Despite the world falling apart
by Álvaro Moyano & Juan Cruz Molas y Molas
LORELLE MEETS THE OBSOLETE
(We recommend reading this interview while listening to this track, hit play!)
I walk down a dark hallway. I don’t recognize my steps; I don’t recognize my body. The air is dense. I have new scars and wounds on my arms. I'm going, tired. The air feels dirty, dusty. It doesn't matter -I think- I have to continue, however tired I am, I have to resist. But I can't, and a dark liquid begins to flow up my body.
A lightning bolt passes by my side illuminating everything around; revealing an uninhabited world. It passes and disappears. It disappears and the ground begins to shake. The ground begins to shake and a crack opens, a crack that takes away that dark liquid and all my hopes. Everything begins to collapse behind me. And I remain still.
But something attracts and absorbs me, my feet take off the ground. And the crack keeps sucking up all the grime. And I can’t do anything about it. I start to float, and I feel something invisible enveloping me, and caress and electrify me, healing my wounds. And I feel a pulse that stimulates me, a pulse that draws me to another place.
LMTO exclusively with SUBTERRANEO.
We know that you come from Jalisco, Guadalajara. How do musical genres like krautrock and shoegaze get to that place? How do you see the Latin American scene?
Lorena: I remember when I started being an active musician in my city, I mean, when I started playing in a band, these niches already existed. The genres you mention were well known in the scene I grew up in. In the past, maybe thanks to the interconnectivity through magazines, fanzines, I don't know. Then the internet. We had the privilege to grow with this. I remember that we saw Michael Rother playing with Steve Shelley on drums in a forum where all the local bands played, or we often saw Sutra live, a band from Guadalajara very influenced by krautrock, among many other genres, etc.
Alberto: I belong to a generation that has been able to find everything online, but in general Guadalajara is a large city with access to the privileges of any capitalist city such as record store chains. When these genres flourished, they permeated in one way or another in the taste of Mexico. Nailed Pink Floyd generation could connect with Amon Düül or who was a superfan of the Soda Stereo’s ‘Dynamo’ (who are gods in Mexico) could be interested in My Bloody Valentine. And speaking of the Latin American scene, it's a scene that is always in resistance. Dealing with uncertainty and forming their own paths. It's very inspiring to see how, despite all the urgencies outside of creation, it’s a scene that doesn’t give up and pushes the creative and aesthetic limits.
by Giovanni Borga
Here we are assiduous to the phrase that "nobody is a prophet in his own land". Is the same thing happening in Mexico as in Argentina?
Lorena: I think a lot depends on what kind of connotations the word prophet has. I don't feel this with our band. We feel welcomed by the people who listen to us in Mexico and in our presentations we always connect with the audience in a very special way and we play in spaces similar to those abroad. Of course, when people think of neoliberalism measurement systems, such as popularity or record sales, etc., then this phrase could easily be applied to our band. But we are not confused, we know the music we make and that we belong to an independent and underground scene and we have another value system.
Alberto: I understand that it starts from a well-intentioned idea but it doesn't make much sense to reproach the lack of "attention" in our countries of origin. The music we make in the end is niche and the people who listen to us in Mexico are just part of that niche. The reasons why there is more diffusion and more facilities to play in Europe or the United States probably have to do with a number of other factors beyond our reach and we would just have to question why our country has been subdued and why our scenes have to fight all the obstacles imposed by the outside.
by Oswald James
How did Lorelle meets The Obsolete start?
Lorena: It started in 2010. I lost my job and because I had extra time and uncertainty I composed several songs. At that time Alberto and I played in another band which it was difficult to coordinate times. So we started to rehearse these new songs alone and over time they became the perfect pretext to form this duo. Those songs and others we composed during the recording were released on our first album in 2011.
And speaking of each one of you in particular, how were your origins? At what point did you realize that attraction and sensitivity towards that music?
Lorena: When I started playing in my first band with a friend, around 2004, I fell in love with repetition, noise and improvisation. I connected with those elements. I was very inspired to see bands like Yo la Tengo, Los Llamarada, Deerhoof, Sonic Youth, Blunt Reyvnolds?, A Place to Bury Strangers, My Bloody Valentine. In general, the underground and independent scene changed my life, with all its variety of musical genres.
Alberto: All that attraction came in steps from high school. Thanks to recommendations and disk-to-disk connections. Allmusic, Soulseek and friends opened my head.
When I listened to your songs, they gave me a certain air of nostalgia, of hope, a latent familiar state of mind. It suggests layers of mantras to me, like an encrypted shaman. What feelings or emotions go through them day by day? What are the recurrences when producing?
Lorena: They have changed depending on the album. Each album is very planted in its social context. But in general it has always been a quarrel against the legitimized seen from different angles. It grew from the personal to the political. We are not comfortable with the social order and we live in continuous resistance and reconstruction. I suppose the songs reflect all these moods.
And speaking particularly of your latest album "De Facto", how was the experience of recording it?
