Eccentric synth-dance types Lemonade return with their second album, Diver. Lead singer Callan Clendenin reveals how they're really just punk kids making infinitely pleasurable dance music.
Describe Diver, your new album. Was writing material for it easy?
Writing material is always the easy part for us, it's then making sure that everything sounds as good as possible which is the difficult part. Sound-wise the album is pretty sensual, clean and pure.
What defines ‘pop’ music? What's your take on it?
I think when you're listening to pop music, it's the unconscious act of experiencing pleasure.
What do you want people to do with your music? Is it for dancing in clubs or thinking deeply about?
I think we all wish that our music was for dancing in clubs to, but the reality is it's never going to be on Clubbing TV. Our music is maybe for driving to, or for dancing in your apartment to in the dark, or even just for listening on headphones to.
You have a lot of influences that've changed over time. What would you say your main ones are right now?
Right now I'm listening to a lot of Boddika and Joy Orbison, and really enjoying the way in which they are moving away from garage-influences and more towards the clean techno sound. Techno is something that is having a big influence on me musically, also the electro breaks used by artist like Pariah and Scuba.
You said on your website that with your new album, you’re more focussed on “speaking to your heart than blowing your mind”. What made you turn away from the kind of music that got you started?
Quite simply, there wasn't anywhere further to go with psychedelia. The universe is shrinking in on itself and there are no more avenues to go with this sort of noise music, which ultimately wasn't challenging anymore for us. When I make music I want it to be transcendental for the right reasons, and really it came down to the fact that I wanted to see if I could write melodies that people can sing along to – I see this as the ultimate challenge.
What was it like moving from San Francisco to Brooklyn, NY?
It felt really easy and delightful. I remember we arrived in New York on our first day in October to a flurry of snow and it was so daunting. But everything happened really easily for us, we all found apartments really quickly and fell into jobs. Also whenever I'm travelling I realise how amazing the music scene is in New York, and how there's not really anywhere like it. There aren't many places where any night of the week you can see 4 totally amazing and intriguing acts on the line-up.
What was the scene in SF like, when you first started out? How did it affect your music?
There was a huge party scene that lasted for two years – a friend put on huge warehouse parties called Gentleman's Techno. Essentially the scene was all the punk kids making dance music.
Diver is out now. lemonadesounds.net
Words: Zing Tsjeng