Youth & Progress Pt. 2
Presented By Jiberish

As we wind down our month-long feature with Little People, we’re anxious to bring you an in-depth look at not only the moniker, but the man behind the rich, textural, electronic music that so many have come to know and love.

We know you’re probably at work right now, but we feel like you deserve a 10-minute break to get caught up on what’s around the corner for Mr. Laurent Clerc.

TMN: Hey Laurent. Thank you so much for taking a few minutes to answer some questions for us. We’re really excited to have you as our Resident Artist for June!

LP: Well I’m very excited too. Thanks for having me. I’ve had the pleasure to meet you guys in person several times whenever I’ve played in Colorado. It’s always great connecting with such genuine and nice people like yourselves.

TMN: Alright, it’s been nearly two years since we last spoke, back at the Larimer Lounge in Denver, Colorado. Back then, you were making the voyage to and from the UK to the states quite often. You’ve since moved, correct?

LP: That is indeed correct. I moved to Portland, OR in August last year – with my wife and my 4-year-old twins. The Pacific Northwest is a very special place – it’s been amazing so far.

TMN: What was it that finally made you pull the trigger on moving out here? Was it the touring schedule? The need to have your family closer? Combination of both?

LP: Me coming over to the US to play shows – and staying here for extended periods – has not been easy on all of us. So moving to the US was a means of all of us being closer together whilst I play shows in the US. It also meant that it made it possible for me to play one-off shows and festivals throughout the year – so it has given me more opportunities to play live. If you are coming over from the UK, the onus is on cramming as many dates in a short period of time. I wanted to get away from that for a little bit.

TMN: You mentioned back then that American crowds and listeners seemed to be drawn to you more than those across the pond. Is that still the same, or has it balanced out yet?

LP: It’s still pretty much the same I’d say – and that was kind of why I decided to move out to the US for a while. Whilst my sound may have something to do with my appeal, it was Pandora (the online radio station) that helped my profile grow here in the US. I’m hoping my next record will indeed redress the balance and gain more traction over in Europe. It’s all hush-hush, but I’m in talks with a European label with regards to my next record… so hopefully that’ll help!

TMN: It seems like you’ve become quite the touring animal. We know you’ve been through the Denver/Boulder area a few times in the past year. Do you find yourself producing on the road, or do you reserve a bank of time when you get back home?

LP: When you are on the road for an extended period of time, it’s important to find ways of working away from your home studio. I have a few nice pieces of gear at home – but when you are touring you have to do without them. I’ve been a huge fan of IOS devices as tools to write music and work on sound design. The great thing about tablets, is that they are very tactile – and are far closer to working with hardware than using a laptop and a mouse. So ipads are a great tool when writing on the road for sure.

I did a big tour across the US with Odesza earlier in the year. Luckily it was on a tour bus – which means that all the traveling between shows is done whilst you sleep. So once we’d arrive at your next destination, I’d hunt down the nearest coffee shop and get 5-6 hours of writing music before soundcheck. I feel lot of my new songs were started amidst American’s getting their caffeine hit.

TMN: We’re sure that on the road, you’ve experienced some bizarre encounters with fans. If you do feel like sharing, we’d love to hear the strangest encounter.

LP: I’ve trying to think of the weirdest thing… can’t really put my finger on it. The drunker fans tend to provide good entertainment obviously. A common theme is that once people realise I speak with an English accent, they like to try out their best English accent on me. Which I guess would be funny a couple of times… but that happens a lot! Another highlight is that I’ve also had several different fans suggest I should have more lasers in my show. I guess these are the expectations EDM has brought!

TMN: So, one thing that we’ve come to notice is your relationship with Emancipator. From touring to remixing, you guys seem to have a good relationship. Can you talk to that? How’d it start?

LP: It all started because we were picked up by the same booking agency. But it made complete sense for us to tour together – given the obvious similarities in our sounds. I’ve now done 2 fairly large tours with him and we have probably spent about 2 months on the road in total. He’s the nicest guy to be around – super easy going – and very talented. So yeah the idea of remixing each other’s work was kind of a no-brainer and happened naturally.

TMN: Csay Csay just came out four months ago. How has the reception been so far?

LP: It’s been pretty positive. For some reason it’s done really well on Spotify and gets loads of plays on there. I just wanted to put some music out that was a little different to what I had done previously without being tied down by the expectations of little people fans.

TMN: How do you personally view it in comparison to your other bodies of work, We Are But Hunks of Wood and Mickey Mouse Operation?

LP: For me it was a bit of an experiment and wanted to write a few more uptempo tunes so that I could fit those into my live sets. It has little in common with Mickey Mouse Operation and We Are But Hunks of Wood. But it’s definitely still me. Some of these elements will likely bleed into my next album.

TMN: What can fans expect for the rest of 2015? Another EP in the works? More shows? Are you just going to sit at home and get caught up on True Detective?

LP: Well… Fans can expect a new album! It will be finished in September 2015 (that’s my personal deadline anyway). I suspect it may be released in early 2016 though – given how release cycles work.

Being in the US has enabled me to work on music exclusively – and writing as much new music as possible. My previous albums have been spread out over the course of several years – and i’m the first to admit i have been fairly slow at writing music (as i wasn’t doing it full time back then). All the tracks on this next album were started in 2015 – which should bring a sense of cohesion to the project. I’m pretty excited about the music i have so far – i still have plenty to do, particularly with string and horn arrangements to be recorded in the coming weeks. I’m also waiting on vocalists for a few collabs… so it’s bubbling away nicely.

I’m sure people will be pleased to know that it has some elements of Mickey Mouse Operation about it, but the production will have a far more modern slant – taking elements from the UK bass music and hip hop. I’ve been drawing lots of inspiration from non-contemporary artists such as Vangelis, Steve Reich, and David Axelrod to name but a few, whilst keeping an ear out for current trends. I’m looking forward to seeing how all these influences get distilled into my sound.

In terms of live shows, i have a few festivals left this year and then i’ll be on a brief hiatus once my album is done. I will basically be going back to the drawing board and build a new live set from the ground up – ready for when the new album rolls out.

And yeah, i’ve still managed to watch True Detective. There are things you just have to make time for.

TMN: Let’s get into a few random questions now. What was your very first job?

LP: My very first job was great… i worked at the Montreux Jazz Festival as a garbageman. So it may sound like a bit of a shit job, but the job gave me unlimited access to every gig over the 2 week period of this amazing festival. I’d start work at 8 pm, finish at 5am (rather inebriated). Amazing.

TMN: Who’s one current hip hop lyricist that you’d like to work with? And, if we connect the dots, can we have the premiere? Ha!

LP: My taste in hip hop is very much stuck in the 90’s. So Nas would be awesome obviously. The chance of that happening are slim to none though… But you never know! And yes, you are guaranteed the premiere!

TMN: What are three things we can find in your fridge, at any given time?

LP: I’m Swiss, so… cheese and chocolate… And i guess my kids need milk too…

TMN: Last, but certainly not least, if your music were an animal, what would it be?

LP: A Koala. I fucking love Koalas.

TMN: Thanks so much for your time, Laurent!

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