Talking Music: Hansel Tato From Su Blah Nu



Su Blah Nu might be a band based in Long Beach, but front man, Hansel Tato, lives right here in Fullerton. Returning from a break the band took in October, they’ll be taking their rightful place on stage once again at Commonwealth Lounge on May 15th with Lily Bee, The Janks, and The Shivers. He originally wrote all of the songs for Su Blah Nu at home on Ableton Live, but two tracks in particular, Magazines and Visionaries, were exclusively produced with Woofly from LCD Sound System’s label DFA Records. However, Hansel gives much credit to Su Blah Nu guitarist, Brad Lindsay, who helped to wrangle a full band together, because It was then that Tato’s songwriting took on a new flavor. Although they took time off from playing, while musicians went on to play gigs with other bands, it has given Hansel Tato the opportunity to produce something in a different direction with his latest project, Yesterday’s Love Assault.

So Woofly is producing this upcoming project. You’ve been working with him for a long time then?

Yeah him and I are pretty good friends. He used to DJ for me at this club in L.A we used to do called Stereophonics. He was the resident DJ, and then we took him up to San Francisco, and started a club up there. We were up there probably twice a month. He came out with this project called Projections on Guidance Records out of Chicago that started picking up all over the place. So he started touring all over the world.

So you guys kind of came up through the ranks together?

Yeah he surpassed the ranks (laughs). A lot of my friends who are musicians are making it like Luis Vasquez. he started a group called the Soft Moon out of San Francisco, and he & I were in Fire Lotus Society that was more of an electro punk band.

Is that a different style from the band that you were in?

I would say yeah. He does a lot of German-style new wave pop, but new wave like dark synth.

Sort of like Bauhaus, or shoe gaze bands?

Yeah exactly. This whole style has influence because we actually came up around the same era of music. So this new project that I’m working on called Yesterday’s Love Assault (YLA), Luis has been inspirational in that aspect. You like to surround yourself around people that are better than you.

They build your game up.

Exactly. Like recording styles. If you know somebody who records in a different manner, you watch them record, and watch the way they produce something. You sort of look at their ideas and thoughts. You know, the way they’re going to track something and think, “Man I want to capture that just like they do”.

When you record what’s your weapon of choice? Midi Keyboard, Guitar, Bass?

I use midi, a Crumar, which is an old vintage keyboard, and a lot of samples.

YLA is more distinct with sampling. Is it a chance for you to jump into another genre maybe like Hip Hop?

No it’s not Hip Hop at all. The whole project’s about bad breakups, but there’s also love songs with a dark eerie sound to them. I recently went through one myself and it just inspired me to do this, so I just brought the concept to Woofly and his response was immediately, “Man, I’m all behind it”. As far as the Hip Hop reference it’s because I’m using breaks. I use a lot of 45’s, breakbeats, atmospheric, and ghostly/haunting samples. I also use samples from 60’s funk records, and late 70’s, early 80’s punk stuff.  It’ll have a little funk flavor to it. Like Soul flavor, but it’s going to be more synth heavy, guitar heavy stuff kind of like Jesus and Mary Chain.

Upcoming Show presented in part by The Fullertonian:
May 15th, 2011 w/ Lily Bee, The Janks, and The Shivers
Commonwealth Lounge
112 East Commonwealth Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92832
(714) 525-8888

For more on Su Blah Nu check out their webpage at:

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