By: Shayla Lee
The saying “good things take time” definitely rings true to Ian Late’s album ‘Choices’. Taking two years to create, the production process for this nine-track album initially began in a secluded barn outside of Berlin and eventually transitioned to the city a year later with a variety of recording sessions to add vocals, synths, keys, piano, cello, and percussion.
“It was very productive and a magical time. We produced, mixed and mastered the album on our own so we kept the creative process in our hand until it was finished.”
The magical time that Ian describes definitely manifested itself into the album. From his innate sense of lyricism to the variety of sounds infused throughout the album, ‘Choices’ will take you on a beautiful journey and you will be left wanting more once it’s over (but instead you will hit the replay button and embark on the journey again).
We had the chance to chat with Ian about the production process of his album, his musical influences, and what fans can expect from his upcoming tour.
FEMME RIOT: Congratulations on your new album ‘Choices!’ How would you explain your album to fans who haven’t heard it yet?
Ian Late: Drifty brit rock sounds, melancholic singer-songwriter ballads á la Ryan Adams and 80s wave timbres – covered in strong, hopeful pop melodies delivering socio-critical lyrics as well as biographic episodes. My voice may remind you of Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
I am loving the variety of sounds in this album – from 80’s synths to indie-folk tracks reminiscent of Vance Joy, this album has it all while still remaining sonically cohesive. What inspired you to incorporate all of these sounds into your album?
My band and I are sound and audio gear lovers. We all met while studying audio production in Berlin many years ago. Since then, we talked a lot about music and have been listening to many albums on the road during touring. The variety comes from each of our taste in music that we incorporated in our album ‘Choices’.
Do you have a favorite song on the album or one that is most special to you?
That’s hard to say. I guess each song has already been my favourite since we started working on them. At the moment it is ‘One By One’ which was just released as my second single and has kind of a hit potential. Creating and shooting its music video was a lot of fun and it turned out to be a very good one due to its many cliché characters in colorful costumes who all meet in a lift.
If I had to choose, my favorite song on the album would have to be ‘Magic.’ The song really has an 80s feel to it and I can even hear a bit of Coldplay influence in it as well. Can you tell us more about this track?
It is a very energetic track, that has elements of Bowie’s song ‘China Girl’ due to my lead guitarists riff in the verse and it has a huge indie rock like chorus. I must admit it was one of the most difficult ones to write. I guess I tried ten different choruses and in the end I also changed half of the verse. I took over a year until I came up with the right idea to finish it within minutes. The lyrics are about being confronted with the fast pace and uprooting changes and challenges in a big city like Berlin.
I love the lyrics of ‘Work It Out’ and your emotions really shine through on this track. Can you share the meaning behind this song with us?
It is about a relationship that did not work out because of an issue or conflict that one of them had to fix to be able to be in a relationship at all. It’s something you can’t work on together, only the person itself.
Did you face any challenges while creating this album? If so, what were they and how did you overcome them?
My biggest challenge has been writing the lyrics. I’m quick and creative when it comes down to writing vocal melodies but not the lyrics. But I put a lot of effort in it and did some co-writing and I’m happy of the outcome as a non-native speaker.
Other challenges for us were a storm on Halloween night that caused an electricity cut during our recordings in the foresters house, my broken arm and other unfortunate coincidences which led to time pressure in the end.
You have a few shows coming up right away in Germany! What can your fans expect from these live performances?
We try to bring our quality sound from the studio to the stage. People are surprised how good and energetic only the four of us sound like. Spheric guitars, melodic bass riffs and powerful drum beats. The songs are rich in variety and will make you dream and drift away as well as sing along and dance.
Anything else we haven’t asked that you want to add?
I wanna thank my band Markus Abendroth on the electric guitar, Peter Thomas on the drums and Ben Kinder on the bass guitar who have left their own footprints on ‘Choices’ and moreover I wanna thank all the people who helped along the way!
We want to thank Ian for doing this interview with us! If you are in Germany and want to see Ian perform live, hop on over to his website here for tickets. Follow Ian’s journey on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram and listen to his beautiful album ‘Choices’ below!