TiD&B Interview: LungPosted by Lady V on Friday, April 13th, 2012
Ahead of the release of ‘Why Does Anyone Ever Do Anything?’, Lung’s debut EP out on Monday on Med School, TiD&B’s Lucie spoke with the very talented young Welsh producer, asking him just why does anyone ever do anything, as well as finding out about his love for George Michael, mowing lawns for old ladies and more…
TiD&B: Hello! How are you?
Lung: I’m good thanks, how are you?
TiD&B: All good! You must be pretty excited, your EP comes out on the 16th April, how are you feeling?
Lung: Yeah, I’m really pleased, I’ve had a couple of tunes out on Med School so far but they’ve only been parts of compilations so it’s really nice to have my own release. I’m quite pleased with the finished selection as it features tracks I was really happy with and wanted to see the light of day.
TiD&B: It’s quite an emotive EP, what was the inspiration behind it?
Lung: There wasn’t really one specific inspiration behind it. All the tracks on there were written at different times, but they all sounded sonically quite similar when we were going through them, so, we just felt they kind of sat well together. We weren’t really ready for an album at this point, so an EP was a good move.
The one tune on there that’s probably my favourite is ‘Asleep In Her Bed’ – I’d never really written anything like that before, and I haven’t since.
TiD&B: What does 2012 have in store for you, other than this?
Lung: Now the EP’s finished, I’m working towards an album, just been writing and writing! The EP took quite a lot of time to get right, I’ve been working on that since October, until February – even though the tunes were already written, there was stuff that needed to be changed.
TiD&B: You’re a bit of a perfectionist then?
Lung: Well yeah, and the Med School guys are as well, so just sending emails back and forth and stuff, trying to change things, getting things as good as they could possibly be I guess. So after that I was really ready to get writing some new stuff, just getting my head down and writing some new tunes. But again, they’re all different styles, different tempos, so I don’t know how things will end up at this rate, I hope we can get an album release maybe at the end of this year?! Fingers crossed!
TiD&B: You collaborated with High Contrast on his recent album ‘The Agony & The Ecstasy’ who else would you like to work with?
Lung: That’s a tough one! Well I’ll start with stuff I’m doing at the moment, I’ve known Matt Phaeleh, for quite a while now, since I’ve started pretty much, and he’s a wicked guy, I’ve always been really into his sound, we had Hospitality Cardiff in March, and he ended up crashing at ours, so we started a tune. I don’t know if it’s what people would expect from him – I think people expect mostly 140bpm – but I’m really happy with it. We got Rachel (K. Collier) on the vocals again and it just came together kind of organically and quickly. I’m quite excited to get that one finished up. Maybe it could be something we will include in the album.
But with regards to people who I’d like to work with; Morrissey. That would be sick, although, he seems like he doesn’t really get on with anyone. But with regards to drum and bass, I’ll probably be doing some stuff with Eleven8 and Joe Syntax - I’m sure there will be something again there, maybe even all three of us doing something again. It’s quite difficult, almost like an influences question.
TiD&B: Ha, well who are your influences?
Lung: With drum and bass, the first kind of people I got into were Marky, Noisia and High Contrast. Definitely those guys for that kind of sound, to be honest like Lincoln, High Contrast, everything he did, was pretty much the stuff that got me doing it. ‘Return of Forever’ is probably my fave drum and bass tune ever. He was a huge inspiration, so that’s why it was so surreal working with him on his last album. The first time I met him was through someone who ran the night I had my first residency with in Cardiff, and I was like ‘holy shit, High Contrast’ it was quite daunting. So to end up working with him was totally surreal, but a great one.
Outside of drum and bass stuff like, The Smiths, Tears for Fears, all that eighties sound. I love all the cheese as well, all the 80s cheese, George Michael, stupid rubbish party music.
TiD&B: Have you got any guilty pleasures music-wise?
Lung: George Michael has to be one of them. That’s a hell of a guilty pleasure, I shouldn’t even be talking about it! But my iPod’s pretty bad actually; they’ll be Calibre, High Contrast, something like that, and then The Saturdays, some stupid cheesy house remix. Things like that, I shouldn’t admit…there you go, some secret inside info!
TiD&B: If you’re not making music, what are you doing?
Lung: Not a lot actually, it takes up most of my time, I try and treat it like office hours. I live at home with my parents so they get up, go to work and I try to work 9 to 5 and then they come home and I chill out in the night. But probably just hang out, maybe watch some films, something like that.
TiD&B: What’s your favourite film?
Lung: Phwoar, that’s hard. A bit of a cliché, but its gotta be Donnie Darko. I’ve always loved that film. I’m a sucker for those kind of thinking films. At the same time, I love stupid comedy films like Anchor Man. Recent films – Drive, I highly recommend that. But I’ve got a bit of a man crush on Ryan Gosling, so anything he’s in, I like.
TiD&B: If you hadn’t have become a DJ/producer, what would you have been? Any childhood ambitions?
Lung: Music has always been something I’ve been around my whole life. My parents were both in bands before I was born – my dad played guitar, my mum played drums and sang. My mum was into punk and my dad was more into the slightly camp chic 80s stuff, cross dressing stuff like that…I won’t go into too much detail! I think it was always something I’ve wanted to do. I started uni when I was 18, studying Business Management at Swansea and I lasted 6 weeks – it was just so not what I wanted to be doing. So I dropped out, had a gap year, where I was mowing lawns for a year…so if things had turned out differently I could still be doing that; mowing lawns for old ladies! After that gap year I went to a uni in Cardiff to study Music Technology, which sounded like it would be beneficial, but there were so many limitations with the course. We barely got a chance to compose anything. I dropped out of that and luckily that’s when everything hooked up with Med School and it went from there. It was a case of right place right time and knowing some good people.
TiD&B: Do you think that’s the secret to your success, knowing people?
Lung: I think it definitely helps, I mean Dave who ran the night where I started out in Cardiff, was best mates with High Contrast. One night there I met Alley Cat, and I signed up to her label with my track ‘Afterlife’, I was 18. She was a godsend, the nicest person ever. She helped me so much with regards to how to increase my profile and taught me a lot of stuff about the industry that I’m in now, and also led me to meet a load of cool people. She was the one that put me onto the guys at Hospital and it slowly and gradually went from there. I love all the guys at Hospital and Med School they’ve been so helpful and kind, teaching me stuff – I still feel like I’m learning, but I also feel like the moment you stop learning is the moment you give up, there’s always something to expand on or explore. Otherwise you just become stale and end up writing generic tune after generic tune and not really benefitting anyone.
TiD&B: Finally, why does anyone ever do anything?
Lung: Me personally? I don’t know anything different. So I do what I do because it’s all I know. That question’s so open ended, it can be interpreted so differently. It’s almost an annoying question, which I kind of like. Some people think it’s really pretentious but I think it’s a cool question – it can be both cynical and depressing, and open minded and positive. You can think about it to whatever extent you want to or you can think ‘cos I fucking like to’. Yeah, I like that question. In fact I have to go around asking people that question for Med School, we’ll see what happens…I don’t know why I’m doing that either, helps the question I guess!