La Force is the stage name of Ariel Engle, of Canadian creative collective Broken Social Scene. However, if she keeps delivering quality albums like her self-titled debut La Force, due to drop on September 7, 2018 from Arts & Crafts Records, she will soon be a household name on the level of festival headliners. Check out our interview with Engle below and our review of her upcoming album!
La Force Interview
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
"I pursued it casually at first, but I really didn't start to do it in earnest until I got together with Andrew, (Andrew Whiteman) my husband who is one of the members of Broken Social Scene, so that was about 9 years ago. Even then, when I think about it, I didn't sing in front of them for a year. So probably more about 8 years, took me a while. When I met him, I was singing casually in part of a really interesting experimental Egyptian orchestra."
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
"Yeah, usually what happens is I'll be playing around on keyboard or a guitar, or sometimes just a rhythm track, like sometimes Andrew gives me a rhythm track and I'll begin to improvise on that. I try to approach it from a feeling perspective, 'does this feel good?' I never come at it from a song perspective or musical theory, you know 'this chord is complemented by this chord'."
3. What was the most challenging aspect of writing this record?
"Oh, my god, there's landing the ship we kept calling it. I'm going to land this ship. I started it a while ago; I started it with Andrew in our project AroarA. So we had this record, and then, it became clear we weren't enjoying writing together. Then, I remember him saying, 'I really want to miss you a little bit, I don't get to miss you, you're always in my face'. So, we get along, but uncharacteristically, we would fight in this creative space, and finally, he said, 'I think you just need to do this alone'. We struggled because I don't have the language to express what I wanted (in music), so I would say, 'I want it to be a little hill and then a valley and then water and you just need to do that', and he would be like 'What are you talking about? I can't help you', and finally, he said, 'You just need to do this'. So, I went and worked with someone else in a position where it was very clear I was at the helm, and he was right."
4. What was the most rewarding aspect of writing it?
"Really just that I could do it and trust myself at every stage. Also, just to make mistakes. I can't expect perfection, but I can celebrate these accomplishments. I had a very intense dream (during recording) that my father visited me and said 'trust yourself', and it was very nice. I lost my father during the process of making the record; it was terrible, so it's in there. There's a lot of loss in it."
5. What artists have inspired you in your career?
"A lot of strong women, Aretha Franklin, Annie Lennox, Sinead O'Connor, a lot of Middle Eastern music. Strong female leads, you know when Netflix is like "Strong Female Leads"? I like that."
6. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
"I'm not a gear head per se, but I do have a lefty Gibson SG and a chorus pedal called the Waterfall (by JAM Pedals), it adds a lot of warmth and body to the music. I use an Ego Compressor (by Wampler) on my vocals."