Interscope music artist Lawrence Rothman is one of the more interesting musicians that’s landed on our crazy planet as of yet. Producer, engineer, front man, multi-instrumentalist and music video director are among some of his talents. Lawrence’s collaborations with legendary director Floria Sigismondi elevates this deep new wave dream to exciting heights.
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born and where are you now?
I was born and raised in “Missouri”, I like to call it fucking “misery”. I love so many people there but growing up I was a skinny legged alien living in my own self imposed bubble. It wasn’t a great place to grow up if you weren’t into sports, cars, beer and guns. I lived a nomadic life starting at age 17, ran away from home to live in Chicago, then New Orleans and got caught up in a lot dark drama there. So I drifted to Brooklyn, then Berlin for a year which was a fantastic life changer for me and finally settling in Los Angeles.
What was the magic moment when music woke you and you started your musical journey?
I have been on a musical journey since I fought my way out of my mother. I had a guitar in my hand by age 3 and would jam along with my mom’s music collection. She had vhs tapes of a Black Sabbath concert that I must of played over and over again. Growing up for me, it was Metal and RnB. My mother loved Metal, my dad loved RnB and Jazz. The 2×2 box of a basement at my parents house was packed with drums, guitars, synths and some basic recording equipment. I spent probably my whole adolescent life down there skipping school to make songs and jam with the two friends I had in my hood.
How would you describe your relationship with Los Angeles?
Look I’ll say it till the day I die, I love LA “the sunny place for shady people”. Apologies to my NY and London friends (or false friends, haha). I feel like LA gets a bad wrap but I sense a shift on that predictable conclusion projected by outsiders. In LA I’m a firm believer it’s an environment that promotes individuality. You can let your freak flag fly high! I like to think of it as a large archangel with enormous Dahli style wings protecting you from outside influence. Also like a beautiful two faced bitch injecting and distorting outside influence inside a neon colored fresh press juicer and demanding you to be your fucking self.
There’s an elevated fusion of sounds in your productions as well as visually captivating music videos. How did you come to this stage of elevated art?
I just follow my own maze the I’ve created inside my head. I have 9 different split selves that I call my alters. They’re muse’s helping me dictate lyrics, sounds and visuals. I dress as these 9 different alters weekly. I used to decorate my bedroom as a space shuttle transforming it into an “escape room/route” from the pressure of fitting in with the old fashioned expectations of my father. I was an astronaut existing within my own design.
Could you share with us all the instruments you play:
I will always be discovering and exploring instruments, it’s what keeps me curious. The main ones that I can say I “play” tho I dabble with others is: guitar, sitar, bass, piano, drums and flute. I also am a very qualified recording engineer. I mixed and recorded 90% of my new album, it was alot work but I’m a control freak.
Your newest video ‘Jordan’ just dropped and is compelling. What positive message is being presented?
It’s a love song for the aliens, the misunderstood and the outsiders.
You collaborate with director Floria Sigismondi (David Bowie, Bjork), how did this relationship come to be?
Floria is my twin flame whom understands what I see in my head and how to project that into reality. We met many moons ago in Prague and I feel blessed to have her be a part of my creative capsule.
The tour starts October 11th in Dan Diego, what musicians and performers do you have lined up?
I have a band that I have used quite a bit, there’s 4 of us. I’m a big fan of Depech Mode’s and talking heads concerts. That’s always my end all be all goal with the live show. I want the audience to taste, touch and embody the sweat, tears, hell and joy that went into the creation of the music but in a live setting.
Excellent work on directing ‘Wolves Still Cry’, it implements a beautiful and strong artistic vision. How challenging was it to direct your own video?
It was quite exhilarating, similar to drugs, you would have a rush and then a come down. I’d have to perform on camera, then swap to the other side and analyze my performance. I enjoyed being able to execute everything I envisioned but I slept for a week once it was done.
What inspired your alters, how did this start?
I have been living with my different alters my whole life. my personality is a definitely a shit show and the most authentic way to be myself is to display the many sides of my true self. My mother always supported this hang up of mine and nurtured it. So my whole life I’ve had many looks and names for myself and the various alters.
Are there any particular fashion designers you work with and who would you also like to have create your clothing?
Gosh so many, to many to list. Yang Li, Maison Margiela, Gucci, Hood by Air and Dries Van Noten.
Shoot a two part film based on my alters that is Tibetan Book of the Dead meets Adult Swim meets Enter the Void.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
The seductive imperfection of baring your true self, scars and all.