Guestlist Talks to Lamb

Other | Thursday 31st May 2012 | Annalisa

The Manchester based electronic music duo Lamb have recently finished there European tour. There most famous for tracks such as Gabriel and Gorecki, here Lou's shares some of her thoughts with us....

TGN: Firstly, can you tell us a bit about the background of the band? At the beginning there were only Andy Barlow and Lou Rhodes. How did it develop from that?
Lou: It's always really been just Andy and me in terms of the writing partnership. Jon Thorne joined us for our first ever live show after we'd released our debut album and he's been an essential part of the live band since then. Through the years we've shared the stage with some amazing musicians including Kevin Davy on trumpet, Nikolaj Bjerrre, John Tonks and Mikey Wilson on drums, Oddur Runarsson on guitar and a plethora of beautiful string players, but we've always (apart from a slight blip during writing our fourth studio album, "Between Darkness and Wonder") kept the writing partnership stripped down to the two of us.

TGN:  Your music is influenced by hip hop and drum and bass. How would you describe your individual musical style? And is there anyone in particular that inspires you in the industry?
Lou: I'm not sure I'd say we're influenced by Hip Hop or Drum and Bass these days. Both styles are a little dated. We've always made a point of carving our own path which is perhaps why we've never had the kind of mass appeal that bands who conform to certain genres have. I don't think there's any particular style we aspire to but our own. Obviously there are bands out there who inspire us but not in a way we'd try to emulate them.

TGN:  You achieved commercial success with two hit singles "Górecki" and "Gabriel". How did you feel when you heard that "Górecki" was used in an advertisement for Guinness and for Tomb Raider: Underworld video game?
Lou: There are always mixed feelings when our music is used in adverts etc. In films, if they're good, it's a different matter; they become part of another art-form which is a brilliant outlet and sometimes music used in this way takes on a whole new life as a result. In adverts it always feels a little bit like a compromise, like selling a little bit of your soul to the devil, but artists have to eat and pay the bills and it's getting harder and harder to do that these days when people the world over download our music for free and don't feel they need to pay for it. Obviously, as a musician, first and foremost we make music because we love it and therefore would gladly do it for free but it's also our livelihood so we have to be ever more resourceful to make a living that way. Really it's always been like that for artists. Even back in the day when artists had rich patrons or sponsors and more recently in signing record deals with companies who often have quite questionable ethics. It's all a necessary evil for us to do what we do.

TGN: “Gabriel” is one of your best hits. But if you could listen to one song for the rest of your life, which one would it be? (it doesn’t have to be your own).
Lou: It definitely wouldn't be one of my own ;-) I hear those way too much already. That's a really tough one. Often I have phases of listening to certain songs over and over and then I need a break from them and listen to something else. Often, in that way, certain songs come to signify particular phases in my life and evoke specific moments in my history. I don't think I could listen to one song for the rest of my life but I think I could listen to Sufjan Steven's voice for most of it.

TGN: You must have great memories of your come back in 2009. Any particular stand out moments you want to share?
Lou: Definitely playing Glastonbury Festival again! Apart from that there are so many. I'd been touring with my solo project in the intervening years, with often just me and a guitar on stage, so to play with the mighty, all singing, all dancing set-up of Lamb on big stages again was quite a buzz.

TGN:  You finished your new European tour and have performed in Paris in February. How does it feel to come back to Europe? What do you like to do in your time off?
Lou: It's always great to play in Europe. On the last tour we went to some countries up north that we'd never played in before such as Finland and Latvia. That was really exciting. I remember looking at the map when we arrived in Helsinki and thinking "shit, we're on the top page of the map book!" For Andy and I it's always a bit of a gastronomic adventure. We love to eat healthy, good food and I have a pretty limited diet so in our spare time on tour is often taken up scoping out good places to eat. We've found some amazing restaurants on our travels.

TGN: Do you have any favourite countries that you like to perform at? And why is that?
Lou: Again that's pretty tough. In terms of lifestyle my immediate favourites are France, Italy and Portugal but possibly in terms of the kind of reception we get at our shows I'd possibly go for Poland, Slovakia, Latvia and Hungary.

TGN: What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t in the music industry and what can be expected from you in the upcoming future?
Lou: Later this year I hope to publish my first children's book called "The Phlunk" but long-term I have a yearning to write, either short stories or even a novel. It's something I'm building up to but there are a lot of self-imposed blocks in the way. I also really love to draw and paint and, in another lifetime my father wouldn't have denied my wish to go to art college and I'd be a painter now. I guess it's never too late. To be honest, as a lone parent of two young boys, my days are never long enough to do everything I want to do.


By Nina Monceaux