After eight years of bouncing from band to band, Lee Lopez was getting pretty fed up. When Lee's band Cardinale fell apart in October 2008, he decided to try something new and fun. So how do you change directions when your bands keep hitting the rocks? “I started partying a lot and wrote about something other than ‘girl breaks up with boy, boy is going to whine about it,’“ Lopez laughs.
Then he created Better Off Dead, which was recently renamed elleohelle (pronounced “El Oh El,” as in, ”laugh out loud”). In the studio, the regular members of elleohelle include Lee Lopez, Lee Lopez, and oh yes, Lee Lopez. The songs are written by—wait for it—Lee Lopez! So unless Lopez turns psychotic, the odds are that elleohelle will not crack up, as the previous bands did. For live tours, elleohelle consists of Lopez, backup vocalist Nick Capone, synthesist Chad Bajoie, and drummer Corey Willoz.
In concert, elleohelle delivers a dynamic and memorable show, with elaborate lighting and plenty of energy. It seems to be working, judging by the response! Along the way, Lopez and elleohelle have had the pleasure of playing with artists such as Vanilla Ice, Meriwether, The American Tragedy, Afro Man, and The Secret Handshake, just to name a few.
You can purchase Better Off Dead’s latest album, The Sights, Sounds, & Secrets EP, on iTunes or at any show. (The album preceded the band’s name change.) A followup album, One Crazy Summer, will be released in early 2010. Don’t forget to check out their MySpace page as well.
From the beginning of Better Off Dead/elleohelle, Lopez has exclusively used PreSonus preamps and compressors, both in the studio and live. “As a group, we have used PreSonus from the get-go, and we have all used PreSonus gear in our previous musical endeavors,” states Lopez. “We have been consistently pleased with the quality, durability, performance, and especially the value that we get for our money.
“We currently use the PreSonus Eureka to preamp and compress my vocals for live shows,” Lopez continues. “I especially like its durability. My Eureka has been in a road case that has been thrown all over in the back of a trailer for about a year, and it has never failed. And the sound quality is consistently great. The Eureka’s compression is much better than that of any house compressor I’ve come across, and it has done wonders for my vocal sound.”
The Eureka is one of several PreSonus products in the band’s arsenal. “I use the PreSonus FireBox in the studio and also to play prerecorded tracks for live shows,” explains Lopez. “We use the headphone out to feed our drummer’s in ear monitors. And Nick [Capone] uses the BlueTube DP and COMP16 to preamp and compress his vocals. I also used an ADL 600 preamp on The Sights, Sounds, & Secrets EP.”Lopez hails from Destrehan, Louisiana, which is on the east bank of the Big Muddy, just west of New Orleans, about 70 miles from PreSonus headquarters in Baton Rouge. “We love that you guys are local,” Lopez observes. “But more important, we appreciate your amazing products and everything PreSonus has done for us. PreSonus has us as customers for life!”