In the current climate of overly specific music genres like “post industrial electro fuzz wave,” it may be considered taboo to refer to a band’s sound and aesthetic simply as “Rock n’ Roll.” However, when a band like The Creation Factory comes along that is so genuinely rooted in the Flower Power era, there’s really no need for fancy terminology or ostentatious labels. They’re a fucking rock n’ roll band, man.
In fact, The Creation Factory is a wailing 5-piece rock n’ roll band out of Echo Park, California, who pump out psychedelic jams in such a manner that it’s hard to believe they are even from this decade.
It’s not uncommon to find bands these days that hope to channel the legends of the 60’s into their music. But what is hard to find, is bands that do it well.
While it may be easy to take one look at these guys and write them off as some Zombies tribute band, a quick run through of their short, but sweet catalog will show you just how strong their capabilities as a band really are. A stunning display of 1960’s authenticity, stemming not from copy-cat emulation, but instead from a full immersion into the music, art, and lifestyles of that cherished period in time.
Take their latest single, “Let Me Go,” for example — A fuzzy garage rock anthem that will transport you to some dark, sweaty room at one of Ken Kesey’s Acid Test Parties, where naked women are on all fours howlin’ like wolf pups. It’s screeching guitar leads, vintage organ sounds, and three part harmonies ride atop a foundation of galloping drums and big bouncing bass lines. An infectious concoction delivered in such classic fashion that it would even make your mom swing her hips out of place.
After catching one of their sets at Echo Park Rising fest, we felt inclined to head out to their show the very next weekend at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, where we cut it up on the dance floor alongside a crowd of young Paisley draped hippies for about an hour. We caught up with the band shortly afterward for a lovely chat about their upcoming projects, the biggest babes from the 60’s, and their most memorable acid trips.
We’ve noticed that your band is very retro-minded, including everything from your gear to your outfits. Would you consider yourselves 60’s revivalists?
Glenn: We’re just guys making music. We are what we are.
Shane: Yeah, we’re not trying to be something we’re not. There are just certain sounds and tones we can all agree on. Stuff that we all draw from our inspirations.
What are some records you would consider as the most important influences for The Creation Factory?
Shane: Well, one of my all time favorites is definitely Easter Everywhere [13th Floor Elevators].
Iggy: Oh, yeah. I think we can all agree on that one.
Glenn: I think we all go through different moods, too. We’re into different things and then we switch gears…like depending on the seasons or the time of year. I’m cycling through different shit all the time, you know? At one point we had a ‘first Grateful Dead album’ kind of vibe, a little bit. San Fran country joe Grateful Dead. Now we’re sorta doing more of a 60’s heavy acid, fuzz stuff.
Shane: The David [Another Day, Another Lifetime], for sure. It was the first big one when we all started playing together. Albums and influences from all styles of music. Surf Music, Garage Rock, Indian music, Blues, of course.
Speaking of, who are some of your favorite Blues musicians?
Everybody: Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Muddy [Waters], Slim Harpo…
Far out. Shane and Iggy, you guys share members with the Mystic Braves who have received a lot of praise within the scene, what inspired you to start a new project?
Iggy: Well, it kinda just started during the down time of Braves. Shane and I lived in the old Lolipop [Records] recording studio in Echo Park and we were just jamming every day.
Shane: We kind of just wanted to make it a recording project at first. Doing it on cassettes, four-tracks, you know? Just throwing stuff together and seeing what happened with it.
So it started as a jam band and moved outward from there?
Shane: Yeah, I mean, just kind of staying up late and playing music and recording it. Just creating.
Iggy: Then Neil moved here from Northern California.
Neil: Yeah, Shane was just sending me voice memos of early Creation Factory. I’d be on my way to work listening to these voice memos thinking, “This is exactly the kind of music I want to be playing”. So I packed up all of my stuff in NorCal and moved all the way down here and met up with these guys…and just started doing it.
Is Creation Factory is your sole reason for being in Southern California, then?
Neil: Yeah, totally.
Ignacio: Then Glen moved to town, met him at a Joel Jerome show. We had different members floating around and then it all sort of fell together.
Shane [to Glen]: Julien from Levitation Room introduced me to you at Lolipop [Records].
Glen: Yeah, Julien introduced me to a lot of people. I was lucky to meet him.
Iggy: Yeah, I saw Gabe play with the same guy, Joel Jerome, in a Kinks cover band called Los Kinkos. I was like “Damn, who the hell is that guy? He’s fucking cool.” A few days later I saw him on the corner in Echo Park waiting at the same street light, and I was like “You want to jam?”
I had the pleasure of meeting Rob Campanella [of The Brian Jonestown Massacre] and he told me about how he produced the Mystic Braves album. Is there any future with him and The Creation Factory?
Iggy: I mean, probably. We love working with him and we’re going to start demo-ing stuff for a new Braves record so…
Shane: Yeah, Rob is a good friend of ours, you know, he’s always there for us. He’s really knowledgeable as far as gear goes. He knows a lot of fucking people. He’s got a lot of really great connections.
Do you guys have any forthcoming projects in the works? If so, what can we expect to hear?
