Q&A with K Records’ LAKE

LAKE

LAKE, a band out of Olympia, are a 6 person band signed to K Records. Their blissful harmonies, layered over crisp bass tones and the celestial sound of keyboard and guitar, could cure cancer. They have toured across the world several times with such talented acts as Adrian Orange and Her Band, Half Handed Cloud, Laura Veirs, and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy. Their upcoming record, “Let’s Build A Roof,” will be released off of K Records this Fall. The other day, we had the privilege to catch up with Eli (short for Elijah) Moore of LAKE.

Blue Indian (Luke Goddard): Hello from Georgia! Thank for chatting with Blue Indian.

LAKE: You are welcome!

BI: What are the names of the members of LAKE? Who am I speaking with? Your role?

LAKE: Hello, the names of LAKE are Ashley Eriksson, me; Eli Moore, Lindsay Schief, Andrew Dorsett, Markly Morrison, and Adam Oelsner.  I play guitar, keyboards, bass, and write and sing many of the songs. Ashley writes many of the rest of the songs, and Lindsay occasionally kicks down a song or two for LAKE, generally one per album. Sometimes Ashley and I write songs collaboratively, and everyone puts their part into the songs as we arrange them for LAKE.

BI: So, you’re on a pretty rad record label: K Records. There’s some history to this label. Of course, the founder- Calvin Johnson, has/had good relationships with folks like Beck and Kurt Cobain in the past. When Beck first came on the scene, wasn’t he originally signed by K Records?

LAKE: I actually think that he recorded his K Records album “One Foot in the Grave” AFTER being signed to a major label. Someone told me that he went and recorded the album in the time between being signed to a major label, and before his major label debut was released. I don’t know the story for fact though. In my opinion it’s his best album.

BI: What’s it like being on this label? Are things still alive and kickin’ around K?

LAKE: To me K seems very alive right now, they have a great building with the studio and the offices/warehouse all together. It’s in an old jewish temple in downtown Olympia.  It’s a nice family feeling to be in the basement recording while everyone is upstairs working on the business stuff.  There’s a kitchen, and we chill and drink coffee and tea all together.  I Love K Records, it’s such a unique and special label that is still able to grow and yet maintain the same ethics and feeling that it’s always had. I love Karl Blau’s new (upcoming) record (Zebra), definitely one of my all time favorite K Records releases.  It’s wonderful to have the infrastructure that is now available to us.We used to never have any merch because it was always homemade CDRs that we burned on our computer before the show, or tapes that we dubbed at home, and it’s just really hard for us to keep up on that kind of busy work. I still love CDRs and tapes, but it’s amazing to be able to be given boxes of CDs and Vinyl records that are all new and shiny and will work for the people that buy them.

BI: LAKE has released music in a variety of forms. Can you name some? (CD’s, Vinyls, etc)

LAKE: We have released CDRs, CDs. 7inches, 12″ LPs, Cassingles, and cassettes.  Oh, and MP3s. We’re thinking about making a box set that’s on a USB stick, you know, the mini harddrives.

BI: You all are from Olympia, Washington. Any other good bands from that area?

LAKE: None of us are actually “from” Olympia, but the band formed there, so…. LAKE is from there, yes, sorry. Ok, good bands from Olympia right now are Invisible RiverGenerifusDesolation WildernessChristmas, Arrington from Old Time Relijun has a cool new band with members of LAKE, and Angelo Spencer, all the lyrics are in Indonesian…. hmm, there’s plenty more good bands in Olympia. I haven’t lived there for a couple years, AShley and I moved up to Whidbey Island (which is north of Seattle, and a ferry ride), where we live now, so I’m a little out of the loop in Olympia, but every time I go down I’m amazed at how the scene is thriving like crazy.

BI: If we come to Olympia, would you make us a LAKE sandwich? I prefer mine toasted. Is this possible?

LAKE: I would love to make you a sandwich. I make good sandwiches, but the actual LAKE sandwich was an invention of R. Stevie Moore’s, so you’ld have to go to Bloomfield, New Jersey for that.

BI: You have John Ringhofer, man behind the namesake Half-Handed Cloud, as one of your band members. Is he as joyful as he appears in his music?

