If you’re listening to a Lido track, you’ll know. How? You can hear pieces of Peder Lonegård scattered throughout his music – moments experienced, loves had and lost.
“So what?” you say. Everyone does this. Well, the Norwegian producer does it in a way that feels very up close and personal. Whilst listening to a Lido song, it feels like you’ve just knocked on the front door of his house, pushed your way in, and rummaged through all his shit, but that’s only if you choose to relate it back to him and his life. He told me, that’s not the purpose. You can interpret his tracks in any way you want. “I always want to be abstract enough that people can never assume.” he says.
Lido‘s debut album, Everything expressed the series of emotions experienced after a break up. From start to finish, each track represents a stage in that process. A year on, I still find myself listening, again and again. Both his wide range of influences, and a love for storytelling shine through in every track he makes, meaning you never know what to expect next when listening. Whether it’s an 83-piece orchestral rendition of his smash single, “Murder”, remixing The Life of Pablo album in it’s entirety, or teasing you with a drop that never arrives (Tell Me How to Feel), he knows how to blow your expectations into smithereens.
I got the chance to chat with Lido right before he flew into Australia to start the Scarehouse Tour with Alison Wonderland. We talked about his work on Jaden Smith’s new album, what we can expect at his Australian shows, his next moves, and his unfortunate intolerance for spicy food.
SR: Just off the bat, how are you and where in the world are you at the moment?
L: Where am I? I don’t know where I am haha. Nah, I’m just in my home in LA. I’ve been here for about two days since I came back from Mexico. Right now I’m just playing music at the house and pretending to have a day off, and gonna head to the studio in a little bit and try and cook up some music.
SR: Can you describe (no need for artist or project details, just sonically) the last song you made and it’s process?
L: The last song I completed, which was pretty recently, was this huge song that I did with Jaden Smith who’s just put out his album we’ve been working on this album for two years. We just completed it right before the deadline. The song’s called BLUE…it’s like a 15 minute long song.
Willow and Jaden recorded the very first part, and he brought that part to me, showing me this piano part that he wrote, with a little poem, and I said, “This is incredible, you should keep playing.” From there, the song happened in a very linear way, we just kept adding on, adding on, adding on, almost in a stream of consciousness way. We kept bringing that idea back up to the next level, and then we were like “Oh, it’s done.” There was a lot of vocalists involved, I play a lot of drums on it and a lot of piano, and it just became this monster of a song.
SR: You’ve said that ‘Everything’ has a storyline and concept from start to finish, and that’s very clear. Was the album also written in that same linear way?
L: At that time, we were both figuring out how to tie everything together, and I think we helped each other a lot. Jaden was definitely the one that gave me the last piece that really brought together what I was thinking, and I know that I maybe played that same part for his album as well.
SR: What was the music scene like in Norway when you were growing up?
L: The music scene was always really interesting, it’s made up of very skilled people in general, with a very high level of musicianship. It’s a very cold and spread out country, and it can be really boring for a young person.
SR: You’ve spoken about starting with a lack of rules when you were first creating music because of your location, and you definitely create music that breaks rules. but you also seem to know how to write something that’s catchy and will stick in peoples heads, Where do these two lines intersect for you, the rules of what works and the rule breaking?
L: It varies for each track. I think that Scandinavians in general are very good with melodies, because lots of music we listen to is in English, and that’s why I think so many people are so great at writing pop music where I’m from. I was just obsessed with making hip hop music with great melodies, but I was told “Yo, you can’t do that. You can’t make a 15 minute song and still have 30 extension parts.”
SR: You’ve been making music for a long time: How did the Lido project come to be what it is?
L: The idea behind it took a lot of work. I kind of wanted to combine a lot of different elements from different genres that I have a lot of love for. Why not take rock music, and add drums from hip hop music, and synths from electronic music, and just smash them all together? I went through all the music that I really loved, took the elements that I loved, put them together, and what came out, is Lido.
SR: Can I also just say, every moment of your music feels intensely personal, and of course, that’s intentional. Is it difficult to put those emotions on display for all to hear, or does it feel more therapeutic in the process?
L: It’s definitely very emotional for me, every time I play live music, it’s aways a really emotional experience. But I think as I started writing this kind of music, I discovered that writing my truth, and writing honest, it’s really scary, and really intense. You’ve gotta say it exactly the way it is. I can find like a little pocket that isn’t as scary. Now I like being super emotional and vulnerable.
