2010 Artist Survey: Luc Laurent of Pepper Rabbit | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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2010 Artist Survey: Luc Laurent of Pepper Rabbit

Dec 15, 2010 Artist Surveys 2010 Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern Bookmark and Share

For Under the Radar’s 8th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2010. Pick up a copy of Under the Radar’s Year End issue for interviews with: The Antlers, Bon Iver, Caribou, Club 8, Delphic, Rose Elinor Dougall, Gayngs, Hot Chip, Lost in the Trees, Love is All, The Love Language, Mogwai, of Montreal, Okkervil River, Yoko Ono, Owen Pallett, Plants and Animals, Mark Ronson, Superchunk, Tame Impala, Vampire Weekend, Sharon Van Etten, and Vivian Girls. Here’s a survey from Luc Laurent of Pepper Rabbit.

Top 10 Albums of 2010

1. Spoon: Transference—This album has broken a lot of ground for us as a band. The attention to detail, with quick transitions and minimalistic instrumentation this album has inspired so much of where we’re going with our music and confirmed the importance of what we love in music.

2. MGMT: Congratulations—MGMT made the album I wanted them to make. I know everyone else did, but I really didn’t like “Kids” and “Electric Feel.” I liked all the songs that came after “Kids” on Oracular Spectacular, and Congratulations is an album full of those surf rock progressive journeys that make MGMT a magical band.

3. Jamie Lidell: Compass—This album was off my radar until only a month ago, and I don’t know why! It is absolutely incredible. Soulful, talent heavy, soaring from genre to genre, this is music that is made by musicians that have no boundaries.

4. Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest—This was my #1 most anticipated album this year. I’m a big Deerhunter fan. I love the new style of production on the tracks “Helicopter” and “Revival” but unlike Microcastle or Weird Era Cont., a couple tracks on Halcyon Digest veer away from my attention. All in all, this album will access the wide audience Deerhunter has always deserved.

5. Blonde Redhead: Penny Sparkle—At first I was little bummed that there was a lot of electronic drumming, because Simone [Pace] is my favorite drummer, but these songs are beautiful. The album didn’t grab me at first but after a few listens, tracks like “My Plants are Dead” and “Love or Prison,” melodies have haunted me the past few weeks.

6. Salem al Fakir: Ignore This—I ignored his previous two albums but [Pepper Rabbit band-mate] Xander [Singh] kept pushing this one on me, and bam! I finally broke. It really is absolutely amazing that Salem is able to perform, produce and mix this album all by himself. The true mark of his genius is that each album he changes his style and evolves. Just get past the bubble gum pop sounds on a few of the tracks and this one is a true gem.

7. Born Ruffians: Say It—We love this band and this is another great album by these guys. Fun rocking tunes that have a very unique and identifiable style to them.

8. Surfer Blood: Astro Coast—What a fun album. Closest thing to Weezer’s Blue album and Pinkerton since 1996, in my opinion.

9. Candy Claws: Hidden Lands—We did a tour with Candy Claws in July, but it wasn’t until after that I spent time with their albums. This album creates a feeling that makes you forget you are listening to music. In a way that’s an art form in itself.

10. Beach House: Teen Dream—This album is a little bit sunnier than the ones before. It was great listening to this past summer, and wow it translates incredibly live. Victoria [Legrand] is definitely one of my favorite singers, oh yes.

What was the highlight of 2010 for either you personally or for the band?

I think our greatest highlight this year was hooking up with Kanine Records. We made some awesome friends last year that made this possible, and with Kanine now on our side we not only have been taken a little more seriously, but we have group of people we can trust to take our music where it needs to go.

What was the low point of 2010 for you?

Managing our downtime. We’ve been busy this year, but there have been a couple of months that we’ve spent just hanging at home in LA. Luckily with our downtime we spent time putting some new songs together to keep our band growing, so in 2011 we can take our music to where our hearts desire.

What are your hopes and plans for 2011?

Touring as much as possible, and then releasing another album sometime during the year.

With the Internet making every artist’s music potentially available to a wide audience, is it now easier to find listeners or more difficult because you have to compete with so many other musicians?

It’s definitely a competition, but it’s not a competition in a sporting sense where each band is trying to do better than the other. Every band is a fan of many other bands and I think the other bands that are fans of ours have helped us gain listeners.

Who would you rather listen to—a totally original musician whose compositions are groundbreaking but difficult to listen to or a musician whose songs are immediately enjoyable but derivative? Why?

Oh definitely an original musician with groundbreaking compositions. The albums that take me a little while to get into are the ones that I’ve held onto for years. Those are the albums that teach you about music and take you places beyond enjoyable comfort. They make you feel things you’ve never felt before.

In the race to find new bands, are too many unworthy bands being hyped up by music blogs and websites? How are music fans supposed to filter through all these new bands being hyped?

I think being hyped is a scary thing. It might help with gathering an initial audience but everyone is expecting you to be amazing. If you have an off show your hype can turn straight negative. For us, because everything hasn’t been super hyped, the reaction a lot of the time is people being surprised by us. I think listeners should listen to everything they hear of. And if they like it, that’s all that matters. Not if your favorite media source likes it.

If your house was on fire, what would you grab as you were running out?

My snare drum that I’ve had since I was 13, and hopefully my cymbals. I really don’t have too much emotional attachment to too many other things. I don’t have any pets, but if I did I would grab them too.

If you could relive one day of your life, which would it be?

Either one day when I was eight or nine. I liked those two years. That’s when I started playing drums, and it was sweet. Maybe one day in high school, in the fall when I had a great show with my marching band. Those were really fun. Or this one day when I was 18 I flew to France and met up with my brother Tibby in Paris. We were only in Paris for a day, so we rented two bikes and went riding all over the city. He used to live there so he was taking me to all his favorite spots. And I grew up riding bikes all the time so we were just having a blast.

What’s the strangest fan encounter you’ve ever had?

I don’t have one in particular, but it’s happened to me a few times where I’m introducing myself to someone at our show and I say, “Hey my name is Luc,” and they say, “Yeah I know.” I always think that’s really funny.

If you had a bucket list, what would be the Top 4 things on that list?

1. Traveling to the U.K.

2. Riding a motorcycle.

3. Brewing my own beer.

4. Playing guest drums on “Dance Yrself Clean” with LCD Soundsystem.

When you think of the future, what scares you most?

The lack of a career. I’m afraid of just having a few good years as a band, and then trying to relive them. I want to create a career in music, I’m not exactly sure what that means beyond playing in this band but hopefully the journey will take me there.

Do you believe in ghosts? Why?

I do believe in ghosts, but I’ve never had any strange encounters. I’ve been in places that feel strange. And I really like how different places or people make me feel just from the vibes I can sense; a lot of that goes into playing music. I really like how if you think a place is haunted your senses are so heightened. Ghosts are the quickest way to heightened senses.



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July 14th 2016

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