13 Mar 2018

DGTL TALKS: DAMIAN LAZARUS & THE ANCIENT MOONS

Damian Lazarus’ magical live project The Ancient Moons was first unleashed in 2014 with Lover’s Eyes (Mohe Pi Ki Najariya) and followed in 2015 by the highly acclaimed album, A Message From The Other Side, co-produced with James Ford. Since then, Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons have travelled the world with their highly immersive live show, supported Roisin Murphy on tour and played at Glastonbury festival and Melt! amongst many others. 

The Fader labelled The Ancient Moons “a journey into techno’s dreamiest recesses” and the four-piece have been continually shrouded in mystery. Last year Lazarus and his collection of musicians retreated into the Italian countryside and started work on new and self-produced materialThe Ancient Moons brings together Ben Chetwood on electronics, and Rob Gentry on keyboards, and vocalist J Appiah.



DGTL: Who tours with you as part of Ancient Moons and what does each person play or contribute musically?

Damian: Rob Gentry plays keys, Ben Chetwood plays drums, Jesse Appiah is our vocalist and I work with modular synths and fx. Together we make a fantastic team.
 

DGTL: You posted on previous interviews that there is a new Ancient Moons album. How did this album get started, and what was the vision for it? 

Damian: I wanted to take a slightly more soulful approach on this album so there are some really beautiful lyrics and melodies but we’ve retained our signature “world” vibe on many tracks, the songs are quite joyous but also speak a lot about the the ideas of being lost and found. Its like a cosmic love story being told in alternative dimensions.
 

DGTL: You mentioned in previous interviews that you took inspiration for a new Ancient Moons album from Brian Eno and Jodorowsky. What about these artists motivated the new album? Were there other major themes or inspirations?

Damian: Both of these visionaries are always there in some way; Eno musically and Jodorowsky visually. For this record I tried to combine my love of 80’s soul music with the tripped out music i play in deserts and jungles and in the clubs. English soul bands like Loose Ends really helped shape my musical taste buds at a very young age and their songs, whilst super funky and electronic had this cool “love” vibe lyrically which somehow managed to not come across as cheesy. I tried to emulate this in the new album. Its a fine line but I think we got there. 
 

DGTL: You recorded the first Ancient Moons album partly in Mexico and had an amazing caliber of diverse collaborators like Moses Sumney and Hossam Ramzy. Who did you work with in the studio for the new album?

Damian: The album was recorded mainly at my studio in Tuscany that I purpose built for these sessions. There is a window in the control room that looks over the mountain opposite my house and its a great place for experimenting and for creativity. After touring the first album with the guys in the band I realized that I wanted to write this album just with them. We did use an orchestra on this record and I worked with one of the worlds leading Sitar players. There is also one track with an amazing Australian artist called Chela, who sings on the next single, Five Moons.

 
Damian Lazarus & the Ancient Moons will perform live on Sunday, 1 April. 

 

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