 2010, I met Nancy Kuo through a mutual friend who introduced us based solely on the fact that we both play musical instruments. Nancy was relatively new to the Los Angeles area and was looking for some folks to jam out with.

Eventually, after a hearty game of phone tag, we had set up a day to jam. I knew Taylor from work and asked him to come in and play bass. We also started playing with Ryan Ross and Andrew Schneider (of the Lonely Wild) for awhile who I knew back from the days I used to drum for You Me and Iowa. At first we had no drummer, so I ended up juggling drums, guitar and singing together.

After awhile, we parted ways with Ryan Ross and went to the ever reliable Craig's list where we found Ryan Selan, who with his jazz drumming background made a great fit for the band. James Kirby, our most recent addition to the collective was another Craig's list applicant. After he auditioned it was clear that we didn't need to hold anymore. Which was fortunate for us, since Andrew Schneider who recorded and played with us for the past year has big shoes to fill. (Literally, I think he's a size 12).

What brought you to LA?

I came to Los Angeles to play music. I went to school at UCI. While I was there I started playing in You Me and Iowa, after I graduated I decided to move to LA to see where the project would go. Eventually after six years of rocking the band disbanded and I was left with a decision; I decided to stick it out and give something else a try.

How do you describe your music?

I have always been a fan of the unconventional growing up. And although my main musical influences may not be so glaringly apparent, I'm certain they affect the way I think about and write music. I listened to a lot of Mr. Bungle and the Melvins...I mean a lot. Having said that, the music sounds probably closer to Mumford and Sons than anything else I've heard. If it were a recipe It may look something like this:

Escalator Hill
2 cups of mumford and sons
1 cup of Neutral Milk Hotel
1/2 cup of Arcade Fire
a few pinches of Neil Young and Allman Brothers
add one tablespoon of Debussy, one teaspoon Django Reinhardt
Let cool and enjoy.

How did you end up working with David Newton on your upcoming EP ?

I knew Dave Newton because You Me and Iowa had recorded The Adventures of You Me and Iowa with him. I was really happy with his approach to producing and recording. Since I thought that record sounded great, I wanted to give Dave a call to see if he would be interested in working with Escalator Hill. I sent him a recording of a couple tracks we did in our rehearsal space, and soon we were in the studio.

How did the recording go? What was your favorite song out of the sessions?

We had intended on recording an EP, but as it happened Taylor and Ryan breezed through their tracking and at the end of one day of recording had successfully tracked ten tunes! The recording process was as I remembered it, efficient and thorough. Before long the tracking was done. Capsize was fun to record...and a little challenging because of the time signature change and tempo change in the middle of the song. I was excited when we finally finished it. Jupiter is definitely another highlight for me, with some appropriate arranging by Nancy and guest performance by Ryan Ross who was kind enough to come in and lay down some rocking trumpet.

When is the album out?

We are looking to release our Album "Poplar Avenue" sometime in July or early August, but we will definitely have something for people to listen to up before that.

What do you have planned for next Tuesday?

Next Tuesday will be fun for us, for we will be introducing James Kirby on guitar and at the same time giving a fond farewell to Andrew Schneider who will be doing a few tunes with us. Also, Ryan Ross may grace the stage with some trumpeting madness! We may have another guest performer as well, but I shouldn't even be talking about it!

What is next for you?

Escalator Hill has a busy few months coming up. Our main focus will be on promoting "Poplar Avenue," However we do have a mini southwest tour booked for May, we will be playing a few shows in Arizona and then heading to my favorite place, Las Vegas... if the band can find me by the time the show comes around we'll be playing there the night of the18th. When we come back we will be playing at Villain's Tavern on May 27th! August We're planning another tour, this time the northwest. Please check the website for details on album release and pre-orders/upcoming shows!
- Radio Free Silverlake

"Ears Wide Open: Escalator Hill"

The adrenaline-fueled folk-rock of L.A. quintet Escalator Hill draws as much influence from the big indie collectives of this era as the past’s purveyors of Americana. The band’s debut collection of sepia-toned meditations and clattering celebrations, “Poplar Avenue,” was produced by David Newton (The Little Ones, the Henry Clay People, among others) and will be out next month. Escalator Hill — like the Lonely Wild — rose from the ashes of You Me & Iowa, with singer-guitarist Tony Benedetti teaming up with string-playing triple threat Nancy Kuo (violin, viola and cello), guitarist Andrew Schneider (from the Lonely Wild), bassist Taylor Lipari and drummer Ryan Selan. Their first single “Long Way Down” both aches and agitates, thanks to Kuo’s strings and Schneider’s electric.
- Buzz Bands LA


Poplar Avenue



Escalator Hill has made appearances at music festivals like the Hollywood Fringe Festival, played in acclaimed establishments like Fillmore Poster Room in San Francisco and Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, and has actively toured California, Arizona, and Nevada. They are ranked #8 out of 300 LA artists in the folk rock web buzz genre on the Deli Magazine and their debut album, 'Poplar Avenue' was listed on Radio Free Silverlake's Top 10 albums of 2011. Completing a October month-long residency at the Social Aid and Pleasure Club in Santa Monica, CA, they were also featured artists on web series highlighting independent songwriters and bands. Escalator Hill has a partnership with Itunes, Spotify, and Band Camp-offering a multitude of ways to listen. Buzz Bands writes, "The adrenaline-fueled folk-rock of L.A. quintet Escalator Hill draws as much influence from the big indie collectives of this era as the past's purveyors of Americana." They recently released a music video for their single, 'The Wager' directed by acclaimed writer/director Todd Berger (who is currently working on the screenplay for MGM's adaptation of 'Where's Waldo'). The video is currently being broadcast nationwide by Havoc Television.

For more info about the band, travel to their website at Music can be easily heard from there. Feel free to call me at 617.821.4865 or e-mail at if you have any questions and would be interested in putting Escalator Hill on a bill.

Venues they have performed at include:

Fillmore's Poster Room-San Francisco
Hotel Utah-San Francisco
Brick and Mortar Music Hall-San Francisco
Cafe Du Nord-San Francisco
Grant and Green Saloon-San Francisco
Jose's Lounge Underground-Monterey
Tokyo Garden-Fresno
Starry Plough Pub-Berkeley
Cafe Velo Rouge-San Francisco

Central SAPC-Santa Monica
Casey's Irish Pub-Los Angeles
Silverlake Lounge-Los Angeles
The Echo-Los Angeles
Lot One Cafe-Los Angeles
Honey Badger Cafe-Alhambra
The Terrace-Pasadena
The Copper Door-Santa Ana
Bootleg Bar-Los Angeles
California State University Fullerton
One Eyed Gypsy-Los Angeles
Villains Tavern-Los Angeles
El Cid-Los Angeles
Basement Tavern-Santa Monica
Tin Can Ale House-San Diego
Los Angeles Downtown Artwalk
King King-Los Angeles
Paul Gleason Theater-Los Angeles
Egyptian Theater-Los Angeles
Bar Lubitsch-Los Angeles
Hotel Cafe-Los Angeles
Pig N'Whistle-Los Angeles
Cat Club-Los Angeles
Silverlake Green Fair-Los Angeles
LaBrie's Lounge-Glendale
O Briens-Santa Monica, CA
The Mint-Los Angeles

The Freakin' Frog-Las Vegas
The Beat Coffeehouse and Records-Las Vegas

The Lost Leaf Bar and Gallery-Phoenix
The Rouge Bar-Scottsdale
Red's Restaurant-Sedona