The La Els: Brand New E.P. And A Recap Of Our Love Affair With Them

Ah, the first time "The La Els" got interviewed, at that time only Jonas dug me, so the rest of the band just went to Amsterdam.

They grow up so fast, don’t they?


I remember it as if it was just the other day, a young Jonas Barausse and I doing the first ever band interview for and I couldn’t imagine a more fitting start. Since that time, the world has turned upside-down for them… but not in a bad way, not like David-Hasselhoff-filmed-drunk kind of way… more like Arcade-Fire-winning-a-grammy kind of way. Success is knocking, in fact I’d say success isn’t even waiting for them to open the door, he’s already tampered with burglar bars and has one leg through the window (if you didn’t know already, Success happens to be a dodgey South African… hence the saying “Success is a double-sided sword-blade”.. one moment he’s giving you a lift to the MK Awards where you’ll win Album Of The Year, but treat him badly and you’ll come home to find he’s stolen your flat screen and left a burning bag of sweet-smelling poo in your garage.)

… Sorry, I have no idea what the tangent was about but laugh with me and pretend I’m funny.

As I was saying, The La Els have exploded and at zero31 we always knew they would. Hell, they even have their own press release now.. a press release is basically something you write when you’re so damn busy answering emails and phone calls that you just create one document that explains everything and then send it to everyone to read, so that you can finally get some rest.

So if you’ve just jumped on The La ELs band-wagon, pimped out with neon rims and a dirty sub that’s bigger than your diningroom table, below you will find our lads very first press release covering where they’ve come from, where they’re going, and why, like me, you feel funny feelings inside when you see them.

When you’re done, check out our love affair with them by hitting the links below:

The La Els Interview – One interview, two firsts.
Zero31 Street Scene Tour with The La Els and City Bowl Mizers.
The La Els give us tracks for you to download.
The La Els release Soulkiller music video.
A 1000 Verbs – Our favourite of the last 6 months.
La Els front man, Jonas Barausse, starts off the Zero31 East Coast Colour series.
A 1000 Verbs – Dead Alphabet, The La Els, and City Bowl Mizers Own Unit 11.

It’s only ten in the morn, but who cares, go steal a beer from the office bar fridge, go back to your desk, flip your boss the bird… crack it open and unite with me as I say “Here’s to The La Els, long live The La Els”… then find out where your nearest UIF office is, your boss is probably going to fire you.

All my love and neon hugs,
TwoSlice Dré

“Picture James Brown turning Death From Above 1979 into an army of elektro-funk zombies and going on tour of the parallel post-industrial disco dimension. Picture Kool & The Gang bodysnatching Slayer to create the most unholy union between ravenous rock ‘n roll and seductive synth-pop.” – Alexander Sudheim (when asked to describe The La Els sound)

Crazy artwork by the epic Dusty Rich.

The La Els are extremely proud to announce the launch of their six track, self-titled, debut EP. This Durban based outfit is on the move and set to explode onto the South African music scene with their self proclaimed Diep Indie Kak. This unique genre is defined by their combination of Disco, Indie and Synth Rock. It’s foot stomping, body shaking music and catchy as a stick of sin covered in super glue. The La Els are here and now; neither futuristic nor a retro throwback. This band is full frontal, present and in the moment. Their debut EP is just what the cover suggests, a neon-driven slap to the face, with the subtle hint of something darker underneath.

In the 8 short months since their inception, The La Els have already accomplished some substantial feats. Four months into the bands existence, they won the Global Moguls battle of the bands. They won in categories of Best Band, Best Music Video, Best Photo Shoot and Best Album Cover Design. Sasha Walman- who has worked with David Bowie, Eminem and N.E.R.D to name few- described their album cover as ‘eye catching, something between District 9 and the Grateful Dead’. Their success in all categories of the competition is no small feat when one considers they were competing against more than 70 other bands from across South Africa, most of them long established in the scene. The La Els have been confirmed for the Splashy Fen music festival, have their debut music video for the first single “Soulkiller” on MK, and their single ‘Soulkiller’ debuted on TUKSfm at number 8 on the S.A top 10 chart, a week ago. They were also noted as one of the Top 10 bands to look out for in 2011 by Therese Owen of the independent papers.

“Durban rockers The La Els won the inaugural battle of the bands that was run on the internet. Their music is catchy, fun punk. They are aware of the power of the internet and co-ordinated a well-constructed campaign to win the national competition.”

‘Sound out these musos for 2011’ February 9, 2011 – By Therese Owen

This six piece group started out with one ambition; to bring their Diep Indie Kak to the masses. And it appears its working.The La Els have put their new music up for free download on all their social network pages, including Facebook, Twitter and their website, This means that each new song is released on the net, for free, and the people who are following on the social networks are privy to the release and free download. This is for a limited time period, after which the song becomes available for purchase as part of the next album. And the method is paying dividends . People are downloading and sharing the material, and those who want to own the EP, can still buy it as a physical memento of The La Els madness. This is the way the music business is heading, and these guys are very much on the forefront of that wave. They own all their music, as they haven’t signed it to any labels.

The band has a national tour planned to promote the EP and are currently finalising dates in Cape Town, Jhb and Pretoria. However the kick off date has already been confirmed and locked down. The scene is set and the Dirty Disco party at Origin night club in their home town of Durban on Friday the 13th of May will be the perfect start to the dark disco indie wave set to sweep the nation.

From left to right: Jon Berg, Raul Diaz, Jonas Barausse, Gregan Aherin, Paul Figueira, and Joshua Beechey

The La Els have also been nominated as one of the top 100 South African Artists (past and present) that you have to hear by Music Review online.