The refreshingly Californian band, Animals in the Attic, paid us Renonians a visit to perform at the Holland Project and sit down for an interview with Insight Magazine. Frontman and co-guitarist, Spencer Rakela, keyboardist Clayton LaFlamme, drummer Mitchell Grimenstein, and guitarist Stefan Sorgea grabbed some chips and salsa with me before their performance to discuss their beginnings, their inspirations, what’s next for the band, and more.
How did this band come about?
Spencer: Animals in the Attic came about, about three years ago when Clayton and me started playing music with our other friend, Jeff, on drums. We just started writing music together in high school and then we moved to Seattle after high school. We’ve kept playing together ever since.
Where did the name Animals in the Attic come from?
Spencer: Alliterations. It was just kind of catchy.
How did you boys get into music?
Mitchell: My dad has played for years, so I was just born into a musical family. My mom plays piano and and my siblings also play music. I have just been immersed into it since I was a kid.
Stefan: Mitch and me are cousins so his dad got me into music. Most of the good music I heard as a kid was in Mitch’s dad’s car.
Clayton: I really got into music because of my mom. She just showed me music from a young age, and I loved it. I just have a craving for it.
What inspired you then and what continues to inspire you now?
Spencer: I feel like if I didn’t write music I might go insane. There’s too much going on. It’s the perfect outlet.
Clayton: I think everything inspires me. I don’t know. I’m just going for it, man. I’m just going hard on it!
What’s your favorite song to perform?
Clayton: Off the old album my favorite song to play is “Not Foolin’”. It’s really fun and chill. We have another new song coming up called “Drop Me” that’s awesome to perform.
Mitchell: I think mine would be the same as Clayton’s.
Stefan: Same. Those are the fun songs.
In what state of mind are you guys in when you write?
Spencer: I think I write the best music after meditating. I try to be in a very calm state. I’ve always talked about writing our music in a tranquil state to have a peaceful vibe. We want people to feel calm when they listen to our music.
What’s next for the band?
Spencer: Just releasing the new album.