Motivation, expectations and copycats
LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy

Enjoyed yesterday's chat with LCD Sounsystem's James Murphy? Well sit tight, there's plenty more to come.

Read on for the second part of the interview covering his motivation for making music, copycat bands, expectations for this final album and just what colour is the new album, 'This Is Happening'?

Read more from our epic interview with LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy:
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5

Would you say that you started making music for LCD fans, rather than yourself?

No. That’s one of the reasons why I think it’s time to get out. I feel that at a certain point you have to. I don’t like being selfish. I just don’t think I’m the kind of guy who’s going to do a very good job of making music for other people. Somebody else can and I think there’s a dignity in that. Making people happy, there’s nothing wrong with that. I like DJing and I think part of it is trying to find a way to make people feel respected and give them something they might not expect. But I make music like, I try to imagine what I would like if I was an LCD fan, because I am.

I like my band and the temptation I think, which I see a lot of bands do, is that they forget what’s good about them and suddenly make some record that’s like.... (shrugs), you know? I think sometimes The Strokes would forget what’s good about them. They made these really concise, simple songs then they tried to expand out and it’s like: "That’s not what you’re good at!". But I respect that because you’re trying to figure out what to do. But I try to remember what we’re good at, try to do it and try to remember, try to immerse myself in being what we’re not so good at but I don’t know that I’ve got it in me to make music for other people.

I remember you saying that LCD was based around filling a gap where you though no music existed.

Well yeah, no. But that’s not always about what people want, its about what I think is missing. I want to make something that I think isn’t there. I mean I’m not doing it so that I can be awesome and make a bunch of dough. You know, if there’s music that’s already there and it looks like what we already do, If I saw a bunch of other bands that were already better than us and kicking ass on stage, fuck it. I’d be gladly out. That would make me very, very happy I would do something else. You know, probably a part of me would be egotistically upset because I’m a human being and I want to be good at what I do and not feel totally irrelevant. I feel more irrelevant then other people feel I am and I think that’s a healthy position to be in.

Clash Magazine Issue 50

This is an excerpt from an article that appears in the 50th issue of Clash Magazine. Pick it up in stores from May 7th.

You can read the full issue online HERE and subscribe to Clash Magazine HERE.


Have you ever had to have a word with anyone for imitating you?

No. I wouldn’t either. I would never have a word with anybody. I’ve heard bands that definitely have consciously or unconsciously taken stuff from us but that’s awesome. I find that flattering. I feel like there’s a couple of sounds that LCD / DFA didn’t invent at all but we helped make more part of the dialogue that bands talk in. Certain percussion things and stuff that I feel like we didn’t invent, that I feel like we took from somewhere else. But giving them currency now; I like that I think that’s lovely. So I would never have a word with somebody like "Hey you". Unless somebody sampled us for a big hit and didn’t call. That would make me sad.

What was the LCD locker room team talk thing going into this third album?

What I wanted to do on the second record was push farther into sounds that are more, more of a wider palette of sounds and worry less. I wanted to see where that would go just, letting myself make a... maybe a more social record. Like I didn’t go to a farm. I usually go to a farm. For both 'Sound of Silver' and the first record. The first record I went to a farm and I walked away from it and I listened to the record and I thought it sounded too woody.

With 'Sound of Silver' I went to the farm again and covered the whole studio in silver fabric and tinfoil so it would be more silver. And then this record the farm wasn’t available so I decided well, why don’t I go to L.A? That’s a really weird place for me to go. I never really figure out what I want to achieve. I’m not really concerned about what the ‘achieve’ is but where do I want to be? What position do I want to do things from? 'Losing My Edge' was not a song about something or to achieve something. It was a song from a position and then I tried to achieve something with the band once the song was done. Like I would like the band to be like this. But I usually just try to create a position that’ll help me make a record that I like. It’s embarrassing

So few expectations going into it then?

Well, it wasn’t like I wanted to make a bigger record or a weirder record or maybe weirder, maybe I just wanted to let myself get away with some sounds that were not as power focused. Not as choked, not as restricted.

So if the first one is beige, and the second is silver, what colour is this one?

I don’t know. Maybe white. I made everybody wear white in the house and I wore white everyday but I wore white on all the other records too I wore this white jumpsuit but I didn’t wear my white jumpsuit for this record I had a different set of white clothes. I don’t know yet. I’m really trying to get my head around that.

Words by Matthew Bennett

Read more from our epic interview with LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy:
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5

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