Graham gives Lola Colt guitarist, Matt Loft, the 10 out of 10 treatment.
I have to get this out of the way first, ‘Lola Colt’ is a spaghetti western from 1967, described as “a very average Western filled with cliches”. Are you aware of the film, and does it have anything to do with this name? I’m obsessed with westerns in general. When I came across the name Lola Colt in an archive of forgotten westerns there was no information about it on the internet and no possible way to get a copy. Since then a few things have surfaced, and it’s anything but an ‘average western’. It’s most certainly a bad western, but average? It stars an African-American female in the lead for a start, which saw it labelled in hindsight as an early blaxploitation film, and has some truly bizarre scenes. We related to the films mongrel nature and refusal to fit a stereotype. Also giving the band a female name felt right for us.
In a recent interview, you said that ‘Matt and Gun’ were the primary songwriters. Who comes up with the ideas first, generally? An important part of the way we write is that we usually do it entirely separately. Lyrics are created as more of a story/narrative, or like poetry, without song structure constraints. Musical ideas are initially instrumental. We share these ideas when we think they’re ready and this forms a pool of ideas that we can draw from, so we often don’t know who created what first, it isn’t really important. What’s important is the moment we put ideas together, because we find that they fit, which might mean they compliment each other, or that they’re in some way opposites, like they jar in an interesting way. From that moment on it’s about exploring that relationship between the ideas to create something more than we ever could have singularly.
Musically, your sound has a very “film soundtrack” feel to it. Intentional? Yes very much so. We’re interested in the music having its own emotion, its own message, not simply existing as backing to the theme in the lyrics. It’s about heightening the moment or creating juxtaposition.
The video for ‘Gold’ has a a wonderful “film” feel to it. I’m starting to see a pattern! How much of a role do films have in Lola Colt’s make up? I think great movie directors think about music when they’re developing early ideas for films, because it helps imagine the right emotion. We do the opposite and imagine the film when we’re creating the music. This is often far too fantastic for our music video budget so we have to scale it down to its essence. In the case of Gold, the movie was a kind of twisted Bond film, the kind Tarantino would have made if he was ever given the chance, so our inspiration became the early James Bond intros/credits where everything is surreal and the theme song takes the lead, but for our version we tried to make it way more intense, with a really confrontational, unnerving quality that better suited the song. I think the simplicity of it is quite frighteningly direct.
On the flip, What inspired you musically during the bands infancy? Anything that seemed to reflect the emotional state we were in at the time and the themes we wanted to explore. Jefferson Airplane’s ability to pull you through their higher consciousness, The Velvet Undergrounds unique way of reflecting the world around them, the rawness of Link Wray or Little Richard, the destructiveness of The Jesus & Mary Chain, the lyrical underworld of the Bad Seeds – the list is vast – all things we wanted to tap into and explore in our own way.
The new album ‘Twist Through the Fire’ comes out on July 1, how does it differ to 2014’s ‘Away From the Water’? It’s more of a progression. In many ways it was written in direct response to our first album, with the sole goal of pushing our own boundaries. There are constant themes and references to Away From The Water, which was in many ways a painful record to make, and we felt a lot of pressure – by recognising that and learning from it we were able to be set free on Twist Through The Fire and I think that comes across. We tried to expand all the corners of our world outwards and take people on a journey with us to strange new places that wouldn’t have been possible without the first album – they are strongly tied to one another. Water and Fire. Only Earth and Wind left now before we disappear.
So you hit the road next month, what can people expect from LC in a live setting? That’s when it comes to life! That’s when you twist through our fire!
A regular question I like to ask now. If you could tour with any 3 bands, alive or dead, who would it be? Fleetwood Mac, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Flower Travellin’ Band – oh what a merry shit-fight that would be!
Finally, describe Lola Colt in 1 word? Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Lola Colt’s new album, Twist Through The Fire can be preordered on their website. They will play The Moth Club, London July 6.