Skip to main content

An Interview With Sondre Lerche

It's been since 2014 since I actually interviewed anyone for The Useless Critic (remember Taylor Swift? Yes I think about that often!) but, with his new album "Pleasure" en route for a 2017 release, Sondre Lerche seemed a prime candidate for getting back into the game.

So here, for the holidays and an upcoming new year, I offer you a few questions with Sondre Lerche on his new album, his previous work, and what it's like to be a Norwegian in America right now.

At the end of dis interview, I've curated several of my favorite songs of Sondre's. Enjoy!




UC: What inspired "I'm Always Watching Too?" Was it partially because our culture enables "stalking" at the moment? (like, social media obsessiveness.)
SL: I suppose so. The desire to feel close to someone without their knowledge has always been there, but social media, and our willingness to share our whereabouts, our activities and friends online, enable us to spy on each other. Which, most of the time is harmless and fun, but in the case of this song, pathetic and desperate. In my mind, the song tells the story of someone who has turned down something real, but still can't move on, and settles for watching the lover he rejected online. The predecessor, "I'm Always Watching You," has a twist that gives him some hope - the idea that she might be watching him too. And that's the theme that "I'm Always Watching You Too" indulges, in a dreamlike state.
UC: The sound for "Pleasure" seems like it's going to differ a bit from 2014's "Please." Am I wrong in that assumption? What inspired the change?
SL: It's hard for me to say. I've always felt it's a natural development from "Please" in terms of sound and themes. Because it all feels very natural too me. So there's plenty of songs that I feel could've fit on either record, sonically, but they ended up on "Pleasure" for thematic reasons. And now that I've fully indulged that phase, I am ready to share those songs.
UC: Of all your albums you've put out - and you've put out many! - which would you say is most memorable to you or your favorite?
SL: Well, "Please" was very special to me - both the process of writing and recording it, and sharing it with people. It warmed me that so many people loved it and accepted it. That album had a lot of energy to it. So for me it'll always represent a key moment.
UC: What can people expect from "Pleasure" that hasn't been present on your past record?
SL: It's a very bombastic, explosive record, all the way through. I wanted to avoid too much subtlety, and keep it sort of primal. Even when it's very confused, you can still dance to it. It's a way of coping, I suppose. It's fun and confused.
UC: Finally, I have to ask, what is it like to be a Norwegian in America right now?
SL: Oh man, I feel for you guys. The day after Election Day was like nothing else. I mean, I still have little moments when I realize that you guys actually elected Donald Trump for President. And I can't believe it went that far. So I can only imagine what it feels like to the majority that voted for the other candidate. Or to the minorities who suffer daily from the normalization of racism and homophobia and so forth that he has unleashed. Or those who didn't vote, but could've. Or those who already realize the were hurting so much they were tricked into thinking Trump cares about their lives. I left the country for work couple days after the Election, and it felt like a relief. And I realized there's a lot of scary political forces at work in Norway also, and they've been taking notes from Trump's rhetorical victory in the U.S., so there's work, and soul searching, to be done all over the world, to stop these characters from becoming so powerful.
UC: Thank you Sondre! I am almost a lifelong fan. (I didn't say actually lifelong because I haven't liked anything for all 29 years I've been alive so that would be misleading.)
SL: It is my pleasure, Britt. 
Britt's Five Best Sondre Lerche Songs (Handcrafted and Artisanal)
"To Be Surprised"

"Lucky Guy"

"If Only"

"My Hands Are Shaking" (Live)

"Two Way Monologue"

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Chang-E" - Emmy the Great (new album out 10/9)

Emmy the Great drops her new album tomorrow on Bella Union - the fastest album she says she's ever created.  "April /月音" was completed after a trip to to her birth city Hong Kong in 2017. In early 2018, Emmy the Great made "April /月音" in a two-week period in Brooklyn - which was delayed for release until now because of her maternity leave. After recording this album, Emmy moved (for good) back to Hong Kong.  Since her original trip to Hong Kong, things have become quite tumultuous there. Said Emmy. "I’ll never know why the city called me back, but I know what it gave me. In return, I want to give it this album. That Mid-Autumn, nobody could have predicted what was to come, neither the atomization that began with the anti-Extradition Law protests in June 2019, nor the struggle for democracy that continues now, through the Covid-19 pandemic. To witness your birth city in its greatest moment of need is a powerful, humbling event, and I know I watched Hong Kong

3 New Lana Songs Come Out From Upcoming Album "Blue Banisters"

Not even that far off from "Chemtrails Over The Country Club" being released this past March, Lana Del Rey dropped three new singles off her upcoming project, "Blue Banisters." They include the title track, "Text Book," and "Wildflower Wildfire." All three songs seem to merge the worlds of "COCC" with "Norman Fucking Rockwell," specifically Lana's mouthful of a track "Hope is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me To Have But I Have It." They also seem uncharacteristically more confessional than most of Lana's catalog to date, specifically "Wildflower Wildfire," which alludes to a conflict with her mother. She even starts the track with "Here's the deal," readying to show more of her backstory than she ever has in her decade-plus-long career. The three songs are gorgeous - especially "Text Book," which has a haunting quality to it (she mentions "Black Lives Matter" i

RIP Andy Warpigs

If you're even vaguely familiar with the Phoenix music scene to any extent, you probably knew Andy Warpigs. I saw them a few times at Yucca/Time Out Lounge when I was frequenting both spots a few years ago. Andy Warpigs was one of the most ubiquitous names you could come across, and with good reason - they were an incredibly prolific and talented artist, basically a Phoenix legend.  Unfortunately, over the weekend Andy Warpigs passed away - an extremely tragic loss. If you can possibly donate to the GoFundMe to help Andy's mom with funeral expenses , please do so.  Take care, Britt