Following two singles, Scandinavian alternative-rock artist Lou Z has written a debut EP with his favorite electric guitar. Based on a search of remembering the feelings, thoughts and confusions of being a teenager, it’s called Fairyland Goodbye. We caught up with Lou Z to find out more.
‘Fairyland Goodbye’ is a part of a transition going from this softer sort of rock music onto a grittier and more electric guitar-borne musical universe.
First up, tell us a bit about yourself - what first got you into music?
I’m a Copenhagen based guitar player that some years ago has grown into a lead singer as we’ll. This release Is my first time on my own as a solo artist. Very exciting! I have always been soaked up in music, and when I was starting out on the electric guitar I would forget about time for hours practicing and trying to copy the sounds of my favorite musicians.
I’ve have thought to myself many times that it would be way easier becoming successful doing something else than music, but what can you do… it’s a strong but equally healthy drug!
**Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from? **
I was obsessed with Jimi Hendrix for a long time. Trying to play and sound like him. I think it’s something a lot of guitar players have gone through, and some never get past it, haha. No, I still enjoy a lot of his music, but it can get a little heavy on the guitar-instrumental side sometimes. Now I’m more into the songs as a whole.
How would you describe your style?
Rockmusic, slow, gritty with a sentiment, analog texture, vintage feel, electric, drawling, dreamy and dirty.
Why ‘Lou Z’?
Well, I’ve been in bands before with very long names, so this time I was looking for something short and graphical. My real name is Lauritz, so it takes some inspiration from that. And then I like how it sounds like a girls name when you say it - bonding with me feminine side!
If you could collaborate with any living artist who would you choose?
I’m pretty crazy about Jade Bird at the moment. That voice of hers is just fabulous. It reminds me a little of Janis Joplin when she really pushes it. And then she has got some great song too. She’s welcome in my studio anytime…
Tell us about your debut EP Fairyland Goodbye. What’s it about?
One of the main inspirations for the songs on the EP comes from a search of remembering the feelings, thoughts and confusions of being a teenager. A time in life where experiences and emotions are amplified to ridiculous levels, but also a time of great curiosity, energy, carelessness and fun.
Sometimes you find yourself in a situation where for a moment you get to be cast right back to that cauldron - even though it’s now somewhat less intense. I like to visit that place in my mind now and then, and once again get a little taste of that equally simple and complicated time in life.
When did you write it and where did you record it?
I wrote most of it during 2018 with the exception of the song called ‘Lost On’ which I wrote after a date with my girlfriend when we had just met. So that one is older, but I never really recorded it properly and thought it was about time now. My girlfriend likes the old scrappy demo i did just after writing it better, so maybe I should just have put that one on the EP instead. Who knows….
How does Fairyland Goodbye represent your style?
I think I’m currently in the process of finding out what my style as Lou Z really is. I have always been a rock-lover, but with a soft and sentimental side as well, which has been influencing the songs for the last few years. So, I think Fairyland Goodbye is a part of a transition going from this softer sort of rock music onto a grittier and more electric guitar-borne musical universe.
I have also started using a lot of more contemporary elements such as loops and samples, and that I will continue do more of in the future! But always a lot of electric guitar too… I’m notoriously in love with that instrument!
Can you talk us through each song on the EP?
‘Forward to Forget’: Thought this would be a good opener with the stripped vocal/guitar beginning. It’s a dark love song or break-up song in a slow tempo. I took some inspiration from one Sinead O’Connor’s version of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’. There’s a guitar solo after second chorus and I played it to a friend of mine who told me that it sounded a little like the ‘Johnny B Goode’ riff. Then I re-wrote it to the current version.
‘Before You Go’: It’s a co-write (the only one on the EP) with danish songwriter Hannah Schneider (AyOwA) and from the beginning of the writing session we thought it would be fun to write something that would (hopefully) put a lot of pictures in your head. We took some inspiration from The Raveonettes song “Somewhere In Texas” and immediately put down some very reverb drenched cue-guitars to set up a mood for the song. Some of those actually made it all the way to the finished version if you listen carefully to the verses.
‘Fairyland Goodbye’: The last song I finished for the EP. I was looking for something with a simple arrangement -no bass. Just guitar, drums and some samples. The lyrics are very much a sort free meditation on the life as a teenager.
‘You Left Alone’: It originally came about on a piano and therefore it probably ended up getting produced more around key instruments than what is usual for me. I mostly write on the electric guitar, but with this song I had a clear vision that the sonic landscapes from Twin Peaks should be used as an inspiration. And then it was obvious that keyboards had to play a dominant role on the track.
‘Lost On’: This one was the hardest one to finish…ended up taking the drums out of the song until the c-part. Maybe it was because it was a long time since writing it, so it takes more effort to get back into the mood and feelings of the song.
‘Who in the World’: It’s got a bit of a hippie-vibe to it I think. I think Abas Bathily, who is the drummer on most of the tracks, really dug into the groove at the ending. I had an idea about putting a flute-solo at the end, but instead I decided to just let it stay simple and bouncing to finish off the EP.
What are your hopes for Fairyland Goodbye?
I hope that some people out there will pick it up and take the songs in. Oh yes and then I also hope that it will sell a few million copies…and it would be great if Bruce Springsteen heard it too. Now I’m just thinking out loud obviously…haha.
Can we see you on tour this year?
Would love to at some point! At the moment I’m mostly concentrating on working in my studio with new demos and more songwriting, but at some point, I know I will sneak out of my dark cave and start ripping the stages!
Finally, if you could wish for one thing to happen for you this year, what would it be?
I hope that some people will listen to my song and get something out of them. Understand the songs and where they come from. I also hope that I will get some more Lou Z song done and recorded. Already working on material!
Listen to ‘Before You Go’ on SoundCloud below. For news and tour dates go to Lou Z Facebook page.