On the occasion of his latest music video for ‘Bitter Leaf’, we asked Lanks to answer some of our questions. Read our interview with Melbourne singer-songwriter and producer LANKS.
His new single Bitter Leaf is now available via iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and other retailers ~ https://fanlink.to/bitterleaf
Thanks to Will
Thanks to Louise C. & Hannah C
Photo : She Is Aphrodite
Interview : Juanan Jones
Hi! I’m doing really well thanks, just getting ready for a tour starting in a week.
Could you tell us, for those who don’t know you yet, who is LANKS?
LANKS is me. It is the moniker I began using 2 years ago for my solo creative work. My housemate who does all my design work came up with the name, I had seen him call me that on a birthday card from a year earlier to me, and it stuck. It’s obviously because i’m quite lanky.
Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer… Do you rather be in control over the whole creative process or do you prefer a collaborative work like you did on ‘Golden Age’ with Andrei Eremin or with Just a Gent in ‘Heavy as a Heartbreak’?
All of these creative processes have been really fun. Heavy as a Heartbreak was as simple as Jacob (Just A Gent) emailing me an instrumental idea which I wrote and recorded the vocals and lyrics over the top of and sent back to him.
With Andrei Eremin, we have worked on a bunch of material together, with Golden Age being the first where I had him really co-produce. My first few EPs involved me spending a lot of time creating the whole thing and recording it in my bedroom studio at home, and for these new ones I wrote and recorded it at home so what I brought to Andrei was very developed. When I brought in the tracks he was so good at questioning choices and cutting away ideas that didn’t need to be there, re-recording vocals and some other parts, and then helping to add in some final complimentary parts to really lift the song. His knowledge of production and sonic maturity really are in the elite category.
I’d like to talk a little bit about influences and the current music you’re listen it right now. Any musical heroes?
I have a very broad range of music I listen to. Radiohead is my greatest single band that have created so many of my favourite albums. The other two artists I have been obsessively listening to lately are James Blake and MØ. James’ latest album has really grown on me so much, and I think MØ is just such an incredible artist. Her phrasing and melodies are super strong. I love what she brings to pop music too. She doesn’t really sound like a popstar, never too glossy. There is a nice raw edge to her sound.
You started the year with the Golden Age tour, you’ve been supporting Ngaiire and next month you’re joining Vera Blue. How do you feel about the touring? Do you love it, hate it or it’s just another part of the process?
Touring is great! I love meeting new people and connecting to these audiences. Playing shows is a beautiful part of the music creating process. Being able to share these creations from your bedroom with real people in the world and having these shared experiences together. It’s very cool.
We love the story behind the ‘Bitter Leaf’ video. Was it as beautiful as it sounds or you just were tired of being hung upside down or having food thrown to your face?
I was absolutely reaching the end of my tether on the masochism of the previous clips, so this was a well-deserved break I think. But in all seriousness, it was a really beautiful collaboration to be a part of. The choreographer Leona Morimune had done a dance with his class in LA to my song, Bitter Leaf, and then posted a snippet to instagram. I stumbled across it and was captivated by their movements, which suited the music so well. I gave Leo (and director Nathan Kim) complete freedom on how to capture it with my only (unhelpful) suggestions being that we only had 3 weeks and a limited budget, so simple was ideal. They truly went above and beyond in this regard and made something truly wonderful. I couldn’t be more grateful for having crossed paths with such amazing creative minds.
It’s been two years already since you started this solo project and we’ve had ‘Thousand Piece Puzzle’ and ‘Banquet’. Don’t wanna sound like a spoilt brat but where is our 2016 release? Is there another EP coming? A full-length album maybe?
There is more coming very soon I promise. I spent time in the studio again with Andrei Eremin only a few months ago and finished off some songs that I’m feeling really good about now so stay tuned. It might be even closer than you think.