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Interview: Lancelot

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Jan 17, 2014

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As I sat in my room with -10 degree windchill here in Chicago, I logged onto skype to speak with Lancelot, in Sydney, in the middle of summer. If I said I wasn’t jealous, I would be lying to you. So his little icon popped up, I rang him, and we started chatting about what else… the weather. He called me crazy for going to school in Chicago’s weather, and I, naturally, agreed. Finally, after some annoying Skype lag “what’s” and stopping and starting, we finally got to the real questions. And so it went:

 

How did you decide on the name Lancelot, other than your name being Lance?

I think for me… I looked on the Internet to see if that was taken first, and it wasn’t. But, it was more the imagery that comes with that. I thought it was something that I could use. It’s quite catching… all the knight-based stuff. So I wanted to use that, and it’s my name as well… it’s an extension of my real name and it seemed like the perfect opportunity considering that it wasn’t taken. All the little symbols that come with Knights and Armor… I thought it could be used to make something cool.

 

Loved your EP Givin’ it Up! How was the inspiration on this EP different than on your other releases?

I think there’s a real focus for me on the sonic aesthetic of the EP. I wanted it to sound very cohesive throughout both tracks, both lyrically and “timbre-ly”, because it needed to tell a story. I’ve got this other EP coming out after this with a different artist where we craft one idea and have it speak for both songs or three songs, and I think having Ngaiire on both tracks helped it gel well together as well. So a focus on the songs, songwriting in dance music, which I don’t really think exists much more, and the aesthetic and the sounds that I used in both are quite similar. Like with the drums, I tried to keep it as a package.

 

You’re on tour right now, does that have any impact on your writing/creative side?

For this Australian tour, we’ve tried to just keep [the tour] on the weekends. I work in Australia during the week as a composer so I’m in the studio, and I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t away from that too much, because I still can write music and stuff. But when I go overseas and tour, because I’m a bit of a gear fiend and I love synthesizers and outboard gear, it makes it harder for me to write music when I’m away from my studio.  Which is something I need to work on in the future, because in reality I might be away from my studio for a bit of time, so yeah. Australia is fine, but it’s tough overseas.

 

As you said, you’ve played overseas and in Australia, so with those experiences in mind, where’s your favorite place to play in the whole world?

I think maybe my favorite place so far, would be in Paris. I’ve played two gigs at Wanderlust now, and they’re really nice people, I love the promoters there, they look after me, and the people there are really responsive to everything, and yeah…

That’s all you can ask for…

I’ve had some pretty funny experiences there though, just like good times.

Do you have a funniest moment?

No no no, I shouldn’t have said anything.

We’ll move on then.

Yeah, I’m not going to say anything.

 

Just to keep the mood light, though it’s already quite light, do you think you have a Sprit animal?

Spirit animal (laughs). I reckon it would be something quite hairy, because I’m quite hairy… I don’t want to say lion because it’s too obvious… what are those little things… ugh what are they called, they’re the cutest little thing that move in slow motion?

Big or small?

They’re little small things

A sloth?

Sloths! YEAH YEAH! I don’t know how that resembles me at all but…

Excellent! Seeing all the pictures and footage from all the Australian festivals right now, I have to say I’m jealous… But how would you describe the festival scene in Australia compared to the world’s festivals.

Good question. I think mainly, there are some incredible festivals in this country, man. There’s one coming up that I’m playing at called secret garden festival, and I think there’s been a big surge of a lot of more kind of niche, eclectic festivals growing in this country. Though on a greater scale, I think it’s more of a party oriented festival vibe here. Realistically Australia is quite a small place so… I guess the way I look at it is that here in Australia is we have nothing to complain about here. We live very free, very liberated, all these amazing things… Great weather… I think the festivals are more focused on people having fun. Yeah… so like they’re more like party based things, like I don’t think there would ever be a BPM festival here in Australia.

So it’s kind of more about bringing together the people and having a good time!

And because it’s so far away as well, they’ll get the big artists that come here once a year, and they come in the festival slot. Whereas America and Europe, you guys just kinda get whatever you want. “today, I don’t know… but I’m going to see this guy tomorrow?”

