Looking Back on Suburban Lawns, The Great Forgotten LA New Wave Band

To celebrate the reissue of the band's cult 1981 self-titled album we chat with original members Frankie Ennui and Chuck Roast.

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via Noisey/Vice

By Sam Eckhardt Oct 22 2015, 2:00am

The post-1970s Los Angeles new wave scene was undoubtedly one of the most interesting and rich musical breeding grounds of the modern era. Epitomised by people like Geza X and the television program New Wave Theatre, the scene was fertile soil out of which grew hundreds of new wave and punk bands.

One of the most cruelly overlooked bands of this period were Suburban Lawns. Consisting of five art students from Long Beach, all performing under pseudonym, the band performed a jerky, manic style of new wave that echoed the best elements of punk and surf rock. The radiant jewel in the crown of Suburban Lawns was frontwoman Su Tissue, who's vocal style could slip from monotonic drawl to squeal in an instant, and who's aloof stage presence was aggressively anti-punk.

The band released their first single "Gidget Goes To Hell" in 1979, and quickly followed that up with a self-titled album in 1980. The LP has since become stuff of legend; a wholly unique slice of experimental rock 'n' roll that epitomised everything that was exciting about new wave.

The band went on to release one more EP before parting ways. Members formed other bands, Su Tissue went on to record an experimental solo piano album and have a minor role in Jonathan Demme's Something Wild, and Suburban Lawns slipped further into obscurity.

To celebrate Futurismo reissuing their classic LP, we had the pleasure of talking with guitarist Frankie Ennui (real name Richard Whitney) and drummer Chuck Roast (real name Charles Rodriguez) about their time in Suburban Lawns.