The act Little Red Lung took its first real breaths in Knoxville.
In 2008, Zoe Ruth Erwin, who then recorded solo as Little Red Lung, decided to join music friends in Knoxville and spent the next two years as part of the local art scene. She also recorded the EP "Get On the Boat."
"Right before I left I put out a page on Facebook saying I wanted a new line-up — meaning some people other than just me!"
Within three weeks of arriving back in Los Angeles Little Red Lung had gone from a solo project to a quartet. Guitarist Ali Nikou was a longtime friend from when the two taught music at the same school and joined immediately and was followed soon after by bassist Rob Hume. A drummer signed on as well, but was replaced a little later with Nathan Kondor.
The group spent four months woodshedding and then played upwards of eight shows per month to get the band's name out. The group has since expanded to perform outside of the city as much as possible.
"L.A.'s just supersaturated with indie bands," says Erwin. "It's highly competitive and congested and hard to get people to come out to your shows. We have a much more positive response outside of L.A."
Los Angeles audiences, she says, arrive with an attitude of "try to impress me."
The openness of Knoxville audiences is one thing Erwin says she definitely misses.
"In Knoxville people just come out to have a good time and hear music ... people really want tolike what it is you're doing."
The group recently got a break when District 78 did a remix of Little Red Lung's song "Fangs" and it appeared during a routine on "So You Think You Can Dance."
Erwin says the group has gotten some unlikely attention by way of the Internet.
"Not too long ago I found out somebody had transcribed sheet music of the first EP and was selling it for $19.95! "
Erwin says the group hopes to have a new full-length album in 2013.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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