Interview with Jasmine Marceau.
“I think it’s fun to try and not meet expectations with our music.” Blake, Lake Malice
It’s Thursday, the first full day at 2000Trees, and the sun is shining. We sat down with Alice Guala and Blake Cornwall of Lake Malice after they hit the The Cave stage.
You played earlier today, you got a lot of moshers! How did it feel for you on stage?
Alice: Yeah it was a good wake up gig, wasn’t it? Early on a Thursday, beginning of the festival, and it was really good to see people up for it.
Blake: Yeah, it’s always so stressful playing festivals because there are so many things that can go wrong, and there’s so many elements to it that don’t comfort you compared to a normal gig. You know, just checking how it all sounds and things like that, so you have to accept that some things are out of your control, but those little bits get in your head, it was fun though! It’s always so fun, especially when the stage is that big and you get to run around like an absolute idiot for half an hour.
Alice: He’s a runner!
Blake: I wear an IEM, and it fell off. I was thinking ‘I can’t really run too much, I can’t really hear anything’, bit of a pain.
Alice: Didn’t you get moulds?
Blake: It was the pack! I do talk about my custom moulds a lot. The moulds are always fine! Just everything else around it.
As long as the moulds are still in tact! So, am I right that Lake Malice started during lockdowns?
Blake: Yeah it was about then!
Did you start over zoom?
Alice: We got in touch for the first time over Facebook Messenger, it was a Facebook group. I think you [turns to Blake] saw an ad or something like that.
Blake: You put out a Spiritbox cover.
Alice: Oh, yeah I did!
Blake: You put out you were looking to start a new project in vain of ‘this’ band, and a bunch of other bands that I liked.
Alice: I think it was quite strange, but at the time it felt normal to meet people in that way. I think I made more friends during lockdown! Because everybody felt so isolated and there was a sense of community. When you have such a big problem, that affects everyone globally, I felt like it brought people closer in a way – that was so deep!
It’s good that we weren’t far from each other, he was in Hastings and I was in Brighton, so when we met each other it wasn’t far to travel.
Did you start making music before meeting each other in person?
Blake: Yeah, I think we wrote Creepers and Blossom, and then when we met we were like ‘It’s good that we get along!’
Alice: It was interesting to work that way, but it works!
Blake: I think it just shows you don’t need to start a band in the traditional way. I see so many people that just start bands by finding someone to jam with, and then they’re only around people from their hometown, and if you really want to find someone you’re compatible with, your music tastes, your ambitions, that’s probably not the best way to go about it these days. You need to extend out!
Alice: It’s the same with remote working now. I see so many companies asking people to work in the office, and I think if you really want to get somebody who is the right talent, open it up to the whole world! It doesn’t need to be in person all the time, you can work with anybody. We’ve got the technology to do it, why not take advantage.
Blake: Yeah, obviously we weren’t too far apart, so we were still able to meet up and record when we needed to. I think technology is really allowing people to collaborate in cool ways, so that’s great.
Couldn’t agree more. You mix a lot of genres within your music, a bit of drum and bass, some heavy riffs, do you just experiment and go with what sounds great to you?
Blake: I personally find that if I write something, I immediately feel ‘that’s a metal riff’, and ‘what is this going to do that’s not been done before’, I feel like I need to find something that gives it a bit more of a unique personality.
Alice: We’d play a few tracks on Spotify that we’ve been jamming and listening to for a while, and we’d say ‘I like the sound of this, can we find it somewhere?’, or a similar sound if we can and put it in an entirely different context that doesn’t make any sense. If we do that, it gets quite interesting and there are so many combinations.
Blake: I think it’s fun to try and not meet expectations with our music. I think it’s a balance though, if you go out there and try to sound that completely defies expectations all the way through, it’s not going to be very accessible to everyone. But if you ground it in a sound that people are familiar with, you can still take it places that are fun and different, and I think that’s the path that we try and find. Like with Stop The Party, we got to a section where we thought ‘this could be heavy breakdown’, but we thought ‘what if it was just AO8’s’, yeah that’s much more interesting and more fun!
Alice: A breakdown – but also not!
Well it sounds great! You put out a music video for your latest single Bloodbath, what was the inspiration behind the concept?
Alice: It’s interesting you say that, because when we were planning the music videos, we did Stop The Party a couple of weeks before and that was our main video, so we put all our energy and planning into Stop The Party, and we thought it needed to be perfect, and then we thought ‘what do we do for Bloodbath?’, so the only thing we did for Bloodbath in terms of planning was finding a location, which didn’t work out. We wanted to do it in an abandoned place, a typical metal music video – abandoned places! But when we showed up, the abandoned place was not so abandoned.
Blake: I think it was the most expensive road to live in in London, so we did think this was never going to be abandoned! We can’t sneak into that.
Alice: But then our videographer, Shaun Hodson, said he knew a place that wasn’t too far away.
Blake: There was a group of people that turned up to film a grime or rap video, and we were just waiting to bring on the metal.
Alice: That was so funny. But the inspiration behind it, literally just a few weeks beforehand I was thinking about The Fifth Element, the movie, I like sci-fi a lot, that movie and the visuals behind it, and just the meaning behind it. You know, I can make some sort of correlation between being this creature that comes into the world and doesn’t understand how everything is so difficult and hard to deal with, and I saw a bit of that in the song. I got the costume off of Amazon, the wig I already had – I buy a lot of wigs!
Blake: I think we find to do videos you have to approach them from a very simple perspective of what can be dramatic and entertaining, but not so technical that it’s either not achievable within the time you have, or you need a load of actors, or a director, once you start doing that you just can’t afford it, or it’s just too much work to be able to pull it all together. We try and do things that are just practical with the budget we have. Luckily we work with Shaun, who can add so many cool effects and can spice it all up.
Alice: Like Pimp My Ride.
Next up is a tour with Enter Shikari! Do you have any tour must-haves?
Alice: Oh my God, my slippers. I call them flippers because I was convinced in English that’s what they were called, and since I got it wrong once, now I just call them flippers. They’re my favourite thing on tour because honestly your feet some kind of comfort when you’re on the road, so that’s my must-have.
Blake: An EU data package, that’s a really boring one but there’s not much else to do is there. I wear my noise-cancelling ear buds a lot on tour because a lot of the time you don’t get many places to just relax.
I love a bit of comfort – thanks for taking the time to talk to us!
Catch Lake Malice on tour in Europe with Enter Shikari, tickets available here.