Loto Interview (Part 1 of 2)

I wrote about the up-and-coming Portuguese band, Loto, a month or so ago, but then the fine lads agreed to do an interview with me!
The band sent me one of their finest song, "Cuckoo Plan," which they somehow got Peter Hook to guest on! The tune's truly a stellar one, and absolutely recalls New Order. But lucky for us, Loto have added more rock aesthetic to their sound, making their style more appropriate for today (no offense New Order ... we all love you). Also, be sure to check out their MySpace page!

I'm truly honored to present to you the group's American interview ... enjoy!

(1)Okay, first off I'd like to hear a little about the Portuguese music scene. Until you sent me that short email, Portugal had never registered on the map for me ... I never imagined that the country would have such cool music coming out of it! What's it like over there in terms of music?

LOTO: There's a lot happening. Maybe the international press doesn't focus on Portugal too much... There's a traditional Portuguese music called Fado that is very successful on "World Music" Charts but in what concerns pop/rock/electro we're just starting now to get some cool feedback from abroad. Maybe the fact that Peter Hook and Del Marquis played on our record and really like what we do is a "thumbs up" to our sound and maybe a ticket out to the new sounds coming from Portugal.

(2)I like your website and design. I noticed that you've got some sort of association with Pepe Jeans (you've got the icon on your homepage). What's the story behind that?

LOTO: Well, the head of office heard our music and liked it a lot. She wanted a new band, of young guys that could be "influencers" for Pepe Jeans. She liked us and our music, and since 2004, Loto is the face of Pepe Jeans clothes in Portugal.

(3)Okay ... now, your music ... I'm curious to hear how you would describe your music and sound.

LOTO: First of all, there's nothing like a catchy chorus. Call us old fashioned but even Gwen Stefani or Justin Timberlake know what they're doing and for that matter, we are a pop band, pretty much as they or as the Beatles were a pop band. But on top of the pop, we like to mix rock, dance, funk, soul ... We can't put limits to our musical horizon, and therefore our music transforms itself into a blend of all those genres.

(4)One thing that I love about your music is its clean/clear and crisp sound. A lot of your stuff sounds quite similar to something New Order would have produced (and you even recorded a song with Peter Hook!) ... what inspired you guys to create that sort of sound?

LOTO: That's a reflexion of our pop culture. We like to hear everything in our music, from the bass to that programming stuck on the back.. Most of the times, we do not transform much of the sounds we use. A guitar always sounds like a guitar, and that vision of the music is what, in the end, makes us produce our stuff the way we do. Working with Roger Lyons also is something we should consider. He has been working with New Order for many years, and that experience certainly passed on to our songs when he mixed the tracks..

(5)How do you write these songs? There are three of you, so I'm curious to know how you split up songwriting duties.

The thing starts mostly from Ricardo's ideas. He has the main idea, the tune, and chorus ... Then, the band gets together and we all produce the arrangements ... like keyboards, beats, guitars and programming. Basically that is how our songs gain shape.
Loto - Cuckoo Plan (feat. Peter Hook)