|| IM DIALOG MIT … LOW ISLAND (+ Verlosung)

Veröffentlicht: November 10, 2022 in Interviews, Musik
Schlagwörter:, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Low Island Lead Press Shot (Square - JPG)Low Island haben letzte Woche ihr neues Album über ihr eigenes Label veröffentlicht – eine starke Platte, die purer Indie ist und von ArtRock und AltPop geküsst wird. Ein Interview mit Low Island.

Von der Band als „sonic photo album; a journey through three years of accelerated change that felt like a lifetime“ beschrieben, verspricht das Album eine erforschende Ausstellung zu werden. Zwischen körniger, emotionaler Introspektion und Verständnis und Akzeptanz des großen Ganzen! Die erste Single „Can’t Forget“ ist einem trägen Groove verpflichtet, der in einen bombastischen Refrain zwischen Tame Impala und Foals übergeht. Melancholischer Optimismus und eine eigenwillige Produktion machen den Sound von Low Island aus und bietet immer noch Raum für ein Gitarrensolo und neuen wie auch alten Techniken des Elektro-Pop. Life In Miniature“ ist eine 11 Track starke Reise durch Art-Rock, Alt-Pop und elektronisch aufgeladenem Indie. Durch Licht und Schatten werden Erinnerungen der vergangenen turbulenten Jahre seit dem Debüt-Album eingefangen und verarbeitet.

Etwas mehr nach einem Jahr seit der Veröffentlichung ihres Debüts, kündigten Low Island bereits den Nachfolger an. Mit ihren kathartischen Hymnen über Liebe, Verlust und das Leben ebnen Low Island den Weg für unabhängige Künstler und treten in die Fußstapfen der Oxford-Bands wie Radiohead, Glass Animals oder den Foals: hartnäckig, freigeistig und furchtlos.

Low Islands Bassist Jamie Jay hat uns ein paar Fragen zur Platte, zum Musizieren und zum Reisen beantwortet – Jamie Jay ist sehr ausführlich und gewährt Euch so einen tiefen Einblick … absolut lesenswert. & dabei am besten direkt „Life In Miniature“ anwerfen.


Your record is called Life In Miniature, which is also the closing track.
What’s the story behind naming the record like this?
I remember when we were in France this time last year, recording the album and struggling to find the right closing song. Carlos disappeared for most of the day and came back into the studio room with not only a new song but a title for the record. Building up to showing us the song and telling us the album title, he spoke for a while about all the various themes that fed into it (I actually have a recording of him explaining it all, which is helping me answer this question in his words, so to speak!) Ultimately, over the last two years, there was this accute feeling of dramatically accelerated change, both in people’s personal lives but also on the wider level of global societies living through and adapting to the pandemic. Carlos had left home, moved cities, lost family members, lost relationships, and fallen in love, all within a very condensed space of time. The experience of multiple big life Screenshot 2022-11-10 at 14-34-43 Low Island (@lowislandmusic) • Instagram-Fotos und -Videoschanges and events all coming at once led to the album title and the song Life In Miniature.

 Life In Miniature is being released via your own label Emotional Interference. Heads up: Is it harder than being a „major label band“ ?
We can’t really compare these two things, as we’ve always released our music independently. Talking to artists on major labels, the two main differences seem to be control and resources. With Emotional Interference, we have total control of pretty much every aspect, which is really great. On the flip-side of that, we obviously don’t have anywhere near the same amount of muscle that a major label can offer. To answer your question, our situation is probably harder in many respects, but we’re pretty happy with it, as we have so much artistic freedom, which is increasingly rare. Also, it’s really empowering to take a DIY approach and familiarise ourselves with all sorts of aspects that are often hidden from artists on major labels.

