Lake Minnetonka bring together the sound of Melbourne and Minneapolis

“You can write the best arrangements in the world, but if you don’t have a band that is on your wavelength…they’re not going to deliver it with the same energy.”

Lake Minnetonka’s debut LP Melbourneapolis comes after three long years of collaborating with different musicians in different parts of the world. Adam Rudegeair, the ringmaster behind the band, says that back in 2016, after being inspired by the Minneapolis sound for a long time, he went to Minneapolis to record with Dr Fink from The Revolution and other notable Minneapolis musicians.

“I had an old tune that was on my first album called ‘Out There Bout There’,” he says. “I wanted to write something similar to that and I thought, rather than trying to copy my own song, why don’t I just get them to record that. Then the second tune ‘Clipnosis’, they had a little idea for a bass line written down and I basically wrote the rest of it in the studio while the recording was being set up.”

Lake Minnetonka have long believed in the importance of collaborating with as many different musicians as possible –both in the studio and onstage. This allows Rudegeair to come up with an idea for a song and pass it on to someone else to put their own instrumental spin on it. Collaboration is also fuelling his other goal –­ to build a community between the two music scenes in Melbourne and Minneapolis.

 “I really wanted to see what I could do with it given that I’m obsessed with this music but I also come from a jazz background and have a lot of other things that I do, so I wanted to see how I could make them all co-exist.”

The launch party for this Minneapolis and Melbourne merger album Melbourneapolis is fast approaching. As well as physical CDs the album is also being pressed on vinyl – a dream made reality thanks to a crowdfunding campaign and the support of their fans. “Everybody wants to have their music on vinyl so that was always a goal,” Rudegeair says. “It’s a bit of a bucket list thing for a lot of musicians to put out a proper record, and I’m sure it won’t be our last.”

Lake Minnetonka released their debut EP This Is Lake Minnetonka back in 2014, which Rudegeair describes as more of a “glorified demo”. The band has grown monumentally since that release. With four and a half years of touring now under their belts, the connection between band members is much greater. “Just building that comradery over a long period of time, nothing can replace that,” he says. “You can write the best arrangements in the world, but if you don’t have a band that is on your wavelength, that knows you really well and knows what you want from the compositions then they’re not going to deliver it with the same energy.”

Remaining original and innovative as a musician is a must for Rudegeair, and he takes creative influence from his idol Prince. With the jazz and funk music scene in Melbourne on fire at the moment, Rudegeair is happy about the fact that Melbourneapolis is unique in its own way.

“There’s a lot of jazz in the Melbourneapolis sound as far as I’m concerned, so there will always be a lot of improvisation – it’s like jazz on top and Minneapolis funk on the bottom,” he says. “I thought that I’d try and make a jazz record that maybe didn’t conform to all the rules of jazz. I think we succeeded and I’m very proud of the end result. It’s exciting because it’s just the first step.”

Melbourneapolis is out now digitally. Lake Minnetonka will live launch the album at Howler on Friday February 23, where CDs and vinyl will be available.