To Live and Shave in L.A. 2 was formed in May 2000 by Misty Martinez, Weasel Walter, Nandor Nevai and Rat Bastard after all four had been members of Tom Smith's 'To Live and Shave in L.A.' band ca. October 1999-May 2000.
After a final show in Brooklyn on May 11, 2000 it was decided that a new conglomerate had to be formed to continue the advanced FREE GLAM aesthetic which this ultimate TLASILA 1 line-up had developed. When Smith saw fit to destroy essential chemistry by inviting other less captivating 'musicians' into the band, the schism became final and TLASILA 2 coalesced.
Smith has been quoted as supporting the new group fully and encourages the proliferation of the concept. Bastard will also perform with another group called To Live and Shave in L.A. 3.
. TLASILA 2 is not necessarily at odds with its sister band: it merely serves to impart a different perspective on the fundemental tenets that inspired it.
To Live and Shave in L.A. 2 is a terrifying vortex of solipsistic catharsis wherein the members violently express the innermost chaos in their black souls by extrapolation of set groupings of specific abstract parameters. Although the performances deceptively resemble the most heinous free improvisations imaginable, they are guided by a rigid and innate meta-logic. Discipline and sacrifice are the cornerstones of this martyr-like display. Each member is called upon to psychically transform themselves into a superhuman being, perpetrating physical acts of ungodly strength and musicality.
The fifth member of the group is an interdimensional demon known as THE INTERNAL ORGAN. This creature utilizes psionic abilities to conjure upper-partial aes-encoding fields, mesmerizing the audience and ultimately destroying their inner essences. This intellectual murder is orgasmic for the victim.
The roots of Free Glam begin concretely with the Winter 1995 formation of Miss High Heel. Although bands like The Devil Bell Hippies are obvious aesthetic precursors, the modus operandi truly began to see full fruition with MHH. The band featured Smith, Walter, Marlon Magas (Lake of Dracula, Couch), AZ (Scissor Girls, Bride of Nono), Chuck Falzone (Flying Luttenbachers, Sorry), William Pisarri (Flying Luttenbachers, ZZZZZ) and satellite members Nevai, Jim O'Rourke and Jodie Mecanic.
At the band's Dec. 31, 1995 Magnatroid show, all members performed in their undergarments as a gesture towards glamour and artistic vulnerability. The sound of the music embraced sickening dissonance and discord while remaining sensual in essence. An emphasis on organic timbres and vigorous kineticism was primary. Visual appeal and an open interest in graphic sexuality separated MHH from a glut of neutered/emasculated ersatz "noise bands". The sound documented on the posthumous CD release "Split Wax Cylinder: Insc. 'Beast 661'" (B-Sides 1997) is simultaneously volcanic and soothing, but incredibly advanced technically.
Walter and Nevai remained part-time guest members of Smith's TLASILA since their honarary inductions in February 1995. Nevai has participated in a number of obscure projects including the comedy-glam unit Hott Lixx, black metal coven Aborted Christ Child, alien death metal unit Vagiant (with Walter) and the ill-fated mm-you sick?! label, which released a Chapman Stick/drums/Mastiff Hound trio 5", a free jazz soundtrack 7" and a split single between White supremacist rockers and Black Nationalist rappers.
Walter is known for leading the free jazz/no wave establishment The Flying Luttenbachers as well as participation in scores of other units like Lake Of Dracula, Hatewave, Bobby Conn Band, Cock ESP, The Devil Bell Hippies, The Chicago Sound, 2 Fast 4 Love, Adam and the Ants and Strawberry/Vanilla.
When the planning of the 1999 TLASILA East Coast tour arose, Smith, his stalwart Bastard, Nevai and others had already toured Europe with the Shave. The core trio sought additional members and found them in Walter and the ingenue Misty Martinez.
The 1999 Shave tour was an utterly cataclysmic spectacle, wreaking utter havoc in New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Rochester, Cleveland and Providence. This unit's stage presence was unprecedented: it could only be described as "A Battle Royale of egotism." Smith took center stage in full lip, eye and cheek, wailing and moaning his distinct brand of acid-casualty beat poetry. Bastard single-mindedly ground his electric bass into a bloody pulp. Walter switched manically between a number of instruments while operating a smoke machine and catapulting across the stage. Martinez coaxed and teased like a siren, occasionally cooing or hissing into a microphone. Nevai alternated between light-speed death metal blast beats and vain attempts at keeping his drums actually standing.
Each show was a call to total destruction.
This tradition will continue with To Live and Shave in L.A. 2.