Alberto: Everything was arranged perfectly to record it at home with our live band. We have never done it like this. We always did it track by track between Lorena and me but now the entire structure of the songs is recorded by the five of us in the same room. We worked on the demos Lorena and I for a few months. Fernando, Andrea and José learned their parts and in a few days of session we recorded bass and drums. The rest we recorded with overdubs as we used to on past records.
by Benedict Seidl
"We are not comfortable with the social order and we live in continuous resistance and reconstruction. I suppose the songs reflect all these moods".
- Lorena Quintanilla.
Today, more than ever, is time to RESIST, what inspired you to record this album?
Lorena: This entire album was written in the midst of a political climate in Mexico like I had never experienced before. In my opinion, the last elections divided the country a lot and social problems emerged that were before in the bowels of who we are as a nation. I think that was a great source of inspiration. All this worked and filtered by us of course. Ana is like a surreal passage that speaks of the subconscious and the unknown while language is being deconstructed. Lines in sheets is a wish made into a song, etc. They are interpretations of this political climate that we were experiencing.
Alberto: We had very much in mind the intention to start again. As if we were a new band. We fight a lot to not cut any idea and try anything.
You answered for Vice magazine “In some way we see this album as something created by the force of events. It is a de facto result” What are those events?
Alberto: It is the strength to do what we have left, resist and push. Despite the world falling apart, we have love around us and unconditional support. This album is the consequence.
by Oswald James
We believe that the album De facto is a conceptual piece, was this thought beforehand or did it happen casually and why?
Lorena: I think it was by chance. And that's why it became a special album for us. The composition process was complicated, since we only had a couple of ideas when we started recording the demos, which is strange for us. We usually accumulate a batch of songs that we can take a hand in when we start recording a new album, but this time we had nothing. So I think the songs are related to each other, they are better interwoven and are part of the same concept or feeling.
How did you get to be edited by Sonic Cathedral?
Alberto: A friend of Nat (Sonic Cathedral) saw us at the 2012 SXSW and a few months later Nat invited us for a compilation called "Psych for Sore Eyes". That came out in 2013 and since then Sonic Cathedral has released all of our albums. Nat is someone we deeply admire and he is our partner in battle.
Could you tell us a bit about your label "El Derrumbe"?
Lorena: It is a label that Alberto and I started for publishing albums by contemporary Mexican bands that we like. More news will follow soon.
LMTO does not follow trends, does not seek to be new, and yet it is. It is timeless, anachronistic, and has personality, a sound in itself. Is LMTO an escape or a ground wire? Why?
Lorena: Thank you very much for the words. For me LMTO has always been a ground wire. Music can be as ethereal as you want, but it comes from very particular situations. In addition, we are involved in other ways with our music community. For example, Alberto records and mixes other bands in Mexico and together we organize shows in Ensenada from time to time for other bands. All this keeps us active and connected and this definitely affects our music.
"Despite the world falling apart, we have love around us and unconditional support. This album is the consequence".
- Alberto González.
We saw that you were on tour in the United States and Canada and suddenly the pandemic exploded. What expectations do you have for tours, promotions and what future does it hold?
Alberto: There is always a lot of emotion and uncertainty before starting a tour. There are so many preparations to make months in advance that we are just waiting for the day to start. Touring is what we enjoy most about making music. It is definitely heavy but addictive. It’s very special to be on the move every day, changing contexts and everything is possible thanks to music. Even though at the moment there are more urgent situations, it’s sad to think about the uncertain future. Without wishing to sound complaining, very active months were coming for Lore and me. Now we don't know. Playing live and touring life reason for me. I’m afraid to think of it’s absence.
For the argentinian people who don't know you, could you tell us a little bit about your influences, references or where you get your inspiration from?
Lorena: Los Llamarada is one of the bands that inspired us the most when we started playing, now they no longer exist, but they have another band called El Terror, which is incredible too. I really like reading band, musicians or scene biographies or autobiographies. That is a strong source of inspiration for me. Michael Azerrad's book “Our band could be your life” became kind of a bible for us. Also "La era de la discrepancia", which talks about the beginning of independent scenes in Mexico. And because our present inspires us all the time. In the last week we have been listening to Hiro Kone, Dalëk, Colleen, Adiós mundo cruel, Lucrecia Dalt.
Alberto: Repetition is a constant element in our music. We like to think about the present and future.
There is a question that I am asking all the people that I interview and that I think is something that is going through us or challenge us at the moment and that it is good to think about it, What is to ‘be human’ for you?
Lorena: It is a difficult question. Being ‘human’ for me is someone who releases himself while releasing others.
Alberto: Our dedication to cooperation and help.
What is a day in the life of Lorelle meets The Obsolete like?
Lorena: Our days are very different from each other, very difficult to predict. It also depends on what point of the year we are. If we are on tour, it is waking up going to a supermarket, having breakfast in the van, driving and getting to the sound check, dining, playing live, going to the hotel to sleep and everything is repeated again. If it's time to record an album, we have a lot of discipline. We shut ourselves up in the studio one day yes and one day no. On the day off we generally answer emails, or do errands from home. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen too.
There are points in the year when we also receive bands at home that record with Alberto or to which we organize a show in Ensenada. Sometimes Alberto works on flyer designs or is mixing a band while I write or work on my project. It’s never boring, I can say that.