Written by Abigail Outhwaite Wednesday, 25 March 2009 00:00
Features - InterviewsHot off the heels on the heels of his second solo album, enigmatic ex-Ladytron bassist and Super Numeri founder, Pop Levi, sits down for a surreal chat with Abigail Outhwaite, to discuss communes, obsessive idols and his forthcoming film release.
What have you been up to lately?
I've started a film production company called World Empire Inc. and we're premiering the first film at the Montréal Nouveau Cinema Festival next month. It's called You Don't Gotta Run and is made up of candid moments shot and presented in a way that "porns" all the looks and sounds of pocket cameras and camera phones. The soundtrack is going to be credited to World Empire, Inc. and my company will publish it too, all under one roof. I'm signed to Ninja Tune/Counter Records for one more album, so I'm warming up my company's power so that when I'm putting Pop Levi records out the wheel will be greased. I've also begun writing the new Pop Levi album.
You started writing songs and collecting records at the age of 9. How was it that you first got into music?
I used to sing in a gospel choir at school; my childhood was spent alone with instruments, drum machines and computers. At boarding school I'd skip church to write songs in the basement. Then when I moved to Liverpool as a teenager I lived in a variety of communes and started Super Numeri - we'd make music instead of working.
Who do you perform with in Pop Levi?
It's just me and Lucky Beaches at the moment. I met him when he had just got out of borstal in Liverpool, and someone told me there was a boy I should take to America with me - it was him.
Is there any idea or concept that has consistently inspired you throughout your career?
Love songs and mathematics - they don't go together, but you can put them in the same song or sentence; the sorry, forlorn feeling that is at the heart of every doo-wop song; the blues.
Are there any artists you particularly admire?
I like musical perverts - people who break the rules and do it with conviction and a style that could kill; people who are obsessive. The Beatles, Sun Ra, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan... when you listen to their records you can hear people having an amazing time, people on fire, people full of passion.
How would you describe your music?
My music is post-modern soul.
What do you think differentiates your music from other artists'?
I make it all happen myself, even down to the placing of the catalogue number on the artwork - I'm thoroughly involved. Gone are the days when a pop artist should listen to anyone else other than themselves. They might sell better if they do, but that's a different story...
Any plans for the next 6 months?
I'll be performing the new album live, recording it, releasing You Don't Gotta Run, filming and editing a vampire flick called Toothache and recording it's sound track...I like being busy.