Sam La More - Musique Avec La More
Friday, 17 August 2007
Ironically, the Fine Arts grad originally established an international media design company. In 2000 he elected to sell his share to focus on music. Littlemore has lately returned to Sydney from a stint recording in Los Angeles and, not for the first time, he’s starting over. So why come back-
“I just wanted to try something a little more esoteric – which I think you can do in Australia. It’s a very receptive country for eccentric music,” he says.
“America is full of people making the same big RNB-influenced records, and the UK is so house-influenced, it just became really dull to me. I thought we could actually birth a new genre here, if we go really electronic – and that’s basically what became the electro movement. I don’t think we could have done that anywhere else.”
In California Pnau’s de facto third member was collaborating with another Australian expat, Simon “GT” Lewicki, as Tonite Only. They circulated Danger (The Bomb) as well as Where The Party’s At, but an album, tentatively titled Fuck Tomorrow, is on ice. They announced a split late last year.
“It’s just been an underground project that was supposed to be for the clubs, but we had a little success in terms of our remixes for Sneaky [Sound System] and The Similou and so it ended up being more commercial than we expected,” he says.
“It’s hard to say where that’s going now because Simon lives in Los Angeles and I live here now, so we’ve put it on hold. But we might be coming out with an album, we may not – it all comes down to if someone offers us the right kind of record deal.”
Littlemore’s biggest productions in recent years have been in the pop realm. The programmer-for-hire, then in London, conceived Gwen Stefani’s What You Waiting For- before Nellee Hooper in a studio “audition”. He also teamed with the veteran Rick Nowels (Madonna) on Nelly Furtado’s Loose. So then, after contributing to the decade’s freshest pop albums, why turn away-
He simply felt disillusioned. And he missed the cutting-edge of dance music.
“It’s much more passionate,” he says. “Basically, what you’re doing with the pop stuff is, you get to do what you do for yourself but you’re [also] doing it for someone else – so someone else gets all the credit. That’s attractive sometimes, but most of the time you want to have the opportunity to get the credit for these big records – just as you’re willing to accept the responsibility if they’re fucked! [laughs] If you come up with a bad record, and your name’s attached to it, then you deserve to be tanked or out on your ear. But, if you come up with a good record, then you should be getting credit. I got very little credit for What You Waiting For-, even though that was my tune. It’s just that’s the game. I was happy to move away from pop and start coming out with more underground stuff where it’s closer to my heart.”
The candid Littlemore did vibe with Gwen, though.
“I went to LA and worked with her for six weeks,” he recaps. “We partied every night and hung out at her house and wrote so many tracks that never saw the light of day. It was amazing. It was probably the best six weeks of my life, just behaving like a complete Hollywood brat. But all these stars are the same. They’ve gotta keep distance from people because, if they get too many people in their lives, they get flooded. She was always the star. It was always a little bit distant – but I knew the whole time. I just tried to make the most of it.”
An example of this distance is Littlemore’s non-invite to her concert in Sydney.
“That’s exactly what I mean – she’s such a star, she doesn’t really think about people who she doesn’t work with any more,” he says. “The reality is I’m just another person who makes her famous. That’s the nature of the beast, but you have to know this and not let it go to your head.”
Prior to his brilliant pop encounters, he worked with Darren Emerson. He released the solo Takin’ Hold on Emerson’s Underwater Records in 2003. In successive interviews the Brit has discussed his first album post-Underworld, but nothing has materialised. Littlemore’s non-committal about connecting with “Daz” again.
“He’s too much of a party boy,” he says. “He did some amazing records – Born Slippy was just such an amazing track, and there’s so much of him in that. But, unfortunately, with a lot of these people who have had huge success, they’re so wealthy and comfortable that they don’t really have the hunger. They don’t want it any more, so they don’t put in a lot of passion in the studio. You end up doing all the work. It feels like the love’s gone. It’s a shame.”
As for Emerson’s LP-
“My brother Nick from Pnau [and Teenager] wrote the whole record with Darren over the course of two years – and the thing’s got shelved. They put out a few 12 Inches but no, it never happened. Unfortunately, Nick gave up many of his good records for it.”
Littlemore now prefers to discover “hungry” young talents possessing “wild” ideas. Press him on which dance acts he rates today and he proffers Klaxons, Soulwax and the UK DJ Erol Alkan. Currently Littlemore is plugging an electro house mix-CD under the Pacha banner with French DJ Richard Grey. He touts it as “seminal records that haven’t perhaps become cliche.”
The Sydneysider raves about Pacha, although he bashfully admits to only playing the Ibiza venue the once alongside Emerson. But he also has other monumental plans. He’s steering Pnau’s comeback album and, yes, he’s ambitious for it.
“It’s just hits! It’s an album of amazing songs,” he beams. “It’s so fresh and crazy and passionate. It’s crafted like nothing else. It’s been three years in the making and there’s been three of us working on it for a bloody long time.
WHO: Sam La More (Tonite Only)
WHAT: Mixes Pacha with Richard Grey and Soul Avengerz / Plays Kink
WHEN: Out Saturday 25 August through Central Station / Saturday 1 September
MORE: myspace.com/samlamore, centralstation.com.au