The Deer Tracks: In our world, nothing is bad, and you're invited
Photo courtesy of the artist
Since David Lehnberg and Elin Lindfors began creating music together over two years ago, the pair have traversed a wide and wild electronic landscape. The Swedish duo -- who perform together as the Deer Tracks -- have just released the final installment to their epic Archer Trilogy, and this latest release is their greatest trump card.
On Pt. III, the listener is immediately thrust into a delicate, glittering upside-down world: dark beats and pulsing synths morph seamlessly into orchestral instrumentation, then shape-shift again. To look at Lehnberg and Lindfors, this makes total sense. Lindfors has snow white-hair and a complexion to match, and Lehnberg is her polar opposite, with a dark angular haircut. (He looks a little like a Swedish Prince, honestly.) It's as if they have just fallen out of a fairytale, and -- lucky for us -- brought their music with them.
Gimme Noise caught up with Lehnberg and Lindfors ahead of their show tonight at the 7th Street Entry. The pair talked about the evolution of their project and where their sound comes from.
Gimme Noise: Let's talk about your album. Part III of the Trilogy... give me a little background on the project. I know it's been a few years in the making, so how do you guys feel?
Elin: It feels amazing. I think it's been around two years, and we've been making music or creating stuff together almost everyday or at least five days a week, and it's been long hours in the studio and we've had so much fun and it's been a great start for us. I've been making music for six years, but it feels different now.
David: I think the whole idea to the Trilogy was to do something over a longer period of time, so that instead of just turning out one album and then another album and another album that aren't linked together, we have something that could make our music develop over time and try to understand ourselves, and how we do music, and why, and everything. I think that we learned a lot about each other, as musicians, as friends, as everything. But... I don't want to do it again. [Laughter]
So, the next time it won't be another trilogy?
David: [Both laughing] No. Not any time soon.
So tell me about the evolution of the music. How do you feel your music changed from Part I to II and now you're at III. Tell me about how the relationship changed a little bit and what you guys learned about each other.
Elin: I definitely learned that we always go to the studio without having any ideas about what we're going to make. We just sit there and David will throw down a beat or a track... You're not creative all the time, every day, but I found that when I don't find any creativity, David always finds creativity, so we help each other out. It's like a ping pong match between us.
David: I also think that from the first part to the last part, you can hear that the first part is more like our previous records and stuff, and then somewhere in the middle of Part II everything starts changing. And then in Part III it's really different from Part I, I think. And I think that now we've found a sound that we're probably going to explore even further for the next record that's going to come. I think we've found our thing.
Tell me about where you're planning on going next, if it's not with a trilogy, is there a certain storyline or anything that you're planning on carrying forward?
David: We haven't thought about it! It's a little soon, because we're very excited to go out and tour. After that we're probably just going to go to some isolated place and do something crazy. Hopefully.
Tell me a little about how you guys are actually creating the music that I'm hearing. When I'm listening to the album, I'm hearing a lot of different sounds, and it's beautiful and it's strange. Help me visualize what I'm hearing.
Elin: Well, it's like we'll come to the studio every day, and we'll open the door, and it's a vacuum. And we sit there, and we'll do things, we'll pound the table, and we'll play, and we'll go, "What's this sound?" And we hardly speak to each other. We're just trying to add things. We're trying to be open-minded and have a good time and be free about it.
David: Yeah, because we never write songs beforehand. We just start to record it. All these sounds are getting added to each other. From one day to another it can sound totally different. It depends on what mood we're in. Just like a big trial and error thing. In our world, nothing is bad, it's never "You can't do this, you can't do that." You can do whatever you want, because it's our world, and you guys are invited to it.
How did you guys first start working with each other? How did you know this would be a good partnership?
Elin: It started by David asking me... he went to one performance I had many, many years ago. And he asked me if I could sing back-up vocals on his record, and I remember entering the studio -- because he had a studio of his own -- and I remember entering and I just felt, like, "Wow, this is so cool. This is amazing." To do that kind of music, because it was so different. It was so comfortable with David, recording with him. And I stayed much longer, I think, I recorded the back-up vocals and then I just sank into his couch like, "Yeah, this is really nice!"
David: I don't remember that! Cool, I hadn't heard that story.... The thing is, I heard her playing live, I heard her vocals, and I was amazed. I was like, "I have to have that girl. I have to do something with her, and my music. I have to play with her." And she said yes, and now we're here.
Tell me about what's going on in your side of the world.... Sweden has a reputation for being very progressive, especially when it comes to new music. What do you get your inspiration from? What are you surrounded by?
Elin: I think I've always been inspired by silence. Of course, you hear a lot of music--whenever you go clothes shopping or anything, you're surrounded by music everywhere. When I go home or take a walk or something, I just like silence. Like, "Okay, what can I hear? What can I hear inside my head?" And I just come up with melodies. And if I come to David with a melody, or he comes up with a melody, we just go from there. I'm sure we get inspiration from music around us, but it's not conscious.
David: We're working so much with music that we don't listen to music that much. We don't have to. But I think that the Swedish sound is because people in Sweden are pretty curious, and aren't interested in copying anything. I think that's why there are a lot of good bands from Sweden, and also, in school, you're very encouraged to be creative in music and try new things. I think that helps.
The Deer Tracks will be at the 7th Street Entry on Tuesday, February 26. 8 p.m. $10. 18+.
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