By David Rolland
By David Von Bader
By Rebecca Bulnes
By Laurie Charles
By Chuck Strouse
By Lee Zimmerman
By Laurie Charles
Two years ago, Teepee mastermind Erix S. Laurent was poised for a breakthrough. He took his critically acclaimed 2009 LP, Morals, on a national tour while also being heralded back home as a true Miami original.
Laurent had been renowned for his intense solo performances. He'd sing, play guitar, control a drum machine, and clamp down keyboard notes with saxophone reed holders. But then, just when more ears were tuned his way than ever, he disappeared.
Now, however, Teepee is releasing an excellent new dream-pop single, "Time Meant Nothing." So New Times sat down with Laurent to discuss the disappearing act, the recording of his new album (out in November), and his habit of eating ten bananas for breakfast.
Where he's been for two years: "Not on purpose at first, but I ended up staying away from the scene until I became completely separate from it. I wanted to focus on what I could put on tape. Going out is too distracting, especially here in Miami. I had to wake up early and eat well.
"I came to a weird regimen. I'd wake up around 7 and then meditate. I'd plan out what my day was going to be in the studio and manifest it. And then I'd be in the studio all day with my producer. His name is Albert Ovadia and he's very meticulous about everything."
His new healthy lifestyle: "I eat more fruit than anyone I've ever seen in Miami. Like 2,500 to 3,000 calories of fruit per day. For breakfast, I have about ten bananas. Each banana is about 100 calories, so that puts me at 900 to 1,000 just from breakfast. I've been doing it for ten months now.
"Lunch is a pound or two of dates. I'd snack in between meals on grapes or blueberries. It's hard to get full off those. Comes dinner, maybe I'll have more bananas. Or I'll have more dates. Or what's in season, like mango or mamey.
"I'm in tune with nature, I guess. If you're in nature and you're surrounded by an apple tree, then that's all you'll eat until you're full and that's it. So I try to incorporate that into my life."
Weirdest fruit he eats: "There's this fruit called durian. It comes from Southeast Asia. It's this huge fruit with a bunch of spikes and it smells really bad, like someone's armpit. But it tastes so good, like custard. It's a mix between almonds, pineapple, cheese, and bananas. You can only get it in Asian markets. Or sometimes the farmers' markets will have it. But it's insane and I'm addicted to it.
"'I Told You So' off Morals has a line about not standing under the durian tree. There have been cases of people who've died from that. Imagine, this huge fruit with spikes falls on your head. It really messes you up."
Why else the second album took so long: "The producer and I being perfectionists. We learned a lot about little things like mike placement, mixing, EQ-ing, how far to sing from the mike, how to mike the guitar, how to tune the guitar. You know, maybe detuning the guitar so it fits right. All these things. Little things.
"I'm not that picky live-wise. That's about the performance and the type of energy we give off. But records are going to be the way you make them forever."