Here’s our interview with the multi-talented ‘Lowell’.
NT: Let’s start from the beginning. How does a young songwriter hook up with a group of established Scandinavian musicians?
L: I think we kind of found each other. We are all a little nuts (lol). We really came together through Martin Terefe (A-Ha). I was writing songs for other artists in England, he had heard some of the songs and enjoyed them. He then introduced some of the songs to Magne Furuholmen, (A-HA) Jonas Bjerre, (MEW) and Guy Berryman (Coldplay)… they all seemed to like the songs also.
NT: Is this how ‘Apparatjik’ all came together?
L: No, essentially ‘Apparatjik’ is a music and visual group which now also includes me and Guy Berryman.We do many art shows in Scandanavia and the UK. These shows are quite a mixture of the arts. They usually are all anything can happen types of events.
NT: You actually recorded percussion using only pots and pans in one of your songs, how did this happen?
L: It really just turned out that way,.. I wasn’t looking for any speciffic type of sound effect. I was renting the corner of an apartment in Toronto. All I had to record with was pro tools and a set of pots & pans. I actually also hummed some of the basslines.
NT: How has the experience been for you working with so many accomplished musicians?
L: It feels really great. We are all really creative people. I take it as a big compliment that they think that I’m creative as well. Martin is a really talented person, he is my mentor. He teaches me all the time about different recording techniques. He’s always really supportive of my music. It’s really great too that I can rely on someone in the music industry, it really is a machine.
NT: You started writing at a really young age, and not the type of song you would expect to hear from someone that young.
L: At fourteen, I wrote the song “The Birds’, which was on my EP. The inspiration behind the song comes from a friend of mine who comitted suicide. I was really young at could not understand why they did it… I really didn’t know what to do. A friend of mine suggested that I should write a song so that’s esentially where that song came from.
NT: Your latest album is called If You Can Solve This Jumble. Is this song a metaphor for your music or your life?
L: I think it is a metaphor for a number of things. Probably, I would have to say it’s the combination of ‘Apparatjik’ and myself. If you can understand the music that we are making, you solve the jumble. So maybe it’s not that complicated after all (lol).
NT: How did you become involved with the project ‘Girls Of Mwedo’?
L: We did a song called “Chime For Change” to benifit ‘Girls Of Mwedo’. This is an organization that works with girls from Tanzania. They help girls that have been exploited to get an education or training, so that they can become self sufficent. A danish friend of mine was making a film about it… so I ended up contributing a song.
NT: Which five albums are still inspiring you today?
Radiohead – In Rainbows
Chad VanGaalen – Soft Airplane
The Beatles – Revolver
MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
Braids – Native Speaker