Son Lux consists of Ryan Lott, Rafiq Bhatia and Ian Chang. Below, they answer Three Questions (plus a couple of bonus Q's) about their creative process.
The band have released several albums and composed the music for the 2022 Academy Award-winning film directed by the Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Without further ado...
Synth History: Each of you has experience with being a solo artist and being in a band. Are there ever any obstacles to overcome when it comes to collaboration, and if so, how do you overcome them?
Ryan: Since Son Lux transitioned from a solo project to a band, we’ve functioned democratically. When there’s a fork in the road, the majority rules. And because we all trust each other deeply, there’s no contention.
Synth History: What are some of your favorite albums of all time?
Ryan: Off the top of my head, some of my all-time favorites are Frank Ocean’s Blonde, Joni Mitchell’s Blue, FlyLo’s Cosmogramma, D'Angelo's Voodoo, Gorecki’s Misere, Dylan’s Time Out of Mind, James Blake’s debut LP, Kendrick’s GKMC, Nick Cave’s Skeleton Tree, Madvillainy, Oscar Peterson’s Night Train, Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, all the Portishead records and about five to six of the Radiohead records.
Man, there are so many more…
Synth History: Throughout history, technological advancements have often been met with apprehension, considering the development of AI tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney, do you think people in creative fields should be concerned or excited? How do you think AI will impact the future of music?
Rafiq: Both/and. As a band we are always looking for ways to harness technology towards expressive ends, but there are significant causes for concern, both within the field of music and for organized human life in general.
Synth History: Congratulations on the success with Everything Everywhere All at Once. It was such a great film! What was the workflow like for scoring it, and what are some of the most memorable moments you can recount from the whole process?
Ian: Despite not being able to be physically together for a majority of the scoring process, our process for EEAO turned out to be some of our most collaborative to date. We would deliver cues or works in progress once a week and meet with the Daniels and the editor Paul Rogers over Zoom to review and discuss them. There were 100 cues in this movie, so the three of us were all spearheading different scenes, often passing things back and forth to collaborate internally. This differs a bit from how we typically operate for Son Lux albums, because Ryan spearheads a majority of Son Lux songs. One of the most memorable moments for me was the one day we got to be on set before the pandemic shut everything down. The good energy was palpable in the room, and set the tone for how much of a creative family this movie was creating.
Synth History: What are three of your gear go-tos?
Ryan: My most important tool is Kontakt by Native Instruments. That and my DAW, which is Digital Performer.
Ian: Sensory Percussion by Sunhouse. C&C Superflyer kit, Ludwig supraphonic snare.
Synth History: Brian Eno's "Oblique Strategies" is a set of cards that suggest a course of action, or way of thinking, to assist in creative situations. If you could come up with one of own your cards, what would it say?
Ryan: Begin with limitation.
Synth History Exclusive. Photos provided by Son Lux.