Every note of Lord Huron’s Into the Sun EP is like a brush stroke. Together, they compose a gorgeous painting of bright colors and etheral wisps, not unlike a tropical sun setting. But the collection of songs were not inspired by a week on some remote island; they were written while taking in the wonder of the Great Lakes, here in the Midwest. Under the moniker Lord Huron, former performance artist Ben Schneider wrote the songs while at a stay in a cabin on Lake Huron. We spoke with the Michigan native prior to Lord Huron’s first appearance at Lollapalooza this weekend.
Gozamos: You are originally from Michigan, but made the move out to Los Angeles. Which do you feel fosters more creativity – the Midwest or the West Coast, and why?
Lord Huron: Both are inspiring places. Northern Michigan is my favorite place in the world. I’ve drawn a lot from my time and experiences there. I’ve also drawn a lot from my time out west, but I know that I won’t be staying here forever. It’s been a great out here, but I’ve just come back from a trip to Michigan, and I know that’s where I’m meant to be. I’ve still got some wandering to do though.
This is your first year playing Lollapalooza, but you’re somewhat of a local. Have you been to the fest before as a fan?
LH: I went once way back when it was a touring thing and it made it’s way to Michigan.
How do you think music festivals in Midwest, like Chicago’s Lollapalooza, Pitchfork and newcomer North Coast, compare to other fests that you’ve either been to or played at?
LH: I haven’t been to very many festivals. Huge crowds and lines aren’t really my thing, though they’re such a part of what I do. Friends have told me great things about Lollapalooza in Chicago, so I’m looking forward to it. If the music is good and the people are friendly I suppose you can’t go wrong. I’ve often thought about putting on a small festival up in Michigan with friends and family.
Before Lord Huron, you did some performance art, and also worked as an art director. Would you say your background in art affects the music that you make?
LH: I would say that my background in art is central to the music that I make. The sense of aesthetics I developed during those years is very present. The way I approach writing music is often very visual. Images are often the starting point.
I’ve read a bunch of reviews and interviews that make the comparison between Lord Huron and Fleet Foxes. How do you feel about the comparison?
LH: Ideally, people would hear the music without any preconceived notions, but I realize that isn’t very realistic, and that comparisons to other bands probably account for a good deal of our listeners. That’s a very good band.
It’s always interesting to hear what inspires the bands we like. What are you currently listening to?
LH: Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Roy Orbison, Bo Diddley, and The Sons of the Pioneers.
Any artists you are looking forward to seeing at Lollapalooza?
LH: Many. I really need to get down to planning my schedule. Definitely want to catch Big Audio Dynamite and Beirut. My friend Tom tells me DeadMau5 is not to be missed.
Lord Huron plays the Sony stage at Lollapalooza Sunday at noon.