Photography: Kohl Murdock
For part one of our Lollapalooza portrait series, we chatted with some of our favorite acts from the fest—JackLNDN, Spookyland, Gabriel Garzon-Montano and VÉRITÉ—to learn a little bit more about their childhood and the music that influenced them when they were young.
JackLNDN: British producer, known for funky vocals and smooth production.
How does your audience differ when you’re performing abroad versus in the states?
“I love how people are in the states. I feel like they are the most open in terms of what you can play to them. Sometimes crowds can be judgmental, especially in the UK you get a few more house music snobs than you do in the states. It’s refreshing to not have to think too heavily on that level about what you’re going to play, and just play really nice music that you really want people to groove to and dance to.”
Growing up you were influenced by many different genres: Classical, jazz and disco. Which bands specifically influenced you?
“The influences came from all different places. I sang in choirs and did a lot of classical training when I was younger. That whole world had a big impact on me in terms of how I approach music, but in terms of what I was feeling in my teen years I guess I was into things like the Kooks, Pendulum, Justice, and Daft Punk.”
Where is your sound headed? Are you planning on taking any big risks in the future?
“We’re working on a live show right now. Not just DJ sets, but live sets with Ableton, singing, keys, and drums. I’m piecing it together right now. I want to get it right. You only get one chance at a first impressions, especially when transitioning from a DJ set to a live set.”
Can you tell us more about your creative process?
“Almost exclusively up until now I was jamming at the piano and writing chord sections and doing it that way, writing beats around that. Recently, I’ve been singing chords and building around that. I’m working on this live show and have a bunch of music I’m planning to sing on and release. There’s going to be a lot of interesting vocal stuff coming out.”
Spookyland: Rising Australian combo, consistently praised for their confidently vulnerable sound.
You’ve been labeled as many different genres. Where do you think Spookyland falls on the spectrum?
Marcus Gordon: “I think we have a traditional rock and roll sound mixed with a bit of blues, Americana, and a bit of 80’s new wave in there. A mix of the older stuff.”
What kind of music influenced you growing up?
Liam Gordon: “Our mom was a bit of a rocker growing up so she got us into Bob Dylan, David Bowie, The Beetles.”
MG: “I was listening to black metal at the time, really horrible stuff. Then I listened to Bowie and kind of snapped out of it. Then I got into all that great 60s and 70s music from America.”
Do you enjoy touring so far? What’s been the strangest moment so far?
MG: “Touring makes us really silly and we’re already a very strange bunch. We did an album in Omaha a few months ago and our bass player came in a full geisha get up with a sage stick and was sincerely trying to get the demons out of the room. We’ve got it on footage.”
Gabriel Garzon-Montano: Brooklyn artist, who’s been sampled by Drake on “Jungle.”
Your mom was a classically trained singer; what influences did you draw from her?
“My mother must have sang in tons of rehearsals and concerts while she was pregnant with me. As the embryo was developing, I was feeling those vibrations. As a kid, there’s recordings of her composing and then me and my sister butt in and try to sing with her. She was very into classical music and a lot of weird shit, some avant-garde stuff.”
Outside of those influences, what kind of music did you grow up listening to?
“My parents had a distinctly un-American household, so I found soul music and hip-hop through friends and just from being an American. Also discovering Prince when I was 15 changed my life. ‘Ready to Die’ by Biggie was one of the first records from start-to-finish that I knew all the words to every single song. Early on Vaudeville Villain and Venomous Villan, and then Tribe Called Quest.”
How did you feel when Drake first approached you to collaborate on “Jungle”?
“I wrote ‘6 8’ in like 2011, and I recorded it and I’ve had it since 2012. My friend Zoe showed it to Aubrey, and then sent me a screenshot of him being like, ‘this song is haunting my dreams, we need to work on this song with Gabe.’ It was super surreal. It was right around the time when [Drake’s] ‘Six God’ and ‘How Bout Now’ came out. I had recently just started respecting him more and then boom. When something so far away that is lingering on your mind then becomes so close to home, it’s super strange.”
How do you feel about playing festivals versus more intimate club venues?
“I think there’s something spacially epic about seeing the sky. When we did Bonaroo, the sun was setting for the last couple songs. Everything was pink; that was amazing. In that respect, nature has a powerful effect.”
VÉRITÉ: Buzzing talent, fittingly nicknamed “NYC Pop Royalty.”
Can you tell us the meaning behind the name?
“I took it from cinéma vérité, which is a documentary film style that captures candid reality. I needed a new name and the sentiment fit, so I rolled with it.”
You mentioned you grew up performing at talent shows with your dad when you were a kid, but when did you first consider pursuing music professionally?
“I was in a punk cover band in school. We weren’t very good nor was it very cool, but that was when I first realized this was what I wanted to do with my life.”
What was the name of your band?
“There were so many bad names. At one point we were named ‘Shattered Window,’ and then ‘No Smoking.’ I was not good at naming shit, and I was very angsty.”
Outside of your cover band, what kind of music influenced you growing up?
“Growing up, I was definitely a child of alternative rock radio, so anything that was a single from the time I was 10 to 15 was what I gravitated toward. I was a huge fan of The Cranberries, The Breeders, Garbage, all those female fronted kiss ass bands.”
Is there one track in particular that’s the most sentimental for you, or that you love performing?
“I think ‘Sentiment’ because it starts off so slow; it’s so easy to get into that vibe. Some of the other songs that are hyped, even lyrically I kind of detach myself because the energy on stage is so strong and I want to keep it light. But with ‘Sentiment,’ it’s like, ‘Okay I’ll go there and we’ll get dark for a second.'”