Adrian Lux Gets Sensual With New 'Make Out' EP [Interview]
As Adrian Lux grabs a seat in the lobby of a trendy San Francisco hotel, there’s already a thick line of cocktail dresses and button-ups waiting to see him perform just a few blocks away. His set at Ruby Skye is scheduled to start within the hour, but for now, he’s on a sofa catching glances from people who try not to stare as they attempt to figure out where they recognize that perfectly square jaw-line from.
The Swedish ex-model has kept his too-good-to-be-true poker face, though, and doesn’t look away once or even flinch as I prod him on the musical merits of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” (which manages to blare through the hotel’s surround sound for the first eight minutes of our interview).
“I like those Matthew McConaughey-type people. You work, you do a little bit of whatever, and at least you're hustling and doing new stuff,” he says with a shrug.
But what I’m really here to find out about is his new EP, Make Out, which comes out June 3 on Ultra Music and is led by his newest single "Sooner or Later." The release is brooding and sexy at times, optimistic in others, and its influences of movie scenes and fashion magazines definitely shine through in that sense. Straight-up original might be the best way to describe Make Out though; it is has the power to make “the Adrian Lux-sound” a commonly used comparison. It holds the same nuances that his Grammy-nominated breakout hit “Teenage Crime” did but is more grown and refined.
Count on hearing Lux's name and music for the rest of the year. He’s also got a collaboration with The Chainsmokers that’s near completion, shows booked until Christmas, and is already plotting his next major release.
(HM = Hunter Mulich of EDM.com; AL = Adrian Lux)
HM: What was the direction for the Make Out EP?
AL: It was more like soundtrack music. I wanted each song to be on its own as opposed to some format. There's instrumentals, and then pop, and so on. I always like to watch movies when I'm making music, just to see how it fits, you know? And that was a big influence for this.
HM: I know you like to help with the lyric-writing process for your songs. What was your involvement level on this EP?
AL: I actually left it mostly up to the writers more on this one and just stayed more focused on production. I just want to add though that with "Damaged" and "Wild Child," I did have a hand in writing those. It's hard for me to think of those as part of the EP sometimes though because they came out so far before.
HM: Why do older songs end up getting packaged again?
AL: There's so much music coming out that sometimes you have to yell multiple times for people to hear you. And now we're going to have "Wild Child" in the new FIFA game, which should really bring life back to that song. That's how you have to do it these days.
HM: Any pre-studio rituals to get in the proper mood?
AL: Sometimes I buy fashion magazines, just to get inspiration. The text is always really nice in those, and sometimes words just pop out at me. I just flip through, and collect fun words here and here. I think it's fun to do it like that, when you're just sitting, trying to write lyrics, and staring at a blank page, it can be like, "Well, what the fuck?"
HM: You work with a lot of singers, and whenever you get asked about dream collaborations you always mention smaller artists instead of superstars. Why is that?
AL: I always want to push things forward. I'm not saying that can't be done with a bigger artist, but sometimes I feel like....Well, let's just say that just because you put two big names together, doesn't mean it's going to be a good song. I just like to find stuff that I like and that gets me going. I like stuff that makes me feel excited all the time, for me it's really important to get that next level feeling.
HM: While we're on the subject, does this song have a next level feel to you? ("Wake Me Up" is still playing).
AL: Not now, but it did when it first came out! I think when anyone is willing to push the boundaries of what can be done that should be supported. You know, [Avicii] always does it right for some reason. But even when a band puts out a shitty album where they're trying something, I still think that's sometimes more interesting than those bands or artists that always do the same thing even though it's good.
HM: Where'd the name for the Make Out EP come from?
AL: I like these expressions that have double meanings. Obviously there's 'make out' like kissing, but then there's 'make out' like being creative, and circumstance, and perspective. It's much of that movie type feeling I spoke of before.
HM: The EP is very original, very "un-trendy," in a good way.
AL: You know, I like some of the trends, but it's taken to the extreme. It's too much. I don't mind one-note drops and even I think trap is really good. It's just some of those DJs take really played out stuff and throw it in between, like an R.E.M. vocal or a "Sweet Child of Mine" sample. Then I think that puts a stupid umbrella over the whole trend. New trends are very original in a way. I just hate when people dumb it down. You don't want to feel like you're at a wedding when you're at a nightclub.
Make Out tracklist:
1) The Rain
2) Smoke & Mirrors feat. Last Lynx
3) Sooner or Later
4) Lauren Conrad
5) Wild Child ft. JJ