NATIONAL LAGARDE is a really groovy entity that I might not have discovered had I not been offered the chance to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

A band sets the tone for the band. With the right name you don’t really need any sort of declaration of intent. Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-Not really! But I was a bit Lucky, a friend of mine called me National Lagarde all the time so when it was time to name the band, I thought of some other names but everybody said, no you have to call it National Lagarde that’s genius! And so here we are today. So thank you to my friend Lucy O’Reilly for calling me National Lagarde!!!

Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have? Who are your house Gods and how have they coloured your music?
-Well I’m a guitar player and into somewhat organic sounds, so for the most part most of my influences are earlier music like Jimi Hendrix for guitar playing and sounds, People like Johnny Cash and Nick Cave for Lyric writing and some one like Ennio Morricone for the ability to make such cool music sound scapes for films.

When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-Not really, I’ve been playing so long now everything just kind of naturally happens, me and my drummer have also been playing together since we were kids so we kind of have a mental telepathy together, the music just seems to find it’s proper groove wether it’s very fast are very slow.

Playing live is a totally different beast to studio work. How does your music work in a live environment?
-I think our music goes over quite well with most crowds, National Lagarde has a pretty diverse range of sounds so generally we get good feedback from a broad range of fans, from blues and Alternative to classic rock and metal. I’m sure there’s always a few people out there who don’t get it, but no one’s ever told me anything negative, They probably just leave!!!! 😉

How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? Are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans?
-Well for me It’s nice having the label there because it makes a broader range of thing’s more possible and manageable, I’m sure some artist can do a pretty good job on there own if your into taking all that on, but to me it’s nice having the assistance, as far as negative consequences well all I can say is when I was young I would save up money to buy an album and go to the record store looking around like I was in a candy shop, and when I got that album I would really cherish it, I think we have probably lost a lot of that now with the world of digital downloads and streaming.

I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
-Well that goes back to my answer above, the only positive thing to me would be that it has made the producing of music for the common musician easier, which in one way is good, more opportunities for struggling musicians to get there work out but it has also made the idea of making an album and getting it out to the world a much more bland concept and put a lot more lame music out there that doesn’t even have anything to do with being a musician.

What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-Well some of the early 60’s cover artwork was pretty cool just because some of it was like works of art, like the Blue Cheer Outsideinside album, but I think in my case it should have a connection or mean something to the artist.

Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?>
-I feel part of the New Orleans scene but not really the national scene, the U.S is so big and sprawling I think you have to make a pretty big impact before you start feeling that, I don’t think National Lagarde is really so much metal, but I think the metal scene here has legions of pretty dedicated fans for sure.

I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-Yes, of course it’s a convienience thing, I think most people who only use those services are probably people who are casual listeners and don’t really cherish music very much more than some background noise, I don’t know if I really have any worries at this point besides thinking that it’s kind of lame, however here in New Orleans a lot of bands or putting out vinyl again, so who knows maybe the masses will repent back to Vinyl to have that fuzzy warm feeling again of actually owing a physical thing that has cool artwork and pics of the band that they supposedly like and want to support so much.

What lies in the future?
-I never dreamed when I started playing guitar that music would take me all over the world and give me bonding friendships with so many different people from all over, so what lies in the future, I can only hope more of the same!!!! Vive National Lagarde!!!!!

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