In conversation with I Am Waiting For You Last Summer

Interview by Shannon Lawlor

I Am Waiting For You Last Summer are an electronic post-rock tripod based in Ryazan, Russia. Since 2011, the trio have released various singles, three full-length studio albums and three EPs, including their latest addition Back and Forth released in September 2017. Influenced by an array of different emotions and methods, I Am Waiting For You Last Summer’s music could be best described as a carefully constructed ethereal mix of genres such as dance, electronica, IDM and atmospheric ambient to create the original tone they are celebrated for today.

Initially apart of the Flowers Blossom In The Space family alongside similarly like-minded artists such as The Best Pessimist, Aswekeepsearching and Powder! Go Away, the trio have now found themselves independently releasing, and collaborating with a number of influential local and international artists such as Nikita Katsman and Uddipan Sarmah, to name a few.

We caught up with I Am Waiting For You Last Summer on sound eclecticism and creating songs as planets:

For anyone unfamiliar with I Am Waiting For You Last Summer’s glittering resonance, how would you personally describe the music you create?

It’s music for dreamers who sometimes like to dance.

Our music helps the listener’s imagination paint the world around with different colours.

Like those cool futuristic Augmented Reality glasses. You put them on and the ordinary Russian grey streets become Hong Kong backstreets with police chases, or a sandy beach under a bright sky from an old Bounty advert, or even an apocalyptic landscape. It sends the listener’s mind on an adventure and the limit is only his imagination.

I Am Waiting For You Last Summer’s latest EP titled Back and Forth was released in September 2017. Could you tell us about this recording process, and how it may have differed to 2015’s Mirrors?

All our LPs, including Mirrors were driven by the idea of eclecticism in sound, and making the tracks as unique as we can.

While creating Back and Forth we tried to make all tracks in one dimension. To underline the retro-futuristic concept of the EP we brought analog gear, then found a saxophone player and a vocalist to complete the sound palette of this release.

The next two releases will follow the idea of making universes, where tracks are following certain rules.

Could you describe Ryazan’s live music scene? And if there is anything you could change about it, what would this be?

The live scene in Russia lived and prospered during the 2000’s, but it’s more dead than alive right now. Electronic music producers are doing well. Rap/hip-hop is definitely riding the tiger now like in the other countries. But nothing is happening in Ryazan. Creative communities mostly sleep like the dead, and it seems like nothing is going to change in the near term.

Basically in most small Russian cities it doesn’t exist right now, so it’s more about creating than changing. The first step would be creating a physical space for the creative community.

If  I Am Waiting For You Last Summer could collaborate with any artist on the planet, who would it be, and why?

Brian Eno, because of his approach, creativity and experience in generative music. The guys from The XX and Lana Del Rey, because sometimes we feel that we have something in common with them.

Where did the inspiration behind ‘Lights Go Out’ come from? And where do you usually look for inspiration when writing music?

Each of our tracks have multiple layers of inspiration; the first one was our tour life and gigs. We were on tour with Maybeshewill, 65daysofstatic and Alcest, and the shows were quite big for us for that time, so it was quite hard to feel uninspired. The second layer is music that we were listening to; you can definitely recognize drum’n’bass and witch-house elements in ‘Lights Go Out’ for example. The third layer is personal for each member; sometimes we discuss it, and sometimes it’s more interesting not to be bias on someone’s opinion. It’s a beauty of music without words – it has space for imagination. Inspiration usually comes from some form of art (music, movies, etc), life moments, mood or just instruments can give you a nudge.

Most influential albums to I Am Waiting For You Last Summer?

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – F♯A♯∞
Burial – Untrue
GusGus – Arabian Horse
This Will Destroy You – Young Mountain
Royksopp – Junior
Floating Points – Elanenia

How does a typical I Am Waiting For You Last Summer recording session differ to performing live? And are there any aspects you would like to improve?

Recording and performing live for us are two different planets: We don’t have typical roles as a guitar player, or a keyboard guy while producing music, while on stage you’ll definitely see each one of as playing a different part. Speaking of the improving: during a live set we sometimes produce music on the go and we’re doing it a lot more often now to make each show unique.

Could you tell us about some of your most memorable highlights since recording, performing and touring as I Am Waiting For You Last Summer?

One of the most inspiring times was our first Asian tour when we visited China, Malaysia, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong. Magnetic Fields festival in India was one of the most notable experiences. It was an 8-hour ride through the desert to a Palace for a great party that lasted for 3 days.

Are there any pieces of equipment, hardware or software that you feel is essential to crafting I Am Waiting For You Last Summer’s unique and distinct sound?

Our sound is unique in its diversity so we change our tools constantly. We have some favorites now, like Arturia V Collection synths. Convolution Reverb by Ableton is a perfect instrument to make the sound play with new timbres and colors which sometimes is unexpected in a good way. S-gear is a super nice tool for those who don’t like to set up hardware mics and amps with tons of pedals. It has only five common effects but everything is great about it.

What does the future hold for I Am Waiting For You Last Summer?

This March we are performing at SXSW 2018 and releasing a new EP. Also we have big plans for autumn, so stay tuned!

Order Back and Forth by I Am Waiting For You Last Summer via Bandcamp

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