Oh Boy Les Mecs
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Oh Boy Les Mecs

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Duo Alternative Avant-garde




"Interview: Oh Boy Les Mecs on Los Angeles, James Murphy and New Material"

Oh Boy Les Mecs formed in 2012 when Tracy Marcellino and Hanford Pittman set out to create electronic music. The duo’s mixture of heavy synths and evoking vocals create a distinct electronic pop sound. They recently played alongside Hercules and Love Affair and Rare Times as part of a Red Bull Sound Select event at The Troubadour.
mxdwn had the chance to sit down with Marcellino and Pittman before their show at The Troubadour. We discussed their involvement with Red Bull Sound Select, James Murphy and their EP Nurture Nature.

Hanford Pittman: We’ve been attending the Red Bull events for some time and we knew a lot of other artists like Tapioca and the Flea. Just hanging out, we got to know Josh and Justin who basically helped us get where we needed to be. After a long time begging and paying them off, we finally got to play this show.
How did this duo form? Where did you meet?
Tracey Marcellino: We formed as a duo in March of last year.
HP: At the tail end of SXSW.
Did you guys meet at SXSW?
TM: We met through bands we were playing in at the time.
HP: I eventually joined the band that Tracy was in, but that band dissolved. Tracy and I decided to still play together.
Oh Boy Les Mecs-– Where did this name originate?
TM: It came from an artist friend of ours, Joya Martuscello, who did the artwork for our EP, Nurture Nature. Oh Boy Les Mecs just means, “Oh Boy You Guys.” It’s a French-English play on words. We love her. She is a really great friend of ours.
So she also created the artwork for your EP Nurture Nature?
HP: Yes, she also created the artwork for our EP.
TM: We used one of her collages for our cover art.
You guys have been playing multiple festivals and shows throughout Los Angeles like Jubilee and Echo Rising. What has been the most memorable show experience thus far?
TM: I would say our show with Silversun Pickups, which were our first show. We played with Silversun Pickups for a few shows, one being at The Observatory. We kind of got our asses kicked. That’s when we decided that we were going to perform just as a duo and do it all on our own. We had to get our shit together and decided on a name. We had been recording a few songs at that time, but we only had a few songs. We kind of just did it without thinking about it too much.
Speaking of Silversun Pickups, how have they influenced your music production?
TM: Full disclosure, I am married to one of them.
HP: She is married to Nikki (Monninger)
TM: We just had twins [laughter]
The band is based in Los Angeles. Do you think the city has influenced your sound?
TM: It’s really hard to see if something has influenced you. Coming from somewhere else and coming back to this city, I can see how it may have influenced me. Being in a city where everyone is into music and the arts is pretty amazing. Especially when everyone around me is making music, recording in the studio and playing shows.
HP: The overall atmosphere in the air is really cool. Everyone is trying to be creative. When you hear that your friends are in the studio practicing, it makes you want to do the same. I love the city. I was actually thinking about this the other night. You can take the subway, which we do have, a subway here. I love coming out of the subway and hearing all of the noise from people and traffic. It’s something I really enjoy. We are a dirty, noisy city.
TM: I feel like our heads are always somewhere else. I don’t know if we are directly influenced by the city because we always have our heads somewhere else. We would really like to record a record somewhere in the snow, somewhere cold and far away. Maybe it’s because we are here and it’s always hot and sunny so our heads just go elsewhere. In our minds, we would like to be in a cabin recording music elsewhere.
You recently released an EP, Nurture Nature. Are you working on a full length?
TM: We are always working on new material. We are just working on how exactly we are going to put it out.
HP: Our next step is figuring out what to do with our songs. We are always writing.
TM: We have half of a record right now.
HP: We still have lots to do. Hopefully by the beginning of the year we will have more time to focus on a full length. We always find ourselves writing in our spare time between shows.
TM: We are playing a few new songs in our sets already, but they just haven’t been recorded.
I saw that you just announced a show with Jessie Ware at the House of Blues in Los Angeles in November. Are you excited to play with Jessie Ware? Will you be playing larger shows in the future?
HP: Yes, we are really excited to play with her. She started her tour on October 1st. It’s really great to be able to play with her at this show.
Who would you consider influences?
TM: Visually, there is a light sculpture artist that really influences us. I saw his exhibit in Chicago and it just blew my mind. I thought it was so beautiful. His name is Ólafur Elíasson. He does a lot of stuff in caves and - MXDWN

"Recap: Hercules and Love Affair"

The series progressed with the spacey synth-pop sounds of Oh Boy Les Mecs, the group consisting of Mec and leading lady, Tracy Marcellino. She took the stage with messy long hair and a Bjork-esque fluffy, ruffled jacket. Main man, Hanford Pittman, appeared burly and ready to slay – like a Southern hardcore rocker. As if from some dark delirium, the pair creepily and confidently banged out hits like “Unrest” on synths atop of LED tables that lit up in various shades, which added greater stimulation to their live show. - LA Canvas

"Jessie Ware Live House of Blues Gallery"

Shots from the show Tuesday Nov. 19th, 2013 at House of Blues in Los Angeles. - Stereotude

"Oh Boy Les Mecs: Nurture Nature"

Oh Boy Les Mecs does whatever the hell they want in whatever creative capacity they so choose. Good. So this new incarnation of multi-band veterans deciding to have an outfit in which they could do just that, is one we can get behind.

