INTERVIEW: A look at Lontalius' latest album, 'All I Have'
New Zealand artist Lontalius has just released his album All I Have which includes the lovely pop single ‘Swim’. Set to support Japanese Wallpaper on his upcoming national tour ‘Glow’, it will be the first time he’ll be performing in Australia.
We talked to him about the upcoming tour, his album and more!
You have upcoming performances supporting Japanese Wallpaper on his national tour in Australia, which will be the first time you’ve performed there. What do you look forward to whilst you are travelling across the country?
Despite it being so close I've never really spent a lot of time in Australia. I'm excited to play these shows and to meet new people, of course, but I hope I have the time to eat a lot of food and drink a lot of coffee. Also you guys have Uniqlo and we still don't. I'm obsessed!
Your latest album All I Have has just been released! Was there anything different or the same in your approach or songwriting process of it than your first release I’ll Forget 17?
I'll Forget 17 was a project I started in my bedroom, and finished in a collaborative space. All I Have was sort of the opposite. I started it in Los Angeles with the producer Om'Mas Keith, and ended up taking all these sketches back to my bedroom. The songwriting process didn't change so much, the idea behind both records was to create a sort of time capsule for myself. I can listen to them in 30 years and it'll be like reading my diary.
I’ll Forget 17 was the first album you released in 2016 which included the songs ‘It’s Not Love’ and ‘All I Wanna Say’. What can you say about that album and the success after it that helped put you where you are right now? What did you learn about yourself and creating music from that album?
I think I was fortunate in that I had some success, but not quite enough that I felt I had to replicate what I'd done. It gave me a space where I could really explore my sound and expand on the ideas of that first album. I feel really proud of it now, the songs are solid. I wrote a lot of it while I was still in high school, so I think I really proved to myself that I could commit and work on a larger project.
Your latest release, the single ‘Swim’, you’ve described as “the acceptance that with all the heartbreak, anxiety and stress of being young, the universe is still leading you on the right path.” Did you have any personal experience or inspiration that lead to the writing of this song?
I lived in Los Angeles for 2 years or so, and towards the end of my time I was finding it pretty difficult and fruitless. I think Swim is definitely most inspired by that time. I wouldn't consider my time in LA as a failure by any means, but I was starting to understand that it maybe just wasn't the right time. When I came back to NZ I think I was proved right. My ideas and feelings started to become clear again.
Being from New Zealand, famous artists like Lorde and Brooke Fraser have arisen to stardom from your country. Were there any New Zealand musicians that you looked up to while growing up?
Absolutely! Crowded House were one of my favourite bands growing up. There were also people like Liam Finn and The Phoenix Foundation who were playing on TV shows in the US and UK, which really inspired me. Just the idea that it was possible to make it out of NZ. Lorde really blew it open though, suddenly everyone was looking at us for other young artists.
I recently spoke with Japanese Wallpaper in an interview about his upcoming national tour Glow. Are you excited to be supporting him throughout Australia? How’s your relationship with him?
Very excited. We've hung out a few times, and I adore his music but I've never seen him play. We have similar tastes in music and I think the thing we've talked about most is our mutual love for Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto.
What artists are you currently listening to at the moment? Are there any from New Zealand that you think that more people should listen to but might not know?
I really love the new Wilco album, that's gonna be on repeat for a while. I just did some shows in NZ with my friend Thomston. He's making some of the best pop music I've heard in years!