Lontalius X Laneway 2019

Our fourth and final interview before St Jerome's Laneway festival is with Eddie Johnston. The Wellington artist who started with doing some of the best R&B covers around.

Heres a Q&A with songwriter Eddie.

This is the lucky last interview with a New Zealand act before Laneway. Which Kiwi artist are you going to support?

See you all at Laneway!


What is the most annoying interview question that you get asked most?

Describing my own music is hard, but honestly I should just get better at it.

What is the song that best represents who you are as a human, represents you? What song describes your fears, your hopes, your beliefs, your wishes your dreams, who you are at your core, whether it is one of your own songs or not. This question is not what is your favourite song or what song you wish represented you or a song that resonates with you. It's if you were a song what would it be?

I hope this isn’t a cop out but it probably is my song Optimistic. It describes my fears and anxieties quite literally but also musically I think you can hear my dreams in there. The big chorus, pushing my voice more than I ever have. That vulnerability was harder for me to deal with than the lyrics. I think you can also hear a conflict of ideas in there. My brain is a bit like that.


What impact do you want to have on this world and its current state? What message would you try spread through what your doing and your music?

I started being more open about my sexuality by using male pronouns where I can in my music. Maybe it will change as I get older, but at this moment I want to keep that honesty and hope that there are people out there who hear it and find comfort in it.

If you had to teach someone only one thing (say a friend or child (could be your child)) what would you teach/tell them?

Keep an open heart and just don’t stop doing what you’re doing. You’ll find yourself along the way.

New Zealand music has a special place in my heart, Whos a Kiwi band your most interested or influenced by at the moment? why?

Ready or Not by Church & AP was a moment but they haven’t really stopped being inspiring since. I often feel pretty jaded about NZ music but they’re a sign that there’s good in our world.

What was the process of getting to the name that now represents you at the moment 'Lontalius' is there a meaning behind it?

It was just a random wikipedia article I found. I think it’s a type of butterfly. I wanted an abstract name that didn’t really have any meaning, mostly so I would show up on google, but maybe it helps creatively to hide behind something with no meaning.


What are your feelings around playing at Laneways 2019?

I’m excited, it feels good to start the year off with something like this. I’ll be playing new songs and trying my best to impress people who’ve seen me before. can’t let them get bored!

What started your drive to start creating music, to stay creating covers and then on to where you are now?

I was a music obsessed kid, which eventually lead to me writing and recording my own songs. Not a lot has changed since then, just the scale (and hopefully quality) is a bit different. The covers I did on soundcloud helped me find an audience and I gained a lot of confidence around that time. I’m pretty thankful for that.

How would you describe your music to an alien or someone who has never heard your sound before?

meloncholic but tuneful and sweet

You lived in LA for a bit, what do you miss most about it?

The atmosphere, the food and the people definitely. The sense of opportunity and scale is pretty addictive. I miss that a lot. You feel like you can do anything. In NZ things can feel unreachable.