Published Mar 30, 2009The Deerhunter family gains another member with the arrival of Lotus Plaza, the solo project of guitarist Lockett Pundt. Having spent the last few years quietly posting tracks on the band's blog, Pundt now steps out from behind the massive shadow of band-mate/best friend Bradford Cox with his debut album, The Floodlight Collective. Via email, Pundt was generous enough to inform us of how his music benefits from his friendship with Bradford, how Lotus Plaza differs from Deerhunter and what his plans are for touring.
Is it fair to describe Lotus Plaza as your answer to Bradford's Atlas Sound?
No, it's just a project that I do. It's certainly not a response or answer to what Brad does at all. I enjoy writing music too and that's all that it is.
Bradford dedicated the Atlas Sound album to you. Did you do the same for him? Of course. I couldn't have made it without his help and encouragement. He definitely made me feel that it was more possible than I had previously thought it was. I'm really critical and hesitant at times and he kind of helped me get there mentally.
Do the two of you feed off each other and inspire one another when it comes to your separate projects? He has always inspired me in many ways. I hope that I have done the same for him. He inspires me creatively as well. We always kind of bounce ideas off of each other as far as what we would like to do next and how we see our music progressing.
How much of an influence does being in Deerhunter have on Lotus Plaza's music? Do you see much similarity between the two bands?
I try to think of them separately. They are completely different to me. Deerhunter is a higher energy and more collaborative thing with four personalities at the helm, where my stuff is a lot more toned down or something. There are some similarities of course but it has a much different feel to me, and probably anyone who hears it I would think. We all definitely share a lot of the same influences and ideas when it comes to music in Deerhunter but they are translated in different ways. In my music, I'm definitely influenced by Deerhunter, but by the guys themselves rather than the music as a whole if that makes sense.
When exactly did you record the album? Was it mostly a solitary experience?
All of the songs were recorded from the summer of 2007 to the beginning of 2008 in my bedroom. It was all done by myself and I played everything on it except for a drum track on one of the songs called "Different Mirrors" where Brad plays drums.
The press release gives the sense that this album is divided into an A-side and a B-side. Was that your intention?
No, not really. It just kind of turned out that way.
I was kind of surprised that the album wasn't coming out on 4AD in Europe, like Atlas Sound and Deerhunter, especially because it has a very "4AD sound" to it. Was there a certain sound or period of music you were looking to capture?
I mostly wanted to have a sort of ambiguous time period. Like when you listened to the record, that it wasn't really obvious when it came out, but I had no real time period in mind. Timeless, not as in classic, but literally timeless.
The title track really shows there is variety in the scope of the music: ambient, '60s pop, shoegaze, post-punk, etc. Was there an "anything goes" attitude towards writing the music?
Yeah, I'm mostly at the whim of whatever escapes me when I sit down to write a song. It's all done quickly and without a lot of thinking. I guess it creates a kind of unintentional variety, which I like. Makes for a more interested listen I suppose.
You post Lotus Plaza tracks up on the Deerhunter blog, some of which made the album. Did you hold on to songs for the album too? What is your strategy as far as giving away MP3s?
I had no real strategy. I would just make songs and if I wanted to post some then I would. I didn't want to post too many of them since I did plan on releasing it. I do like to give away music. I haven't done it too much recently but I was going to get back to it when things kind of normalize around home.
I read that the Floodlight Collective was a band you were once in. What made you name the album after that experience?
It was some of the fondest musical experiences I have and part of my inspiration to go further with things. From there I started to record myself and was sort of the start of my own musical identity. I guess that's where the reference comes in.
Do you intend to take Lotus Plaza on tour? If so, will it be a full band or yourself with drum loops, pedals, etc.? I'm still thinking that over. As of now, if I were to do it, I think I would do it by myself with the songs rearranged to work that way, but it would be really fun to play them as a band. Who knows...
The artwork seems very personal. What made you represent your music visually with images from your childhood ?
The cover is actually a picture of my youngest brother. I found the picture in a box of old family photographs and really liked it. I guess it was the last frame on the roll and was sightly exposed when processed giving it a kind of red cast over the right side of it. I saw it and thought it was perfect for the album.
Finally, are there any other Deerhunter-related projects I should be on the lookout for?
Yeah, there are, but I won't ruin the surprise.