 

Do you draw any inspiration for your Deep House tracks from your composing?

I definitely do… It’s more so being aware of harmony and trying to know that skill set can make my music stand maybe a little bit more than someone who doesn’t know that stuff. So yeah, I think so. I try to make a thing with my music especially harmonically, you know, I try to develop progressions that hopefully haven’t been used before even though they sound familiar, and using little turnarounds and interesting voices to make it just my own. So definitely yes.

 

On “Givin’ it up” you have some “disco synths” and that sort of action going on. Did that come from you, or were influenced by the influence that disco had on 2013’s releases?

Well, I mean for me, I get inspiration mainly from disco, and r&b and soul music. I don’t care what other people are doing to influence my own music to be honest. It’s more like I get inspired by music that’s been around for many many years. If anything, it was a revolt from the whole kind of plastic sounding soundscape happening right now in mainstream music. Where it’s just like there’s no soul, there’s no groove, everything’s so locked in on the grid in their sessions, there’s no soul in it. So it was just a revolt against that I guess. I didn’t hear someone else, and say, “Oh that’s cool, I wanna do that now” it’s more like, I hear that and I want to do exactly the opposite.

 

Yeah, as a drummer, I appreciate your love of syncopation and getting out of the grid. I think it’s the abnormalities that make a song unique, and songs that draw from the older styles that were revolutionary and are so concrete, so to speak.

I mean, a lot of the stuff that’s done right now is just so formulaic, where it’s like 6 bar intro, 32 bar verse, chorus, you know just so thought out, the stuff that follows the template.

Anything other plans on the horizon? Any new tour plans?

Yep! So, I have this EP coming out the 20th yay! And I have another EP coming out with a singer from Australia, her name is Ngaiire and the EP is called J.O.B. It’s an EP based upon money. I’m really excited to get that one out as well. The reception from showing it to my fellow producers has been really solid. But I don’t know wen that will come out though, because music always takes ages to come out.

I’ve got this Australian tour up until march, I’m playing some shows in Asia middle of march as well. Then I come to the states, actually. Don’t know if I’ll come to Chicago, unless I have a show obviously. I come for the winter music conference, that’s what’s on the cards, and then I come back to Australia for a while, play some shows, and then I’m actually relocating to berlin!

 

Ze Home of die Deep House!!

I’m gonna, like, shave my head and get really… no no I’m not going to shave my head. I’ll live in a dungeon.

 

Then you wouldn’t be connected to the sloth anymore!

Oh yeah… shit. Scrap that idea then. I need to be connected to the sloth in some way. I still don’t know how.

You could sleep a lot.

Well I do sleep a lot! I actually set 4 alarms to wake up for this interview! Yeah… so that’s what’s coming up, and I’m debuting my live show the 4th of march with a full band.

 

OOOH full bands are so great. Ok, finally what’s your dream collaboration? Living or dead.

My dream collaboration… oh jeeze. If I could sit down, well there’s this one particular interview with Stravinsky where he’s on a boat, and he’s just skipping on a wine with a cigarette in his hand, and If I could be there, sitting next to him and I could be like, “hey man, do you want to get into the studio??” Yeah. It would have to be Igor Stravinsky!

 

He was so revolutionary!

If I could be like, “hey mate, let’s do the rite of spring 2!”

 

Haha, I would buy tickets to that!

Let’s do the rite of summer. Oooh that sounds so wacky! Or the rite of the Kangaroo Whisperer.

 

Well I’m going to hold you too that. I’ll be expecting a release called that.

For sure, we’ll do all Australian sounds. Australian birds, didgeridoos, wood blocks, the sound of VB cans opening, and just heaps of “OIs” and “hey mates.”

 

Haha, thanks so much for taking time to talk with me. And best of luck with the rest of your tour!

No worries, thank you mate!

 Lancelot on:

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

Check out his EP which debuts January 20th on Ajunadeep records! And if you get the chance to go to his live show March 4th, get out there. Live shows are always so great. It was a pleasure talking to Lancelot, and until next time,

^Xaos

About the Contributor

Xaos

Chicago, IL
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