Do you think the listening experience changed in past years? Obviously I’m talking about streaming and playlists … Are you still listening to records as a full thing?
All the new platforms for listening to music seem to be much more focussed on singles and one-off collabs/features. However, in our band, we talk about people’s albums much more than their singles. Despite the changing landscape of streaming etc., an album still works as a really clear chapter in an artist’s journey, often with a distinct aesthetic that goes with it (i.e. the artwork, the videos, the tour production…and sometimes the wardrobe!) I think my listening experience has probably moved away from sitting down and playing an album start-to-finish multiple times, but I still understand and contextualise an artist’s music through the landmarks of their albums, much more than their singles. Since lockdown 2020, I have been building my vinyl collection, where it’s interestingly a lot easier to put on an album and let it play through, than it is to skip to a certain track then pull out and play another record.

Even in darker days, your catchy sound gives us a good feeling. What’s the best compliment someone ever gave you about you as a band, your music?
Thank you, that’s a lovely compliment! I think we definitely want to give people a good feeling, though it’s often a particular kind of cathartic good feeling that we’re striving for! We’ve been lucky enough to have so many kind words said about our music at shows and online that it’s hard to remember a particular one. Quite a few people have said that our music helped them through a really difficult time, which I always think is the best thing to hear, even if it’s more of a thank you than a compliment.

Since lockdown 2020, I have been building my vinyl collection, where it’s interestingly a lot easier to put on an album and let it play through, than it is to skip to a certain track then pull out and play another record.

Still, there are also ’sad and silent songs‘ . When and what is the best mood for you to write lyrics and sounds?
I’ve heard that some artists and producers never work before the evening, and then go all night. For us, there isn’t always a specific mood or environment we need to be in to write lyrics or make music. Also, we have to work other jobs to live, so there isn’t always the luxury of insisting on a particular set of circumstances in which to be creative. We find ourselves working on any aspect of a song at any time of day in any place, I’ve seen Carlos working on lyrics in the tour van! That said, to make something like an album, we definitely need space, both in terms of time and location. Like many other artists, we have to get away from everything and everyone for a long time to get truly inside an album whilst making it. Sometimes, we’ll record vocals at certain times of day depending on the mood of the song and the performance we’re trying to capture. Otherwise, it really is anything goes!

And what comes first: Lyrics or music?
Either. In our band, things can pretty much come from any source or direction. However, the one thing we try to avoid is building up a complete instrumental track, then throwing some singing on it right at the end of the process. We always want the song to be central, with everything else flowing from it. Small fragments of lyrics are often written down, and sometimes they grow into something larger before they’ve been put to a melody or to music. Sometimes a melody will be written to music, and then new or pre-existing lyrics will be adapted to that melody. Carlos is always great at finding new homes for discarded lyrics, in that something will get cut from one song because it doesn’t quite work, but it will turn up in another song and fit really well. He has many fraught notebooks that are quite hard to read, but it helps him see how everything interconnects for an album.

You’re from Oxford. What are you enjoying when in Germany and what do you miss when you’re away from the UK?
We absolutely love playing in mainland Europe, particularly Germany. I say “mainland Europe” because I still cling on to the fact that the UK is at least still in Europe (despite what happened in 2016!) We just had a wonderful tour playing in Warsaw, Vienna, Prague, Leipzig, Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Paris. I’m so happy that a small band like ours can still get across the channel to play in these little independent venues after the devastating double-threat of Brexit and Covid. There’s a real enthusiasm and energy from not only the fans but the people at the venues helping to put on the show. For whatever reason, this feeling isn’t always there in the UK. In Germany, being four adults who’ve chosen to make music for a living feels like a legitimate thing to do…in the UK, the attitude is very much raised eyebrows and “OK, good luck with that!”

Which European cities you’ve been to were your favorites – try to name five.

