The enigmatic performer speaks ahead of his performance at The Great Escape First Fifty this week
Elli Chappelhow
09:00 11th November 2019

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Ahead of his performance at The Great Escape First Fifty at Colours on Wednesday, we asked Lazarus Kane a few questions to try and suss this guy out. 

In true Kane style, he has somehow made himself even more mysterious by perplexing us with his brilliantly bewildering responses to our questions, and we love him all the more for it. Here’s to not being able to pin him down - we have provided a window into his mind, and take from it what you will - but there’s no doubt you’re gonna put this guy on your ‘one to watch’ list. Have a read, and be instantly transported into his weird and wonderful world…

Gigwise: Describe your sound to someone who has no knowledge of genre. 

Lazarus Kane: Lazarus Luxury Lounge (trademark) 

GW: You’ve often been described as an ‘enigma’ in the music press. Would you say that is accurate?

LK: When the eagle flies west on Thursday, you’ll know the lay of the land. 

GW: Have you ever found yourself wanting to ‘fit in’?

LK: I’ve written self help books on the importance of fitting in, many of them have been bestsellers. That’s why I wear a jade green, elephant print kimono on stage. It’s a vital element of slipping into any situation unnoticed. 

GW: What effect do you want your music to have on people - what is the ‘ultimate response’ for you?

LK: Firstly, merchandise sales. Secondly, jubilation. Finally, lingering regret. 

GW: How have you found the UK music scene - is there something in particular that is different in comparison to the US?

LK: The main difference is the quality of the heckling. You guys got it down out here. Back home it’s always something like ‘go home looooooooser!’ Or ‘you suck!’. I love the subtly over here, the style, the wit. 

GW: Would you say you are musically more inspired by ‘current’ releases, or do you prefer listening to older material

LK: I try, as a rule, not to listen to anything post 2000. I was a big believer in the ‘millennium bug’ computer issue back in the early 90’s. my theory is that we entered a new dimension on 1/1/2000 but that we are still not aware of it, although some kind souls have made some resourceful YouTube videos about if which you can find online. I’ve definitely noticed things, the way the birds fly, the way the water flows down the plug hole, the way my ex wife still won’t return my calls. It’s eerie. 

GW: Is there a connection between your writing process and live performance?

LK: My writing process requires an extreme level of concentration and Yakult. My live performances require an extreme level of self awareness. 

GW: What was the last album you listened to in full?

LK: Would have been the soundtrack to Top Gun.  I actually worked on the film, I was doing the sound FX for the fighter jets, tough to mic up. Listening to ‘Danger Zone’ just sends me right back to those happy days with Tom. 

GW: What would you be doing if you weren’t a musician?

LK: A lover. 

GW: If you could change one UK law, what would you change?

LK: Further deregulation of the footpaths and bridleways code. 

GW: If your studio was on fire what piece of kit would you save? 

LK: My kimono, that garment holds and extreme amount of sentimental value, and I also have it booked for dry cleaning soon and I do not want to lose that slot because they take a long time to book. 

GW: Who is the most narcissistic person you know?

LK: My management. Honestly, they’re using me. Squeezing me like a lemon for everything I got, pips and all. I’m not a dancing monkey, I will not dance for you!

GW: To what extent do you feel that musicians have a duty or obligation to weigh in on sociopolitical issues?

LK: Look, I’m not gonna tell you how to live your life, but my self help books can. Go online and search “Lazarus Kane: The Art Of Being” or “Lazarus Kane Presents: 12 Easy Steps To Greater Success And Respect From Your Kids”. I also don’t know what the word ‘sociopolitical’ means. 

GW: What can we expect from a Lazarus Kane live set at The Great Escape?

LK: I’ve got an orchestra booked for that show already. We’re working on some of my more free jazz based compositions as well. Should be a night to remember, I think the guys from the Stones were gonna try make it over as well, would be great to catch up with them, been too damn long! 

GW: Will you be taking time to explore other artists on the TGE lineup? If so, who do you reckon is worth checking out? 

LK: I think Tracey Emin is gonna be there? I haven’t replied to her fax yet though so don’t quote me on that. 

GW: Finally, why should we come and see your set on a cold November evening in Hackney, and not, say, go to the pub instead?

LK: I just got a rebate from the IRS over a tax code issue with my hot tub, so I’m giving out free money at that show. First come, first served.

Lazarus Kane plays Colours on Wednesday (13 November) as part of The Great Escape First Fifty. 

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Photo: Holly Whitaker