Black Light White Light excels at blending distorted ‘90s shoegaze rock with jangly West Coast ‘60s-inspired pop. Such a bohemian blend of musical influences is heard throughout the Danish trio’s latest effort, Gold Into Dreams, which dropped in the U.S. on October 14.
At the core of Black Light White Light is singer/guitarist Martin Ejlersten, currently rounded out by brothers Adam and Tobias Winberg on drums and bass respectively. Ejlersten and co. received high acclaim for their debut effort, 2011’s Infrared Daylight, produced by Rick Parker (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Lord Huron). The strong reception led to multiple tours throughout North America and Europe, including an appearance at Toronto’s NXNE Music Festival and tours with The Telescopes and The Soundtrack Of Our Lives.
In conjunction with its physical and digital release, the band will be releasing the album as a “Gold Digger” fuzz guitar pedal. Designed by M&E with Ejlersten and pedal maker Dave Adkins from LooperStar, this one of a kind guitar pedal includes a USB socket and cable to download Gold Into Dreams.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Ejlertsen to discuss the endeavor. This is what he told us about it.
When did you begin writing the material for Gold Into Dreams?
My thoughts on this album started to evolve for real in late 2012. During the Fall, 2012 I went out a few times to a small cabin by the seaside all by myself to rework small sketches and ideas of music and lyrics I had been recording on off for months. This is a good way for me to really start focusing on what all these ideas eventually will become. But some of the songs on the new album are even way older like years, which I brought up and now really made sense to record for the first time. So you can say the album is really binding the past, present and future together in a way I haven’t experienced before.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
The song “Hide” has really become something way different than it was on the demo. It’s the first song we have been programming drums and beats to. It took quite a long time in the studio to actually come up with the sound and atmosphere we were looking for. And this song is even as much about the mixing as it is about actually recording the right sounds from the beginning by mixing live drums, percussing and programmed beats. It was good was fun in the studio playing around with this playing 5 or 6 different keys and organs, but also very time consuming and way different process than all the other songs which was much more about playing live and getting the right take on board. It also took some time to come up with the right mix for this one since we had to make sure it would fit the other songs and atmosphere on the album.
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
That’s very hard to say since most of the songs actually fit my concept and original idea very well. When we enter the studio I have a very clear idea of where I want the songs to go and what we have to do to reach that destination. But still the concept gives room for each musician and the band as a whole to play the songs live and take them where we feel for it. That leaves room for excitement and surprises and that’s often where the magic moments appear.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
We were very lucky to have Davide Rossi featuring on the track “And The Devil.” He has played a crucial role on Coldplay’s biggest hits on their later albums as well as the whole sound for Goldfrapp. I had this idea of having an important string arrangement building up and around the strumming guitar giving the whole track an Indian or Middle East character. Davide had the time and said yes to arrange and record strings for the song. It turned out fantastic. We also had a, Iranian girl Atusa playing sitar on this song really binding it all together. This song is my personal homage to George Harrison whose solo records I had really been starting to dive into in that particular period.
Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
Chris Frenchie Smith worked with us this time around. He’s on the same management as Rick Parker whom we worked with on the first album. I was recommended to work with Chrisby owner Sandy Roberton. I presented Chris some demos and we immediately just clicked on email and on chats on the phone. I just felt right and he dug the songs. So he flew into Denmark to work with us. He gave a lot of energy and had some great inputs in the songs. Being a before this guitar player himself he inspired me a lot on the playing and making up sounds. On the title track Gold Into Dreams we recorded the vocals and guitars in a huge empty room which we used as an echo chamber giving the whole track a wall of sound though being a lullaby. I love the duality in the production.
Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?
There is not as such an overall theme binding all the songs together like The Wall. But the period of conception was a time of life changing moments for all of us in the band. Two of us getting child and the third settling down with a new partner a lot of personal emotions have been channeled into the recording of the album. To me this period has been a lot about reality and dreams and visions melting together in weird new and unpredictable ways. The title of the album plays on precisely this, and therefore it was natural for me to build the album designed on wild west, gold diggers, shamans, dreams and visions open to interpretation and contemplation.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
We have indeed. It’s so relieving being able to finally present new material live. Some of the songs were played for the first time live on a few showcases we did in London over Easter and again more were played on our release show in Copenhagen in September. In seems like people are digging the band is playing more expressive far-reaching and experimental than before still focusing on catchy melodies and instrumental hook lines. Songs like “Running,” “Sex And Fury,” “High Like A Hurrcaine” and “Aim A Little High” have giving us good feedback.
(Visit Black Light White Light here: https://www.facebook.com/BlackLightWhiteLight.)