‘We Won’t Ever Be Saved Here’ Whoa. The opiate swoon of opener, ‘Care for Yourself’, has me addicted from the outset: a sonic haze of shoegaze electronica, reverbed snares and a voice that recalls the lazy drawl of My Bloody Valentine or Ride without the guitars. Fantabulous stuff, a perfect beginning to a perfect little album. Can I be more gushing here? I simply adore Berlin-based multi-instrumentalist, Lie Craze, and once again, this aging critic is lost in music. Her voice is unusual with this kind of music, which makes it truly unique. She reminds of, erm…someone – male I think, not in texture, but delivery – but the comparison remains elusive. She has that quality, the just once-removed otherness about her. Gee. Surprisingly, with her fellow conspirator in this beautiful noise, Ableton-enthusiast bumbovsky, the music of ‘We Won’t Ever Be Saved Here’ takes on odd twists and turns at every juncture. Here, it has a eurobeat pulse with a nice 80s sheen, here it’s lo-fi tech, almost Icelandic and glacial, with a real sense of field-recorded ‘acoustic’ instrumentation, the creak of a stool, real percussion, children keyboards, glocks, rattles and toys. And the violin, staccato piano chords and guitar add to the weave and weft of this rich sonic tapestry. Although people tell Lie Craze her sound resonates with the 80s, that wasn’t really her influence, born in 89 she was too young for that period to really colour her craft. She is just doing what comes naturally, achingly melodic and totally one of a kind. The music of a future past.
Berlin/German based solo artist Lie Craze (Leonie S) talked with us about her latest album “We won’t ever be saved here’ a happy/moody ‘experimental electropop’ album with dark lyrics.
How are you today, Leonie?
Lie Craze: Hey! I’m fine, thank you.
Your last album, We won’t ever be saved here is now on WEATNU Records. What is going on in the ears of others when they hear it?
Lie Craze: Pheww…you have to ask others to answer this question 😀 But tell me afterwards, I would be happy to know. Of course I hope positive things are going on. I think it’s a fun album, with a few melancholic songs, but mostly dance-able and up-tempo.
The first song on the album comes in, as you say mysterious. A deep sub-tone with harsh distorted drums. What led you to create such an unusual song?
Lie Craze: Care For Yourself is still one of my favorite songs on the whole album, even if most people don’t understand why I chose this as an opener…it starts a bit slowly and mysterious, but in my opinion it has such a deep vibe and feeling that gets stronger and stronger until the end. So it builds itself up and is in my mind perfect as an opener. But I heard people saying “Yeah, why didn’t you chose a hit like “Wise Girls” or “Oh Dare You” as first song?”, I almost clicked away in “Care For Yourself” because it’s so boring. I think these people don’t really get the concept of an album. It’s something that evolves, that has its fasts and slows, it’s not one pop hit after the other. Even if that’s what a lot of people seem to wish for nowadays as they don’t have so much time to truly listen anymore.
And the lead song is what sets the mood to any album, the selection suits the music, I agree. While the rest of the album goes through different mood-swings, it is evident that “Wise Girls” stands out well, but of course Wise Girls is your dig at modern clubbing, is that right?
Lie Craze: To be quite honest I didn’t put that much effort into “Wise Girls”. When I recorded that song, almost everything else on the album was already finished. But I had that idea about a fun club song in my mind for a while, and I figured the music to “Wise Girls” was perfect for that cause. So I wrote it a bit more in the style of my old album, back then there were songs like “Stereohyped” , “Favorite Girl” , and “Sex And Silence” that have all been about similar topics, being a girl in her late teen – young twenty-years and the problems arising at that time, for example when going to clubs 😉 The other songs on my new album might be a bit more mature, as I got older myself, but this one song just should be about fun and girl’s stuff, and it might have worked because “Wise Girls” is one of the most liked songs on the album as I recognized so far.
As it would be, people like poppy tunes. Aside from that the rest of the album has it’s hidden gems.
Do you personally feel this album hasn’t received the attention it deserves?
Lie Craze: Wow that’s a rhetorical question 😀 but sure, of course it could have gotten more attention because it’s brilliant. Sorry to say it so outright, but there’s not only my work on it, but also the work of e.g. bumbovsky, Valuem, Almark…
All of them are great, underrated artists. And I could list a thousand more. Just look at the other artists on WEATNU. A lot should gain more attention, but little do. It’s not a guarantee of success if you do something that is good. You have to do promotion (which I suck at), you have to know the right people and be nice to them (which I’m not always), you have to constantly show your work around (which I get bored at after a little time). And not even that is a guarantee that people will listen to something. As my old boss at a music magazine I once worked for stated: “There’s too much music on planet earth” , Nevertheless, I’m still happy about every genuine fan and person who takes the time to listen to the album from beginning until the end. I cherish that so much, I can find no words!
The work is clearly brilliant, just as the album before it.
Lie Craze: Thank you!
“We won’t ever be saved here” is both moody and poppy, and it’s different. What was in your mind as you wrote these songs?
