Interview by Maija Jussila
Photos shot by Gilleam Trapenberg in Amsterdam, NL

A few days before the release of Fade, we paid a visit to Pepijn Gaalman, better known as Lemontrip, at his home in Amsterdam. A dismal ambience surrounded the room as we first sat on the couch over a cup of tea; from his all black uniform to the Häxan hot sauce on the shelf, every detail in the room seemed fitting to the soundtrack of Raime that was playing in the background. Make no mistake though; the man behind Lemontrip is a lovely, cheerful guy who gave us a warm welcome. We checked out the studio upstairs, where he played us a slow jam. Afterwards we moved back down to talk about the new release on his own label Fog Mountain.

How are you?

I’m fine. I have my piece Fade coming out March 10th and I’m excited because it’s new stuff. My previous stuff was slower and I don’t know, I feel like my sound was very much in development at that time. Every time I started a new project it ended up being in a higher tempo and that’s why this EP is at a higher tempo. It wasn’t really a decision, it grew naturally. For me it wasn’t that big of a change, I don’t know how people will react to that. I personally feel like I’m finally where I want to be and I’m going to keep it this way.

How long have you been working on this new release?

It’s life. It gives you certain emotions and you either give in to them or ignore them.

I think for about a year. I don’t want to get too emotional about it, but it’s the first thing I finished after my dad passed away. I don’t know if you know about this, but he passed away when I did a show with Subbacultcha.

Oh, really? I didn’t know, I’m sorry.

Yeah, he was sick for one year and it was bound to happen sometime. He died just after I finished my support show with Forest Swords. I think this EP also reflects my feelings toward death, it’s more aggressive. I’m not angry with life. It’s my output. I don’t really talk about it, but I put it in my music. I think you can hear it, if you know it.

I was listening to it today and yeah, it is quite dark and a bit aggressive. I had no idea about the story behind it.

Yeah, it is, compared to my older stuff, especially compared to my first EP which was a bit more like chill-wave. I don’t necessarily think it’s darker though. I’ve always been into that stuff.

I don’t think I’ve heard your first release.

My philosophy now is that as long as I’m happy with it, move on

I can put it on. This is how it all started. It’s funny because when I finished this, I sent an e mail to Leon [Caren] and I was like ‘yo, I wanna play’. He wrote back saying ‘You can play in Trouw next week’ and I thought ‘wow, this is too cool’. To me Subba always was, and still is, this magical institute.

This music is really different from the new release.

I thought about it because I tend to over think things; it might look like a natural transition but a lot of thinking goes on in the background in my head, and I’m still like ‘is this smart?’. I just gave up on thinking about whatever is smart and rather doing whatever I feel like, I think that’s most important. It took me a while to accept that and go with whatever I want. I never stopped liking the slower Lemontrip tunes though. It’s life. It gives you certain emotions and you either give in to them or ignore them.

Did you work on Fade in your studio upstairs?

Well, my older stuff I made upstairs. This time I wanted to do it differently, I wanted to finish each track in a different location, with my headphones in the train, or somewhere else. It worked out really nice because otherwise I’m tied to one area. Of course I start new tracks and mix them upstairs, but I finished them everywhere.

That difference of how you do things in making music probably makes a big difference on the sound.

Yeah. One thing that is different from my older stuff is that it’s more playful. I didn’t have the hardware before so it was more programmed and this time it’s more like a jam; my philosophy now is that as long as I’m happy with it, move on, instead of these minute details no one cares about.

Speaking of details, what are some of these records on your wall? They all have a similar aesthetic.

I’ve put them on the wall because most of them mean something to me, that music has a connection with my personal life. Raime is the left one, I really like it. The one next to it is Killing Sound. I think it’s one of the best covers I’ve ever seen, I really like it. This one is Sunn O))), it’s an ambient drone metal band that I really like.

It’s a really cool cover.

Yeah, it’s amazing. And next to it is Opeth, one of my favourite metal bands. I think you can hear these people’s influence on my music, but it’s not that I put up these records and get literal inspiration from that. I really like the atmosphere, and I like that records are a piece of art.

It was fucking weird; it was really a private concert.

I saw you have this whole shelf of records over here as well. When did you start collecting them?

Yeah, I have some. A lot of these are from when I was fourteen or something. I used to listen to a lot of progressive rock like Pink Floyd but my taste kind of changed into more doomey-gloomey stuff when I was about 16. I also have a lot of contemporary electronic music and doom metal.

How did you become Lemontrip?

I used to make more spacey techno and I wanted to do more experimental stuff. I have always been into occult stuff but didn’t translate that to my music. The key moment for the change was at Incubate Festival when I saw Holy Other. We were like four people, it was fucking weird; it was really a private concert. That was the moment I knew I want to make something more experimental so I started making an EP called Nowhere, which I finished in 2012. I felt like there was a label missing for this in the Dutch music scene, so I started my own label, Fog Mountain. We’ve also put out Zes and Hoek, and now we’re working on a couple of cool releases. We used to put out stuff more randomly but from now on we will start putting things out on a regular basis.

Exciting new things and a new release.

Yes, and it’s kind of like a new start.

Fade is out now on Fog Mountain. Stay tuned for more Lemontrip, a good deal of shows will be announced in the near future.