LAKE: John is probably the funniest person I know. A real prankster.  We love hanging out with him whenever we visit the Bay Area and doing shows with him.  We did a bunch of touring with him in 2007/08, so he was playing with us during that time live a lot. It’s a pleasure, he’s a great singer, and musician. He is definitely joyful, but not to an unrealistic level. He has a big heart and can get sad like anybody, but he is always able to laugh and joke.

BI: We’ve done a Q & A session with the Icelandic band, Seabear? What’s your thoughts on this band?

LAKE: Just a minute, let me google them……The recordings are very beautiful, but the songs are not grabbing me by the jugular quite yet. They have a great aesthetic, and I’m sure if I listened a few more times I would become a fan, it just takes me a while. Thanks for the new band clue.

BI: If you could choose any 3 bands/acts to tour with across Europe, who would it be?

LAKE: Well, I would love to tour across Europe with bands that make money on tour, like… lot’s of money. Bands who’s fans would be interested in hearing us…. hmmm, who would that be? New Order? Fleetwood Mac? Neil Young? Paul Mccartney? That probably sounds ridiculous and i’m sure my band would yell at me for that…realistically who I would love to tour across Europe with would be Your Heart Breaks, Karl Blau…., and this fabulous performer from Arcata, CA named David Jaberi. That would be a great time!!!

BI: What keeps you creatively driven as an artist?

LAKE: Collaborating with other musicians and helping other people record and arrange their music.  Living in the woods in a small town, traveling a lot, working regularly on my own music, this great book called the Artist’s Way, alone time, working on songs with my partner and co-songwriter for LAKE Ashley Eriksson one on one, having a regular day job part time, and doing non-music related work like building, gardening, and helping neighbors out with practical things that they need help with, reading and watching movies, having a piano and lots of cool instruments to play around with, and recording itself, layering simple ideas to make it into a song.

BI: Ashley’s vocals in “Don’t Give Up” are so beautiful. Is there a way you could send us the MP3 so we can stream it off of Blue Indian. My God, that song is beautifully arranged. Who wrote it?

LAKE: I think it would be fine to send you the mp3, thanks for asking.  I wrote the music for that song while we were visiting our friend Henrik in Gothenburg, Sweden, when we got home i recorded and arranged the music, then Ashley came up with the lyrics and melody. That’s how we’ve done a lot of our songs.

BI: What is, hands down, the greatest book you’ve ever read?

LAKE: That’s an impossible question! I loved the book “White Bicycle” by Joe Boyd, but it’s not the greatest book i’ve ever read, just something that comes to mind. I love Kafka short stories, I’ld have to say that a collection of his short stories is probably some of the best, or my favorite fiction ever… ever.  I also liked the book about Brian Wilson called “Catch a Wave” a recent favorite.

BI: You all seem like a band Sufjan Stevens would itch to work with? Ever wanted to collaborate with him?

LAKE: I would love to work with Sufjan.  He came to one of our shows one time and we had breakfast with him the next day, it was while we were on tour with John Ringhofer.  Sufjan was so very nice, shy, and humble, and very supportive of LAKE, although we haven’t had any follow ups, I hope something like that happens someday. Actually, i think it would be great to tour as his back-up band.  Sufjan told me he really likes our first album (released on Karl Blau’s Kelp Luncay label, and now available through our website), I haven’t had any feedback from him since then, but I actually think that “Let’s Build a Roof” is kind of like our first album, dark, long, bandlike.

BI: What can fans of LAKE expect from you all in the near future?

LAKE: Well, we have the new album Let’s Build a Roof coming out in October on K Records.  We have some 7inches coming out.  A bunch actually, and they’re all produced by Tucker Martine. I’m not sure on the schedule of those, but they are all recorded and will at least start popping up this year.  And then we’re doing a US tour in October and November with Karl Blau.  Hopefully a European tour in March, and then maybe a Japanese tour in the Spring??? the new album as well as our last K Records release Oh, the Places We’ll Go are coming out in Japan this October as a double album, crazy, but I guess they like long CDs there. We’ve begun working on our next K Records album, but don’t have a schedule for that yet. The first song we’ve recorded is a cool song we’ve been playing live lately called “Roger Miller”, it’s funky!!!

BI: Thanks for hanging out.

LAKE: Your Welcome!

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Check out LAKE’s Website.

Check out LAKE’s MySpace page.

Check out K Records.

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