Interview: Florian Lunaire

Posted on Sep 21st, 2011 in Features and Interviews, Florian Lunaire / By Alex Yau
Interview: Florian Lunaire Those who are familiar with Florian Lunaire, will know about his work with the NME hyped Disappearers. He released an EP recently titled Spring/Summer which is centred on the idea of said seasons. We caught up with Florian for a few words.

Hello Florian. How are you?

I'm very well thank you. Did you know there's only one way to answer “How do you do?” And it's with “How do you do.”

Let’s start with an obvious question. Why did you choose to theme your last solo releases around the seasons?

I needed to create a format that fitted my writing style. I like to write songs regularly and more importantly, I need to let go of them as soon as they're done. Doing so every season seemed like the logical thing to do.

Do you think there’s only so much that can be done with the seasonal cycle? Are you opting for different themes for future music soon?

My songs are seasonly grouped, but they are not directly inspired by the seasons. I just write about what is relevant to me at the time. So hopefully by the end of my life the whole thing will also read like some kind of diary.

You’re listed as a fictional character on Facebook and I felt there’s quite a whimsical/magical feel to the EP. Did you intentionally set out to create such a feeling?

Oh yeah, I'm all about magic realism.

Was there ever a conflicting thought as to write this music for Disappearers or solo?

When I start writing the songs I don't always know where they're going to end up. I might take them to the band and work them as a group or greedily guard them for myself. It's mostly to do with the lyrics. I can experiment a bit more with Disappearers as the themes deal with the spiritual, esoteric and are very general. With the solo work it needs to be very personal.

Lyrically ‘Forever Young’ is quite a nostalgic piece and Peter and Gillian also provide backing on Spring/Summer. How do you adapt to change or do you feel at your most comfortable with such familiar surroundings?

Working with the guys from Disappearers is mostly out of necessity. They're great musicians and it would be silly not to use them. But I just did some recording in Stockholm with some friends, Ylva and a double bass player called Patric who plays in loads of great Swedish bands. It was very refreshing to work with new people. Ironically the solo project lends itself a lot more to collaboration, which is great.

You also reference Black Flag too. Reckon you’ll ever go punk?

Who knows? If it feels right at the time of writing, then definitely.

There’s also quite a vagabond feel to your music too, not only from a stylistic sense but also from knowledge of your travels. Could your music only have come out of such experiences?
Absolutely. The reason is that I tried to do the classic romantic thing of looking for inspiration in the dark recess of my soul before and the work I produced was just awful. I would get trashed, lose my mind and come up with this rubbish adolescent babble about pain and the spirit and that sort of crap. But through traveling I realised that the inspiration was mostly outside of me, not inside.

You also said that the record came out of a “frustration of not writing a coherent album.” How were you frustrated? Was it writer’s block in a sense?

Yeah I guess. You know how too much choice leads to paralysis? Well I couldn't wrap my head around the idea of twelve songs that worked together. I couldn't think of the tracklist and was trying to write songs to fit them in an album. It didn't work. But the great thing about the chaos of the music industry in the digital age is that I didn't need to conform to this format. There's a lot of freedom to be found in there. So I just went to the label with the idea and they were like: "yep, let's do it."

Your mood changes quite a lot too. Having such a changing character, do you tend to get ideas down quickly with the fear that they may diminish with time?

Yup. When a song first appears I get super excited and can't stop thinking about it. It keeps me awake at night. It's like a riddle that needs to be solved and if I manage to solve it within a few months, it works. But if I have to think about it for too long, I lose patience with it and become disinterested.

Can we expect anything for a winter release?

Car advert music and number one hit single. I need some moneeeey!

Quite suitably, Amsterdam is placed at the end of spring as it is about new beginnings. Did the song ordering of the other tracks play a big part for you?

Within each season yes. There was talk with the label of changing the tracklist, but I think that each season works better as a unit. It's going to make so much more sense at the end of the year, you'll see!