Editor’s Note: It was a stellar 2018 for LAW, the band that is composed of Jakob Nowell on vocals, Nick Aguilar on drums, Aidan Palacios on guitar, and Logan Spellacy on bass. The Long Beach, California natives released their stellar record entitled “There and Back Again”, which already boasts over 100,000 streams on Spotify despite it only being released for a month. They also got to share the stage with Fishbone and interview with Billboard Magazine. The band lastly shares about how they want to create their own legacy along with carrying on Bradley Nowell’s legacy. Fans can find LAW at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Thank you Jakob for taking the time to interview with me, what’s your favorite Christmas movie?
Jakob: Thanks for having me man, my favorite Christmas movie would have to be “Bad Santa”. I have to watch that every Christmas.
Madness To Creation: On a scale of 1 to 10, how offended are you by the Christmas song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”?
Jakob: How offended am I? I don’t know, I can’t recall too much of the lyrics except for the main part of it.
Madness To Creation: It’s an old song by Dean Martin and I turned on the news and people are in a rage about the song.
Jakob: Is that the current thing that is going on right now?
Madness To Creation: It’s the rage of the day.
Jakob: Yep, that’s one of those things, I can’t believe that would be on someone’s radar. That’s hilarious!
Madness To Creation: You all played a benefit show in New York recently, how did it go?
Jakob: It was really good man! We had an awesome turnout and it was really cool to be supporting the cause.
Madness To Creation: What cause was it for?
Jakob: We played a show for the Nowell Family Foundation, also known as Bradley’s House, it’s a foundation that my family started to try to help out opiate addicted musicians who don’t have the necessary means to get the treatment that they need, so the plan is to start opening up here soon, so right now we’re doing benefit shows and concerts in the attempts to hopefully get traction and funding, it’s a non-profit, trying to get it going.
Madness To Creation: What was the turning point in your life to pursue this cause?
Jakob: It was all of my family in conjunction with Tom Dawkins and Casey Sullivan of Burritos, and the idea was to give back to families who we can relate with, who were in very similar positions, given everything that happened to my father and how that affected his fanbase and my family in such an adverse way, it kind of just seemed like the natural thing to do. Myself, I have been sober for almost two years now, it’s a much better life for me personally, and there’s a lot of people for that life would be a much better alternative for them than the way that they’re living, so in any way that we can to try to help that out, I think it’s really good.
Madness To Creation: I think it shows that you’re a great person to not only be willing to overcome the struggle to sobriety, but to take that next step to help others who struggle with addictions. Let’s say somebody was listening and they were struggling with whether it be opiates or pornography or alcohol, what would you say to them?
Jakob: Well man, if I had to give a message to anybody that was struggling with any type of addiction, there’s so many like you said, porn, gambling, and my thing was alcohol, I would say that they don’t have to keep living the way they’re living, they don’t have to feel that way, and there’s an answer out there man, there’s any types of solutions, there’s not one way, I believe that there’s a lot of different ways that can work for everyone, there’s a schema and a hopelessness that you’re trapped, that there is no way out, I believe that I’m living proof, and a lot of people I’ve met are living proof. There is recourse, there is an option, all you really need to do is go out and take that action and to try to seek it, and that there’s hope out there.
Madness To Creation: I agree with you 100% that there’s hope out there. Let’s talk about your music and the video for the song “Cold”. Take us into that song and the video.
Jakob: That’s a great question! I wrote that song awhile ago, 2014 to 2015 maybe, with a lot of the band we’ve been working on it since, and kind of created it a few years ago and finally, it’s recorded, and I want to say that it was at a lower point in my life, sort of feeling a disconnect from relationships, not romantic ones so much, but just from people in general, that feeling of being distant and shut off and feeling inhuman, I channeled that into sort of an upbeat rock song. The lyrics are very simple, I wanted it to be a very simplistic understanding of that feeling, and sort of having shoutouts of references of media that I enjoy such as “Game of Thrones”, or “World of Warcraft”, because I had a little “Game of Thrones” on in there, because “I’m a cold bastard”, we decided to make a music video dressed up as Game of Thrones characters, it’s a show that me and my bassist really really like, and a book series that I’m particularly fond of, it just kind of happened naturally. We had this idea floating around and we made it happen with our good friend Jordan Manning, who is just this awesome photographer and videographer, and we had a show up in Big Bear, and he drove up with us, and we knocked it out in a day, it was a really fun experience, we’re all really happy with the result that we got.
Madness To Creation: Do you write a lot of music based off of your media references?
