A-side “Fire of Love” was written specifically for L‘Assassins by Twin Cities new-wave king Chan Poling. You see, when L‘Assassins shared a bill with The Suburbs in the fall of 2014, lead singer Chan Poling had already become familiar with the band’s amalgam of “garage-surf-punk rooted in trashy B-movie culture.” To their surprise, he approached them with a song he’d written with them in mind. L’Assassins and Poling quickly worked out an arrangement, and hit the studio with he and his Suburbs bandmate Steve Price producing.
They also recorded the band’s own just-finished “Liar”, supplemented by an organ part by Poling.Their savage B-side “Liar” sees the band at the snarling top of their punk-rock game. The resulting record is an incendiary blast that slips perfectly into the rest of their four-year-strong catalog.
“The whole situation of recording with Chan and Steve Price of The Suburbs was an exciting one,” says Monet Wong, who supplies guitar and vocals for L’Assassins. “They were super enthusiastic and had some great production ideas. The handclaps and organ on “Liar” really make the song — it’s not something we normally would have done.”
According to Wong, working with the master editor Poling was a great learning experience. The band had originally added more space into the “Fire of Love” arrangement and he “zapped out every extraneous moment to keep to a true pop sensibility.”
But it’s one thing to work with Poling and quite another to have him come to you with a song already written. “It was really surprising more than anything else,” Wong says. “I mean, who wouldn’t be like ‘This. Is. Amazing!’ It’s funny as we never really talked about the origins of it too much with him (other than it was some kind of karma); you’ll have to ask him about a dream he had some time.”
Since the single came from two different sources (Poling wrote the A Side and L’Assassins wrote the B-side in parallel) there wasn’t originally a unifying thread the way many artists’ albums do. But in terms of how Poling’s “Fire of Love” became translated into the video, the band instantly associated that with the concept of “Woman Created Fire” which translated into cavewomen imagery for them. With that in mind, they turned over the execution of that idea to their partners in crime on all of their videos: the writing/directing/producing duo of Tyler Jensen and Sasha Landskov.
In an age of mp3 files and online streaming services, “Fire of Love” and “Liar” appear on a seven-inch vinyl, which was a natural choice for L’Assassins. “The first thing we put out was a 7-inch, which we’ve been sold out of for a long time,” Wong says. “Fans kept asking us when we’re going to put out new vinyl, so this single was the perfect opportunity.”