Lemaitre interview with Blacklisted Magazine

Electric vibes in the pump house

We spar with the Norwegian duo Lemaitre about their musical process, commercial success and their upcoming gig at Pumpehuset

Published: February 1, 2017Words: J.Scott Stratton & LemaitreArtist Link: www.lemaitremusic.com/

The music industry is a funny landscape these days. There are any number of ways that a band can decide to pursue their craft, beyond the mere choice of genre, and bring that sound to the masses-from vinyl, to digital, to the resurgence of cassette tape, and the now “classic” music video.

The music video for me has always been a prime example of how music can be both shallow and deep simultaneously. What I mean by this, is that often times the conceptual ideal behind the lyrics and melodies has absolutely no relations to the conceptual idea behind the visual story being told in a music video. This is the beauty of the music video, and has been since it’s early MTV days. It’s a testament that music doesn’t need to be deep, or complicated. Music just needs to move you on a completely different plane-more visceral, more “action” less “thought”. The visual side is like the icing on a cake-no one gives a shit if you put chocolate icing on a strawberry cake, because it’s still good in the end.

This is the feeling that I got when I first watched the video “We’ve Got You” (featured above) from Lemaitre. The visual story makes zero sense in relation to what you are hearing, but it doesn’t fucking matter in the slightest. It’s a charming little mediocre story about absolutely nothing whilst your head bobs away at a song so sugary and addictive it could give you diabetes through your screen. And I ask, does it really need to be more complicated than that?

We live in a world, where in order for artists (musicians) to justify their presence in our ocular realm, they sometimes need to drive a deeper conceptual meaning behind their reason for the existence. But it soon all becomes a bit ridiculous and pedantic in relation to social guidelines of what it means to be an “artist”. Sometimes, it’s nice to just sit back and experience creativity-in whatever form it might come-and think “that is nice” and not dive much deeper into it.

And that is exactly how I feel when I listen to the Norwegian electro-duo Lemaitre. It’s music, which I feel, has a pure intention of making you want to dance and feel good-and at that, it excels. It’s not complicated. It’s not deep. It’s pop, and if that is your jam? It’s fantastic.

Lemaitre started as a schoolyard aspiration of Ketil Jansen and Ulrik Denizou Lund in Lillehammer in eastern Norway. Combining a love for music and quantum physics-which is a surface level theme that extends both beyond the band name (a reference to Belgian priest and astrophysicist George Lemaitre) to the conceptual titles for their EP’s-the duo quickly gain international renown with their unique instrumentation and sampling.

From small-town dreams, and as they said “watching too much Entourage”, Jansen and Lund set their mind on the States from the early onset of the band. With a couple of short years, they reached international renown with their series of EP’s, The Relativity Series, which lead them to joining the ranks of Astralwerks along side of electro-pop icons Daft Punk and The Chemical Brothers.

This wave has continued on beyond the Relativity Series (three EP’s in the series) onto four more EP releases of varying success, which has taken them around the world on tour, through festival circuits, and support gigs with some of the largest bands out their.

Like many of the musical artists of their genre, they behind a definitive iconography. One based a geometric shape of their design. Like DeadMou5e and the mouse icon, Daft Punk and their helmets or Aphex Twin and his devil-like smile, Lemaitre uses their geometric sculpture as an identity to define and differentiate the band.

As they have grown over the last six years-in both notoriety and maturity-they have expanded live presence to be more grandiose and reflective of exactly what their music is supposed to do. Which is to make life feel pretty damn good for about an hour. And just like their videos, there is no reason to look any deeper than that.

Jansen and Lund expressed to me that they have a love for Copenhagen, so we can expect nothing short of an auditory orgasm when they hit the stage at Pumpehuset this Friday. “We love coming to Copenhagen. The food, nightlife and people makes it one of our favorite cities. We hope to party with the crowd during the show and also to continue after the show. Copenhagen is definitely the most fun city in Scandinavia.”

The concept behind the logo was basically a coincidence of trying to make something that we could travel with lightly and expand to something big on stage. We used triangles which could be puzzled into rectangles from transport. The shape came while just puzzling with triangles. To make a scale model of it. We then built the full size shape and a picture of that actually became the outline for the logo. And it has become a big part of our live shows and different artworks.

What is your conceptual process when you sit down to write and album? Is it song by song, or do you think our an entire album?

Song by song. We haven’t been able to make a full-length album yet because you need so many good songs and pieces to fit together at one time. Hopefully we’ll be able to do a full length soon if we feel we got more time to do it properly.

Can you tell me what it has been like working more commercially to create music for other genre (I am referring to the collaboration with Minecraft)? Are you going to continue with these type of cross-disciplinary collaborations?

We didn’t actually create any music for the Minecraft show, we just played a show that was recreated live in Minecraft. It was pretty cool.
We are very interested in doing music for movies, so hopefully we’ll be able to do that in the future.

Now that you have gained quite a bit of momentum and notoriety as a band, with the ability to play larger gigs, has that influenced the production of your live shows?

Yes, we’ve always worked towards making the stage show better and bigger as soon as we’ve had the possibility to do so.
Trying always to stay ahead of the curve for when we play bigger stager. We’ve gone from 2 people on stage to now 5 on this coming European tour.

Is there anything that you would like to add about the show at Pumphuset? Do you have anything special planned?

We love coming to Copenhagen. The food, nightlife and people makes it one of our favorite cities. We hope to party with the crowd during the show and also to continue after the show. Copenhagen is definitely the most fun city in Scandinavia.