ABOVE: INDIANS. IMAGE COURTESY OF PIPER FERGUSON
Søren Løkke Juul’s music speaks volumes—so it’s surprising to hear how soft-spoken he is when you talk to him. Juul is polite and thoughtful, and truly believes in the power of music.
After performing in other bands for 10 years, Juul, who performs under the moniker Indians, needed to get out of his comfort zone. By challenging himself to write lyrics and create layers within his compositions, Juul was able to change his fate. During mid-2012, Juul’s gorgeous, melancholic song “Magic Kids” surfaced across music blogs in the US, reminding listeners of Sufjan Stevens, alt-J, and Sigur Rós.
Juul shared his music during CMJ throughout a variety of showcases, and he loves getting an audience reaction from his New Wave melodies and ballads. At his Brooklyn Bowl show, Juul showed his passion for sharing his music by selling his debut album, Somewhere Else (due out January 29) early to audience members.
We caught up with Søren Løkke Juul to chat about his current tour with Other Lives, the philosophy behind making music and the magic of New York City.
HOMETOWN: Copenhagen, Denmark
MEMBERS: Søren Løkke Juul
LIVING WITH OTHER LIVES: At the moment, I’m support for Other Lives. I had heard of their music before. I liked it! They have a big crowd every night. I’m very happy about having an audience to play for. It’s huge every night! Other Lives is a hard-working band. They’ve been working hard and playing for, I think, 10 years or something. So, they have a great audience. I’ve been sick for the last four days. I’m dying to get my voice back. We have about 40 shows. I think we’ve played about 30 shows now. It’s tough. This is my first tour. It takes a lot to sing at concerts every night. We have been driving down the East Coast and West Coast. It was so nice and warm during the summer. Almost everyone in Other Lives and I have a cold right now.
THE BIG APPLE: I’m always especially excited about coming to New York. It’s a special place. I definitely know now from being around the states for half of a month in a lot of cities. New York is always the city I’m excited about getting back to and playing concerts in New York. I think, this year, it’s 10 countries and New York. I’m just really happy about it. I love the city.
FORMING INDIANS: I’ve been in bands for 10 years in Denmark. I had actually just started… I wasn’t excited any longer when I went onstage. I felt so safe, I think. I was in the background, backing vocals. I wanted to do something musically to challenge myself, so I started writing my own stuff. I didn’t really have any plans to play concerts. I did one song, and I made one video by myself. I shared it with my friends, and they liked it. I’m very fond of sharing music, and The Music Box picked it up and stuff.
THE HUMAN NATURE OF MUSIC: It’s not North American Indians, but it’s natives in general. It’s back to the basics: human instinct. I think music is very instinctual. Music is nature and entity. I want to share it with humans. When you are at a concert, you are there to create a special moment and be there with the audience. You’re alive, and it just captures in concerts. Making sense? I think it’s about humans. Indians is nature’s time. Life is to be a temple. You have to go on and make a living. Music is a really big symbol, too. It’s something everyone needs.
THE MAKING OF “MAGIC KIDS”: I remember it was a cold, dark night in Denmark… Actually, I started making the song in Paris. I was on my laptop programming some stuff. Whenever I came home, I started putting some more layers on it: like keyboards and stuff. I don’t have a method on how to do the songs. Every song comes out differently. This one, I have my little piece from Paris, and I just started recording some tracks over it. Actually, the last thing I made was the lyrics. The song is about loss. I think each person loses something important in his or her life. It could be a boyfriend, girlfriend, or family member. It’s about how frustrating it can be to lose someone that you really care about, and how you think that it can’t be real. In the middle, there’s an instrumental piece. That’s the hope in the song because there’s always hope. So, it’s about losing someone you care about and that there’s a way through it. It can be hard right now, but you’ll get through it.
JITTERS: The album is going to be out in the states January 29 and in Europe January 28. That’s one thing, though. You can play a lot of concerts, and you’re there face-to-face with the audience. Now, bringing the music from home, I think that’s the real deal. I’m really excited. I don’t have any idea if people are going to like my record or not.
IDENTITY POLITICS: I don’t think about what music I want to make. It’s just how it turns out. I don’t think that much about how I want to write a song or what it sounds like, if it sounds like Animal Collective. I’m very excited because I’m doing this myself. I record everything myself in my small studio, so I have a lot of opportunities to make the sounds and get inspired by sounds. I just want to write a good song, with interesting production behind it. It’s different every time the songs come out. In “I Am Haunted,” I made the guitar and I decided to challenge myself to writing a lot of lyrics in the song. When I did, I called up my manager and told him I had just done a folk track. With that song, I just wanted to challenge myself and write a lot of lyrics.
INDIANS WILL BE PLAYING WITH OTHER LIVES THIS WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY IN NEW YORK CITY. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT THE ARTIST’S WEBSITE.