the eastern beat



"A compulsive traveller and music-lover with nothing to prove, Lansolo has educated his ear on the rhythm of the soft currents in the city of Tours. Multilingual but also multi-instrumentalist, manipulating a saxophone while flicking through his Hungarian lessons is certainly not a problem for him. Sticks in hands in the psychedelic band JUKE (2012-2018) as well as in the Royal Garage Rock duo Majesty's Request (2014-2018), he has built his own musical identity over the last 10 years with more electronic influence.Inspired by Aphex Twin, Klaus Schulze, Sigur Rós and his numerous travels in Iceland, Norway, Italy and many eastern countries, each of his creations has its own emotion, its own singularity".

Where do you come from and what brought you to Budapest?

I was born in the south-west of France near Angoulême, but moved a lot since then and I spent 10 years in a city called Tours (an Eldorado for musicians and wine lovers) before moving to Budapest. I came here for the first time in January 2014, out of the blue; I wanted to travel but with my babysitter income I couldn’t afford something too expensive so Budapest won! I then came back once a year before finally settling here in September 2018. 

Before moving to Budapest, I’ve been hesitating a lot with Reykjavik, because I spent three summers in a row there between 2012 and 2014, doing all sorts of things, from busking to milking cows and working with sledding dogs, and I even tried to learn the language there; the fact that I’ve found a Hungarian teacher in my city in 2015 probably helped me to take a decision.

How did music become part of your life, were you inspired by your parents or siblings or was it your own choice?  

I grew up surrounded by operas, classical music, and all the essential records from the most amazing rock bands, and my mother played piano, and also bass in a progressive rock band (she even did a few gigs in Italy back then) and my brother was playing bass guitar on The Who and Red Hot Chili Peppers records in the next room, so I finally picked up my first instrument when I was 15...

When did you start making music and what was your first instrument?  

I started with the electric guitar, fascinated by its sound and the whole vibe surrounding this instrument; I was 15 and mostly into Nirvana and Iron Maiden records back then. But I quickly realised that it wasn’t something I would enjoy to play: the painful hand postures, all these chords... the following year I tried drums for the first time and I immediately fell in love with it, and that’s when I understood that as a child your parents should put you in a room full of instruments, so you could try them all and just go with the one you feel the most at ease with.

Could you tell us a little bit about the project you're working on right now?

Right now, between saxophone(s), drums and keyboards, I’m involved in almost ten different music projects, but because of the virus we’ve suspended rehearsals with the ones who are still in Budapest, but some of the musicians are stuck in Barcelona, in Berlin, or even in the USA! So I’m focusing on my solo project LANSOLO, and I’m transforming my living-room into a little home studio nowadays, so I can record some songs directly on the spot, and this way I’ll also be able to collaborate with members of my other projects without putting a foot outside.

What makes the Budapest art scene special? How is it different from where you're coming from?  

I would say that Budapest has this pretty unique vibrant scene where all genres are present, this huge open mic community as well (I ended up playing in several bands thanks to that actually) and musicians coming here for a few months/years, so line-ups change, bands disappear, making place for new ones. It’s always moving, which is pretty exciting ! In my city (Tours) there are also many bands, two music schools with great teachers, so I was part of many projects over there for ten years, but there were really few places where to perform, and no open mic scene, and that’s something I would truly miss if I had to go back home.

What are its biggest highlights and biggest difficulties?  

Well, its biggest highlight is the fantastic open mic community and the opportunity to perform every night in a different place in Budapest if you want to do so. The problem is if you start to do that, when you’ll try to book a paid gig somewhere in town, you’ll have to explain to the venue why they should pay you since you came to play for free every week for the last few months, and it may be hard for you to fill the room if your fan base have heard the same songs for one year. At least that’s how I see it, as a musician and as a member of the audience as well, but I’ve been doing that a lot myself when I arrived, and now it feels weird being at a jam session or an open mic, sit the whole evening and not go up on stage even once to play with some friends or random strangers; that may also be my hyperactive side.

Is your music network here mostly expat artists or local as well?  

Both actually. Since I’m learning Hungarian I‘m trying to spend as much time as possible surrounded by locals, and play music with them is a perfect combo ! I often end up playing some stuff on stage with Poplesz, the BG Page, or both. 

I play percussions with Tibi & the Otters, or saxophone when Jeff is not in town, and recently I did a rehearsal (on sax) with Szörényi Tamás, an amazing pianist who mixes classical and jazz influences plus some world music as well, and we’ve started to work on some originals, as a saxophone-piano duet, which could be a good lineup for busking.

What have you learnt from the local artists that you think is specific to Budapest?

From local artists I mostly learned musical terms specific to Hungary, például B-dúr, a-moll, but I also learnt and realised that making a living as a musician here is harder than in France, so you have to book some gigs abroad, do busking from time to time, and never limit yourself to one band, even if it’s a successful one, because if it falls apart...

What projects do you have in mind for the next year or two? Where would you like to be in, say, 2 years musically?   

It looks like I will tour for the whole month in South America next year in January or February, and if things get better I will probably spend a good part of the summer doing gigs around Balaton with the Serial Chillers and the Bataclano Orchestra. Depending on the duration of the quarantine I guess I might record and then release a few solo albums, a compilation of all my instrumental songs that didn’t make it to the radio plus a “ten years special gold reissue” of my first solo album. Also, when the three of us will synchronise our agendas, and when the rehearsals rooms will be open again, I will start a new project with Sly Juhas on drums and Zoran Popovski on bass with effects, and I’ll play sax with crazy effects from outta space...

It’s hard for me to figure out a where I will be in two years from now, musically, because I realise now how much I achieved in just one year and a half, and many of these new projects will just get better and better with the time, but I hope I’ll make a living out of my music and then I’d like to have some kind of weird orchestra, mixing electronic and acoustic instruments, classical players, psychedelic rock addicts, to play some of my songs on bigger stages, and do a whole video and audio recording of it, the rehearsals, backstage stories, etc... and I would like to play the saxophone on this specific song, just a few notes of piano on another one, a drum fill here and there, and be part of something big with some of my favorite musicians (some of them are living in France but we’d find a way).

Oh and... there are a few artists I would love to collaborate with at some point, they are my three favorite folk musicians/songwriters: Thomas Dybdahl (🇳🇴), Moddi (🇳🇴) and Peter Von Poehl (🇸🇪) 

If you could give any advice to creators moving here what would that be?  

Try to learn Hungarian, even just the basics first , and you’ll see that locals can be fantastic when they see that you make the effort to speak in their language (although they may quickly switch to English when they can). Secondly, don’t expect everything to be better here than in your country, and try to understand that being on holiday in Budapest and living here the whole year is not the same thing... I say that because some people (like me) first only came here during vacations or for a summer break, and when they decided to live here, they realised that it was even better in the long term.

Find LANSOLO on YouTube,  Instagram Facebook

July 2020

Photos: Anna Jopp

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