Canadian electronic duo will release their sixth album, and first in the United States, Dark Beings on March 8th via Cruisin Records, an independent label managed by Theo Hilton (Nana Grizol, Defiance, Ohio) and Clyde Petersen (Your Heart Breaks, Torrey Pines) with a mission to provide a space for queer artists to thrive. LAL Founding members Rosina Kazi and Nicholas Murray came from their local scenes of hip hop, punk, electronic and experimental music and blend all of those influences along with house and techno come together for the new release.
LAL is heavily influenced by their collective experiences and the Toronto community they are a part of: Queer, Trans, 2 Spirit, non-binary, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour and their friends and allies. A large focus of the LAL experience is to create inclusivity for the audience and a safe place to be, create and support each other.
We get to discuss with the band about their new single and what else is in stores!
Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Thankyou! We are doing well we just performed our first album that we released in 2000 for a big Indie music festival called Wavelength in Toronto , which went over very well! Rose just got back from Bangladesh from an arts gathering as well.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Wildflowers”?
It was created around a fundraiser that rosina helped organize for Trans women/Femme people of colour called Flowers while We’re Living’ at one of the oldest Gay Theatres in Canada called Buddies in Bad times. It’s a tribute to Trans, 2 Spirit and Non-binary folks! Rose identifies as non-binary.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
The event and the song where both inspired by the amazing Trans Women we know but also to aknowledge the continued murder of Trans women of colour all over the world.
How did Nick Holder come on board for the remix of this song?
We have worked with Nick Holder before. He put out our Tiny Mirrors remixes as well as some of Nicks (Murr) tracks. He’s a Toronto legend, and a friend.
Did you guys get to sit and share any creative inputs?
Not at all When we work with artist we generally just let them do there thing..We choose them for a reason.
The single comes off your new album Dark Beings – what’s the story behind the title
The title speaks to the idea that we hold past knowledge in our bodies that holds power even today. It’s a nod to Indigenous and old knowledge, but also to those connected to the ground and natural forces.
How was the recording and writing process?
It was a very detail oriented process that required a lot of compromise. We eventually had to call in a Producer friend of ours Jim Anderson of Cold Specks. We usually write a bunch of songs and then see what feels best. Rose gets stoned and writes lyrics and we work together on the music, and / or sometimes I have an idea that Rose just loves and we go from there.
How does your cultural background and upbringing actually influences your writing?
Being from Toronto we are exposed all kinds of different cultures from all over the world . at one point we tried to incorporate them all, now we are a lot more tasteful..Rosina sometimes sings in Bengali on our records .. we also grew up around a very active dance music scene as well as a bering participants in a very new rap music scene. We are music lovers, so the mashing of styles is just who we are. Growing up on campus radio, djs and working at record stores, has really just stayed with us and the times are finally catching up to how we listen to music.
What role does Toronto play in your music?
toronto is the place where we can incubate ideas.. we love being able to see and hear all different types of music from all over the world ..there is so much music here. We also run a small DIY space out of home and we get to witness amazing emerging and established artists and community organizers.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Well Rose writes all the lyrics. It’s really a call to action around environemntal crisis, gendered violence, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour and LGBTQI/… communities and friends, and it’s a spin off of our 2016 FIND SAFETY album. some of it’s written from the perspective of mother earth. rose writes from a place of observation and metaphor and thier / her real experiences in community.
Any plans to hit the road?
We planing to be in all over the US as well as Canada and Europe over the coming months
What else is happening next in LAL’s world?
we are beginning to work on a new record in August . Maybe some more side projects ..hopefully we can come back to L.A. one of our favourite cities . We still run Unit 2, our home and arts space with amazing people, though over the next 2-5 years we hope to focus on music, get weirder and support our communities as best we can.