Monday, September 21, 2009

Interview: Lockett Pundt of Deerhunter/Atlas Sound

Deerhunter guitarist Lockett Pundt is making his live solo debut this Tues. night when Lotus Plaza opens for the Books at Eyedrum.

Chad Radford: Tell me about how the Lotus Plaza album, The Floodlight Collective came together and what you had in mind as you going in to it?
Lockett Pundt: I didn’t really have a whole lot in mind when I sat down to write the songs on the album. I have a hard time getting things done when I have something specific in mind in regards to song writing. Most of them were just a simple idea that sort of blossomed into a song. They all sort of have their own environment. I would go into a song with a guitar loop or drum track and it would either take off, or nothing would come of it. I think the only song in which I had a very clear view of how I wanted it to sound was “Antoine.” I had a Joe Meek sample that I played at a few different speeds creating this crazy out of phase percussive thing and I heard the song from the beginning. Other than that, I just had fun writing songs and had enough to put together an album.

Did you write the songs on the album on your own or was it a group effort that involved anyone else?
I did everything myself. Brad [Cox] plays drums on “Different Mirrors.” He thought it might sound better adding drums over the drum loop in the song and he added it on the first take. I thought it sounded great.

How did you approach it differently from a Deerhunter record?

I write a lot more lyrics myself, which I don’t do all that much in Deerhunter. I tend to write more personal I suppose. I never really try to write a song either way, I think it just sort of happens that one is a better Deerhunter song than one I would use personally. In my songs, I definitely like the parts and instrumentation to remain as how they are, but with songs that are introduced to Deerhunter, I like the guys to write their own parts or do them how they would. That’s the main difference in the approach to me.

All Music says The Flood Light Collective takes its nam after one of your first bands.
It was a band that me Brad and our mutual friend Wes played in during high school. It wasn’t anything serious really, just sort of jam on stuff and have fun. It is a fond memory to name a album to. It was one of the first musical experiences that I shared with other people. It seemed to fit as a title to me.

Is there one piece of music out there – an album, or maybe just a song – that has resonated with you over the years; something that you think of as influence to your whole approach as a musician?
One of my favorite songs ever is “Prairie Rose” by Roxy Music. I listened to them a lot growing up since my mom was a massive fan. The song gives me goosebumps when I hear it. I think it’s a perfect pop song. I think another one would have to be “Sunrain” by Ash Ra Tempel. I guess these both are what I consider to be a Holy Grail of song writing. It’s hard to say that any one thing is a massive influence on what I do, but these are definitely on my mind a lot.

Is this the first time that you’ve made a live appearance with Lotus Plaza?

Yea it is. I’m pretty nervous.

What’s the line-up and instrumentation going to be for this show?
It will be just me and a guitar, a sampler and a loop pedal. Pretty simple for the most part. I would like to have a whole band play some new stuff someday, but I have been out of town for three months and haven’t had much time to get together a set including other people. I kind of want to do something a little different anyways. Something more ambient and loose in nature.

Will there be more Lotus Plaza releases in the foreseeable future?
I hope so. now that I’m back home again, I’m really looking forward to messing around with music for fun. When I get back from a Deerhunter tour and have a week or so downtime before we leave again, I generally leave my guitar in it’s case until it’s time to leave again. We have a little time off from touring now, so I’m hoping to relax and do it more for enjoyment. That’s about the only way I can write songs I like. I can’t force it.

Lotus Plaza “Red Oak Way” mp3

Lotus Plaza plays Eyedrum Tues., Sept. 22 with the Books. $13-$15. 9 p.m. 290 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Suite 8. 404-522-0655.

(Photo courtesy Kranky Records)