LANZ aka Benjamin Lanz will release Hoferlanz II on April 13 via Brassland. Mostly written while touring as a member of The National, Beirut & Sufjan Stevens, his own music sounds completely different. Says Ben, “While I admire the force and freedom of artistic recluses, I’m an outward-looking guy by nature – so I just end up writing some really weird hooks!”
The album’s first single “Auckland” was just released. Notes LANZ, “I was in Auckland with The National a couple of years ago, playing a festival and in sound check I got super excited about these drones and blips that I was getting through my synth chain. Over the next couple of days there, I worked on a sort of electro tone poem based off of these sounds and inspired by the landscape and energy of the city. Back home in my Brooklyn basement, the song just sort of happened, the bass and drums laying in perfectly with the sonic postcard that I had brought back from New Zealand.”
Director Andrew Ondrejcak notes of the video, “I was watching Cyd Charisse in Silk Stockings when Ben sent me his song, so I played them together. They seemed to share a similar spirit – one of looseness and ease, of an effortless cool. But embedded within is a more disciplined approach, a studied craft. I felt like Cyd was my proxy, meandering though Ben’s music daydreams and, before I knew it, the whole video became an homage to her.”
Hoferlanz II is the second in a two-part suite of albums launching the LANZ project. In the past Ben has explained the inspiration behind LANZ like so: “As a listener, I admire and enjoy the farthest reaches of experimental and progressive music. But for the last decade or so I’ve made a living playing with some of today’s most canonical indie artists. Yet when putting my own ideas to tape, I find myself writing eccentric alternative rock songs.”
Ben is also the primary vocalist + songwriter in krautrock-style trio LNZNDRF, whom released an LP & EP on 4AD in 2016. Formed in 2011 while on tour with The National in Auckland (yes, again.), LNZNDRF includes Scott & Bryan Devendorf from The National.