LARK is back after their hiatus with a new album on the way and plans to conquer the European market whilst rocking festivals countrywide. Perdeby caught up with Inge Beckmann (vocals), Paul Ressel (producer and guitar), Simon Ratcliffe (bass) and Sean Ou Tim (drums) to find out more about the band that brought us alternative electro.
You guys have been working on some new material, when should we be on the look-out for the new album?
Inge: February next year.
When can we expect to get our hands on the new single?
Inge: I’m not allowed to disclose any of that information, unfortunately.
Sean: If she does say it, she might have to break the recorder.
Can you tell us where it’s going to be released?
Inge: No, it’ll be released as part of a compilation that’s linked to a certain brand that I’m not allowed to say anything about.
Is Perdeby allowed to know the name of the new album?
Inge: Yes, can I please say it? I’ve been gagging to say this.
Sean: Hey, we’re dropping this for the first time.
Inge: Exclusive. Perdeby, jou steek!
Sean: Wait, wait, wait. That’s not the title.
Inge: No, the album title is Gong is Struck.
Would you say your sound has changed at all with the new material? And if so, in what way?
Paul: Gees, it’s changed a lot. I mean, just from a technical standpoint, I’ve been in theUKnow for three years basically learning from the best producers and mix engineers in the world. So in terms of my abilities as a producer, getting sound, that’s gone up a bit. It’s much richer and the sound is stronger I think. I think we learnt the subtle art of simplicity as well. [With] a lot of our earlier stuff everyone used to say it’s one song but it’s like five songs in one with jumping in different sections and different melodies and parts. I think we learnt to take an idea and really explore it. It’s LARK grown up.
Are there any plans for a new music video on the horizon?
Inge: Yes, yes. There is a plan for a new music video. Hopefully two, but ideally three.
Sean: And the most awesome is four.
Inge: But there’s definitely one coming.
How was it performing at Bestival to an international audience in September?
Inge: Awesome. Amazing festival. It’s big. It’s not as big asGlastonbury, it’s about half the size of that.
Paul: It was quite cool for us being at that point when we got there and no-one really knows who we are. There were a couple of ex-South African die-hards.
Inge: The Bergs, the Bergs came.
Paul: But it was great. Like, the people that wandered in but didn’t really know what to expect stayed. We even had the sound engineer come up to me afterward and said he called all his buddies to come and listen and we got some amazing feedback. I think it was a good start to getting into that scene there.
How was it working on the new material with Paul Ressel being in London?
Inge: It was interesting.
Paul: It was Skype. We wrote this album using Skype and email, basically. We just felt like we really needed to write a new album
Inge: It started with a letter actually.
Paul: Ja, it started with a letter.
Inge: Straight from your heart [laughs].
Sean: Dear Paul …
A traditional sent-by-mail letter?
Inge: Ja, we just basically decided we want to work together again and it sucked not to.
Paul: So there was no idea of, like, we’re going to sit down and finish an album. We just started writing stuff and before we knew it we had an album’s worth of material. And then [we] spent two, three weeks in August just recording in the studio here. It’s kind of slowly being put together.
Inge: It’s not entirely finished yet. There’s still some work. It still has to get mixed and mastered.
Simon: The single was mixed with Paul still in theUKand it’s not the same. I mean, it’s cool. The single is cool and we obviously traded notes a lot but when you’ve got everyone in a room it’s much easier to get a vibe going than: Oh, daylight savings, no, hang on I’m with a client.
Inge: I’ll put it to you this way. It started out with me and Paul, Paul with beats and me singing into my little microphone on my Mac Book Pro on Garage Band. Then bouncing out the vocals and then we created a Dropbox. Then I’d be like, here’s a new verse. He’ll take the new verse and then I’ll sing the chorus and that’s how we did it.
Paul: We basically got really nerdy on this album.
Inge: Very nerdy.
Sean: And it continually ate my bandwidth.
LARK took quite a break after Razbluito, can we expect to see a lot more of you guys with the new album coming out?
Inge: Well, where?
Simon: At your house?
If you really want to Perdeby’s just down the road …
Well the thing is that [Paul] does live in a different country so if we do play inSouth Africait’s usually around a tour. Flying down for one gig isn’t really worth it.
Paul: In February there’s going to be a big tour because it’s going to be the album launch and Ramfest so we’re going to be around a lot during February and March. Then we’re going to be doing shows inEuropein April and May. Possibly a festival inTaiwanin June. So there’s a lot of things on the cards and I think our focus is definitely on the European markets. I mean, we would never not launch an album inSouth Africa. This is always going to be our home here.
Inge: ThatTaiwanfestival is crazy. It actually attracts 500 000 people.
Sean: I’m going to run into the crowd, you guys will never see me again.
Inge: You know what, we got booked for that festival this year and then [Paul] was inLondonand I was inCape Townand we were just still busy writing the album.
Paul: It was just too soon.
Inge: We couldn’t do it and then they booked Van Coke Kartel in our place. I love that story.
Photo: Desré Barnard