INTERVIEW: Chris Lanzon

Chris Lanzon is on a journey of self-discovery. His debut EP ‘Melancholy’ was an in-depth search for what that meant, and his new EP ‘Far From Perfect’ (out now) is a self-realisation in itself that the search for ‘something’ is lifelong. Learning to be able to be content with that, he unravels his experimental side with bolder production while still finding the contrast of intimacy. Addressing love, heartbreak, figuring out who he is as a person, and all the in-between moments, he bares his heart and soul to the listener as he opens up and lays it all down. 

I recently chatted to Chris Lanzon about the self-realisations behind his new EP ‘Far From Perfect’, explored the bolder production stylings and gapless playback he implemented on the body of work, and discussed the accompanying short film. Check it out BELOW;

THOMAS BLEACH: Your new EP ‘Far From Perfect’ is an emotively penned collection of tracks that is all about self reflection. What is the biggest thing that you want listeners to take away from listening to it for the first time from start to finish?

CHRIS LANZON: It is quite emotional, I’ve lately started describing my sound as ‘music for your feelings’. From happiness to sadness, I just hope to make music that people can relate to and feel to in their own way. I guess that’s the main take away I hope for people who listen to this project, that they can have their own moments of self-reflection through it. I’ve definitely had those experiences as a listener, so if someone can feel that when they listen to my music, even if it’s just one person… that would mean the world.

TB: ’Figure Me Out’ is a song that immediately stands out. Can explain how this track creatively came together? 

CL: Thanks so much! It’s definitely one of the more high-energy tracks I’ve made. I started it a while back when I found a cool drum loop on the internet, then I started playing the chords and writing the lyrics based around that groove. The song sounds quite upbeat but the lyrics are actually some of the most personal and directly honest on the project, but I like that contrast. 

For a while I wasn’t sure if I wanted it to be a chill ballad or more of a rock vibe. Eventually I decided to go all out on the production with electric guitar and live drums. My friend Franco Reid recorded some drums over in the US and sent them back to me, that really tied everything together. Oh, and the high pitch vocal thing in the second verse on this song was the first time I did that effect. I think it started as a joke, mainly because I was too scared to sing those lyrics myself, so I thought I could hide behind the effects *laughs*. I wasn’t sure if I’d leave it like that, but I did. I think it actually works quite well as a sonical metaphor on a couple of the songs throughout the project, representing innocence and vulnerability.

TB: Why did you want to call the EP ‘Far From Perfect’?

CL: I actually had a song called ‘Far From Perfect’ when I was first starting to put demos together for this project. It was all about self-doubt and feeling the pressure of wanting to pursue a career in music while there was this expectation to go to uni and get a ‘real job’ after finishing high school. I ended up scrapping the song, but I thought the title was cool and still resonated with the story I wanted to tell, so I kept it for the EP. I guess it’s about the acceptance of imperfection. I can be a bit of a perfectionist and a lot of these songs dive into the parts of myself that aren’t perfect, and that aren’t certain. I think it’s important to face those parts of yourself in order to grow, rather than living in a false ideal.

TB: ’New York Falling Apart’ is a song that introduced a heavier experimentation in your sonic compared to ‘Melancholy’. What was inspiring you to try different sounds and layering?

CL: I listen to such a wide range of music, from folk and rock, to electronic and hip hop. I think with this track I just wanted to dive into that more electronic side while blending in the other elements of my sound. So there’s a lot of synth lines and a heavier drum beat, but still with guitar and harmonies. I’m still finding my feet in producing so each song is like a learning project for me, it’s fun to experiment and try new things!

TB: The EP is immaculately produced and hears each song smoothly gliding into each other with a gapless playback. Why was this something that was important to you in creating an immersive listen? 

CL: Thank you so much! I feel like I’m learning so many new things with each song and project I make, so I’m really glad you enjoyed the listen. My favourite projects are the ones you can get completely lost in, where each song flows into the next without you barley noticing. Like Jeremy Zucker’s ‘love is not dying’ and Phoebe Bridger’s ‘Punisher’, to name a couple recent ones. They just feel so cohesive from start to finish. It was a huge goal to make something that could feel like that. And I think that’s always something I’ll strive for. I just love that feeling when listening to music.

TB: What song took the longest to sonically hone its vision and why? 

CL: Probably ‘Figure Me Out’, to be honest. There was a time where I was considering cutting it from the EP. I just wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to go with it. I’d also never produced a song like that before as there’s a lot going on in it and it was super hard to get the balance right. But once I got the live electric guitar and drums in there it started to come together. I also just wanted to make sure each part of the song felt like a new moment, so it didn’t get boring for the listener. There’s a lot I had to say in this song, so I hope people enjoy the final version!

TB: Reflecting back on the creative process behind your debut EP ‘Melancholy’, what would you say was the biggest thing you learnt about yourself as an artist that helped form this new body of work?

CL: Great question. I think this project is a direct response to ‘Melancholy’ in a lot of ways. Like a progression. That first project was a huge learning process, and I mean, so was this. But by the end of ‘Melancholy’ I had found the sense of self-awareness I was searching for. At least I thought I had. I think the main thing I learnt about myself was that the search for this ideal final destination of happiness and contentment doesn’t exist. I need to aim to find those things in the present, day to day. So that’s what I wanted to explore with ‘Far From Perfect’, the journey toward feeling comfortable with ‘now’, and accepting imperfection.

TB: You’ve shot an accompanying short film down on the south coast of Victoria where you sing some songs and tell some stories. What was something the documentary captured that you personally think was really good in explicitly representing what this whole EP meant to you? 

CL: Yeah! It was super fun to make and super candid, which is what I love about it. I think the talking parts allowed me to express myself in a way that was super off-the-cuff and really captured my thoughts and headspace reflecting back on the project. And I think the live performances show the songs in a really intimate context. So I hope it translates!

TB: “I think that’s why I’m out here. Just like, looking for something” you say towards the end of the documentary in reference to always feeling like you will be searching for something and why you found yourself taking a roadtrip after finishing the EP. By putting this EP and mini documentary out do you feel like you are taking away something in regards to what you want or need in life? 

CL: I think so. I think my realisation with this project has been that the search for ‘something’ is lifelong. That’s what life is all about. If you’re not searching, and learning, and growing, are you really living? I wanted to go on the road trip to see some new places and get out of my head a little, and I think it definitely helped give me more perspective before releasing this project. By putting it out I feel like I can bookmark that journey and move forward, and hopefully someone out there will be able to listen and take something from it for themselves.

TB: Let’s play a quick game of rapid fire questions, you ready?

CL: Let’s do it!

TB: The emoji the bet describes my new EP ‘Far From Perfect’ is…

CL: A sunflower!

TB: The weirdest hobby/obsession/trait I picked down during lockdown has been…

CL:  Becoming a plant dad. I have way too many plants now. But I love it!

TB: The colour of my toothbrush currently is…

CL: White and orange. My last one was blue though, kinda miss it.

TB: If I could have any superpower it would be to…

CL: I think I’ve always said this, and I stand by it; Teleportation.

Pineapple on pizza is…

CL: You know what… I used to hate it… but… recently I’ve realised there’s a time and place, you know? Sometimes it can just hit the spot. So I’m on the fence. You do you!

‘Far From Perfect’ is out now!