Jakob: I just try to write based off of genuine personal experiences or creative writing that I find particularly interesting, maybe a story that I wrote that I found interesting, that I want to share with the media in the song. I think that often times what inspires me a lot are certain forms of media, whether it’s television, books, video games, anime movies, all sorts of everything, all those different forms of media, there are certain ways that epitomizes it like fantasies, science fiction, and there are certain genres that help me come to certain understandings about my own self, and the way that they epitomize life, and by taking the inverse, I try to take references of my life by drawing references to these forms of media, which is again a wide range of stuff from books to Anime to television to video games, anything that really piques my interest, and these are things that have helped me out so much when I was in a very dark time and very alone times, and I really think that music really speaks to my soul all in the same. I’ve had many people come up to me about my father’s music and how much it helped them to not feel so alone, and that’s a big part that we see when we look at any kind of art really, we see a little bit of ourselves, we see a reflection looking back at us, and we think, maybe I’m not crazy, maybe I’m not the only one who feels this way, and kind of tying back to that where we talked about where people that struggle with any kind of addiction is that there are other people and that we aren’t the only ones.
Madness To Creation: If Bradley was sitting here what would you say to him?
Jakob: Oh man, I have no idea *laughs*. I have no idea, that’s a tough one, no comment.
Madness To Creation: Your band plays Sublime material at your shows, what’s your favorite Sublime song to play live?
Jakob: When it comes to Sublime songs and Sublime as a band, I used to look at them like any other band and I have a lot of respect for them like other bands I like, and the fact that I have ties to one of the members biologically is a cool little interesting fact, often times people ask me to play his music, it’s not something I do with my band LAW because we are our own entity, but at the same time I like those songs and I play them personally, and I play them spontaneously like I would with any other song or a Nirvana song or a Tool song or something just when I have my guitar out. A song that I really like by Sublime is “Pool Shark”, also a big tearjerker for me is “Mary”, one that I listened to a lot when I was a teenager was “Boss D.J”. Those are probably my picks.
Madness To Creation: My pick would be “April 4th, 1992”, just because it’s a protest song against police brutality. Tell us about the Los Angeles music scene.
Jakob: That’s a great one too! We play in Long Beach, which is the Greater Los Angeles area. I definitely look at it in that light. It is so hard to say, it’s so diverse, there’s a lot of people trying to make it, whether it’s hip-hop or rock, I saw some reggae guys doing their thing, there’s a little bit of everything for everybody, and electronic music. I would say the scene that is really prominent right now are “echo park” bands or Burger Records bands, I don’t really care too much for that kind of music. We just got back from a small run on the East Coast, we played at New York and in Baltimore, and I just noticed that our crowds were big, packed and punk. They were moving around and dancing and having a great time, it was just amazing. Often times what I have seen in the L.A. scene, you don’t get that as much, you can play a packed out show with a couple hundred people, and they will all be standing there just looking at the stage like we’re an oil painting, which is odd for me that you would come out to a show and do that, but it’s what they see everyone else doing, I’m not sure how that started, but often times that’s what I see in a lot of L.A. shows is a very subdued crowd when we compare it to what we saw on the East Coast.
Madness To Creation: It sounds like Iowa to me. It seems like it serves as background music, it seems like people only go crazy for country music, cover bands and classic rock bands out here.
Jakob: It’s one of those things where it’s very saturated here in L.A., there’s a lot of people trying to do it, but every night, no matter what date you play there’s so many shows going on in the Greater Los Angeles area, often times people just come in, poke their heads in and leave, cause they have other places to go, which is hard.
Madness To Creation: What New Year’s Resolutions do you have?
Jakob: We were just mentioning how one of those days there’s not enough hours, I feel like that’s so often lately, I completely forgot that we are getting ready for 2019. It’s good to start thinking about that, any New Year’s Resolutions, I know I won’t keep them anyways, so I don’t want to jinx myself.
Madness To Creation: What else would you like to add about the band?
Jakob: Find us online, type in @lawlbc in any Internet search engine, you will find a great repository of LAW, for many of those disenfranchised that need a band, we can be that band, and that is my final statement. This was a lot of fun!
And there you have it! LAW will be performing a couple of gigs coming up, check out the dates below.
Fri 1/11 through Sun 1/13- Rafter’s Restaurant, Lounge & Bar in Mammoth Lakes, California
Fri. 4/19- Days on the Green Music Festival at Fear Farm in Phoenix, Arizona
For tickets and further information on any of the shows listed above, click here.
- Photo Credit: John Gilhooley