SD -Tell me a little about you, what were you doing before you formed the Lagum?
LG – Pedro (vocalist): Before forming the band, each one of us did something different. I was still at school when the band started, I then had a period in business school before going into advertising. However, once things with the band started to work I ended up drifting more towards the band. Chicão was studying to become an airplane pilot and graduated, Jorge graduated as a bachelor of music at UFMG and Zani studied computer science but ended up giving up because he was having success with music.
SD -What does Lagum mean?
LG – Pedro (vocalist): Before discovering the true meaning behind the word, we named it after the place he first members of the band met wish is also where I live to this day. There, there is a pond and it was the place that we used to “get silly” and meet on weekends. The name came first in English “Lagoon”, but we decided to “add a Brazilian touch” later. We later discovered that written it this way, “Lagum”, refers to a Swedish lifestyle of always seeking balance and comfort. It also relates to a sustainable habit of having what is enough. That is all the band represents. Fate has come to bind us to that word.
SD – What was your inspiration?
LG – Pedro (vocalist): There’s always been much inspiration in different songs. I’ve always really liked Charlie Brown Jr, she was a great inspiration to me early in her career and to this day she’s one of my favorite bands and an influence when we created the band. The shows I attended were remarkable, their notable musical energy sort of shaped like a body, even in the mosh pits they did. The other members of the band, Chicão is a huge Beatles fan, he can sing every song. Zani is a very classic rock guy, Jorge knows a lot about Brazilian popular music, especially from Minas Gerais, such as Milton Nascimento and Clube da Esquina. When we meet to make music together, each one puts a little of his references, which is a unique way of making sound.
SD – How does your creative process work?
LG – Jorge (guitarist): This process has several forms, but the most common is Pedro coming up with the lyrics and melody of the song, and together we work around the harmony and the song’s arrangement. But we don’t have that defined. We made songs starting with an instrument, started it from scratch on a computer, So the process varies a lot.
SD – Where was your first show? How did you feel?
LG – Pedro (vocalist): It was in a small concert hall in Belo Horizonte with a 500 people capacity, not frequently used, but on the day we made sure to take as many friends as possible. It was a cramped place with little structure. Our fee was 200 reais and we spent it all in the bar to celebrate, but it was a success and we filled the house. So much so that we were called to do several other shows there and our name ended up growing in the city because of this show, that was very exciting. In addition to our own songs, we song a few covers. It was such an explosive show, and our peers were so impressed they began investing more in the band and with the money we started earning, we began recording our songs. After two years playing in our city, we recorded our first album and started handing several copies of them in our shows.
SD-In 2020 the band suffered the loss of a family member, Uncle Wilson. How did you deal with the unexpected tragedy?
LG – Jorge – I believe that each took that punch differently. I preferred to deal with it in a more reclusive way to try and absorb this, not least because it was the first time I had a death experience of someone so close to me. It was very difficult, but at the same time, light. It’s even controversial to say this, but Uncle has always been a very easy going, fun person and because he was always such a positive person, it helped us turning the initial sadness into a longing that will stay forever. We held hands as a group and paid highest tribute he so deserved, which was the song ‘Nobody Taught Me’, honoring his memory but always focusing on positive things, which was what marked his passage here on earth.
SD – Who would you most like to collaborate with? Zani – Jorge and I always talked about Tom Misch. Besides being guitarists, we are also lovers of his sound. Recently, a guy who calls Vic Mirallas and he smashes a high-quality R&B. I highly recommend it! Pedro – We’ve been talking about it a lot, but I think when it comes to an international artist, we’ve got a few in mind. For example, our dream to make a song with Jack Johnson and I pray that we can collaborate with him, he has been an inspiration since childhood for me. I really want to make a song with it!
SD – If they could open a show for any artist in the world, who would it be?
