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How did you first come across the Einstein phrase, “Spooky action at a distance”? Is thinking about quantum entanglements, physics, the cosmos, etc., something you find yourself doing often?
In the past i have read bunches about astrophysics and space. More than anything else really. It is something i have always been kinda obsessed with since I was a kid. If I could do or be anything on the planet, i would be an astrophysicist. I'm not intelligent enough to be of any use in the field but that's where I would be if I could. It's such a fascinating, strange, and completely alienating world to look into. Reading about it changes the way you look at everything around you! It turns the familiar into an array of confusing probability and seemingly random occurrence. I never go a day without thinking about it. You have to remind yourself of how things really are. It's easy to get wrapped up in ego and the human condition, but I find there's a serene humility in thinking about your surroundings and the day to day on infinitesimally small and large levels. I ran across "spooky action..." in a lot of books I was reading, but I think the first one was a book about string theory by Leonard Susskind. I loved the idea and the phrase and knew I wanted to use it for something.
Lyrically, are you still working in a more or less improvisational way, as you’ve mentioned before? A song like “Black Buzz” for instance, seem more formed and narrative than stuff from The Floodlight Collective?
I don't improvise many lyrics anymore. Some parts of songs, maybe, but overall I tend to write them out now. "Black Buzz" is something I definitely wrote out and probably my favorite song on the record. I feel like I got what I was trying to say out in a way that isn't overly cryptic or obvious. It has story that is honest to me. I definitely have been trying to change how I write lyrics into something more honest.
A lot of the songs seem to be about friendship and companionship more than romantic love, maybe. Is that true?
Yeah, I write about friendship a lot in my songs and a bunch on my first album. It's just as important to me as love. I hadn't written too many love songs in the past, at least not ones on Deerhunter or Lotus Plaza albums. I do write them, but they are not obviously love songs lyrically. They are usually about something else and indirectly a love song. I've started to write songs that resemble more of a love song. I'm working on finishing the lyrics to one right now for tour next week.
You’re getting married this year. Is your relationship with your fiancée something you’ve written about as a songwriter, or something that factors into this record?
I've written love songs for her that she will only hear. She's the center of most of the songs I'm writing now. She was the focal point for a lot of my record, but in a different way. She is my mirror and I get a lot of my inspiration from her whether it be a love song, or a personal revelation she help me discover. She is my love and helps me understand and push through my fears. Most songs in history are about fear and love.
You’ve spoken about stage fright previously. Has fronting Deerhunter on songs like “Desire Lines” on tour so often alleviated that at all? Or is performing as Lotus Plaza like starting from scratch?
Well in Deerhunter, the attention is diffused over 3 other people so it's not so bad to sing here and there. I'm rarely the focal point for longer than a few minutes. In Lotus Plaza, I'm sort of starting over again and the emphasis will be on me. Especially since it is established as a solo project, even though i'm with a band. I get nervous even thinking about it, really, but I want to try it. But yes, I still get really bad stage fright. I was the kind of kid that on the first day of school would nearly pass out when it was time to stand up and say your name and something about yourself. The anxiety would stack up watching each kid before me do it until it got to me. I was dizzy, my heart pounding. I still get that.