Interview: Lord Huron

Katie Malcolmson chats to Ben Schneider from Los Angeles indie folk band Lord Huron

Posted on May 29th, 2013 in Features and Interviews, Lord Huron, IAMSOUND / By Katie Malcolmson
Lord Huron Bearded: So you guys are on tour at the moment – where are you right now? What’s going on?

BS: Birmingham – we just sound checked and getting ready to play here in a few hours.

You played The Great Escape last weekend, and I’m sure that Coachella was probably an amazing experience... Do festivals and touring in the UK and Europe differ to that of America?

Yeah Coachella was a lot of fun. I mean they’re surprisingly similar to be honest; the cool thing about festivals is that it seems that the people that come are really big music fans, and they’re really hyped to see some music. So we kind of found the experiences pretty similar, I mean the scale is a little different – obviously something like Coachella is kind of an extreme scale… just a huge spectacle. But The Great Escape kind of felt like SXSW, which is something we’ve done a couple of times in the states.

You’re on tour for a pretty solid couple of months now - what’s the best thing about home and what’s the best thing about touring?

The great thing about touring is just seeing all these new places, especially when we come over here – a lot of these cities I’ve never been to so it’s a great chance to get out and see some things. And you know, the drives over here are so much easier than they are when we tour in the States, you actually have time to explore the cities and stuff, which is really cool. What could be better than just driving out and playing music every night? It’s pretty fantastic. But after a couple of months of it you do miss the comforts of home – slipping in your own bed every night and having your own space... so I’m always glad to get home too.

Your first couple of releases were recorded as a solo project, and the full-length album was recorded as Lord Huron ‘the band’. Is the recording and writing process more freeing or more restrictive at times with a band?

There’s two sides to it… I mean, luckily I’ve got a group of guys who understand my process and who I really trust musically, so it’s been really great actually involving them in the process because you get some fresh perspective on the songs, and they’ve all come up with great parts when we’ve been in the studio. I still do a lot of the writing; I decided that’s kind of a solitary pursuit for me, and it’s a more pure perspective when I do that part of it on my own, and then involve them more at the recording level. To be honest it’s still a developing process, we’ll probably try and change things a little bit on this next record but we’ll see.

Do you consider yourselves to be more of live band or a studio band? Which feels most comfortable?

It’s two different experiences; I don’t prefer one to the other, I consider them to be really different. The live experience for me is more of a communal thing, where you’re really connecting with not only the guys you’re playing with but with the people in the audience, whereas recording for me is more of a solitary, introspective experience. I’m comfortable with both of them… I guess I’m a little bit of an introvert in my personality so maybe I’m getting used to being a showman a little bit… a song and dance man… haha. I’m getting there.

Lord Huron’s music videos are conceptual in the way that they take on a theme that links them to each other, and also visually they are very beautiful to look at, with scenes of grand landscapes, shot in an Old Western movie style. Is it true you make the videos yourself?

Yeah that’s right…

…Although clearly the Americana style and the influence of ‘places’ as a theme is a big part of Lord Huron’s music, and so it makes sense to visualise that in the videos, was there any other reason you choose to implement the ‘old west’ theme so strongly in your videos and artwork?

I’ve just always really liked immersive experiences, whether that be in music or movies or whatever, it felt to me like the more of a universe I could create with all that – all that stuff outside of the music – the better it would be. That’s always been a big part of my musical experiences… not just the music but also the people that are making it and the stories about those people and their aesthetic in general. I remember when I was a kid looking at my parent’s record sleeves for hours and kind of imagining who these people were who were making this music, and what their lives were like, and coming up with stories about the songs.

Do you think you will continue with this theme when it comes to putting out your next record?

I think the specific aesthetics of it will shift as we go along, as the music changes. I’m not sure exactly how, but I think it’ll just kind of follow whatever we’re interested in at the time… I’m sure there will be links to what we’ve done in the past – things have changed a bit from the first EP to Lonesome Dreams in terms of the look and aesthetic of it, but hopefully it’ll keep evolving and that’ll keep it interesting.

Are there plans to record after this tour?

Yeah, I try to write a little bit when I’m on the road, and every time I’m home for a couple of weeks I try to record. I’m not going to rush anything, I tend to take my time and won’t put something out until I’m really happy with it, but hopefully I’ll find some time later this year.

Watch the video for title track taken from Lonesome Dreams' below: