My research skills were not at their best the night I first saw Le Switch perform live. At some point during the show at San Francisco’s Hotel Utah on October 25, 2008, frontman Aaron Kyle began to sing a song that sounded awfully familiar. Yet it was not a cover, that much I could tell. But how could that be? I haven’t heard anything else… wait a minute… THE Switch is how I knew them before! How did this not come up in any of my preparations? God, what an idiot.
After Le Switch’s performance at the Hotel Utah, I approached the band’s trumpet player, Maria Deluca. As we talked, she gave me a succinct version of the story behind the changing of the definite article before the band’s name, a story which Aaron spells out in detail in our interview.
And though I wasn’t able to talk to Aaron at the Hotel Utah show last October, he was more than happy to participate in an interview when I contacted him half a year later. As it turned out, he was the only one in the band able to participate when I came to L.A. (besides Aaron and Maria, Le Switch is rounded out by drummer Joe Napolitano, bassist Christopher Harrison and keyboardist Josh Charney). But we certainly made the most of it.
First, however, we had some important business to take care of when I arrived at Aaron’s apartment. “Come on,” he said. “We’re going to take a quick walk.” And with that, we were off to the corner store, at about quarter to four in the afternoon, to pick up a six-pack of Pacifico.
When Aaron approached the counter to pay for his afternoon snack, he pulled out his ATM card, only to find that the store’s debit system wasn’t working. “Hey, can I borrow eight bucks? I never carry cash.” This was really starting to feel like a true rock n’ roll day. Feeling like going with the flow was the best choice anyone could make in this situation, I handed over some bills, he paid for the package, and we were off.
Back at Aaron’s place, he started to spin some records (he was particularly keen on an original out of print Link Wray LP he had recently acquired. I refused his offer for a beer, however, being that I was driving, and thanked him. “Don’t thank me,” he said. “You bought it!” I really wish the camera had been on for that moment. Priceless!
Aaron made up for it though, in a very cool way. After a little tour of Le Switch’s practice space, we got a bite to eat — his treat — at one of Aaron’s favorite eating joints, Phillippe’s. He had been talking up their French dip roast beef sandwiches, and they were every bit as good as he described. There was a lot of comfort food on the menu — including pie — and at very reasonable prices, it was no surprise that the place was jam packed. We still managed to get a table and chow down, with just enough time left for me to drop Aaron back at his place, and then to scuttle on over to the airport.
And upon arriving, I discovered that my flight was delayed by 35 minutes. Maybe I could have had that beer after all…
Aaron Kyle, Le Switch “You and I”