Iggy: We’re finishing up a 45 rpn that our friend Stu Pope…what’s his label?
Everybody: Hypnotic Bridge.
Ignacio: Yeah, it’s a single with a B-side that we are going to finalize soon. We’ve also been trying to finalize this record for a while now that we’ve been accumulating songs for. All out on Lolipop Records.
You guys are booked to play Desert Daze festival in Joshua Tree. You pumped?
Everybody: Yeah, man!
Shane: We’re playing Sunday.
Glenn: This is the year, you know. This is the biggest it has ever been. This is like the Zenith so far. The line up is out of control. It’s everyone in the scene you would want to see.
Yeah, totally. John Cale?
Neil: Yeah, to be on the same bill as John Cale? Fuck, man.
Iggy: And Iggy Pop!
Glenn: I saw Iggy Pop at FYF and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.
We talked legends, who else are you excited to see beyond those two?
Gabe: Frankie and the Witch Fingers!
Shane: Yeah Glenn is playing three sets that weekend.
Glenn: Friday I play with my band Triptides, Saturday I play with Frankie [And The Witch Fingers] and Sunday with these guys. But I don’t know, there are other bands, for sure. I think King Gizzard is a really cool band. They’re always pretty mind-blowingly good. I don’t really listen to their records much, but I see ’em live and it’s just like “That was insaaaane! Holy shit, what the fuck?”
In general, are there any contemporary artists you guys are stoked on right now, outside the circle?
Glenn: I like Kikagaku Moyo. It’s pretty heavy stuff.
Shane: Yeah, they’re a Japanese psychedelic band. Very crazy.
Iggy: Schizophonics, actually. They’ve kind of been blowing my mind, lately.
Gabe: Los Sweepers, from San Diego.
Now, for some random questions, if you don’t mind? Answer Truthfully, Would your mom approve or disapprove of your behavior from the last 48 hours?
Neil: Well, my mom just showed up to the show and she loved it! Literally just got a fresh approval.
Glenn: My mom’s sort of mellowed out in her later years, so she’d probably be like “Do your thing, honey!”
Gabe: Tell your moms to come to our shows! **Wink, on the record**
Biggest babe from the 60’s?
Everyone in Unison: Jane Birkin!
Neil: or Jane Fonda.
Ok guys, tell it like it is. What’s the worst trend in LA right now?
Neil: Are you talking about the little Mac DeMarco hats?
Iggy: Yeah, exactly [laughter ensues].
Gabe: This whole 90’s revival thing.
For this portion, we want to play “Dig it or Rinse it?” We’ll shout out a topic and you guys let us know if you like it or hate it. Go!
Glenn: Used to dig it. Before it became like, Kanye West, you know?
Iggy: Dug it. Past tense.
Shane: You guys talking about the car?
How about shoegaze?
Group Vote: 3 dig its, 2 rinse its.
Everyone: DIG IT!
Any Crazy LSD stories you care to share?
Glenn: I just tripped my balls off last weekend and it was AWEEESOME.
Gabe: We took like 4 hits of acid one time, well I did. An hour into the trip I…well was it before or after you put on those really old mickey mouse cartoons?
Back when it was still racist as fuck?
Shane: it got pretty dark, you know? I mean, they were as high as we were when they made those things.
Gabe: Yeah that set me off. I was jumping on couches, calling everything ‘motherfucker’. “Come on motherfucker, come on!” Probably played The Beatles live at the BBC record like a thousand times. I was just too high to get up and change it. We literally let it play like 30 fucking times.
Neil: We finished off that vile in Joshua Tree, actually. That vile changed everything. Shane and I had an epic experience with that vile. Me and my friends at the Blindspot Project were going to do liquid lights for Iron Butterfly. So, we took some hits and went down to Laguna and ended up doing lights for Iron Butterfly while we were on acid. After that was over, we were still wired, so I ended up driving everybody from Laguna Beach to Joshua Tree. Took some more when we got there, partied all night.
Glenn: We went in that hot tub in Joshua Tree and Neil had his little pee pee out!
Neil: Yeah, went from doing a light show for Iron Butterfly in Laguna, to getting in a hot tub naked in Joshua Tree!
Shane: Yeah, on the way there my friend refreshed his phone and we didn’t realize the map was taking us to Big Bear. There was the same address to the Joshua Tree house as Big Bear. So we pulled up to a random house in Big Bear and had to drive all the way back down to Joshua Tree. So when we get there Neil was sitting on top of a hot tub with his little pee pee out. Yeah, there were chicks with their tops off and stuff, it was great. The next day Neil was like, “I gotta go home. I gotta feed my cats.”
Neil: Yeah my cats are a great excuse to leave. Shane and I actually ended up recording when we got back, still flying at that point.
Big thanks and much love to The Creation Factory for the interview. You can catch them performing live at Desert Daze on Sunday, Oct. 15th! See you there.
The Creation Factory is:
Gabe Pacheco – Rhythm Guitar
Shane Stots – Bass/Vocals
Iggy Gonzalez – Drums/Vocals
Glenn Brigman – Organ