Laki Mera are a band based in Glasgow who've recently released an EP (Clutter) and who have just played a few gigs in London. They're currently recording their second album, and took a few minutes out to answer our burning questions about trip-hop, sound art and recording in a warehouse. As an introduction of sorts, how would you describe what you do to someone you're sitting next to at a dinner party? A marriage of electronic sweeps and swells, dark beats and pumping bass patterns with acoustic drums, guitar arpeggi and airy vocals.   I feel a heavy trip-hop influence in your music, would you agree with this?  We're not entirely comfortable with the trip-hop references as we feel we're moving on from this and pushing our music forward as much as we can. It's important for us to keep progressing rather than get stuck on one sound. Having said that, we have all, at points, been influenced by trip-hop artists. What first inspired you to start making music as Laki Mera? Andrea (with his dark electronica) met Laura (singer/songwriter with an acoustic guitar) and they started writing and recording. With a few tunes under their belt they recruited Keir and Tim (alongside Cellist Trevor Helliwell) and started to work out how to play these strange tunes live. This has been an exciting and ever-evolving process.  The city you're based in, Glasgow , has a fairly stellar musical history. Are you native Glaswegians, and if not, what drew you to the city to make music there?  Andrea left Rome at 18 (he's now 30) in search of new opportunities in music. Finding London too vast a place to know where to start, he then moved onto Glasgow. Tim comes from Bangor, Northern Ireland and has played and collaborated with many artists since settling in Glasgow. Keir studied music in Leeds but returned to Glasgow. Laura moved (from nearby East Kilbride) to Glasgow and all have found it to be a creative hotbed and an easy place to meet and work with other musicians.  You've mentioned in interviews that you record in a warehouse. Do you think this both literally and psychologically gives you space and freedom to experiment a bit more? Is it something that's important to you as a band? The space we use and have been using for the past few years is absolutely vital to our development. Were we a band who relied on booking three hour sessions in a practice room (like so many bands have to), then we would've been extremely limited. Even just in a physical way - you can only practice with as many instruments as you can fit in the boot of a car! With our own space we have no time limits or space restriction - we can experiment with as many instruments as we desire and make as much noise as we want!   While your songs are both lyrically and musically quite complex, there is a certain sense of restraint and minimalism quite often absent in music these days. Are there any contemporary musicians or bands whose music you admire, and who you consider to be coming from a similar place to Laki Mera? For us it's difficult to draw comparisons but we can certainly name a few influences...There are some really exciting acts about at the moment...Efterklang, Everything Everything, Lykke Li, Fever Ray, Bat For Lashes. There is also a heavy German electronica influence within the band which may go some way to explain our appreciation of minimalism - To Rococo Rot, Tarwater, Schneider TM, Pole etc.  Artist bios state that Laura studied art and Andrea sound and audio engineering...to me, some songs, particularly the penultimate track on the EP, 'Zeuhl', feels in part more like a piece of sound art than a song. Would you consider sound art to have had any influence on your work and do you think that there's a place for it in mainstream music?  Definitely, sound art and film music are important to us. In the early days of Laki Mera, Andrea & Keir worked together on scores for film and theatre performance. This had a massive impact and influence on the direction of the band. I think there probably is a place for sound art in mainstream music if it is mixed with other aspects of music and presented in an interesting way. This links back to the description of Laki Mera I think - not only do we try to marry electronic and acoustic sounds but also to write music which encompasses interesting, artistic film-like scores with catchy, slightly more accessible melody. Finally, what can we expect from the next album?  I think we all feel that the next album is a massive progression from previous work. We've always recorded our own material and over the years we have learned a lot about recording, producing and even just about ourselves as musicians. I would say we have a very fluid way of working together now and relating to each other. The new album shows all sides to Laki Mera. 
There's a free download of 'No Motion' from the band's Clutter EP available on their MySpace . Their 'How Dare You' EP is coming out on December 13th through Just Music