OK, this is going to be very difficult because I struggle to think of one European city we haven’t had a great time in! I won’t put them in order, but Berlin has got to be up there. We’ve played at Berlin Lollapalooza in the Olympiastadion, at Fluxbau on the beautiful River Spree and at Kantine am Berghain, which was maybe the best show we’ve ever had (not least because I was being a totally annoying techno fanboy being at the famous Berghain club…yes, I got the obligatory photo in front of the building!) Hamburg Reeperbahn was fantastic. We played at the Club im Bunker at Uebel und Gefährlich, which was definitely the biggest crowd we’ve ever played to in mainland Europe. We played at Jaki in Cologne, and then had a wonderful day off drinking Kölsch at Brauerei zur Malzmühle (without a doubt the best beer I’ve ever had…I almost got quite emotional!) We had a great show at this extraordinary steam-punk multi-venue hideout called Cross Club in Prague. There was a mosh pit at one point, which was definitely a first for us! I was very jealous because the rest of the band got to spend a whole weekend in Prague after the show, but Low Island Lead Press Shot (Square - JPG)I had to go back to the UK! They told me Prague was fantastic, so it’s got to go in our top five. Our first ever show outside the UK was at Sala Apolo in Barcelona, which was really exciting, as we’d only been a band for less than a year at that point. Everyone parties pretty late in Barcelona, so we had a great show and a great time. Needless to say, we cannot wait to return to these cities.

Let’s start dreaming: What would be the favorite concert location or festival to play as Low Island?
For a long time, I have dreamed of playing Melt! Festival. I went to Melt! from the ages of 17-19. There was one year when all four of us went, long before Low Island even existed. I think that may have been the first big thing we all went to, even though we all grew up together in Oxford. As a fan of both indie and electronic dance music, Melt! was always the perfect festival experience. Every year, the lineup is filled with artists, bands and DJs/producers who we all look up to, so I think we’d feel really at home, if we were ever lucky enough to perform there. During our recent tour, I got the train from Berlin to Leipzig for our show at Naumanns. I saw on the map that the train was going past Gräfenhainichen, so I looked out the window hoping to see Ferropolis, the site of Melt! Festival. For a split second through a clearing in the bushes, I glimpsed it on the horizon, which immediately took me right back to those weekends spent listening to incredible music in and amongst all those enormous rusted industrial machines.

And if you could have and book your own festival – what would it be named, were would it take place and who needs to play there?
If I was being practical, I’d choose Ferropolis, because it is without a doubt the best festival site I’ve ever been to. Also, it’s a little peninsula in the middle of this huge placid lake, so that’s a pretty fitting location for a band with our name. If we’re talking about dream locations, I’ve always wanted to get hold of an old disused oil tanker or aircraft carrier and turn the flat outdoor main deck into one big stage/audience area. Maybe there could be a sort of Room 2 below deck, if there’s space. On a very calm day, I’d want to take the boat out to just beyond the point where you can’t see land, then have music until sunrise, when the boat would head back to shore. We could keep things gentle in the afternoon, with Big Thief, Fleet Foxes and – remember that this is a dream – Joni Mitchell and Arthur Russell. We then take things up a notch with Caroline Polacheck, Empress Of and Charlotte Adigéry. As the sun started setting, we could have Caribou and LCD Soundsystem. Obviously, I’d want Low Island to play at some point! After hours, I’d want Avalon Emerson, Four Tet, VTSS, finishing with several hours of Ricardo Villalobos (I am a huge fan of his music). Finally, I’d want the full length of Presence by Basic Channel to play us home at the end, because it sounds like a tug boat. Let’s call the festival All At Sea, or something like that? In English, this expression means to be very confused or undecided, which would be appropriate on all counts.

[…] at Kantine am Berghain, which was maybe the best show we’ve ever had (not least because I was being a totally annoying techno fanboy being at the famous Berghain club…yes, I got the obligatory photo in front of the building!)

Gewinnt 2x 1 CD:
Low Island  – „Life In Miniature

Mailt uns einfach bis zum 20.11.2022, 23:59 Uhr unter dem Betreff “Low Island CD” an win(at)the-pick.de und gebt bitte Eure vollständige Anschrift an und schreibt uns doch bitte, warum ‚Life In Miniature‘ von Low Island nicht in Eurer Sammlung fehlen darf. Unvollständige Mails und Mehrfacheinsendungen können wir leider nicht berücksichtigen. Der Rechtsweg ist ausgeschlossen. ++ Hinweis: Aufgrund der Corona-Pandemie (bzw. des Lockdowns) wird sich der Versand voraussichtlich verzögern, da die Labels aktuell nicht in die Büros dürfen. Wir bitten um Verständnis!
Viel Glück!

Fotocredits: Low Island (Pressefoto + Instagram)

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