SR: At Scarehouse, can we expect to see the “Everything” live show, a mix up of your newest releases, or is this all on the down low still?
L: It’s sort of a mix! A lot of what I’m doing on the Everything live tour is in the set, but at the same time, it’s the best opportunity to play a lot of other music that I haven’t played in many years. I’m gonna focus on having fun with it, but I’ll be playing stuff from my earlier EP’s that I’ve never played before, alternative versions of songs from Everything, some remixes that I haven’t played in forever.
SR: I guess you don’t need to restrict yourself when playing a live show that’s so flexible.
L: Absolutely, I love putting that musicianship into that on stage, being able to chop things around and surprise people a little bit, and give something back to the fans that have been a part of it, and especially because Australia has been my biggest supporter from the very beginning, as the most loyal, most dedicated fans showing me love in all of the various, weird experiments that I release. So when I heard I was coming there, I was like, I have to make sure I do something special. And I don’t give this experience to just anybody, because Australia’s a very special place.
SR: Whats the strangest place you’ve ever produced a song?
L: That’s a good one. Probably in the club! I’ve definitely been in like the VIP section and about to play a show and just locking down a track.
SR: That sounds like the beginning of a meme waiting to happen to be honest.
L: Haha that actually does, I should have taken a photo!
SR: I know this way a while back, but I also stumbled across some videos of you performing with the fantastic KORK orchestra. Did you compose each part or was it more collaborative?
L: It was definitely collaborative, but I wrote all the outlines of it. I think we had 83 musicians on stage, and they all need their own set of sheet music, and unfortunately I’m not educated enough to execute all of it!
SR: Yeah I thought that would be a pretty incredible feat haha. Were they also the orchestra that featured in Murder?
L: Yep! That orchestral part at the end of of Murder was recorded at the show that we did.
SR: What’s your best memory from your tour with Portugal. The Man?
L: I didn’t partake in this one, but it was hilarious, on the very last show they did like a spice death challenge. They ate the world’s hottest chip, and watching these grown ass men sweat and hallucinate from eating this one tiny little chip was the best thing ever. This guy had to take a break in the middle of the show, because he couldn’t handle it. That was insane.
SR: How’s your spice tolerance, could you do it?
L: Oh no no no. If I eat something that is like medium spicy, I immediately get tears. And really intense hiccups. I am physically not cut out for that.
SR: I feel bad for you, spicy food is life man. Having a closer look at the Everything album artwork, I’m still left trying to decipher: Are they mountains? Is it an iceberg? Can you tell us about who created it, your involvement and how you wanted to portray the album’s concept through it?
L: I always envisioned this album and the story as an iceberg. That’s the inspiration that I provided the painter with, this incredible Italian artist I’ve followed for a long time, Davide Cambria. He did all the paintings for that album, which included a portrait of me for a particular song that he interpreted. So it was definitely inspired by an iceberg, but I wanted it to be abstract enough that people could never assume.
SR: You’ve spoken about some very random IRL samples that appear on the Everything album: what’s the strangest thing you’ve ever sampled that any regular listener would never think is an everyday item?
L: Oh there’s so many. It’s really important to me to try to capture real moments and add things that were actually part of the situation, pieces of the actual conversation that happened, stuff that was in the actual surroundings, that setting. Say on the track “Only One” for example, I sampled the sound of a rattling bowl with a spoon in it, because Jaden and I were eating from these quinoa bowls when we were making the song, and I leant the bowl on top of the speaker, and it would make this sound every time the bass hit, so I sampled that bowl and put it in the song because it was such a vivid memory of that exact situation. There’s pieces of recorded conversation, voice memos that I extracted, so there’s a lot of weird little things like that if you listen close enough.
SR: Finally, what’s up next for Lido?
L: Right now I’m just experimenting with different ideas on how I want to release it, but I always have multiple projects going. I feel like I haven’t had that moment where someone’s said something that all of a sudden makes everything click, that makes me understand what I have made, and then it will all roll from there, in the same way it happened with ‘Everything”. So we’ll see when that happens!
You can catch Lido exclusively on Alison Wonderland’s Scarehouse Tour across the next month. Check the tour dates below!