Electric, danceable, and fabulous, Prom Date has made itself known in Baton Rouge for being one of the most memorable shows in the city. Prom Date’s new album, “Portraits,” has been in the works for a year and a half as a product of their Kickstarter campaign. They have released one single from the new material, “X My Heart,” with a finished music video about to go public.
Straying from the highly orchestrated pop-dance first album “Clock Out”, the band took a turn for a more synth-heavy electronic sound in their self-titled EP. Now awaiting their third release, the group has honed their skills from the two contrasting styles.
“With this album we’ve found a happy median,” keyboardist and vocalist David Fuller said.
The band already had written close to half of songs on “Portraits” before taking time to reassess their sound and performance practices. They filled in the rest of the tracks with new material that balances out the steadfast electronic beats they were comfortable with.
“It really is just snapshots of us at different times in our life,” Fuller said of the new release. “It kind of runs the gambit of emotions.”
Now spread across the Southern Louisiana Triangle, the original core members of Prom Date met in Baton Rouge. Playing with Baton Rouge bands influenced their sound from the beginning. They shared a practice space with Cohen Hartman’s studio, a place where local bands filtered through and networked.
“At first it’s like, play whatever show you can, just get a show. Then trying to piece together an event, that has a theme and a good genre to it was a fun way to start out,” Fuller said.
“Even the EP Is kind of irrelevant to us now,” Fuller continued. “I love it, but it’s almost a different band now.”
Some members of the band graduates of LSU, they combine their schooling of music and engineering to develop a sound that is all at once technologically advanced yet easily digestible and danceable for audiences.
Synthesizer saturated, Prom Date uses some new toys, such as the Micro Korg XL, and a Dave Smith Instruments MOFO X4 to achieve a sound that sets them apart. In the past they have used midi controllers, and wii- motes, running programs developed by band member Nick Boudreau.
Within the past couple months the band has removed themselves almost completely from the synthetic beats that they were used to.
“We don’t play with a metronome at all, we don’t play with any backing tracks, we use some samples but their not quite as metrically oriented,” Fuller said. “It’s a lot more like we’re playing with each other now, because before it was like were fighting against a computer.”
Their writing style has remained somewhat consistent through the years, regardless of the amount of technology they use.
“Somebody starts an idea, and at different points in the writing we will bring it to each other,” Fuller said. “It may be more fully formed, or like, ‘Hey I’ve got this idea, I’m kinda stuck on it,’ then we’ll all kind of chew on it and piece it together.”
“It’s almost like you have to get your footing and really master a basic form of song writing before you can really push the envelope,” Fuller explained.
Some of their main influences that contribute to the pop-dance-electronic ideals that Prom Date sides with include bands like New Order, Human League, and Erasure.”I feed off of music that’s more focused on the texture, something other than super-conventional Western tonality. Like Boys Noize; I love Boys Noize,” Fuller said.
Releasing an album on your own takes time and money. The band currently doesn’t have a manager or booking agent, so the musicians take care of all of the business when they can fit it into their usual work schedule.
“We’re about to buy a van and be mobile,” Fuller said. “Traveling is definitely a huge goal, remixing is a goal, and just networking through that, and just to stay busy. As soon as we get all that rolling we’ll write a bunch of new material.”
Looking forward to booking tours this summer, the band plans to unleash the “Portraits” at the peak of of their rising momentum.