By Crystal Harrell
Analog Lab is a desert duo fairly new to the Coachella Valley music scene, but is already making waves with a rhythmic tonality that teeters on the youthful vigor of alternative rock with folk undertones in the lyrics and sound. Sean McCune (drums, programming, vocals) and Miguel Arballo (vocals, guitar, bass) have a slew of performances already lined up for the new year, including a February 25th show with Desert Underground in Coachella, and March 4th at Brooks Bar in Riverside with Zero Sum Game, Paper Drivers, Lozenge, and Beautiful Desastres. With the release of their new song and video for “Roads,” I took the time to catch up with the Miguel and Sean on what listeners can expect with Analog Lab’s anticipated future releases.
Miguel: I have used the name Analog Lab since 2008 to collaborate with different musicians, but the band didn’t take form until 2015, playing shows on and off. The band didn’t find its feet until Sean came into the fold last year in May of 2022.
Crystal: Has there been any growth or change in the band since then?
Miguel: Change has come to the band with individual growth. We’ve gone from a trio to a duo within our short time as band, and that change was done to make sure we continue to make progress and to evolve.
Sean: Hella growth. As people, as friends, as musicians, and as bowlers. Every time we get together is a new experience and a new way we improve. Even if just a lil bit, our chemistry improving is really important for our writing process as well.
Crystal: What is the dynamic like between the bandmates?
Miguel: We have a great support system within the band and make sure to listen to each other. No ideas are out of line, but Sean definitely helps tame them and give them structure.
Sean: We’re just clowning around most of the time, having a ball. Going crazy on our respective instruments. Just having fun and going as hard as we possibly can with the music stuff.
Sean: Miguel should answer this, really. I just recorded the drums for it similar to how they were on the demo with my own flare.
Miguel: “Roads” was inspired, or rather came to be, as an internal response to being stuck somewhere you don’t want to be, and having to deal with yourself and your ego because of that choice. The music was written back in 2017 with the help of my friend, Rudy Linares. I tried to write the most simplistic riff I could so that the lyrics really took over instead of the riff driving the song. When Sean came in, he helped clean the drums, made them rumble, and gave the song some attitude and belief.
Crystal: What about the process making the music video?
Miguel: We reached out to our good friend, Nathan Cox, who had just filmed Razor J’s music video “In Control”, and he wrote a treatment for the song. It started as an idea of having that little voice on your shoulders telling you to go left or go right. But as we kept going deeper into the lyrics, he found a story within the lines that resonated with us. It was ambitious, and we really wanted to push it. We enlisted Razor J and local actress, Clare Merritt, to bring the story to life. Nathan took us out to the desert, made us the spirit guides to Razor’s dreams, made us dig our own graves… just kidding. We love the desert and wanted to make sure the landscape looked alien for the dream scenes. Nathan has a very keen eye, and his cinematography helped create the atmosphere we wanted for the song.
Crystal: Is there another album in the works?
Sean: There is definitely another EP in the works, and it’s actually gonna be released really soon. We just got done with about all of the recording side of it; all that’s left is mixing and mastering.
Miguel: Sean and I are currently working on an EP titled “Anti-Dove”, which we hope to release by the end of February/start of March. Once that’s out, we are jumping straight into production for our full-length. We have a title already, but we’re keeping it to ourselves for now.
Crystal: Has your sound changed since you released your first tracks?
Sean: Oh yeah, definitely. Our sound, I feel like, changes every month. But we’ve been consistently writing a lot of new stuff with a similar vibes that we’re really digging. Finding a good groove for sure.
Miguel: Oh, man, we are a completely different band to when we first released “Swallow the Sun” last year. We are still maturing as a band and as a duo. We didn’t intend for the band to be a duo, but we found our vision, hunger, and desire to be more important than the amount of members. Our sound has gotten heavier, as a product of us listening to heavier music, but our love for experimentation still carries on.
Crystal: What is your favorite memory as a band so far?
Miguel: So far, our show at Brick by Brick in San Diego really lit a fire inside of us, at least for me. Opening for Tantric and playing the Whisky a Go Go the same night felt a bit surreal.
Sean: The Brick by Brick show we played was incredible. Probably my best experience playing live music like.. ever.
Crystal: Any goals for the coming year?
Miguel: Releasing new music and doing a tour of California. We’re always excited to play to new faces.
Crystal: Thank you both for your time. Finally, where can people hear your music?
Miguel: Going out to shows and seeing us live. Shout out to Radio WigWam in the UK for running our songs on the air overseas. Alternative Twist Radio, Amazing Radio, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Soundcloud, ReverbNation.
Sean: Everywhere. Close your eyes and listen … it’s there.