Earlier this week we had the pleasure of reviewing a covers EP entitled “Projections” from duo Litost (pronounced “lee-toast”) that is a mighty fine piece of work. Multi-instrumentalist John Rackowski and vocalist Matt Smith make the songs their own, a crucial part of any covers in our eyes so we figured it would be nice to ask them a few questions about it…
The back story of Litost is really interesting with the “Colony” album written before you’d both met in the flesh. How was it when you finally met? What was it like moving 1700 miles to work together more and get studio time? We actually wrote and recorded the whole thing from our own home studios before we ever met. Finally meeting was natural because we already felt like brothers! We still to this day have never been in the studio together.
The older pre-“Colony” work is instrumental stuff so how did the decision to get a vocalist on board come about? Does it feel like a new project again, given a new lease of life? John felt that he wanted a vocalist to flesh out the sound and let the music shine a bit more. Initially, Colony was supposed to have a different vocalist on each song, but he liked what I did so much that he invited me to do the whole album and eventually be a permanent member of the band! – Matt
“Projections” is a mix of songs that span the generations. How long did it take you to pick those songs and we’re there any that you didn’t agree upon? It was easy picking the songs by we definitely shot ideas back and forth a bit before deciding on a final list. We actually have one other cover song fully recorded that we didn’t use and might one day see the light. We do have a really cool plan for more “Projections” albums in the future!
Your take on “California Love” has a great sense of fun with it. Were there any nerves about the rapping?There were no nerves at all. I knew I could kill it because I’ve had a rap side project (MC Revenant) for many years. 2Pac is a heck of a tough task though, I just wanted to do the song justice. -Matt
A lot of covers albums end up sounding disjointed, like a collection of singles rather than having that album flow, something that “Projections” doesn’t suffer from. Did you make a conscious effort to so that or was it something that came together naturally? We recorded all of the songs with basically the exact same settings so that it would have continuity. We would prefer for our albums not just to be a collection of songs, but one cohesive PROJECT. The listener should feel like it’s one experience throughout.
As a duo you don’t play live. Have you ever considered taking to the stage or has fleshing out the band or using a backing track never appealled to you or does the whole travelling aspect simply not fit with the 9-5 daily grind of every life? We have discussed doing some live online performances but at this point we have no desire to play out live. Backing tracks are just cheesy to us and it doesn’t fit into our schedule at all. This band is a business for us and we would rather spend 8 hours a day marketing online than spend months getting ready for one gig.
What does the future hold for Litost? We have some HUGE things in the works for our fans. We’ve got a wonderful facebook support group that we run to help people with depression and addiction recovery and things like that. It’s called Litost Nation: Those Who Believe Music Can Save A Life. It’s been really fulfilling. We have both been through struggle in our lives and luckily come out stronger and we just want to help other people do the same.
As far as the music, we just released a new single “Save Me II” which is a song we took from Colony and completely stripped down and rebuilt and made stronger and put a new spin on it. We have one more single already recorded we will release probably around Christmas. That one is a really fun one. Then, believe it or not, our next full length is already recorded and in the final mixing stages and will be looking at a release sometime next year! It’s literally the most important piece of music either of us has ever done and we’re really excited to share the details on that with everyone at a later date.
Thank you so much for having us!
We love you all and never stop working towards your dreams!