Lie Craze: Whoa, that’s a hard question. I sure have something in my mind when I write a song, but it’s something different each time. This is not a concept album, so every song stands for itself, although I think (and hope) they do work together well. But every song has a certain topic. When I write a song it helps me to set myself in a certain situation mentally and think about that. So as I said, “Wise Girls” is about being bothered when going partying and the opener is more about the topic of the album title: No one else will save you so better care for yourself. “Home Without Her” is about a troubled girl, “The Same” is about a broken friendship. “Famous” is about people who don’t talk to you anymore, and think they’re the greatest because they got 20.000 views on Youtube and “Aeroplane” is about some ex-lover… You see, topics are very different 😀
Exactly and since you’ve just summed up the album, we have a better idea of this work of yours. Let’s get to your song structure, how do you usually beginwriting a song?
Lie Craze: Well that depends. For a lot of songs on this album I used samples that bumbovsky made, put them in order and added stuff, as the vocals, to it. When I write a song entirely on my own I often start with the vocals and lyrics, or at least an idea what they’re about and the music follows more or less naturally then.
Yet this album feels like your last, so there isn’t anything missing.
Lie Craze: Good to know!
Are you currently playing in Berlin?
Lie Craze: No I’m not playing…I mean I play in a string orchestra and sometimes jam with some friends…but I really don’t like playing alone. I have no problem with being on a stage, have been there often enough, that’s not the point. I just feel like I need a band to be comfortable when it’s about music. I’m not a stage hog, that’s just not my character. And I feel stupid letting a computer play while I sing or play something to it. I’m also not good in focusing on many things at once, so playing with loop-stuff would also not be the right thing for me Maybe sometime I find a band or people who want to play my stuff, that would be cool.
But solo is the new norm 😉
Lie Craze: Yeah, I don’t care about the norm, never did and never will do 😉
You’ve written guitar music over the years as well. As this album wasn’t guitar-centered, the one before it was. Some of those songs still move me even after hearing them a year ago.
Lie Craze: Oh thank you! My first album was just pure and honest. The lyrics were straight from what went through my head at this time, for example “Get Your Facts Straight” describes what I thought just after leaving that silly, little hometown of mine where everybody claimed to know me and talked shit about me without ever talking to me in person. Today I can smile about this, but back then, these things meant the world to me and that’ what got to paper and notes. I used the guitar because it’s the easiest to play and sing to simultaneously. Still love the guitar, it’s one of the best instruments for song-writing.
The “Never Played With The Cool Kids” album is certainly fun to listen to, lots of different emotional things going on. Like being inside the mind of a early 20 something girl.
Lie Craze: Yeah, I wrote the songs when I was age 17 – 20 so that’s basically what they’re about. A lot about falling in and out of love because I did that a lot at this age 😀
“Stereohyped” is probably my fav from the album, it seems to call to me, perhaps it’s vibe.
Lie Craze: Thank you, I like that too! For the beginning I sampled a speech of a neuro scientist who got a stroke. (Well, she hasn’t while she’s talking, but she’s talking about having it 😉
You worked with Fwonk Records (net-label) to make the video to “GAS/GAD”.
Lie Craze: Yeah, Fwonk helped me with the video for “GAS/GAD” , the story was mostly Katarrhakte’s idea. She also made a remix of the song and video, and I really like that. It’s so nicely weird! You should watch that on Youtube.
The industrial version. And that video was filmed in a part in Berlin?
Lie Craze: Yes, I worked on that video together with Amely Rose who is an awesome artist and super creative. Very pretty, too 🙂 We shot in a park in Berlin and in the apartment of very good friends of mine. Their cat is also in the video, it’s my second favorite cat. Not to forget the other pretty ladies in the clip! And my two awesome cameramen of course. Was a fabulous crew.
The video has been seen by a few, but we hope others will find it though this interview.
Lie Craze: Well, it’s more than 1000 views if you add Vimeo and Youtube together. I mostly advertise only the Vimeo link, so all views on Youtube are found by chance. And for that it’s okay. Well not as much views as “Oh Dare You” , who has 3500 only on Vimeo, but what are numbers anyway.
And your past videos from “Never Played With The Cool Kids”, those are up on Youtube?
Lie Craze: On that album I didn’t do many videos. I did a stop motion video for “Gets Your Goats Straight” (the remix of “Get Your Facts Straight”) for a university class, but it was more fun than to be taken seriously. And some other people uploaded other songs of mine, which is nice.
Are you working on any projects at this time?
Lie Craze: Yeah I’m working on a new song and video. After people complained I didn’t do everything on my own on this album as I used to, I decided to go back to doing an all-me song. Won’t be a whole album, but it’s a start. Apart from this I’m writing my master thesis and go to work so I’m pretty packed 🙂
Oh, long work ahead of you. An EP of sorts?
Lie Craze: Well nothing fixed so far… I have enough ideas in my head, but if they are all going to be songs, who knows! I also have some old songs lying around I would like to finish, maybe I will make an EP from that. Will see!
Where do you see We are the New Underground taking your music?
Lie Craze: I hope to new lands and people! As I already said in the radio interview, I think WEATNU is a wonderful idea and association, I hope it will gain all the attention it should. And my music will too, some time 🙂