FLYER Q&A: Olympia’s LAKE to perform Nov. 11 at Stage Eighteen

LAKE / Courtesy photo

Olympia, Washington’s LAKE have been creating uniquely sweet and meditative pop music since 2005.

The band (Ashley Eriksson, Eli Moore, Andrew Dorsett, and Markly Morrison) has released several great records on K Records, and singer Eriksson has composed music for the Cartoon Network series Adventure Time, including its closing theme.

Who: Karl Blau and LAKE
When: 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11
Where: Stage Eighteen, 18 E Center St, Fayetteville
Cost: $7-$10
Info: All-ages show

Their best songs are easy to love, and recall your favorite long walk or snuggling with your cat. LAKE’s songs are effortlessly breezy, and above all they reaffirm that you are alive and can fall in love with the world around you.

Currently, LAKE is touring with fellow K Records artist Karl Blau, as his opener and as his backing band. Blau’s newest record Introducing Karl Blau is an excellent mix of 60’s/70’s era country and soul covers.

The Karl Blau and LAKE tour stops in Fayetteville on Friday, Nov. 11 at the brand new venue Stage Eighteen.

I asked LAKE’s Eli Moore some questions on a break from tour, and here goes…

Can you catch us up with LAKE? The last time you were in Fayetteville was in 2013 for the Ashley Eriksson “Colours” tour. What have you been up to recently?

We started working on a new LAKE record in 2014 at the Unknown Recording Studio in Anacortes, WA with Nicholas Wilbur, of Hungry Cloud Darkening. This album has been done for about a year, but we have struggled to come up with a plan for how to release it. It looks like we’ve found a great option and we should be making an announcement soon!

In the summer of 2015, we celebrated our 10-year anniversary as a band by putting on an all-day, free show in my hometown of Langley, on Whidbey Island, WA. We played every song we’ve ever recorded, in consecutive order, which is about 100 songs. We basically played straight for 12 hours, it was amazing and a big challenge. It was a sort of installation art piece that became a party by the end of the night.

Andrew and I have been doing a lot of touring in Karl Blau’s band lately. I played the bass and some guitar on his new record, and we just got back from a European tour. Ashley’s been working for a local animator named Drew Christie who is doing amazing stuff! She’s also doing solo shows with an all female back-up band.

We are probably half done writing a new LAKE album that feels like a big departure from our previous work. It’s more collaborative than ever, and therefore very energizing.

I have been working with a band called Ok Vancouver Ok on their last three albums and the most recent album features a lot of collaborative writing; Ashley and I co-wrote about half the album.

Also more and more video stuff. Also! My other band Baby Island just finished a record.

How’s the tour so far? Any interesting stories you can share?
It always feels great to hit the road and explore the United States, especially after taking a couple of years off. We are enjoying one another’s company and having fun playing a set that is made of mostly new, unreleased material. It’s good for the soul. Stories? Not much time for stories, actually. We haven’t had a day off, and only have two for the whole tour. It’s mostly driving, setting up, playing, eating, and most important, sleeping!

What’s the first thing you look for in a new town on the road?
Regional food and drinks. We found some authentic lobster rolls outside of Portland, Maine a couple days ago.

Also, coffee, and beautiful things to see. Water, rivers, and sea views.

What have you been reading and watching this year?
I’ve been reading Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Werner Herzog’s Guide for the Perplexed, Margaret Atwood, Ingmar Bergman, and John Barth’s The Floating Opera.

And watching Yasujiro Ozu, Aki Kaurismaki, Historieätarna, Eric Andre, and Comedy Bang Bang.

What have you been listening to lately? And how do you listen to music?
For a few years, We’ve been pretty obsessed with a lot of 80’s UK music. Cleaners from Venus, the Blue Nile, Prefab Sprout, China Crisis, Orange Juice.

Ashley listens to a lot of Greek folk music. We love Shirley Collins, and I’ve also ended up hearing a lot of country because of the people I travel with. No complaints on that. One of our favorite modern artists is Jib Kidder. Also, Ever Ending Kicks (an Arkansas native). I like to listen to music while cleaning the house. On vinyl often, or Itunes. In the van, it’s nice to put headphones on and get some alone time with soothing music, like comfort food.

Karl Blau just did an unexpected covers record – What would be on a LAKE covers record?
I’ve always wanted to do an album of covers of songs friends of ours wrote that we love. Also, a Prefab Sprout cover record would be a lot of fun. Ashley would probably say Greek music, and Andrew would probably say another country covers record.

LAKE is also Karl Blau’s band this tour – How has it been like playing the songs from Introducing Karl Blau?
It’s a great learning experience, this is our third tour as Karl’s back-up band, and it’s very different from the last time we did it for his more experimental album Zebra. For me it’s pretty easy, so I can have fun and push myself here and there. I have to get into the subtlety. Ashley is playing drums, which is great because she has always drummed. She plays all the drums on her solo albums, but she’s really honing her skills. Andrew has learned pedal steel for these tours, and it’s pretty impressive.

Are you playing new songs on tour?
Yes, We are playing mostly new songs. Some from the album that will come out in 2017. And a handful of brand new, unrecorded songs. A few old ones too.

Any Fayetteville memories you can recall?
Our Fayetteville experiences have been pretty dreamy. Our old LAKE bandmate Adam Oelsner is from there, and we got to stay at his parent’s house last time. We have other friends there as well.