Defining Icelandic group Steed Lord is not easy; music, art, fashion, photography, graphic design and more, are at play here. Their new LP ‘The Prophecy Pt.1’ just dropped. Here’s more.
Interview: The Incomparable Creativity of Iceland’s Steed Lord
‘The Prophecy Pt.1’ is the 3rd LP to come from Steed Lord, a collective that have carved themselves out a reputation for putting on the most visually and musically mind blowing live shows that one can find on today’s music scene. It isn’t only their live shows that are helping, as it is also the pure creative vision to which they approach their work that has been part of the driving force that has added fuel to the passion of their fans and admirers. The trio, known as Kali, Mega and Demo are all immersed in the world of creativity in all its forms; fashion, graphic design, music, photography and many other areas, bringing together an eclectic yet cohesive approach to their art. From neon to au natural, diva to demure, Diana Ross to Daft Punk and from Michael Alig to Matisse, Steed Lord are in their element when they are experimenting (and playing) with their craft,molding it into something that challenges themselves and those that invest in what they do. And this is what has brought Steed Lord to their latest LP, ‘The Prophecy Pt.1’, an electronic journey through sexuality, sensuality and sad love. Fronted by the beautifully constructed ‘Hear Me Now’, the album takes the listener on a odyssey, leading fans deeper into the psyche of the band.
Steed Lord consists of three highly creative individuals. Who brings what to the table? How do you overcome contrasting ideas?
We are all very creative human beings and we all bring things to the table. Of course in different ways since we have our strengths and weaknesses but we try and bring the best out of each one of us. Thankfully we are totally on the same wave length and we rarely butt heads on ideas. The three of us think very much alike and are soul mates. It´s really important in Steed Lord that everyone is heard in the group and that everyone has input in every project we do together. When we disagree we just talk about it and work it out. But we trust each others instincts and that’s the most important thing.
Steed Lord is an amalgamation of all the creative fields that one can think of and something that is rarely found on today’s music scene. How does the notion of risk play a part in Steed Lord’s creativity?
When you mix so many creative entities together you have to be careful not to lose focus. When we write music and record or direct and edit our music videos we have to make sure that we are a 100% committed and focused on the thing we are working on at the time. It can be hard cause we tend to want to do multiple things at the same time, but we delegate the jobs amongst us so we don’t loose the focus. But it’s never a ‘one way’ to work on things for us, one idea can lead to another idea and before you know it you are working on the third thing. So we prioritize and try and stay focused. Our ‘to do lists’ are colorful. But also when you are a musical art project group like us it adds to your creativity cause we are always working on something new and exciting. We feel truly blessed to do what we love.
You’ve made massive waves with your LPs ‘Truth Serum’ and ‘Heart II Heart’. Now… The Prophecy pt.1 has just been revealed in its entirety and I am interested in the evolution of your sound. The themes are stronger than ever before, dealing with lost love, repression, unrequited feelings and desired unity. How did you approach this LP and how did your intentions change from the beginning of the process to the end result?
We wanted to approach this album like it was our first and last. We wanted to be very raw, naive and open to new things and try a new approach in songwriting, in writing the lyrics and producing and mixing. Each song is like a mini movie to us where we tell a story and take you on a journey. That was our goal. This is a new sound for us and new beginning. Steed Lord has matured a lot since early 2006, we became a 3 piece band in early 2010 and we moved to LA in 2009. A lot of things have happened. We almost died in a terrible car accident in 2008 and that changed how we look at life. All these things inspire us and help us grow as human beings. We never wanted to get stuck in a rut and just do the same music over and over again just cause it´s works. We have grown as musicians and humans, hopefully to the better. We always want to challenge ourselves and get out of our comfort zones to stir things up. We also just want to make better and better music, videos and art. The three of us are hard on each other and we are perfectionists and we are never really satisfied. There is always more you can do. Always another frontier to conquer.
Highlighting fashion and art within your work, it’s hard to pinpoint your influences as you draw from all manner of subjects. The term retro-futurism have been passed around when discussing your ‘look’ as a group. How do you want The Prophecy Pt.1 to be represented visually?
That´s kinda true cause we are very inspired by the past, the 20´s, 70´s and 80´s and 90´s are big influences and then we are huge science fiction nerds and we are obsessed with the future and technology and how the world would be like in 200 years. How sound and technology go together. If you watch the video for “Hear Me Now” you can see that we are mixing together the past and future. But the funny thing is that we don´t really know for sure how our videos and artworks will look like until we start working on it. It always comes together when we are editing and finishing things. We don’t plan things out too much visually, they just come to us. Sometimes on set, sometimes in the studio, sometimes in the sauna. We just let our inspiration take us on a journey. Then things start to make sense. Kali does all the fashion styling in our videos and we work on the art direction together when we write the treatments. We sit down and visulize together a starting point. The Prophecy pt. 1 is a new chapter for Steed Lord and the visuals are coming along with the album release and we are starting to work on our new film (music video). We of course could do more amazing shit with more budget, but we try not and think about that too much. We just do our thing.
When was the last time you felt content and satisfied as an artist?
When we performed in our home country Iceland on december 1st 2012 at our album release party. It was a magical night and we felt the love and support from our fans, friends and families. We knew they understood us. That was the best gift ever.
Who, throughout art, music and culture, do you each consider to be a pure creative and why? What lessons have you taken from these people?
So many amazing artists and masters who have influenced us. Prince, genius. Michael Jackson, beyond an artist. David Bowie, avant garde and fearless. Peter Gabriel, huge inspiriation. Kate Bush, most beautiful artist ever. Giorgio Moroder, the mad scientist. Vangelis, the dark and beautiful heartstopping musician. And we could go on and onlike poppcorn… cause there are so many that have touched us and tought us to respect our instincts.
I’m coming over to your place for dinner. What would you hide in the closet?
Nothing. We have nothing to hide. And our apartment is always clean and crispy.
The Prophecy pt. 1 is available now on New Crack City Records
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