Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Lord Echo talks about his new album Harmonies, out April 7
Lord Echo's third album Harmonies is just around the corner, out April 7 on Soundway. Some background from his official press blurb:
“When I first conceived of this project I wondered if it would be possible to make the same album three times, mostly because I thought it would be funny and because people always try and do something different so why not try and do the opposite? This shows how rebellious and brilliant I am. So that’s why all three of my albums have the same type of cover, have the same sounding names (Melodies, Curiosities, Harmonies) and why they feature the same artists.”
There’s Toby Laing (Fat Freddy’s Drop), the long time associate and advisor, Mara TK (Electric Wire Hustle) - the golden voiced poster boy of soulful experimentation, Dr Leila Adu - the enigmatic and unique composer, songstress and muse, Lucien Johnson - the charmingly well read saxophonist and composer, and of course the fabulous Lisa Tomlins - who slayed everybody with her raw and soulful performance of ‘Thinking Of You’ in 2010.
The album was produced in his studio World of Sound, which he built by hand in an abandoned plastics factory in the backwaters of industrial New Zealand [also where Lawrence Arabia recorded his latest album Absolute Truth with Lord Echo producing]. His only neighbours were a lone skinhead, a handful of gang members and ‘TK’s’ - a brothel frequented by long haul truck drivers whose route terminated nearby.
“I lived alone out there for 3 years. It really was very odd. Of course I went completely nuts. But I also had periods of strange, other worldly happiness. Though that was mostly during a period in which I gave up trying to make music. I was a terrible alcoholic. I did a lot of yoga. I’m glad it’s over.”
It was in many ways a classic midlife crisis. Quitting his cushy gig in iconic New Zealand band The Black Seeds and facing financial and psychological ruin he ploughed ahead into the darkness.
“The midlife crisis is, for me, a time when two things happen. One, you start to really confront death if you’re that way inclined, and two you have been alive long enough and experienced enough stuff that it’s time to consider the things you’ve done and learnt and try to figure out a way to keep living. In other words, you think to yourself ‘how the hell do I keep doing this, what do I want?’
"And after fumbling about in the dark for sometime, you either decide to just give up and sleep walk through the rest of your life or you decide to get rid of the shit that doesn’t turn you on and fill your life with the things that do.
“Really, I think working is the most important thing, working is the point. You’ve got to have something to do in this god forsaken world. The making of something is the part where you exercise that uniquely human muscle - to make something just because you can or because you want to. Thats what draws us closer to the gods. Does it matter if it’s good or not? Ultimately, no. Let other people worry about that. Carry on working, don’t look back”