Interview by: Ashton Carr
LA-based Lostboycrow is best known for his charismatic yet soulful indietronica music. While touring in support of his new EPs, he chatted with us before the Boston show about his writing process, Spin the Globe tour, and on the importance of what the Lostboycrow project means to him.
What The Kids Want: What made you decide to release your first album split up into EPs?
Lostboycrow: It was kind of just the sign of the times combined with wanting to try new things- to find new ways to tell a story. We live in a world where a lot of people are trying to push a single. It’s a streaming world and it’s kind of this vicious circle where people are only listening to singles and that’s then producing less artists and more songs. I don’t want to deny my surroundings and my outlet- Spotify is a huge part of what I do- so I wanted to keep the model of releasing singles, but I wanted to tell my story and give people something to really latch on to. And I think that is vastly important and a lost art. People still really care about albums and will always love albums and I wanted to make an album so I found a way to release it in a way that made sense with what we have been doing. And now we’re recording more albums.
WTKW: Do you feel there was a progression either in sound or in process between the three EPs? If so, in what ways?
LBC: Definitely. Some of the songs were written with some overlap. Some of the second and third EPs were written at the same time but I knew even while I was writing when something was definitely meant for the third EP because I wanted the second one to be where lyrically all of the songs fit under the umbrella of nostalgia and romanticizing the past and people of our past. I wanted the sound to be a little more experimental and leave you feeling a bit stranded and thinking ‘What exactly is Lostboycrow now?’. That was the story, so I kind of wanted the music to match and the third is a progression of that.
WTKW: Some of your songs contain the same line or lines that seemingly overlap. Do you consciously do this to link your songs together? Do you feel it’s important to build bridges between your songs lyrically/sonically/visually?
LBC: Yes to all those things! It’s not like I tried to necessarily put the line “Where it all goes” in “Spin The Globe” or anything but I think that the songs and the lyrics show themselves to me the way they want to be a certain way and it just calls for it. Maybe where people might think that’s weird or dismissive I embrace it and I think it’s such a cool thing. I don’t hear a lot of people do it and I don’t know why but a big part of my story is connecting the songs with those phrases and those themes that are essentially who I am and what I’ve been through. It’s something that I’ll always do and I love doing especially in this world of songs and playlists and no artists. I just want to create worlds for people to live in and I think when you connect everything lyrically, and not just visually or sonically, it reinforces everything that you’re doing. It feels to me that way and it makes me feel like everything I’m doing is connected and a part of me and I really like it.
WTKW: Would you ever consider making a fluid EP/album?
LBC: Absolutely! I would love to do that.
WTKW: One of the focuses of your songwriting is storytelling, do you feel as though the use of other languages (such as in “C’est La Vie” and “Cindy At The Window”) more effectively portrays the story you’re trying to communicate?
LBC: Yeah! Sometimes it’s for other people and sometimes it’s just for me. “Cindy At The Window” was about a very specific person and a very specific time in a very specific place, so I wanted to use the language from that person, that time, and that place because I think that’s a beautiful sort of time stamp. It’s not something that a lot of people do, and maybe rightfully so you never want to butcher someone else’s language, but I think part of music and art is understanding people and connecting with people so even if it’s just me learning one phrase I think it’s a cool way to connect. I hope to one day be fluent in many languages; in my life I think that’s important.
WTKW: In “Church With No Ceiling” you tackle the topic of struggling with your faith, and in the past you have covered and spoken out about other social/political topics through action and music alike. How important is it to you to be able to use your platform to bring light to these things and possibly help some of your fans who are dealing with these as well?
LBC: It’s the whole point to me. It’s the whole reason that you get back on the road when you know it’s going to be tough. I want to make this music in such a way that you can bring it to people and you can create these worlds and environments for people to love and connect with each other for reasons they don’t even understand. That’s why art- music specifically- is so powerful. We’re all a part of this thing and we don’t really know why and we don’t have to have any flags or affiliations or these things that I find so trivial, dividing, and sometimes hateful. It’s just about this common thing that we all love. It’s not that we’re all here for Lostboycrow, it’s that we’re all here celebrating our own stories and I just happen to be the one singing. We get to do this all under the banner of music which is free from what you think God is, what you think another person should be doing with their body, or whatever. Music is pure and unadulterated at it’s purest form when it’s sincere because it transcends those things.
WTKW: Almost every song of yours that you’ve released so far has its own cover art. In the past you used a lot of warmer/brighter tones, but with the release of your third EP you stepped towards cooler/muted tones. Is that an intended color story being built throughout your career so far? If so, what is it meant to symbolize?
LBC: I think it was in tandem with the music. When I first started releasing music I liked using a lot of blues and I would use blue over the eyes to kind of represent the filter of how I see things. When I started releasing the first EPs of Traveler it was intentional to have the pink and the more vibrant schemes and pastels to kind of match that story. As it has progressed, the colors have definitely played as much of a part of the story as anything and it will continue that in the next albums.
WTKW: You have just embarked on the second part of your Spin The Globe tour in support of your latest release. What is the most important part of touring for you?
LBC: That’s tough! The tour in and of itself is so important to me because once you get out on the road and interact with people, you take it with you into the studio and into the living room when you’re writing songs. You’re still writing from the place you were writing from before but with that you really think about what you want to sing when you’re right under the sub with your hands up in the air. What am I going to want to sing every night and not get sick of? I think that helps me be more sincere about playing in front of people. But also, just getting to myself and the people I travel with. It’s like a family road trip.
WTKW: What is one thing that you want to accomplish before the end of 2018, musically or otherwise?
LBC: So many things. I want to learn to French braid my own hair, I think I want to get hand tattoos, and put out another album.
WTKW: What would you like to be the main takeaway for fans/new listeners from the Lostboycrow project?
LBC: That there are no set boundaries and rules to what your passions are. And I hope in some small way I can reflect that or empower people with that. I’m very grateful to be able to show up and play music to anybody anywhere and be able to write music. Whether your medium is music or watercolor or anything it comes from a very sacred place that society will never be able to wrap it’s head around. It’s nice to make money off these things and it helps us to keep doing them but that doesn’t validate you. It doesn’t mean that if you are making money you’re an artist, and it doesn’t mean that if you’re not being paid that you’re not validated as an artist or a poet or a songwriter. I think it’s important to explore your passions no matter what because they’re there for a reason. It may be easy for me to say that, but money won’t validate you, that’s societal, and art is a lot bigger than that.