The Deer Tracks
Elin Lindfors of The Deer Tracks talks to Subculture about the new album and the ideas behind this musically ethereal duo.
Thanks very much for taking the time out to talk to us, how are things?
Things are as they've always been, just a little bigger, a little more hectic and sometimes a little more amazing.
Tell us about yourselves away from music.
If you took away the music, David would be a prince of a magical kingdom. I would be a hermit living on the outskirts with a rumour going round that I might be a witch.
What's with the name, why The Deer Tracks?
There're many aspects you can apply to our name. We had already been embraced by an atmosphere before we started to think of names and that atmosphere reminded us about the mysterious and fragile deer. We think of the deer as the ultimate secret keeper. Just look in their eyes. They are hiding something. We believe they probably have some ultimate secrets and truths hidden in the woods they are living in. So we thought of the idea of following their tracks to discover a magic world. And we try to show you what that world would be like with music and art.
I know you guys grew up in the same town back in Sweden, but how did you actually meet and eventually decide to start making music together?
At a point, it was inevitable for us not to meet and as I recall we started out with a big fight, which neither of us could remember the cause of the day after. I would say that we are very calm and philosophic most of the time, but now and then we transform, explode, and become a great destroyer. This dynamic life is our source to create music. The music is the source to this dynamic life. And there is no other way.
Where do you live/spend most of your time these days?
We have a small but oh so cosy studio in which we spend a lot time when we aren't on tour. We collect everything we find that could become an instrument for future recordings so it's almost impossible to get the space to work there. Somehow we manage but we spend a lot of time searching for things in our disorganised studio.
So, collectively, how many instruments can you both play and what are they?
We can play a bunch of regular instruments more or less, and if there is something we are missing we learn how to play it.
How did you both come to play so many different musical instruments – was this something that was encouraged at school or in your spare time?
I've always found musical instruments fascinating and almost hypnotic. I never had the intention to be able to play anything, I'm satisfied to play a limited something for hours until I can feel it in my body. David has this gift of being able to play anything. He is working hard but he's making it seem so effortless. His talent is to know exactly what he's looking for.
What inspired you to use so many different pieces of equipment to create music?
It gives us a wider perspective and many times new ideas. When you make music with an ordinary object instead of an instrument, you don't know what to expect and how to play. It encourages your imagination.
It sounds like you're both adamant on doing absolutely everything yourselves – writing, recording (playing each instrument) and producing – is this because you want complete control over your sound?
During these years we have created a sacred world around the making of our music and your assumption is right, we both have a large need of being in control in different ways. Besides that it helps us grow and stay creative by solving the problems and overcoming any obstacles by ourselves.
Would you consider/are there any plans to collaborate with other musicians and producers etc. to add another dimension to your work?
Occasionally we collaborate with other musicians and artists. As long as we feel it's interesting and it feels right we don't mind, but our focus is on creating by ourselves. It has to come from our mind, body and soul otherwise it's not gonna sound like anything we want it to.
You toured Europe and Japan last Summer, how did that go?
We had a great time and enjoyed every second of it. The contrast between creating songs in our small studio, in our small town to perform the same songs for fans in Japan, US, England or anywhere in the world is unbelievable at first, but so believable when you're on stage. It's all about the connection and capturing the magic in every moment.
Did such a big tour influence your decision to record this latest album project in a fairly isolated, decrepit log cabin in the middle of nowhere?
We usually isolate ourselves in the beginning of a new project. It doesn't matter if we've been on a big tour or if we've just been home. The main purpose of the isolation is to clear our minds from previous references and obligations.
I've heard your computer and recording equipment isn't the most reliable of sorts. Is this something that frustrates you, as it sounds like it may present a lot of problems when recording, or do you embrace the faults and use them creatively somehow?
If everything about our recording sessions was optimal and safe it wouldn't reflect reality and real life. Cos' no ones reality or life is optimal or safe. It's all about believing in something and trying to find your way to achieve what your heart desires. Same with music. It needs to be a bit of a struggle to keep resonating with reality.
We've been listening to 'The Archer Trilogy Part 2' in the office over the last few weeks and your unique instrumental blend of electronic sounds and delicate vocals has gone down a treat. What can listeners expect from Part 3 and can you tell us the planned released date?
We don't think too much about these things, we just create. We don't talk that much when we write or record either. Usually we make drawings, like maps and constructions and then together try to build something that fits the image of what we've been putting on paper. It's like a treasure hunt, you never know what you will find. That keeps the excitement real and honest. And there's always an element of surprise involved in that way of making art. But one thing we can tell. "PT.3" will be recorded at night-time only. And what that will bring out of us, we don't know yet.
Why did you decide to release the album as a trilogy?
We wanted to do something different and investigate how it would feel to run a marathon. To not have a limit of 10 songs, to invite people to join our creative journey all the way. We've been visiting the past, the present and our biggest adventure is still ahead. Pt.3 will be recorded this fall and it might be a grey cylinder floating at average human hight.
Aside from 'The Archer Trilogy Part 3' what else can fans look forward to from The Deer Tracks in the future, another tour perhaps?
We are very excited to return to the US, and it looks like we will also spend some time around Europe and Asia. Still, expect the unexpected and we will be there to twist your perceptions a bit more every time.
Thank you very much for talking to Subculture and good luck with the release of 'The Archer Trilogy Part 2' in August!
For more info on The Deer Tracks go to www.thedeertracksmusic.com