Less than a week after the release of the much-anticipated debut of Louis XIV’s first full-length album, The Best Little Secrets Are Kept, the group made its first appearance in Santa Barbara on April 3 at a packed Velvet Jones. Louis is comprised of four talented musicians led by frontman Jason Hill. If nothing else, you might recognize the band from their single “Finding Out True Love Is Blind,” which has gotten local as well as international attention on modern rock radio. It’s hard to miss the blunt, sexual lyrics in the single, which embodies the pureness and freedom of rock ‘n’ roll.
Before the show, I strolled State Street with Hill and talked about girls, alcohol, true love, politics and what he sees as the key to success in rock ‘n’ roll. Hill and Brian Karscig were former members of Convoy, a relatively successful band based in San Diego. The two broke away from Convoy, eager for freedom from compromising their music styles to fit a particular mold. After flying to Paris to record new tunes on old equipment, the group produced a song called “Louis XIV.”
“It was a monster of a song… it was that enormous,” Hill said.
Hill prides his band on its unique sounds, which set them apart from the rock pack.
“What are you doing in music unless you are doing something completely different and completely bold? You can’t give into the status quo. You have to be doing the things that everyone isn’t expecting of you. We made a completely unique record. I mean, we don’t sound like anybody out there. You can’t lump us in any category. You can’t say we sound like the Strokes or the Killers or… whoever.”
The audacious lyrics on their new album discuss sex and desire without constraint.
Hill said, “I think this particular album is about making a dialogue about myself or men and women in a way. You have to be bold and honest, and you have to not be afraid to push over boundaries.”
After a brief hesitation, he admitted he has a girlfriend, something which comes as a disappointment to the many hormone-filled females who appreciate the band’s honest and often simple lyrics, not to mention devilish good looks. But Hill said, “[My girlfriend] is really cool about [all of the female fans]. She never gets jealous over things like that. You can’t go out with a guy who plays rock ‘n’ roll every night and there’s girls throwing underwear… you can’t be overly sensitive.”
Although Hill did not offer his own interpretation of the title track, “Finding Out True Love is Blind,” he agreed with one fan’s interpretation: “You see all of these girls and this and that, and you realize that the girl that you are really into is right in front of you. I think that is the closest to finding meaning in the song.”
Hill’s modesty on the street does not carry over to the stage, where he and his fellow band members give the crowd a true rock ‘n’ roll experience that simply makes you want to move. With Hill at the top of his career, he makes a point out of not wanting to know what is next for him and Louis XIV.
“We will definitely make more records,” he said. “It is sort of an open book. I don’t like to know necessarily what the future holds. I just do everything like it’s the last day of my life.”