Arrange, aka Malcom Lacey, topped my best of 2011 so far list. His Plantation album has really caught the attention of the blogs, including a very favorable review by Pitchfork. Malcom was kind enough to sit down and give us some insight into his world and music.
FZB: 2011 seems to be going well for you. Assume the Pitchfork review was the high point. What all has been going on for you since the release of Plantation?
M.L.: You know, there really hasn't been that much going on musically since the release. I've been sketching out rough ideas for a new EP I'd like to release later in the year and recording a cover of Kanye West's "Say You Will", but outside of that and press exposure there really hasn't been much.
FZB: The dark and at times tragic themes on the album have cornered the imagination of the blogosphere. Where does all the angst and depth come from?
M.L.:. Haha, I sometimes wonder myself why a majority of my musical output is so dark, but I'd pin it to an upbringing that was less than anchored.
FZB: You're a teenager right? So how do you dredge up such maturity musically and in your songwriting?
M.L.: Yeah, I'm 18 until November. Haha. I'm really not sure how the lyrical content came to fruition. Definitely a lot of late nights and ambien induced sleep I'd say. But no, I'm really not sure.
FZB: Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into music?
M.L.: I played/sang in a very unserious high school band that dissolved after I was sent away to wilderness therapy, but I've always been interested in music. My parents had gotten me interested in playing instruments from a very young age. I started taking piano lessons in 3rd grade and then guitar shortly after.
FZB: Was the album a DIY bedroom project or did you do it in a conventional studio? Did you self-produce it? Were there other musicians involved?
M.L.: Plantation is very much a "bedroom" record. I didn't venture into a studio at all nor it produced by anyone but myself. I played and recorded all of the instruments myself unfortunately. I'd like to enlist the help of musicians down the road. It takes a lot out of me to go through recording music for all the instruments I wrote for.
FZB: What kind of equipment do you use? Guitars, amps, synths etc. Inquiring minds want to know?
M.L.: I have a really basic setup that consists of: keyboard/midi (Akai MPK 49), acoustic piano, DW drum set, various acoustic and electric guitars, and one small Marshall amp with various effects pedals (Loop Station, Digital Reverb, Delay, and Distortion).
FZB: With the reception that Plantation has gotten, have you had interest from labels?
M.L.: I have had a few labels interested in the project, but nothing more serious than a "Plantation is great and would love to hear new material." I'd love nothing more to get on a label and tour, tour, tour.
FZB: What's next for you, endless touring or right back into recording more stuff?
M.L.: I'm working on crafting a live set right now. Which is definitely a bit hard when it's just you and a handful of instruments you couldn't possible play all by yourself. After that gets squared away (or possibly even during), I'm going to start recording the makings of a new record/EP.
FZB: What artists are you most into and who have been your biggest influences?
M.L.: Oooh, I get this question quite a bit. I LOVE ambient and classical music. I'd say my principal influences are Akira Kosemura, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, and Brian Eno.
FZB: Any last comments you want to make? Any subject is fair game?
M.L.: Hmmm, I guess I'll never miss the chance to plug one of my favorite artists and bud's music. Sam Ray is a young musician out of Maryland that makes music under the Ricky Eat Acid moniker. I'm in love with his tunes. "Blinded" being one of my all time favorites.
Listen to Arrange's track :Tiny Little Boy" below.