Last weekend I was invited out to a private event to hang with Chris Lake and Anna Lunoe, and eat some Chipotle in the sun. Pre-taco, I sat with the two to ask them a few questions.
What are some of the most embarrassing moments you've had on the road?
Anna: What?! Opening question... Really?
Chris: No foreplay or anything?
Anna: I don't think I've been embarrassed too much – what can go wrong? I've never had a nip-slip, so that's positive.
Chris: I have.
Anna: Free the nipple; that's what I say.
Chris: Um, I've had weird things happen. I played a New Year's Eve gig in Edinburgh. And there was a huge, huge storm that ended up canceling tons of events going on that night. There's normally a street parade going on in Edinburgh. And it had canceled everything, so all the taxis were used to transport people from the street parade back to their hotels for safety. But there was an event we were doing in a big shopping center, and that was still going ahead. And the car service we had set up to take me from the hotel to the event to play got canceled, because it had to take people to safety from the street parade. So, um, long story short, I ended up having to get to the event in an ambulance... They sent an ambulance for me, so I turned up to my New Year's Eve gig in an ambulance.
Anna: Better than leaving in one, am I right?
If you could go back in time and tell your younger self any piece of advice, what would that be?
Chris: Don't wear Ed Hardy t-shirts.
Anna: Um, what would I say? Not to worry about how many people are on your MySpace page.
Chris: Don't get a mortgage in 2007.
Anna: Invest in kale.
Chris: Don't believe anything OJ Simpson says.
Well, seeing as this party is catered by Chipotle, and that's honestly the only thing on my mind, what are some foods you miss from back home?
Anna: I miss my dad's cooking– my dad is a chef, and he makes really good food.
What are you liking over here in Los Angeles?
Chris: I like Mexican food. And you know, there are lots of big Mexican communities here. I feel like I'm getting something slightly authentic. The health food is great. You don't get health food anywhere else like you can in L.A.
Anna: I like the Californian sushi too.
You're not afraid to eat it with the Fukushima situation?
Anna: Oh, yeah. We're definitely dying, but fuck... You're going to die anyway.
Chris: You've got to admit – that radiation... It goes really well with wasabi.
The combination of retro sounds -- like the breaks in the build and the lead stab -- with a more modern electro synth design on "Stomper" really made this song a ten in my book. (Along with Anna's vocal addition.) Is this a sound you both will be riding with for a while?
Chris: Well, it all depends. If you think it's bad, Anna made it. If you like it, well, um...
So do you have more in the works together?
Anna: No — oh, we kind of have a few little ideas.
Chris: I was thinking about that earlier. We have a couple little ideas together, and with your permission, I might pick up on them. I'd definitely be able to work with Anna again. There's a real benefit to working with people like Anna. Her taste in music is very mature and well thought-out. It's great working with people like that, because what she brings to the table is very fresh, current, and forward thinking. Plus she's got a great voice.
Do you have any production tips for upcoming producers you could share?
Chris: I joined this forum recently where there are lots of producers on there – a mixture of established producers and younger producers. And it's really interesting seeing all these younger producers asking advice. One thing I've really noticed was that some people seem so intent on learning the exact way of doing something, with regards to the record. Well, there's really no exact way of doing something. There's a way to do something that makes it sound good, and it's never the same. It all depends on the sounds; it all depends on the idea. The main bit of advice I think for people is to have a bit more confidence in being creative and doing something individually, rather than doing something that's advised by a forum or the top five producers in the world. Make your own rules. Make your own sounds. Find your own sounds your own way, rather than having to be told by me or Anna. But yes, if you're going to listen to anyone, listen to me.
Anna: I think that what Chris said about ideas is really important. The thing that I feel like I could tell people is just follow your own ideas. In terms of sounds and sonic sets, that's obviously a really big mountain to climb when you start trying to get into sound design. But it's not going to go anywhere if your sounds are the same as every other SoundCloud producer. You can't follow trends, you've got to do your own thing. It doesn't matter how well you make the sound, someone already did it. So make your own sound; make your own thing. Just do something original, and do something fresh.