Interview: Maja Lena chats ahead of her date at Heartbreakers promoting new album Pluto

Interview: Maja Lena chats ahead of her date at Heartbreakers promoting new album Pluto

by Peter Nicholson.

Maja Lena begins her UK Tour this month, with the second date being at Heartbreakers in Southampton on Saturday the 28th January. The tour is to promote her second studio album “Pluto”, which sees the continuation of her work with Producer Rob Pemberton.

The album creates beautiful soundscapes and draws influences from such diverse subject as nature and 1980’s science fiction. Maja Lena has created a beautifully crafted album with atmospheric tones and extremely creative synth and percussion. Her very distinctive vocal perfectly complements the immersive instrumentation.

I spoke with Maja Lena about the album, but we first chatted about Star Trek! 


I saw a post in which you said you would be watching loads of Star Trek over Christmas, so I have to ask you which is the best version of the series?

“I’ve finished the Next Generation last year and I’m now onto Deep Space 9! I’ve done the original series too. I love them. I find science fiction really inspirational to my music. 

In what way?

“I was writing the second album through lockdown and found that the songs were dives into my imagination, and watching science fiction at the time, it started to have influences. I wanted to conjure an other-worldly feel to some of the songs. I was using more synths for this album and was influenced by some of the synth sounds from old movies.”


What’s the writing process for your songs? Is there a set pattern you follow?

“It varies greatly. Sometimes I will be influenced by something specific, but I like to try to write the melody and the lyrics together, but sometimes I kind of know where I want to take a song shape sonically, but it may be a while before lyrics come to me. With this second album, some of the songs took a while longer to come together, but I enjoyed the process of taking my time.”


I enjoyed the percussion on the album, I understand that Rob Pemberton did the drums and production?

“Yes, he’s an exceptional instrumentalist, we’ve known each other since school, so I feel extremely lucky to be working with him. I love having others involved in the creative process.


Do you enjoy collaborating with other musicians?

“Absolutely, I’m lucky to have people like Alex who came in to play bass on some of the tracks, and Sasha who helped with synths.”


I particularly liked the clarinet on “Through The Wall“.

“Yes, Emma Gatril, we were thrilled to have her involved. That song was a very late addition, and I wasn’t sure about putting it on the album, but as soon as she added her clarinet, the whole song made more sense to me, and I knew I wanted it on the album.”


So, are you touring with the whole band?

“We’re doing most of the shows as a trio, but we are bringing in more band members for some of the shows. We plan to have bigger shows on future tours, more synths.”


Are you looking forward to the tour?

“Oh yes, although I’m quite introverted normally, and the writing process is probably my favourite part of the process, I really enjoy taking the finished project out and to perform. I’m so lucky to have my band around me who make it such a lovely experience.”



  • Photo by Martha Webb.


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