Lemaitre have been producing electro indietronica bangers for years now and have today October 7th released their latest EP AFTERGLOW. The Norwegian duo are set to tour the US this month, but Bear Family’s Adele Stewart had the chance to have a quick chat with Ulrik and ask him a few q’s.
BF: How are you going with finding the balance between selling out and making cool music? Some artists like to have different projects for their various agendas. I love Nishio just as much as I love a more commercial song like We Got U or Continuum but for completely different atmospheres or settings. Maybe the definition of selling out is changing as we are starting to be more eclectic.. But I guess, kind of having your niche music under the same ‘umbrella’ as your commercial music, does shine more of a light onto your more niche music. For example I wouldn’t have discovered Nishio if it wasn’t for YouTube having an amazing auto-play algorithm.
L: Yeah I think we’ve always wanted to be able to make varying music, either if it’s our tastes changing or being influenced by others to make more commercial stuff. We have never made all these choices because we still make for example on the upcoming EP we still make more of the niche stuff as well.. though on upcoming EP that comes out this Friday on October 7th we have one pretty niche song on it and.. and three I guess you could say more pop songs but still songs we wanted to make.. and on 1749 we had Nishio too and Stepping Stone and it’s all tracks that we.. every track is a track that we wanted to do. And sometimes we wanted to do more poppy things sometimes we wanna do more eclectic stuff and we might want to make an album full of eclectic stuff but we might want to make more pop songs but it’s also the form that we’ve been releasing stuff it’s kind of easier to release more of the poppy stuff.
So yeah we’ve been working on a lot of more eclectic stuff as well that we hope to release when we do the full album sometime next year or the year after – we just need time because if we’re going to release a full album we want it to be really interesting and it needs to have, it needs to be really good so we kind of want to have enough time to do that but then it would be easy to release a bunch of more eclectic stuff mixed with the more… yeah radio.
BF: Yeah and the way that artists do it now is completely different. You’ve released a lot of EP’s and now you’re going to release your full length in a year or two and that’s cool! The Strokes for instance, they’ve recently released their Past Future Present EP which I think is fantastic and I just think they’ve kind of realised you don’t always have to have a full length album to get a concise message across.
L: I think it’s really good – it’s a better format when you can release everything so easily and instantaneously and at the same time over the whole world. You don’t need to have twelve tracks, it’s not like in the old days where it was a big process getting a new thing out everywhere. Now you can make a song and get it out the same day. There’s no reason not to release the tracks as soon as you have them. Of course it’s cool to have kind of a work that’s connected in some way as an album to have either concepts or just like releasing it as something to be heard. As one piece of work – other than that it makes more sense than just releasing stuff more often.
BF: Next question… Sampling. I’ve kind of only realised recently the extra meaning of Gotye’s album Making Mirror’s, and The Avalanches recent release that’s been really popular – it feels as though people are finally seeing the magic sampling can bring! Can you tell me a little bit about your journey with sampling?
L: Yeah we started out sampling old records for the first songs we made but we never released them commercially because we weren’t able to because we didn’t know how to clear samples so we then started making our own samples where we kind of, recreated old funk and soul and jazz and rock samples – everything that we kind wanted to sample and we we recreated either made something new or recreated those sounds so that we could sample them without getting sued so that’s what we’ve been doing ever since. I mean, we sample stuff because a lot of the music we love is sample based – because there’s a certain sound you can only get when you sample stuff. For example on this last EP we wanted to clear a sample on this upcoming EP we wanted to clear a sample that we found online from a free sample library because we couldn’t find the copyright holder to it we couldn’t clear it so we had to re-record it so I don’t know how the Avalanches cleared their whole album doing what they did!
BF: I hear that’s why it took 16 years!
L: Yeah! Haha. And I like ‘Since I Left You’ which is almost purely sample based as I understand. We really have been inspired by hip-hop and electronic music. It’s definitely the way to go!
BF: Yeah absolutely – it’s like a journey in itself. I don’t know how you go about finding your samples – but we commonly go ‘vinyl hunting’ over here – it’s a whole process in itself and then picking the sample and being like “oh yeah that’s the one” and then finding a spot for it and recreating it just seems like a magical process.
L: Yeah we don’t dig through old records – we have a sound library of samples we’ve made and sounds we made and older songs even that we’ve sampled. Nishio for example is mostly re-sampling an older song we made.
BF: Yeah, I love that song I just heard it today on auto-play on YouTube and I was like “ooh this is awesome!”
BF: Is it a play on words with ‘niche?’
L: Uh no, it’s actually just named after a Japanese town!
BF: Have you seen the film Upstream Color?
L: Hmm no I haven’t seen it.
BF: I feel like it should have been on like a mood board or a vision board or something when you were writing ‘Splitting Color’ or ‘Blue Shift’. You should definitely watch, it’s called Upstream Color it’s a very good sci-fi film.
L: Oh yeah I just googled it looks cool!
BF: Next question – Continuum. Watching this video was very good to kind of get a window into your world. It looks like it’s been a very epic, fun journey for you guys. Do you have any highlights?
L: I think going to Australia for the first time when we were there playing Stereosonic a couple of years ago was a fun experience and also, the first time we played Roskilde Festival we played only at warmup stage but it ended up with 15000 people. We’d never played close to anything like that, that was definitely one of the highlights – I think that’s in the Continuum video. There’s a lot of highlights along the road and the bar is always raised for what the next cool thing. When we got booked for Coachella we found out that, when we found out we got booked for Coachella last year and we played there – this year that was also a major highlight ’cause we always look at that and be like yeah we need to play there all the time man – yeah it was really fun!
BF: Absolutely – Coachella looks like a dreamland. I’ve only been to Splendour myself.
L: I think Splendour is probably a cooler festival though
BF: Well I’ve been 6 times so I’ve done the best I can with a limited ability to travel
L: I really hope that we can play Splendour next year, that would be amazing.
BF: What are you looking forward to next? Writing? Falls? A break maybe?
L: I’m really looking forward to – we are heading around on a US tour now then we’re going down under for an Australia tour playing Falls festival and doing two sideshows in Melbourne and Sydney.
BF: Yeah I’ve always wanted to go to Falls, I just haven’t been able to deal with the concept of the camping for that long at that cold a place – it’s really intense!
BF: Well that’s about it, so can I just say thank you for your contribution to the Global Community that is music!
L: Thanks for your time! Bye, have a good one!