Meet the Manchester based 4-piece band and Columbia Record’s newest recruits, Lake Komo. Lake Komo have been on quite a journey steadily preparing their debut album and building a growing fan base in the North West of the UK and beyond.
2015 saw them supporting the likes of Jack Garratt, Boxed In, Hidden Charms, and Eaves, as well as festival appearances at Liverpool Sound City, Y Not and more further afield.
Now, with Columbia records, they have released their brand new single, Milwaukee. Heading off on a UK headline tour and a debut album in the works, we conversed with Lake Komo on their current successes.
Could you each intro yourselves and your part in the band?
Jay – Vocals and acoustic guitar / Jess – Keys and backing vocals / Pete – Bass and backing vocals / Maxwell – Drums and backing vocals
When did you come together and start making music?
Jess – We started making music together over 3 years ago now. Jay started out playing open mic nights on his own in Lancaster. Maxwell saw him sing one night and offered to play drums for him. He sent me and Pete one of Jays demos a few days later and we were both completely blown away by his voice and his song writing, it was so different to anything we’d heard before and so we offered to join the band straight away.
What was the initial direction of your music and how has this developed over time?
Jess – Our music used to be a lot more folky and acoustic. After writing material for a year we started demoing our songs. I produce dance music for fun and so over the demoing process the dance beats and sounds that I love using started to seep into the songs, which then evolved into what you hear today.
It’s bit of an odd mix but we love it. We’re just trying to do something a bit different really, Jay always says that there’s no point doing something that’s been done before because there’ll already be someone doing it better than you can. You should try and create something new and different.
What inspires you?
Standard answer but stuff that happens to you and how to makes you feel, more often than not for me it’s because I feel shitty about something and I’ll use music as a way to escape. There’s nothing better than getting completely lost in the music you’re writing, you just shut out the world and suddenly hours have gone by and you don’t feel so bad anymore. I think it’s really cool that you can turn a negative feeling into a physical thing that’s actually really positive.
There’s nothing better than getting completely lost in the music you’re writing, you just shut out the world and suddenly hours have gone by and you don’t feel so bad anymore. I think it’s really cool that you can turn a negative feeling into a physical thing that’s actually really positive.
Are there any artists you would like to collaborate with in the near future?
Jay – Jon Hopkins cause his beats and production are fucking sick! Our song-writing is quite poppy so I’d be really interested to see what a poppy song would sound like with his production on it.
Your debut album is coming, and you’ve been working with Cam Blackwood, what’s it like to work with him and what can we expect from the project?
Working with Cam is an amazing experience. He’s so fucking talented and enthusiastic about making music and on top of that he’s one of the kindest human beings I’ve ever met.
We have a very similar taste in music and just click on creative level. He brings a lot of ideas to the table and we’ve learnt a lot from working with him so far. He’s helped us craft our sound and to be honest we’re just excited to get back in the studio to finish the album!
Is your deal with Columbia a new one? How did it come about and was it your goal to work with a major?
We put a couple of demos up on Soundcloud a couple of years ago and started getting interest from a few labels. The music industry is pretty small so once one label gets wind of you all the others tend to jump in as well. I guess there’s a lot of ambulance chasing.
Like a load of scouts will come to your show and some will be really enthusiastic and are obviously interested and others you can just tell aren’t arsed and are only there because everyone else is. Columbia are the ones who stood out for us because they were genuinely interested in what we were doing and just wanting to nurture that.
What’s the concept and idea behind your new Track and video Milwaukee, what inspired it and why is this your first single?
From the lyrics, you’ll probably think it’s a heartbreak song. And it is, but, it’s mainly about figuring out what you want to do with your life and following your dreams. A lot of people will have dreams but they’ll think they’re unachievable so they’ll just settle down in a relationship and forget about them.
The song is about getting out of a relationship like that and being like “right okay fuck it, I’m actually gonna give music a proper go.” I wanted a video that really embodied that feeling of hope and excitement I had when I realised that was what I wanted to do.
Apart from the new project, what can we expect from Lake Komo in the near future?
More music and more gigs!
What have been the highlights of your career so far?
We got playlisted on Radio 1 last week which was pretty sweet!
What was the first piece of music you purchased?
Jay: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication / Pete: Paramore – All We Know Is Falling / Maxwell: Gorillaz – Gorillaz / Jess: Gorillaz – Demon Day
Stage or Studio?
We love both for different reasons but if we had to pick one it’d have to be the stage. The feeling you get when you’re playing music you love with your mates in front of crowd of people is amazing. Love the rush you get!