A peek behind the curtain at So Many Wizards


It’s Monday afternoon, and 26-year-old Nima Kazerouni is in a workshop in Gardena gutting vintage television sets and rigging them with LCD screens. In a manner of speaking, it’s a “rehearsal” for So Many Wizards’ upcoming shows.

“It’s my new idea for a live show,” says Kazerouni, explaining that his “bassist” and “guitarist” for upcoming stints will be videos of musicians playing those parts projected onto TV screens stacked onstage. (He’ll have a live drummer.) “I think the aesthetic of the ’60s and ’70s and the television is the perfect centerpiece to my music. … It’s 2009, and we have technology. I’m just presenting it in a really nostalgic way.”

Indeed, the songs on last year’s “Tree EP” have more in common with the folk and pop music of the Cold and Vietnam War eras. You don’t even need to hear the George Peppard speech at the start of “Fly a Kite” to catch the wayback feel that few current artists (although Richard Swift comes to mind) achieve.

Much of the music — as well as Ryan Maples’ new video for “Fly a Kite” (above) — was made on a rooftop in Redondo Beach. No kidding. “I created a little world for somanywizards1myself up there … someplace where I could feel the make-believe in the songs,” Kazerouni says. “It’s a full-functioning room.”

Kazerouni’s father was a musician in London in the ’60s and ’70s and taught his son to play guitar and piano. Nima was exposed to Italian pop very early, and came to love the likes of French pop and Syd Barrett. He also studied cinema at UCLA … and now his stage show becomes a multimedia spectacle.

Says Kazerouni, “It’s going to change every show, but it’ll be different. … It’s kinda, ‘Here you go, you haven’t seen this before.'”

||| Live: So Many Wizards play Thursday at the Silverlake Lounge.