Suzi and Lewis Cook

Glasgow’s Free Love couple, Suzi and Lewis Cook, team up for our quick-fire questions

Photo: Marilena Vlachopoulou

Hello Free Love, where are you right now and what can you see?

Suzi: “Sitting in our living room. I can see our son, Echo, asleep in his little chair. We live at the top of a hill. Out the window I can see pretty much all of Glasgow, and in the distance, the snow-capped hills of Loch Lomond.”

You used to be called Happy Meals – why the name change? Did you get a writ from a fast-food joint?

Suzi: “The word was Ronald was hot on our trail. We also just really love the idea of constantly reinventing ourselves.”

Free Love is an interesting band name for a married couple, isn’t it?

Suzi: “What is love if it isn’t free? Neither of us owns the other.”

You’ve released records on a holy trinity of Scottish labels – Night School, Optimo and now Johnny Lynch’s Lost Maps. Which is your favourite?

Lewis: “Ha-ha! Any answer I give here is going to sound like I’m trying to be diplomatic. They’re all mad cunts who spend their time and energy putting love and light into the world through their work, and that’s why we wanted to work with them.”

In 2018 you released an EP after taking part in Johnny Lynch’s ‘Visitations’ residency on the Isle Of Eigg. Tell us about Eigg?

Lewis: “It’s a wee island in the Hebrides. Johnny invited us to stay in this little Scandi space pod and in return we appeased the gods of the land with an EP of solid gold tracks about getting abducted by aliens.”

It was the start of a beautiful friendship, wasn’t it?

Suzi: “It was! Johnny became our Dalai Lama.”

You talk about making music during lockdown as “an essential ritualistic part of our daily existence”. That sounds serious…

Lewis: “Naw, it’s making sounds and turning them into songs – life is but a dream. It’s important but it’s not serious. Making music is like a little prayer – you don’t have to do it or believe it’s going to be received, but sometimes the act of dedication is a reward in itself.”

There’s a track on the album, ‘Open The Door’, that deals with “recognising you’re not the only person wondering what’s going on”. Care to expand on that?

Suzi: “Everybody shouts when they don’t know what to say. That’s where we all are.”

The artwork for the new album… is that a cash and carry?

Suzi: “It’s a big Tesco bulk-buy isle. We were talking about pregnancy and about how it’s one of the craziest and weirdest things a person can do, but also completely mundane at the same time. And so we wanted to capture a bit of that sentiment.”

And how’s parenthood treating you?

Lewis: “It is magic. Extreme, colourful and beautiful.”

Echo is a great name. What else was on your list in case any of our readers need ideas?

Lewis: “Flanger, MS-20 and Eigg.”

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