Los Angeles based musician Lens Mozer’s immersive, open-sunroof sound is an instantly captivating introduction to a songwriter tastefully balancing nostalgia and originality.
The first Lens Mozer track appeared last year on bandcamp. Was your first version of "All My Friends" your first foray into recording music? Had you worked under another name or been in any other groups before starting Lens Mozer?
I’ve always been in some sort of band over the years, but “All My Friends" was the first song I’ve released as a solo artist. I’ve been writing songs in some capacity since I was about 14 or 15. My cousin and I had an instrumental rock band and we would record a lot to a 4-track, ask our moms to drop us off at band practice, that sort of thing.
Can you trace back the first inspirations to begin writing material for Lens Mozer?
I was really inspired by the idea of working on my own. I had this idea that I needed to get away from the distractions of home and dive into writing a record so I convinced my friend Chris to let me crash with him in New York for a couple weeks. He’d go to work everyday and I’d just sit in his room listening to records and playing guitar. I wrote 4 or 5 songs I liked during that time. It really helped me figure out how to finish stuff on my own. I’ve always been used to having a band to lean on.
Before an album or EP was on the radar, you had already reworked one of the two singles out in the world. "All My Friends" sounds like it got some studio treatments for it's release as a track from Don't Stop. Where did you record the track and was it self-produced?
My friend Jason Quever and I produced the track together at his studio Palmetto Recording. He has a great ear and played all over the record, mixed it, etc. It definitely got his magic touch. I really enjoyed working with him.
In what part of Los Angeles do you reside? How do you engage in the arts scene in Los Angeles? Do you find it to be a place where like-minded creatives support one another or is it less communal in that regard? Who are some local artists that you are inspired by or mentored by?
I live in Highland Park. There are definitely a lot of like-minded creatives here. I find everyone to be very supportive though, especially for such a big city. Lately, I’ve been listening to Jason's project, Papercuts. He just released a new record that I’ve been digging. Benjamin Jones, who plays guitar in my live band has a project of his own. He is an insane songwriter. Sugar Candy Mountain are great. They’re from the Bay Area but we were both working on records with Jason at the same time so they feel local to me. The Donkey's have been super supportive and let me play a bunch of great shows with them. I love Midnight Sister. There is definitely a lot of great stuff going on in town.
Aside from Lens Mozer, you run the label Plastic Jurassic. How did you start the label and what's the vision for it's releases?
My friend Joel (Fort Jams) had recorded a couple of songs and shared them with me. I was listening to them a lot at the time. I think he made a comment about "letting them rot on his hard drive" or something to that affect. I just thought that people should hear them and talked him into letting me release a 7" for him to try and get it out there somehow. For now the label is mostly just an avenue for my friends and I to release our music through. A home base of sorts. I plan to naturally build on that overtime though. I’d love to see it grow into something bigger.
The video for the second single from your project "Cut My Heart In Two" was directed and animated by Shane Beam. For the music video, did you have the vision for the animation or did you let Shane interpret the song for the video? What about Shane Beam's portfolio connected for the visual component for the track?
I pretty much let Shane do his thing with the video. I sent him the album cover as a reference point and we talked about the overall vibe of the video throughout the process but nothing crazy. He really nailed it. It was a pretty painless process on my end. Clare Byrne, who did the album art, recommended him and once I saw his stuff I was in. I just love the coloring in his work. It’s so warm and has this warbly feeling. I thought it fit well with the song. I am really glad he was willing to work with me.