On The RCRD: Jens Lekman
Today marks the release of one of my absolute favorite records of 2012: Jens Lekman's I Know What Love Isn't. It's a real album – a series of smooth, heartbreaking, optimistic, acutely-detailed songs that explore love, pain and the power of pop music in a way that builds and stays with you.
Always a pleasure, we got Lekman to dominate our On The RCRD questionnaire. Keep reading to find out about his comedic influences, why Yo La Tengo rules as running music, the fallacy of equating one's personal life with the world and much more.
Life changing record for you was…
I would say Usain Bolt's world record in 100 metres in Beijing 2008. What a record! No but in all seriousness I was starting to feel jaded about records and all that for a while and discovered running instead. But through running I re-discovered records! I made it my goal to run through a longer record for every run. So I started with short punk records. Then moved my way up to Yo La Tengo's And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out which is 77 minutes. That record in particular has such a nice summery feeling to it, it sounds like a run through some quiet sleepy suburb somewhere. I'm not sure if it changed my life but I definitely had many good runs to it.
What people, outside of music, have influenced you over the last year?
A lot of comedians. I love the way for example Stewart Lee tells stories, the way one story opens a portal to another. And how he's often very politically correct, which is brave since so much in comedy, especially in the US, often reaches for the politically incorrect which is really getting tiresome. I think a song like "Waiting For Kirsten" could have been inspired by Stewart Lee.
What did you learn about yourself and/or the world at large the last time you made a record?
I would say that I learned that there is no relation between your personal life and the events that go on in the world. That no matter how logical it seems that the stars should fall from the sky when you've had your heart broken, they seem to just keep hanging up there.
What gift would you most like to possess?
The gift of not giving a shit.
What quality do you admire most in a song?
Sincerity. But then again, what the hell is sincerity?
What's your take on the music business in 2012?
Did you ever see that horrible B-movie "Evolution" with David Duchovny from 2001? In which an alien lifeform lands on earth and fast forwards through the evolution, reaching caveman like creatures within a week or so. In the end when they nuke it, it turns into the simplest lifeform it can think of. A gigantic bloated tic. That's how I think of the major labels and the music industry. When it's under threat it comes together and forms a gigantic bloodsucking blob. All this stuff about the music industry suffering is not true, the major labels are doing better than ever, they just had to unite and get even more evil. Does that answer your question?
Best instrument ever invented was....
The human voice.