Interview with Solo Ansamblis
Written by Oliver Little on 30 avril 2020
Solo Ansambli are a four-man electronic group hailing from Vilnius, Lithuania. Together since 2010 after they met in acting school, their self-prescribed “sad dance” style has led them to release two albums. Their second, Olos, released earlier this year, has enjoyed success despite the somewhat problematic obstacle in the form of the coronavirus crisis. We spoke to band members Vytautas Leistrumas and Jonas Sarkus about Olos, about how they created their own style, and how they went from actors to musicians.
We have chosen your new album Olos, released earlier this year in 2020, as our album of the week. What was your main goal?
VYTAUTAS: “We wanted our tracks to tell one story. Although they are all very different, but we wanted them to have a connection between each other.“
Are you pleased with how the release has gone?
VYTAUTAS: “It has been received very well. We are very happy about it.“
What track would you say defines the album?
VYTAUTAS: “It’s a question without an answer. The tracks are all different, and we love that. It is very hard to pick one song because we put a lot of work into each song. It’s like asking a mother which child she loves the most.“
JONAS: “Every song has deep stories about how they are born, so it is difficult to say which is the best for you.“
Has the current crisis obstructed in some way the release of your album?
VYTAUTAS: “It has blocked the main event for us, which was the album presentation concert in Vilnius.“
How did the four of you meet and come together?
VYTAUTAS: “We are all actors, and we met at acting school. Everything developed somehow to the point where we decided that we love electronic music and so why shouldn’t we do this?“
You have mentioned electronic music, would you say that is your style?
JONAS: “We call it sad dance. We don’t create songs in a particular style, but we mix a lot, so you can call it experimental.“
Is electronic music popular and well-received in Lithuania?
VYTAUTAS: “It is very rich. The best producers and DJs come here and lots of people love it and go to concerts.“
How are you coping with quarantine? Are you still able to write music and play music together?
VYTAUTAS: “It is quite difficult. Some creative stuff is going on, and we call every day. We just released our third music video from this album, so things are going on.“
Are you writing any more music in quarantine?
JONAS: “I am trying to collect parts and ideas, and we comment on this together. We are not pushing each other too much though, we are enjoying life – we have families, we have kids and you can find other pleasures of life. We released the album not too long ago so we are quite relaxed.“
Talk a bit about how Olos and your music is a form of expression.
VYTAUTAS: “We express from ourselves.“
JONAS: “We are not trying to moralise, but we observe ourselves and what is happening around us.“
VYTAUTAS: “We try to use our language as a tool for thoughts, and also as an instrument. We search for the sound of words, and sometimes we sing together but with different lyrics and creating an instrument.“
What are your immediate plans for whenever this crisis is over?
VYTAUTAS : “We are planning tours. We are working with some booking agencies, from Holland, London and Paris, and we get back to the concert in Vilnius, which we are preparing for now. We pay a lot of attention to lights and visuals when we play. We are actors, we know how the stage can impress and add to the whole experience.“
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Ten years together. What has come to define you and what is your favourite bit about the four of you?
VYTAUTAS: “We are really a band. We create all together. The creative process happens when somebody has an idea, and then if we all like the idea, we create it with our energy, work and thoughts as a four.“
Every member is as vital as the other.
VYTAUTAS: “It’s like this creative symbiosis. All of these bad words we used to hear about us while we were developing ourselves, this made us define ourselves more and to be sure we want to say what we want to say.“
Crédit photo : © Solo Ansamblis