LG – Pedro – I’ve always answered that question by saying that it’s Sticky Fingers, an Australian band that we are big fan of. Fortunately our dream is coming true as we will be opening for them here in Brazil, in Curitiba. Maybe I’d put Jack Johnson on, too. It’s really cool because we are fulfilling all our dreams in a short time.
SD – How do you think the Internet has influenced the music business?
LG – Jorge – I believe the Internet comes with both positive and negative effects for the industry. I think it was positive to democratize the consumption of art. Everyone can access any music and movie from any phone, for example. It also allowed those who could not record in a large studio to be able to record in a home studio their material and disseminate later. But at the same time, because it has a very large volume of content, the competition has increased in a very fierce and unfair way, because the capital to do good marketing in digital needs to be high. In addition, social networks have a very big impact on mental health and people often value much more songs that go viral.
SD – You have announced the tour for this year. How do you feel about acting in Europe as well?
LG – Jorge – We are very honored to cross the Atlantic and do shows in Europe. I think this shows us that with a lot of work we can get anywhere in the world with our sound, besides making it clear that music has no barriers.
SD – Which famous musicians do you admire? Zani – I greatly admire an artist who can express emotion through his lyrics with the harmony and melody he chooses. I think Quincy Jones has done this his whole life very well. Another guy who does it very well too is Jacob Collier. I think they are very sensitive musicians who know very well what they are putting forward. Peter – Wow, there are so many names. Here in Brazil even I admire Leninie, Ed Motta… Lyrically speaking, I’m a big fan of Brazilian rappers, such as Black Alien and De Leve. When it comes to foreign talent, we have some names in common, like Dave Matthews, Sticky Fingers, Jack Johnson, Tom Misch, FKJ and Alex G.
Jorge – I greatly admire Jimi Hendrix for what he did with his guitar revolutionizing this instrument. I really like the Red Hot Chili Peppers for their resilience history, having gone through so many ups and downs but still being a stadium-packed band, showing that bad phases in their careers are no hindrance. I also love Tom Jobim for what he represented, for taking Brazilian music into the world and showing what is done here artistically.
SD – If you could change something about the industry, what would it be?
LG – Zani – I’ve been comparing music to food lately. I think today the consumption of fast food is very high. With the high use of social networks, with 15-second videos, infinite feed, millions of subjects at the same time, I think people are consuming much more music as entertainment than tasting. I think the industry lacks more work on this issue of tasting, to foster the idea that music is for you to understand, it is for you to feel, interpret and appreciate. I believe that we are in the phase of ‘consumer rights there’. You don’t have the calm you had back there. Jorge – I already believe that it is very difficult to propose a change in the industry because I believe that all artists, of all eras, are products of both the industry and their artistic abilities. What I would change would perhaps would be increasing the number of concert houses specializing in certain genres because live is a crucial part of every artist’s career and often he gets stuck on the board or in the internet world precisely because he has nowhere to perform.
SD – What’s next for you?
LG – Jorge – Next for us, for sure, comes a lot of work in the studio, composing, doing shows in Brazil and other countries, conquering new audiences and new places. At the same time, having a healthy career, taking short breaks to rest, “drinking from new fountains” and living new experiences… In a concrete way, the public can expect new releases of songs, clips, partnerships and a new CD.
SD – In a country like Brazil, where art is not supported by people of power, how do you position yourself with your passion for music?
LG – Jorge – I believe that we position ourselves with a lot of awareness and responsibility. Speaking first of the responsibility, the fact that we are young and our audience is young, we have a great responsibility when we go on stage, when we sing the verses of our songs…. We know that they have a great healing power, that when we receive people in the dressing room they thank saying that they helped in a difficult time and we can see in practice the power that music has. On the other hand, consciousness, is to understand our role in the midst of all this, to understand that we need to be consistent with our lyrics. We always seek questioning and dialogue, especially in complicated times like those in our country. In the political debate, above all, it is necessary to rationalize, putting our passions aside, more communication, which is what’s important in all living situations.