Friday Nights at NGV: Interview with Luluc

We interviewed Luluc, who will be headlining Friday Nights at NGV on 29 January 2016.

Describe your sound in 5 words or less?
Not for me to do!

If your music was an artwork what would it look like?
Not for me to say! An interviewer I spoke to when Passerby came out, and a few people who’ve written about us have said our music reminds them of Wes Anderson films. That is a huge compliment.

Do you have a favourite artist/artwork?
Too many to choose just one! But can definitely point to my big sister Fleur Rendell (nee-Randell!), who has done the artwork for both of our records. She is a print maker. Her style is so identifiable; there has been such clear sense of it since she was very young. My father described her pencil as an extension of her arm, that’s how readily her style flows to her images. I love it, and that we get to collaborate. Her work is with Australian Galleries.

What’s your favourite gig you have played to date?
There’s a lot, for different reasons. One that comes to mind was a filthy punk rock club called The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor Michigan – the carpets were so worn it was down to the glue and your feet got stuck as you walked. It was a rowdy, crammed in crowd – the room was filled with great punter energy. Our music is mellow but not meek and it was fun to play to the raucous crowd and enjoy their energy. We had a lot of fun.

What inspires/influences your music the most?
Great music, songs, pictures, films and books. Life.

What song do you wish you wrote?
I don’t find myself thinking that way. There are so many beautifully written songs. When I listen to my favourites I’m always just drawn into their world.

What part of making music excites you the most?
How challenging it is. All your thoughts, actions, perspectives get called into question. Well for me they do, and only by meticulous work/reflection can you make sure you get you/your stuff out of the way so the work can stand on it’s own and be something for others.

Tell us about the last song or album you created?
We just recently recorded a song for a compilation The National are doing of Grateful Dead songs. It’s a huge project, with over 60 songs. We did a version of Til the Morning Comes, and had the great honour of collaborating with George Xylouris and Jim White (Xylouris White).

What is your favourite part of being involved in Friday Nights at NGV?
We travel so much, so we are very excited just to play at home, but to be at the NGV, in a space with great artworks makes it very special.

Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei showcases over 300 artworks that explore the parallels and intersections between the practices of these two exemplary artists. Are you excited about the exhibition?
Yes. Very much looking forward to seeing it!

A large portion of the works included in the Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei exhibition include political or social commentary. Have you been inspired to do this through your music?
Not in any particular way. In fact I’m drawn to music and creative work for the lack of a necessarily political nature to it. But of course what I value, my perspectives are in the work, that’s unavoidable to some extent. For me the music/art that I love has a generosity to it, an openness, whatever genre/style, and the political or social commentary is imbued in it, not obvious. And my impression of these artists works is that way also. It comes out of their context, environments and what they reflect helps us to understand, rather than telling us what to think.

Andy Warhol famously said: ‘Art is what you can get away with.’ How would you respond?
It’s a funny and very apt thing to say. The way I relate to it is that making artwork or songs, has such a large element of mystery, an accidental aspect, that it’s hard for it not to feel like you’re getting away with something in their creation. Also I guess we all have our limitations, which on the flip side form our unique qualities, and I guess that is part of what helps make your work what it is and comes to be.

Ai Weiwei once said: ‘A small act is worth a million thoughts.’ How would you respond?
There is a lot in that sentence. Not easy to unpack here. My initial response would be that the way we act, each day, the decisions we make accrue and influence our consecutive acts. All the little decision we make, all those thoughts have a big influence. It’s both wonderful and scary. But having a positive sense of volition – that we can have a say in our own lives and where we go is tied up in that. And artworks in whatever form are about millions of little thoughts, and decisions, and if you pay attention you can see / hear them at work in the form they take.

What else are you working on now? Or where are you next touring?
New songs, new record. We’re in Australia for a short stay and writing time, then back to Brooklyn where we’ll record again. Our next show after NGV is at the Lincon Center in New York, which we are also very excited about!