Banding together (pun intended) on the desire to really do something serious, it’s only natural that dancing, experimental sounds, and light sculptures will ensue. But what do they sound like? From the band, “Science fiction-forests, Northern lights, night swims in the ocean, alien sightings in the desert…” I mean, let me cut you off right there. I’m in. - Kick Kick Snare

"'Unrest' by Oh Boy Les Mecs"

Coed duo Oh Boy Les Mecs (pronounced “o boi lay mek”) claim to originate from a place called the “Future Forest” (actually Silver Lake), refer to ”fragile nature and science fiction” as major influences, and aspire to someday write an album near the Arctic to see how light deprivation will affect their creative process. These claims may sound bizarre, but make complete sense once you hear their brand of moody electro-pop. Similar to scene-peers Omniflux and Superhumanoids, their songs are dark blurry blends of sharp synths, deep beats, and lush vocals. Their debut EP Nurture Nature was released earlier this year by dFM and features the entrancing “Unrest”. - Free Bike Valet

"Stream: Oh Boy Les Mecs, 'Nurture Nature'"

As noted last August, singer Tracy Marcellino and multi-instrumentalist Hanford Pittman raised the bar in both emotional intensity and electronic complexity when they debuted their new venture Oh Boy Les Mecs. Their newly released “Nurture Nature” EP wraps up their knob-twiddling experiments and world-wary (though not necessarily world-weary) meditations into five dreamy songs, with Marcellino inhabiting the music’s organic/synthetic dichotomy.
- See more at: http://www.buzzbands.la/2013/04/26/stream-oh-boy-les-mecs-nurture-nature/#sthash.WMGisBu6.dpuf - Buzzbands LA

"Get to Know Oh Boy Les Mecs"

Five was a crowd for the LA synth-pop duo, which shed three band members last year. And they haven't missed a BPM.
Some bands start with a casual conversation, others emerge from the strains of an impromptu jam but Oh Boy Les Mecs started with what can only be described as a musical putsch. After a few years of mostly localized success in the Los Angeles outfit Twilight Sleep, Tracy Marcellino and the band’s latter-day bass player Hanford Pittman decided it was time to streamline.

“Hanford joined after coming to see us play during every week of a residency that we did,” explains Marcellino. “He made everyone else in the band look likes assholes because he was so dedicated and awesome and creative and present. We basically ended up getting rid of the other three people. It was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life!”

Since last year, the two have moved on and formed Oh Boy Les Mecs, a synth-pop duo that have refined and improved on the spacey sounds of their parent band. Their debut 'Unrest' EP (self-released earlier this year) is the sound of Marcellino and Pittman separating themselves from Twilight Sleep, and some of the deposed members still play on the songs. But it’s clear that Oh Boy Les Mecs are already forging their own identity and it’s one that Marcellino has wanted to create for some time. “In LA, it’s like indie-rock land,” adds the front woman, who is married to Brian Aubert of the Silversun Pickups. “But I was always into Aphex Twin, Radiohead and stuff on Ninja Tune. It took me a while to find like-minded people. I waited 15 years for Hanford. Hopefully I earned him.”

As it happens, the timing couldn’t be much better for the pair. Moody synth outfits are very much in vogue with the likes of MS MR and Chvrches enjoying plentiful exposure but Marcellino is keen to stress that Oh Boy Les Mecs are not merely opportunists.

“I’ve been through the phase of people saying electronic music is bullshit,” she states. “I have never not done electronic music. I know that everyone can do it on a laptop these days but I used to have gear everywhere. I was friends with people in the 1990s who were basically like computer hackers and we had to work to make that kind of music. But I’m not sad to see it change because my goal has always been the same -- and that’s to write the best song possible.”

It’s not always the most attainable target, but it’s good to know Oh Boy Les Mecs are aiming high from the outset.

See Oh Boy Les Mecs perform with Hercules & Love Affair and Rare Times at Red Bull Sound Select Presents Los Angeles on Oct. 25.

Follow Red Bull Sound Select on Twitter for more updates. - Red Bull Sound Select


'Nurture Nature' ep released April 9 2013 on dFm



With the lyrics, their liquid eyes never saw it coming, self-declared futuristic forest dwellers Oh Boy Les Mecs, could easily be referencing their debut release. They are instead referring to the kids of the downtown scenes who were blindsided by the death of the prolific and beloved designer Alexander McQueen in the song, The Flood. Editorial references freeze in frame, the disenfranchised muses conjure emptiness and glamour simultaneously; a theme that runs steadily throughout debut stunner, Nurture Nature. Geometric rhythms, and icy synths bolster rich metaphors exploring beauty, fragility, and tragedy. Suggestive closer, Dormant Frenzy slowly builds over a four on the floor pulse as an invitation; part intimate come-on, part rally cry to join the joyful fete of overthrowing the natural order. Unrest takes the theme to darker territory warning, electric currents plan to outsmart Mother Nature over distorted bass and machine gun snares. The duos pop structures are most prevalent in the single and title track, Nurture Nature; a grooving anthem to the lure of bad decisions. Sharp angles, grinding bass, and punctuated echoing vocals form unlikely love song, Helium which floats away with a clever key change mirroring its namesake. Ill take these voices out, that make your memory loud, Ill be your wordsmith, when youre not [feeling] conversational are the sort of protective and intimate declarations that coax you into Oh Boy Les Mecs otherwordly landscapes. To that end, Nurture Nature is the soundtrack to the voices in your head.

Band Members