Can you talk to us more about your latest single “All For You“?
It’s the second single released from my debut album and was released with Wall of Sound Records. It’s probably the most fun / pop sounding song on the album.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Not really, initially it came from a random poem that came out of nowhere, I soon realised that I could make a story up with it and decided to write it about a guy who falls in love with a girl, it is written from a man’s perspective, she breaks up with him and he tells her that his life is all for her.Initially performed acoustically it was quite a sad song, so I decided to turn it into a more upbeat song, as if played slow (which is how it started out) and acoustically it is quite a sad one.
Why naming the album after this track in particular?
I thought it had a good ring to it and I think it’s one of the best songs I’ve written so I thought it makes sense to name it after the track, ‘All for You’. I also like the fact that the album sounds like a sentence, Lara Smiles ‘All for You’.
How was the recording and writing process?
There are a few ways I like to write a song but with this one I already had the lyrics written down as a poem from a while ago. I found a cool synth sample on logic and I wrote the vocal melody around that. The lyrics fit the melody so that was lucky and it was initially an EDM style tune – I turned the synth sample into a guitar part instead and it turned out to be a bit more indie and raw sounding compared to the initial sound.
What was it like to work with Youth and how did that relationship develop?
I’ve worked with Youth on different projects for around 4 years now, we met through another great producer, Tim Bran, who I worked with a few years ago. Youth and I wrote some dance tracks together and then I asked him to produce some of my songs that I released last year. With ‘All for You’ I produced it myself and Youth and Michael Rendall stepped in to mix the track for me, they’re amazing producers and they’ve made it sound class!
How much did they get to influence the album?
Well not much on this album to be honest but if you listen to my earlier tunes you can hear the difference as the older tunes are more polished sounding compared to this album which I produced myself so it’s a bit more raw. Youths assistant (and now producer in his own right) Jamie Grashion helped me with this album and he mixed it all apart from the single All for You. Youth has been a great mentor to me and I’ve learned so much from him and his team over the years!
How has The Prodigy and The Strokes influenced your writing?
I am really inspired by these two bands. I love the 90’s synth rave sounds that Prodigy use, they use fat bass and drum sounds and on the other hand The Strokes guitars and intricate songwriting skills really inspire me, so I’d hope to think there’s a mixture of these two bands in my music somewhere! You’ll have to be the judge of that though.
What aspect of love did you get to explore on this record?
Throughout the album and in my song-writing I like to play different characters, ‘Turn It Around’depicts the tale of a breakup, so I had to see the story through the eyes of two lovers. There is an apology from both sides, both are equally responsible for the breakup, although they still love each other. The more I thought about it, it seemed there was an underlying theme that might resolve their situation ‘who are we if we can’t love? Who are we if we can’t trust?’, as the lyrics suggest.
A lot of my song-writing is ambiguous and open to interpretation, although ‘Save yourself’ is more literal, the track explores doubts and vulnerabilities that we all face so I think a lot of people can relate to this one. The only person that can help you is yourself, it’s only yourself that can change you or save you. In the middle 8 I’m talking to the alter ego and questioning it – which I think is important at different times in our lives.
Any plans to hit the road?
I would love to hit the road next year, but this year is very busy already. I’m touring the US with The Australian Pink Floyd Show from Sep – Nov, then we have a UK tour between mid Nov – December and a couple of dates with the legendary band Thunder thrown in there too! But hopefully next year!
What else is happening next in Lara Smiles’ world?
I’ve just finished my debut album and I’m already starting to write the next album. I’ll be releasing two more singles later in the year from my album, ‘Fighting’s Over’ and ‘Zombie’. My album launch gig is on 30thAugust at Seabright Arms, hope you can make it! ????