In Conversation: Eomac Talks Lakker
We just assume it’s going well… Do you listen back to your stuff a lot?
Sometimes. We always think to record ourselves more, but by the time we’ve set up and then the adrenaline before you play – you just forget about it. We do like to record them and listen back and take notes about what can be better.
When you’re improvising during a live and something good comes out of it, does it get remembered and noted down for potential release?
Yeah if it’s something that’s really memorable we will do. If it’s something we’ve recorded and listened back to, we make a note of it. A lot of time that kind of jamming does lead to ideas in the studio. The Lakker live set is half improvised and half bits of tracks that are already there. We want to play the tracks like a gig, but people know the tracks. You want to play the track that people know, but leave enough room to experiment to add, subtract and loop things. That’s what works for us, it’s a not a fully improvised thing, but in those sections you do kind of play with layering certain elements. Things I would never think of doing in the studio often come out in our live sets. So it’s kind of a different part of the creative process. It’s a whole different head space.
If you could go back in time knowing what you know now, what one piece of advice would you tell Lakker?
Wow! [Laughs] I would say to our younger selves to focus on our production and mixing techniques earlier than we did. We were making tunes for about 10 years before we had even thought about properly mixing or producing. In a way it was kind of cool because we made loads of tunes and had loads of crazy ideas because we weren’t worrying about the technical side of it. I think that helped us to be musically interesting. We put out an album in 2007 and I think the production side of it definitely let us down. It’s very tiring on the ears, lots of harsh distortion and compression. Instead of it being like the way distortion is meant to sort of carry that kind of… after a while it’s a bit like ‘mmmmph’.
I guess that’s the beauty of it as well?
Yeah it definitely has a charm as well. I suppose the honest answer to that question is I wouldn’t change anything because everything has its natural path. I think we just kind of didn’t think about production for ages until one day it sort of twigged. We sent one of our tracks to a friend once and he was like “Are these mastered or what? They sound shit!”. Then it was kind of like we actually need to do something about it.
Do you enjoy that side of it as well?
Yeah I do. It’s kind of like for us, certainly as Lakker and both our solo thing as well, it’s all a part of the process. It’s kind of the writing, the production and the mixing is all part of the same thing. We do it all at the same time as we are creating the sound we’re thinking about and how it would fit into a mix. So yeah, I do enjoy the satisfaction of getting something the way you want it sound. It’s never really perfect, there are always tweaks that can be made to make it better. Nearly everything we’ve released I listen back to and think “That could be better. That could be clearer. That could be punchier.” But there’s only so long you can go on with it before you have to let it go.
I suppose if you’re hung up on something it could take years and years before you decide to release it!
Exactly. Nobody else knows or cares. They just love the track because it’s a good track. But you hear it and you go “Fuck, that could be better!”. But you just have to get it to a point where it’s the best you can get it at that time and then release it. If you’re doing a retrospective of it, you can be caught up on it for a long time! I suppose me personally, I would rather go forward with new ideas rather than going back to older stuff. It’s obviously really important in electronic music to have really good production techniques and the sound is super important but it’s not the most important thing. The music and the feeling for me is always the thing. It’s getting that balance right. Years ago we didn’t spend enough time on the production and mixing, then we started doing it and we were like “This is fucking amazing!”. We could have done with being more refined but fuck it.
Finally, what’s happening for Eomac this year?
This year I’m preparing an album for Bedouin Records. It’s kind of a project, they’ve sent me a bunch of samples and I’ve kind of created the album entirely from the samples they’ve sent me. It’s very specific… I don’t want to say too much about it until it’s out but it’s been really exciting to work on. I’m almost on the finishing stages of the tracks. I’ve written loads because the samples are so inspiring that it’s generated loads of material. I don’t know when it’s going to be out, but it’s coming to the end. Then I’m going to do more Killekill releases. Then I’m going to think about doing a second album next year. It’s in the early stages. I’ve also started a new project with another friend of mine who’s a producer and a singer for more song-based material.
What can we expect from Lakker?
Yeah, hopefully there will be more releases on R&S. We’re also undertaking a residency at the Institute of Sound and Vision where we will be making music based on the samples that we will source there. That’s the next kind of project and will hopefully lead to a release. Again I don’t know when… I don’t want to say too much!