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It’s autumn, the season of mists and darkness, so what better time to get acquainted with Lanterns On Te Lake, whose atmospheric, cinematic indie tunes will be blasting out of Open later this month? Formed in 2007, they’ve been through

some line up changes, produced some amazing music and created some of the most artistic

merch I’ve ever seen. I spoke to lead singer Hazel about Newcastle, their latest album Beings and playing with the Royal Northern Sinfonia.

azel, how did you initially start making music, and was it a

dream of yours to do it full time right from the start? I started as most people do - I was a teenager trying to write songs of my own on a guitar in my bedroom with the handful of chords that I knew. It was a dream to be in a band - I wanted to write songs and make music but I didn’t know if I could really be a singer. I joined a band with Ol and Paul because they were looking for a rhythm guitarist and a singer. I joined thinking that I could be their singer

temporarily until we found a proper singer. We never found another singer so I’m still doing it but I wouldn't change anything now. I love the art you’ve created recently using your lyrics. In fact your merch is all very special. Is that a deliberate move, to offer extra special items for your fans, a sort of anti-digital thing? Absolutely. Tat’s a big part of Lanterns On Te Lake. I think you get bands who just chuck out cheap tacky merch to make some cash. We’ve always approached the merch side the same as we approach

28 / November 2016/

any other aspect of Lanterns - we want things to be unique and special and went to put good things out in to the world. Te lyric art pieces have been hugely popular and I love doing things like that for people who like our band. When Beings came out you played with the Royal Northern Sinfonia at Sage Gateshead. What was that experience like? As you can probably imagine, it’s a pretty surreal experience when such a renowned orchestra are playing songs you wrote on a cheap acoustic or on a piano one afternoon! Te show itself was ace playing to over a thousand people in our hometown and the atmosphere was something else. Beings was recorded in your home town of Newcastle after you’d returned from being on tour. Was there a sense of coming home, and did any of that become part of the album? I think there’s this this weird thing that can happen when you’ve been on a long tour and I don’t know if every one gets this when they tour but you feel kind of turned upside down and like you are glad to be home but that you don’t totally feel that you fit. You feel exhausted but restless at the same time. Te album was born out of that upside down feeling. Tere were also lots of other things going on for us - two of our band members had just quit and we didn’t know what the future held. I think I’ve described it before as a drunken existential crisis. Tere was a lot of playing our hearts out in the rehearsal room and then going to the

pub. How would you say it differs from your previous two albums? With the first two albums we were more self conscious, at least I know that I was. I think we also felt we had something to prove with those first two records. We wanted to be liked or at least understood at that time. With Beings it was different. Maybe it was because we’d been through a lot personally and as a band that it just felt like we just wanted to make something for ourselves. At that point, two members of the band had quit and we didn’t honestly know if we were going to keep going or how long it would all last. We were in this strange position because we were feeling more creative than ever but didn’t even know if anyone would ever hear the music we were making. So we were just making the record we wanted to make for ourselves. As Dylan sang, “when you ain’t got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose”. What can we expect from your show here in Norwich? What song in particular are you hoping to get into the setlist? It’s actually our bass player Bob’s birthday so we’ll be in good spirits that night and we have a day off the following day for a look around. As for the show itself, we’ve never played Norwich so we’ll be enjoying playing to people who haven’t seen us live before. We’ve had a few requests for an old song of ours called Not Going Back To Te Harbour so I think we’ll try to fit that in.


> INFORMATION Lanterns On Te Lake play at Open on 24th November. Tickets available from Read this interview in full at

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