Lamb is an English band from Manchester, which was founded in 1996 and is stylistically attributed to trip-hop. it consists of the singer louise rhodes, the keyboardist and percussionist Andy Barlow and various guest musicians. 2004 Lamb announced an artistic break. In the meantime, Louise Rhodes has released three solo albums, stylistically far removed from Lamb. Andy Barlow also worked while on a solo album, which he produced mainly in his home studio. It bears the name „LEAP … and the net will appear“ and was released in January 2011. In 2010 they announced a continuation of Lamb and began in november with the work on a new album. It was released on 5 May 2011. Since it is the fifth album of the two, it is called „5“. The sixth album titled „Backspace unwind“ is announced on 20 October 2014. Lamb are also touring again and giving a concert here in Luxembourg at den Atelier on 11th of November. For this occasion we are proud to get the opportunity to conduct an interview with them.
Hello, thanks for taking your time for this interview. How are you?
Pretty good, thanks. Excited about the way the new Lamb record is coming together.
This is now the second album after the reunion. Were the recording session much different then for “5”?
In a way I think we took what we‘d learnt from making „5“ and developed it further on the new record. On „5“ we decided we wanted to make a stripped and quite raw-sounding album; cutting away any possible excess. A kind of „less is more“ ethos. With this new album we‘ve really enjoyed the freedom that this approach brings. We set ourselves time limits when working on songs and put them down as soon as we could to avoid over-working them. It‘s an approach that really flowed.
Are there other musicians involved in the new album? Or is it just you two?
Us two, some bass from the awesome Jon Thorne and a beautiful string section. There might still be some surprise guests but that‘s it for now.
You once mentioned that Lamb was dissolved also because of the pressure from the music industry. Is there less pressure now?
The pressures are just different. Back in our early days we were signed to Fontana which was an imprint of Mercury/Universal. Being signed to a major brought financial security (man, we were living the dream) but the cost of this was almost constant challenges to your creative control. These days we‘re self-released and love the freedom this brings. Obviously, though, with today‘s industry constantly challenged by free downloading and other pirating, the days of living off record sales are well and truly over. I guess the challenge is good though; we have to constantly think outside the box and find innovative new ways of getting our music out there in a way that allows us to sustain ourselves.
How do you see yourself evolving as a band over the years?
That‘s difficult to say in any objective way. I think we‘re constantly learning and growing in the way that we work but, at the same time, there‘s still a certain sense of mystery around the way our music happens. We make a point of not pinning that down.
How important is for you to be still involved in solo projects?
For me (Lou) my solo work is an important part of my creative world; being able to write and perform songs in a simple acoustic way is, for me, a vital counter-balance to Lamb‘s mighty electronica. I recently finished my fourth solo album entitled „theyesandeye“ which I hope to release late 2015. Delaying its release was a difficult but necessary decision as we needed to concentrate on making the new Lamb album and didn‘t want to compromise either project. Andy‘s been very busy producing other artists in the time between releasing „5“ and starting work on the new record. Most recently he worked with The Ramona Flowers and David Gray. Working outside of Lamb is good for us both as it helps bring a freshness and appreciation to what we do as a project. Cross-pollination is always a good thing in creativity as well as in nature.
Thank you very much for your time and best wishes for the future!
(Interview by Mike Dostert)