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LA band Saint Motel blends indie pop and virtual reality




A/J Jackson (vocals), Aaron Sharp (guitar), Dak Lerdamornpong (bass), and Greg Erwin (drums) make up the band Saint Motel.
A/J Jackson (vocals), Aaron Sharp (guitar), Dak Lerdamornpong (bass), and Greg Erwin (drums) make up the band Saint Motel.
Jabari Jacobs

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Last spring on Take Two, we introduced you to a local band called Saint Motel.

The group began when singer A/J Jackson and guitarist Aaron Sharp met while attending film school at Chapman University here in Southern California.

Things went very well very quickly. The band had a number of hits including their song "My Type":

The song can now be heard in video games and ads for cell phones. HBO used another one of their songs to promote the hit show "Boardwalk Empire."

Saint Motel wowed the crowds at Coachella last year, and they're showing no signs of slowing down.

They've got a new album out next month called saintmotelevision. On Friday, they'll be performing tracks from the album at The Belasco Theater in downtown L.A.

And if you can't make it there in person, there's no need to worry. Saint Motel has created what they call "virtualizers" for their new songs "Move" and "You Can Be You," combining 360-degree animation and virtual reality technology to create a fully immersive experience.

Here's Saint Motel's "Move":

And "You Can Be You":

A/J Jackson says the hope for these "virtualizers" is that they'll feel like something completely new-- kind of like you're walking into the song itself.

"There's not a separate narrative, like a music video. It's not just a lyric video. And it's not just a live performance of it. It's a mixture of live performance, the lyrics, and some sort of animated world that kind of represents the tone of the song."

Depending on how you're watching it— on your computer, your phone, or with a VR headset— the experience will be a little different. While the whole idea sounds pretty futuristic, Jackson says it's also a bit of a throwback too.

"You can kind of sit in the room of the song. Kind of like when you used to have an album as a kid and you would just sit and listen to it in your room."

And for a band that's known for putting on exciting live shows, Saint Motel isn't too worried that VR will replace the experience of being there in person.

"You've got the vibrations, you've got the smells, you've got the hot sweat," Jackson says. "There's something obviously tangible about the real experience. And there's nothing wrong with just closing your eyes and just listening to the music. That's absolutely important. This is just another way to experience it."

To hear the full interview with A/J Jackson and Aaron Sharp, click the blue player above.