Five years after Backspace Unwind, Manchester based duo Lamb (comprised of legendary artists Andy Barlow and Lou Rhodes) are back with a new album titled The Secret of Letting Go which is out now via Cooking Vinyl. They are touring Europe right now and will play two shows in Italy, on November 30th in Milan and on December 1st in Bologna. Click here for tickets. We had a nice talk with Lou Rhodes about the new album, live shows, Manchester and much more. Check it below.
Let’s Start from your latest work “The Secret of Letting Go”. What about the inspiration and the creative process?
It’s difficult to sum up what inspires our creative process from one album to another. I guess, if anything, we began writing “The Secret of Letting Go” after our 21st Anniversary Tour in which we performed our debut album in its original running order. The experience of doing that led us to look at what made that album so timeless and what makes Lamb. We began writing the new album from that question, taking a ‘less is more’ approach and keeping things stripped and raw as much as possible.
Quoting the title of the album, what is the secret of letting go things in life?
Well, the full line is: “The secret of letting go is forgetting to hold on”. The words came from a talk by Jason Silva and I find the message rings true time and time again, especially where emotions and the heart are concerned. We cannot force ourselves to “let go” of thoughts feelings and emotions but in simply “letting them be” we find that they fall away in their own way.
Back in May, you shared the great official video for the track “Bulletproof”. What can you say about the clip and the relationship with the song?
The making of that video was a true intercontinental journey! The song, Bulletproof, is quite evidently about desire but we didn’t want to make a video that portrayed those feelings in an obvious or clichéd way. Then I had the idea of using a freerunner to convey the sense of urgency and drive of the track and sent out messages to a bunch of runners. Danee Marmolejo, the star of our video, was the first to respond and seemed to be such a lovely guy. He’s one of Mexico’s top 10 Freerunners and has a great look too. I gave him a brief for the movie and he filmed a load of footage with his brother who’s a cameraman. The footage was edited in LA by Jen Kennedy of Lalim Edit and colour-balanced in Newcastle, England. None of the people involved ever met in person.
The Artwork is very powerful. How did you choose it?
That image came from a photo shoot we did out in Goa where we began writing the album. The photographer, Ifusha Kalina, had the idea and her make-up artist did the wonderful facepaint. It was such a surreal image and somehow felt like the perfect cover photo for the album.
You are from Manchester. I’m very interested to the connection between the places we live over the years, the territorial geography of our roots and the art. How do you feel these theme connected to your music, your way to think music?
Manchester was very influential in our formative years. I (Lou) was born and raised in Manchester, Andy came there to study studio engineering and then left his course to work in the vibrant music industry that the city is famous for. We spent our early years there, surrounded by a wealth of inspiring musicians and feeding our creativity via club culture and pirate stations playing cutting edge dance and breakbeat sounds.
Soon, You will play a couple of shows in Italy. What kind of shows we can expect from you?
What is the best thing of live shows you like more compared to studio recordings? We’re really enjoying playing the new album live and it feels like our set is perhaps more dynamic than ever before. We’ll go from a track like Bulletproof to something incredibly spacious like Imperial Measures and the extremes bring a special intensity to the whole experience. After over 20 years of playing live it seems we never stop learning as a band and that’s such a joy when playing live. Obviously, being in the studio is a very different experience: it’s as if the studio is the caterpillar and pupa and playing live is the butterfly.
Ritual question. What are the best releases you recently appreciated?
I (Lou) spent much of this year with James Blake’s recent album “Assume Form” on constant rotation. He’s an artist I really respect, both for his incredible creativity and for his gentle and unassuming character. The album displays both these and more and the lyrics are especially touching as he explores the process of falling in love with both his partner and his new-found home of LA. I recently also got really into Little Simz’ album “Grey Area” which breathes a raw freshness and humour into British hip hop. Listen especially to “101 FM” and “Boss”. Badass!