Not every artist has the ability to tread dark waters and engage their audience on both a vulnerable and honest level, all the while maintaining a high level of intensity and rock and roll goodness. For The Lost Poets, this is an area they obviously feel all too comfortable with. Their new album titled Insubordia PT II is a dark and grungy walk through intensity. If you like your music with a side of aggression, then The Lost Poets have what you need.
I really like the name The Lost Poets. What is the story behind the name?
Petter: Thank you Ryan. We needed a name that reflects who we are. Our inner beings and not just something that sounds cool. The Lost Poets is a name that tells a story. The story of us, and our journey through life.
David: As artists, we feel lost a lot of the time and maybe that is how it needs to be for us to keep the creativity flowing in the somewhat naïve way it does. It’s important for us to focus on just ourselves and not listen to anyone else. We need to remain true to what we do and to our vision. It may sound a bit vague and out there, but it’s all an ongoing story that we write every single day of our lives. We try to steer it in the right way but, sometimes, it flows in directions we cannot control. It doesn’t matter if it’s writing lyrics, prose or poetry. It can take on forms beyond our wildest imagination and therefore we both feel that we are poets of life. Lost Poets.
What is the story behind the band itself?
David: It’s one of those stories that end up with the stars aligning just the right way. Petter and I played in the same band a long time ago but after a year or so we all went our separate ways. Petter and I didn’t stay in touch since I moved to Los Angeles and London for four years and I ended up not making any music at all. Fast-forward ten years and I had come back to my roots and was concentrating on writing and recording a solo album. It was mostly acoustic but I really felt like singing heavy rock again. My guitarist at the time (very cool guy Marcus Jidell from Avatarium, oddly enough) had a friend that played in a rock band that was looking for a singer. As Marcus knew I was eager, he recommended me. I dropped by to check them out and behind the drums was Petter! I hadn’t seen him for ten years and I had no idea he was going to be there.
Anyway, we started rocking out and honestly I don’t think I made a great impression. The band split up the day after! Petter and I wanted to keep on playing together though, so we continued with him joining my solo project. Shortly after, the bassist and guitarist from the same band joined in and we became The Band Of Drones. We played together for roughly two years but, due to creative differences, we dispersed.
Petter and I were determined to realize what we knew we had inside. After hiring and firing a lot of different musicians, we came to the conclusion that, as we shared the same vision, we didn’t really need anyone else. It may sound hard but we could record all the instruments ourselves and we wanted to take it to next level. That was when we formed The Lost Poets.
Where do you gather your inspiration from?
David: I actually don’t listen to a lot of music since if I do, my mind starts wandering and then I need to start writing my own stuff. So usually I tend to avoid it. I have been blessed and at the same time cursed with over-inspiration.
Petter: I listen to a lot of different styles so, in that matter, I’m the exact opposite of David. I think that’s one of the reasons we work so good together. We attack the songs from totally different angles.
What does the song writing process look like for you?
David: I write most of the songs and send it off to Petter for input. Sometimes it’s vice versa. We always arrange and produce the songs together and that’s when we get our TLP-sound.
How long did this album take to make?
Petter: Too long! We started out with a song called Before I Go but after we’d spent a lot of precious time in the studio with it, we realized that it wasn’t really a TLP song, so we scrapped it. Come to think of it, the first song recorded for the Insubordia EP was scrapped too. Anyway, then we moved on to recording the rest and that took almost a year.
David: The songs were written during that same year so, for us at least, you can hear us evolving into a slightly different sound. It’s not the order of the songs on the record though.
A lot of albums have themes that run through them. Is there one that runs through this album?
David: Not really. When I write the lyrics I tend to shut everything out. I just focus on what’s in my head at that exact moment, not considering anything else. For me, lyrics are poetry, so I feel totally free in what I write. I have no boundaries so I’m not held back by anything like rhyming and everything being understandable. If it rhymes, fine. If it doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world. Although it usually flows better when it does. I believe that the listener should make up their own story when listening to the lyrics. It can be about whatever you want it to be.
How would you describe your sound to someone that has not heard your music before?
Petter: As with most rock musicians, it’s hard to pinpoint your own sound. It’s been said that we have an original sound since we don’t try to be or sound like anyone else. That being said, we do have bands that we like, of course, so that unintentionally seeps through sometimes. Bands like Soundgarden, Bowie, Zeppelin and Queens Of The Stone Age to name a few.
At this point in your musical career, what are some of your musical highlights?
David: A stepping-stone for us was when we released Insubordia 1 and that it seemed to be so appreciated by the press. We almost gave up back in Sweden, since there’s limited interest in rock music there. We didn’t have a clue if people thought that what we made was good or bad because no one seemed to get what we were doing. I guess we just kept on going because we knew within ourselves that we’d finally found our own sound.
Petter: I would say that our second gig ever at The Viper Room was an extreme highlight for us. People seemed to really dig and appreciate what we were trying to get across.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to make their own album?
Petter: Just do it! Don’t let anyone tell you differently. If you realize its crap later on you learn to live with it. You should never be ashamed of what you’ve done. It’s always going to feel like you could have done better. Start with recording one or a few songs and ask honest friends or family what they think of it. Be perceptive and listen to their views and opinions. I think that it’s important to take in what other people say and move on from there. It’s hard to be judged but you don’t have to take what others say as fact either. For instance, if somebody says “You can’t put five choruses on a row”, you should do it anyway. If it feels right inside you, just roll with it.
Musical collaborations are getting more and more popular. If you could work with anyone on a future project, who would you like to work with?
Petter: It’d be fun doing something together with Die Antwoord. Ravel would be pretty awesome too! But that’s a bit late now…
Lastly, and thank you for your time. Is there any news that you would like to share with your fans?
David: First off we’re focusing on our short film project, then we have a children’s book that’s being written as we speak. We’re also working on a number of film scores at the moment and, last but not least, we’re planning a tour for this summer. So, it’s all work and all play…
Lastly, a big thank you to all the people supporting us in our journey.