Interview with Laang
Tell us about your latest release: the main concept; what fans should expect; what were/are your goals with it:
Our debut album Hǎiyáng 海洋 tells the story of my experience with death. The music is intended to capture those emotions, the fear and misery, the pain and emptiness that I felt. The lyrical content describes the experience I had during the time that my heart stopped; the experience of this Otherworld beyond description, and the crushing feelings of terror that accompanied it. The fans should expect a combination of dark and aggressive instrumentation contrasted with pained melancholic melodies that tells my own story of death. They should expect non-conventional melodies and rhythms, and hopefully will find the music to be unique and interesting to listen to. My goal is to allow others to understand this experience I had with death, and to serve as a reminder for people to enjoy life, because it truly is a luxury.
Did you have a specific sound in mind when you formed the band, or did that grow and evolve as you played together?
I did have a very specific sound in mind actually. The entire sound for the band was based on one dissonant riff I wrote one day. The riff implemented quite a few clashing harmonies with several ringing open strings, thanks to a unique guitar tuning I use for the band. I wanted to write music that combined these ringing dissonant notes with melancholic melodies, which eventually created the sound of Laang.
How does your writing process normally work out?
My writing process is actually surprisingly streamlined. I rarely write music by experimenting on an instrument, but I rather hear a melody in my head. It’s almost like having a song stuck in my head; my imagination creates a song, and I teach myself how to play it. I transcribe this song I’ve imagined onto a piano and refine it until I have a fully-developed song with distinctive melodies and structure. I record the piano part, and then arrange and record the rest of the song on top of this.
What are your ambitions and how far do you want to push your band?
I would like to push this band as far as I can! I would love to tour and perform at festivals regularly, perhaps even alongside some of the artists who have influenced me as a musician. We have a headlining tour in Asia coming up in June which is our first step at reaching this goal. In the future I would love to play headlining tours through Europe, North America, and maybe even South America!
What are your influences/musical references and the impact those same influences had in your sound?
My main influences have been Alcest, Harakiri for the Sky, Woods of Ypres, Sylvaine, and Agrypnie. They are fantastic artists with amazing abilities to write sorrowful melodies, and they have done quite a lot to shape the sound of Laang.
What’s next for you?
Next we are going to do our album release tour in Taiwan and Hong Kong! We will also be releasing a digipak edition of our album with the possibility for vinyl and cassette tape on its heels. For now we’re going to keep working hard to provide the best music and performances possible, and we will see how far we can go!