«Son Lux è un nome evocativo, senza un significato esplicito»: così l’artista e songwriter Ryan Lott sul suo progetto con il chitarrista Rafiq Bathia e il batterista Ian Chang. Alt pop, post rock, sperimentazione, suoni cinematografici e sei album alle spalle: il trio americano domani sarà protagonista di Sexto’Nplugged, in una serata che prevede anche Pantha Du Prince, il fenomeno dell’elettronica che ha composto remix e arrangiamenti per Depeche Mode, Animal Collective, Philip Glass, Bloc Party, Hurts e Trentemöller.
Dei Son Lux, Lott racconta: «Ho incontrato Rafiq per la colonna sonora di “La scomparsa di Eleanor Rigby” e poi, con Sufjan Stevens e Serengeti, abbiamo lavorato all’album “Sisyphus” e alla canzone “Easy” del mio album “Lanterns” del 2013. Dopo questi progetti sapevo di voler continuare a lavorare con lui, così gli ho chiesto di aiutarmi a metter su una band. Conosceva Ian e quando abbiamo cominciato a fare musica assieme in trio, è scattata l’alchimia perfetta». L’ultimo disco, “Brighter Wounds” parla anche di Trump: «È il nostro album più naturale, in molti sensi; è come se trascendesse la sua origine in studio e fosse imbevuto delle nostre performance dal vivo. Sono tempi oscuri, Trump e i suoi hanno prodotto alienazione e si sono schierati con i regimi dittatoriali. Ma non succede solo negli Usa, questo rigurgito d’imperialismo e colonialismo trova espressione in un movimento globale d’oppressione». Rafiq sottolinea la concretezza del loro impegno: «Abbiamo devoluto parte dei proventi delle vendite a organizzazioni come Splc e Aclu (associazioni benefiche americane ndr), e usiamo ogni opportunità per dare voce alle minoranze».
Del concerto di domani anticipano: «A Sesto al Reghena suoneremo soprattutto brani dall’ultimo album, in molti casi le versioni live sono più viscerali di quelle registrate. Invitiamo il pubblico a venire con mente e cuore aperti». «L’Italia? Il luogo dei pasti più memorabili! E conosciamo artisti italiani, vivono però negli Usa da tempo come Marco Buccelli che suona con Xenia Rubinos e i gemelli Pace dei Blonde Redhead».
Elisa Russo, Il Piccolo 14 Luglio 2018
English version – Son Lux full interview
What’s the meaning of “Son Lux” and how did you come up with the name?
There is no explicit meaning. I chose it for this reason. It’s evocative without being definitional. –RL
From a solo project to a trio… How easy was it to find musicians who shared your vision?
I was very lucky that it wasn’t a struggle. I first met Rafiq, and we worked together on my film score for The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, the Sysiphus album with Sufjan and Serengeti, and on the song “Easy” from 2013’s Lanterns album. After these projects, I knew I wanted to continue to work with Rafiq, and so I asked him to help me create the live band. He already knew Ian, and when we began making music together as a trio, it felt like the perfect chemistry. –RL
“Brighter Wounds” has received amazing and outstanding reviews and critical acclaim so far. How do you see this album fitting in your broader body of work?
Brighter Wounds feels like our most natural album, in a lot of ways. There’s an ease to the way it unfurls that’s difficult to put a finger on, but I think it has to do with the fact that many of the sorts of ideas, approaches, and techniques that have historically been associated with Son Lux have developed into something of a philosophy that has transcended its studio-based origins and has become imbued in all of our performances as well. It’s not something we thought about actively, but the logic of the project is deeply ingrained in all of us at this point and it kind of just flowed out that way. I think you can hear it… —RB
What can fans expect to see at your italian show at Sesto al Reghena on July 15st?
We’ll be mostly playing songs from “Brighter Wounds.” In many cases, the live versions are more visceral than the recordings! Come with an open mind and an open heart.- IC
What do you think/know about Italy… do you know of any italian artists/ bands?
We’ve had some of our most memorable meals as a band in Italy. Though I’m not familiar with artists that are based in Italy, we’re friends with some great Italian musicians living in the US. Marco Buccelli, who plays with Xenia Rubinos, and the Pace twins from Blonde Redhead, for example.- IC
You’ve already collaborated with respected artists such as Lorde, Sufjan Stevens, Woodkid… what can you tell me about it?
It is just the beginning. We thrive off of collaboration.
In your last album there’s some references to the Trump presidency… What’s your take on the (recent) political developments in America?
It is dark times. Trump and his gerrymandered-drunk yes-men have alienated our allies and aligned with authoritative dictators. But this isn’t only unique to the U.S. and this time, it is a symptom of empire and colonialism, gaining momentum in a global movement of oppression.
What personal lifestyle choices have you made which reflect the view and opinions expressed through your music?
From a band perspective, there are some clear-cut answers to this: we’ve dedicated proceeds from record sales and performances to organizations like the SPLC and the ACLU. We’ve been registering people to vote at our shows. We try to use whatever opportunities come our way to elevate voices from marginalized communities. From a personal vantage point, I think it varies for all of us as we all have different connections to the current climate. Some of us find ourselves in constant conversations and/or disputes with family and friends to try to make sure people within the conservative orbit are hearing the other perspective from someone they know and trust. But more than that, I think we are all feeling like we have a lot of listening to do. So many of our current challenges as a country can be traced back to a lack of attention to the ideas and perspectives of marginalized people. As such, all of us are doing our best to pay attention. —RB
You’ve also been making music for movie soundtracks and commercials… Are you busy with other project and collaborations at the moment?
Always. But nothing ready for public consumption. We are all working on new Son Lux material as well as our own projects. Rafiq recently released his solo album, Breaking English, and Ian put out an EP called Spiritual Leader .
As a musician, what do you feel like you still need to accomplish?
It may be cliche to say, but I really feel like I’m just scratching the surface of everything. I’ve devoted thousands of hours to music, but if anything I always walk away from each experience
with more questions than I do answers. —RB
What’s next? Any plans beyond touring?
We’ve already started working on new material, so we’ll be working on that while on tour! – IC