By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
For Laner, the several records he’s got lurking on his hard drive are the focal point of his career now. After spending years doing the major-label touring-musician thing with the original incarnation of Medicine, he’s not at all interested in leaving his wife and child behind to hit the road and hawk his wares inside America’s rock clubs. “I’m not an entertainer,” he says. “Making recordings is the thing.” (Beyond a handful of one-off dates around L.A., Laner has no concrete plans to tour in support of his new album.)
That’s not an attitude that troubles Sara Padgett Heathcott, one half of the married couple that owns and operates Hometapes, the Boulder-based label that released Neighbor Singing. “It was an honor to put out this record,” says Heathcott, who, like Monahan, first met Laner at 2005’s Arthurfest. (The two have since bonded over their love of midcentury-modern architecture.) “There’s no reason why someone in Brad’s position shouldn’t have his music released in the best way possible, whatever the demands of the industry are.” She laughs. “That’s probably an indication of how idealistic we are.”
Ken Andrews, an L.A.-based producer-musician who’s played in the bands Failure, On and Year of the Rabbit, says he understands Laner’s reluctance to jump into the music-industry fray he once knew so well. Still, “It’s hard for artists like me and Brad who don’t wanna tour,” says Andrews, who’s currently collaborating with Laner and a handful of other musicians in a project called the L.A. Digital Noise Academy, which creates songs over the Internet. “Artists that sell [records] okay aren’t selling as much as they used to, so the only way to make money is off touring. It has to become more ‘This is what I’m doing and I don’t have any expectations of making money off this art.’ ”
Dire words, but Laner’s not particularly worried by them. After all, he’s got more important things to think about: As soon as I take off, he’s headed to his son’s preschool to play guitar for the kids. “It’s cool, ’cause all the parents are old lefties,” he says. You can bet none of them live in McMansions.
BRAD LANER | Neighbors Singing | Hometapes
Brad Laner performs at Family, 436 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A., Sun., Dec. 2., at 8 p.m.