Norwegian grown, LA-based electronic duo, Lemaitre, have been putting out jams since 2010. Composed of Ketil Jansen and Ulrik Denizou Lund, their sound is a magical combination of warm, happy synths and heavy, rage-worthy beats. Lemaitre has gained global fame for their catchy songs and unique collaborations.
Maddy Ball: What inspired you to get together? Was there a particularly memorable moment?
Lemaitre: During high school we decided to pursue music rather than going straight to university. A lot of our friends took time off to travel or take additional classes. We figured if we tried for a year and then started studying after that, we still wouldn’t be behind. And then it just sort of worked out!
MB: And Lemaitre…is there a story behind the name?
LM: We wrote down a bunch of names and that was the best we had. It sounds silly, I know. But, it’s a good name: it’s hard to pronounce in English, and Norwegian, and German, and every other language except French.
MB: I’m not all that familiar with French: what does Lemaitre mean?
LM: It means “the master.” We didn’t know that at first. It was named after a scientist name George Lemaitre who invented the Big Bang Theory. We found out it meant “the master” after we settled on that name.
MB: Now on to your music: without using genre names, can you describe your sound?
LM: So, if Daft Punk and Justice weren’t that successful on their own and then ended up working together, that’d be maybe what our sound is. It’s happy music… it’s dance-y.
MB: I’ve been told you just came out with Afterglow. Any memorable moments from making it? Any challenges?
LM: It was really cool working and collaborating with a lot of others in the industry: the Knocks, Phoebe Ryan, they were all incredible.
MB: I love the Knocks, what was that collaboration like?
LM: It was great. We made the trek a while ago to their studio in Chinatown, NY. We had a really good vibe in the studio: we made most of the track, “We Got U,” in about a day. We have a lot of common music interests, so we’ve kept in touch.
MB: Could you talk a little about your inspirations or influences?
LM: We’re inspired by a bunch of artists that we grew up listening to. For instance, Justice: when we first saw the A Cross the Universe film, we were like, “Yeah that’s what we want to do: travel, have shows, make music.” Also, when we grew up, we watched a lot of Entourage (laughter)… that’s probably influenced us, especially as we’ve moved to LA.
MB: What are Lemaitre’s goals for the foreseeable future? Are there any genres you’d like to experiment with? Do you have any dream collaborations?
LM: We’d love to maybe try producing hip hop, for instance. A dream collaborator might be Kanye… that’d be really cool. It’s hard to say, however, because you get new influences all the time. There might be music that pops up that didn’t exist when we first started out making music. So, for now, it’s hard to say.
MB: Okay speed round: What’s your favorite road snack?
LM: We have so many! Coffee! We drink a lot more coffee than anyone we know. When we have writing sessions, we’ll make a gallon of coffee and people will think we’re weirdos. But it’s actually just because we’re from Norway and Norway is the second most coffee-drinking country in the world. The coffee everywhere is great: you can get a great cup of coffee from a 7-11 in Norway!
MB: Favorite pump-up jam?
LM: Before we’d head on stage, we’d always play “I Don’t Like” by Chief Keef.
MB: Favorite mellow jam?
MB: Finally, what, if anything, are you looking forward to about playing in Boston?
LM: We think it’s probably gonna be one of the coolest shows on the tour! We’ve got a lot of friends studying there from Norway. My whole family’s coming out and my grandmother lives there. It’s gonna be very cool.
Catch Lemaitre’s performance tomorrow at The Middle East Downstairs. Doors open at 8 PM, be sure to stop by!