Low Island im Interview
Heute führt es uns ins englische Oxford zu einer Band, die den eingeschlafenen Musikmarkt schon seit längerem aufrüttelt. Mit ihrer Genre-übergreifenden Mischung aus Rock, Indie und Elektronik haben Low Island schon viele überzeugen können. Jetzt haben sie endlich auch ihr Debütalbum released! Aufgenommen in Frankfreich, kurz vor Lockdown, haben Carlos, Jamie, Jacob und Felix direkt auch ihr eigenes Label gegründet. “If You Could Have It All Again” handelt von Hoffnung und Chaos der vermeintlich verlorenen Zwanziger. Wir haben uns mit Bassist Jacob unterhalten über all das und mehr.
Anna: Hey, thanks for taking the time! With the world still being in that crazy state since last year, how are you feeling? How’s Lockdown in Britain?
Jacob: Thanks for having us! It’s been a pretty gruelling winter over here to be honest, like I’m sure it has for you guys too! But there’s definitely a sense of optimism going around at the moment; certainly in the music world we’re seeing more and more bands announcing shows for autumn! Fingers crossed they can all go ahead.
Anna: You do have some positive news too: your highly anticipated debut album If You Could Have It All Again is going to be released soon. How does it feel after 5 years of your band’s history to now, finally, release your first album?
Jacob: It’s pretty momentous for us – a culmination of so much work and speculation. We’re so grateful to have the chance to share it, especially given the state of the world over the last year. There were definitely some dark moments where it looked like it might not happen!
Anna: Talking about these 5 years of your band’s history: How did you guys meet and how was Low Island formed? And: If you could describe your band in five words, which would you choose?
Jacob: We actually all grew up together, so we go way back! Playing in all sorts of musical projects together along the way. Low Island came about a time where some of us had been playing in indie bands, others DJing and scoring music for theatre. The band was a way of exploring all of these musical worlds within one project. Combining the live energy of dance music, the soundscapes od the theatre and the song-writing of indie music. That was definitely the aim anyway!
If I were to describe it in five words it would probably be a phase we’ve used a lot over the years when trying to describe what we believe the ideal setting for our music is: “Late-night drives on the motorway”.
“The hard thing is to accept this uncertainty as just a part of life”
Anna: What can we expect from the album in musical terms?
Jacob: The album mostly deals with the anxiety I think most people feel in their twenties: Self-doubt over the decisions one makes and the pressure to “have your shit together”. Everyone has these fork-in-the-road moments where they wonder if they made the right decisions. The hard thing is to accept this uncertainty as just a part of life and try not to give yourself a hard time about it! When we were putting the record together we were always trying to best convey these themes in the music. We hoped that the arrangements of the songs could re-enforce some of this meaning. The lyrics and the spirit of a song are fundamental if you want to connect with people, I believe. And if you can supplement this with a killer bass-line or some weird synths, all the better!
Anna: Every time I listen to it, I seem to have a different favourite song. Do you have one that sticks out to the most?
Jacob: It’s always changing for me, too, but at the moment I’m really into the album close What The Hell (are you gonna do now?). I find it such a calming moment at the end of a rather intense album. I also like how one of the last lyrics moments on the record both asks and answers the question in the album title “if you could have it all again … another chance, it wouldn’t make a difference”. A kind of peaceful acceptance of anxiety that runs through many of the earlier songs.
“If it all went to shit, then we’d only have ourselves to blame”
Anna: Last year, you decided to found your own label. How did you come up with the idea?
Jacob: We set up the label in summer of 2020 at a point where the world, and more specifically the music industry, had been consumed by uncertainty. We felt that our best chance of survival as a band was to drive the project entirely ourselves. And at the very least if it all went to shit then we’d only have ourselves to blame. It’s all very new to us at the moment. If You Could Have It All Again will be the first release on Emotional Interference so we’re learning on the job to an extent. It’s been a lot of work and a steep learning-curve but incredibly rewarding at the same time.
Anna: Since you had a fully DIY-spirit behind the production of the album, what challenges did you face?
Jacob: The record was entirely self-produced in a make-shift studio in rural France in early March last year, days before the world started shutting down. It was the first time we’d tried this method of creating music. By limiting yourself in terms of both equipment and time, you subsequently make different musical decisions than you may otherwise do. We wanted to explore whether this approach could helps shape the songs into something that could sound cohesive as an album. Obviously, the pandemic was a massive unforeseen challenge in finishing off the album. Carlos actually ended up doing all the vocals from his bedroom cupboard! But we count ourselves incredibly fortunate that we were able to finish it and now just can’t wait for it to be out in the world.
“I will always cherish my afternoon as a A-lister”
Anna: I can only imagine how keen you must be to play live again. What part of touring and being on the road do you miss the most (and look forward to now)?
Jacob: It sounds cliched but you miss everything about when it’s taken away, the good and the bad. Weirdly you find yourself pining for the 3am service-station coffees or a warm can of lager in the green room as much as you do to the show itself! For me, it is a huge realisation from the pandemic not to take live music for granted. When we’re allowed I want to get out and see as many bands as I can!
Anna: At the end of every interview we ask for an untold story. Something you haven’t shared before in any interview.
Jacob: At Latitude Festival in the UK, in our first festival summer as a band, we’d just opened one of the stages and thought we’d played pretty well. After the set, I kept having people coming up to me asking for selfies – an experience that was totally unexpected and new to me. I was pretty chuffed, I won’t lie. Happily walking around the festival confident that we must have absolutely knocked it out the park, only for my sudden, supposed fame to later crumble on learning all the people who had asked for photos had actually mistaken me for the bass player in Sigrid’s band, who had played directly after us and to whom my resemblance was undeniable. I will always cherish my afternoon as a A-lister though.
Hört hier in das Debütalbum der A-Lister von Low Island rein:
Fotocredit: Matthew Cooper