Drummer & beyond, Simon Lott was born on January 6, 1982 and has been making music professionally since 1995. His career as a versatile drummer began in Louisiana at age 13 in Baton Rouge & New Orleans. He completed an B.A. in English Literature in 2004. At age 23, he moved to New York City after the destructive Hurricane Katrina & began touring internationally. 2 years later, he returned to the South and has been living in New Orleans since.
He fashioned his first album of original music at age 18, an instrumental jazz recording called "In The Parking Lott of Swing." Then at age 23 completed his second album of original music entitled "Things." Things stepped into other facets of music: hip-hop, electronica, funk, rock, R&B, and included bits of vocals and a heavy amount of post-production and "cutting-&-pasting" of live recorded tracks mixed with composition and improvisation, highlighting Lott's skills as composer as well as producer. The music was recorded in 2002 and was slowly edited over 3 years.
At the age of 25, Simon began home recording and experimenting more with synthesizers and effects pedals. At age 28, he created a home studio called THE EARSE in New Orleans where he cultivated two alteregos-- Context Killer and Diamond Kinkade: Context Killer's main rig is a drum set w/contact microphones, synthesizer(s), looper(s), & effects pedal(s); later, electric bass & vocals were added-- a malleable, morphing rig indeed... The initial concept of Context Killer's music was to create a more visceral, organic kind of electronic music by making the music without pre-set loops or samples and with live drumming & keyboard playing. The Context Killer concept was also fabricated as a way to develop playing other instruments and singing. Context Killing is also about changing your current situation if it's not working; it's a way to come at things from a different angle so you don't get stuck, or face the infinite spectrum--there's always another layer to be uncovered & explored. For instance, using "negative" energy effectively to make music thus giving the listener diverse experience; or employing physical exercise to free your mind and become more in touch with the body that is needed for music-making. This looping period lasted for a good while with great affects & effects. *
[German Affekt, borrowed from Latin affectus]
: the conscious subjective aspect of an emotion considered apart from bodily changes; also : a set of observable manifestations of a subjectively experienced emotion
The looping period of study (2011-2014) consisted mostly of freely improvised pieces done with many instruments (mostly drum set & synthesizer w/occasional guitar, electric bass, glockenspeil, bass clarinet, trumpet, percussion, metal, found objects, toys, singing in "sample style"), a looper, and a board of effects pedals, thus allowing the simultaneous execution of performer & producer. From 2014-2021, Context has been piecing together the improvisations into disparate albums...& so from the bounty of the vault, these albums have now germinated here! Further studies in Context Killing abandoned & the looper & effects pedals, and focused more on the simultaneous execution of vocal compositions while playing drum set & synthesizer. These original songs pull from electronica, house, country, punk, R&B, hip-hop, rock, trap, soul, grunge, noise, classical, jazz, drum'n'bass, jungle, & really everywhere. The "pangenre" concept hopes and strives to break down boundaries and boxes, the stiflers of society....oh these vapid city villains...
Diamond Kinkade's set-up is mainly synthesizer &/or piano with or without effects. Kinkade was developed as a way to isolate working on keyboards, but is also connected to the strange yet versatile/androgynous fashion sense; this bleeds into another alterego: Desine (pronounced "Design"). Desine is the name for the electric bassist to be developed, but also was the moniker in a photography series collaboration with the now deceased & missed genius Everett DiNapoli.
Another belief/concept of Lott/Context/Diamond/etc. is a dichotomy of tradition and abandonment of tradition, for each has a dead end: A musician must learn as much as possible about what has come before in order to be able to be more technically proficient on one's instrument and communicate ideas with excellent enunciation; learning as many "styles/genres" as possible makes for more diversity and job availability. However, all these "styles/genres", these dialects can become "boxes/dogmas" if one is not careful; so it's also a good idea to just say "F*** it; this is what I want to do" regardless of what past markings in sound have done before: we're here to represent the experience of our current times and move along the human consciousness; and this present-ness conversely requires looking to the past to understand where things have come from and why things are the way they are now. By riding the fine line between these disparate polarities 51%/51%, Lott believes this is the highest possible achievement for communicating the highest possible vibration with music. The concept behind the immathematical 51%/51% is that by being just that more interested in each of these sensibilities, it rids the musician of falling too deep into one or the other; or there is something stale or robot, less discerning, to me about the egalitarianism of 50%/50%.
In addition to original music endeavours, Lott works with many musicians in different styles and diverse situations. He has played with Sandra Bernhard, Harry Shearer, Joan Rivers, Michael J. Lewis, George Porter Jr., Kool Keith, Pretty Lights, Charlie 2na, Willie Tee, Lyrics Born, Judith Owen, Jonathan Batiste, Larry Coryell, members of Galactic, Charlie Hunter, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Daniel Carter, Cheeky Blakk, Ivan Neville, Leroy Jones, Doug Wimbish, David Torkanowksy, Germaine Bazzle, Jeff Parker, Todd Sickafoose, Alvin Batiste, Vernon Reid, Ellis Marsalis, Jason Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, John Mooney, Ed Cherry, Allison Miller, Oteil Burbridge, Charlie Gabriel, Ike Stubblefield, Jimmy Herring, Robert Walter, Skerik, Adam Levy, Maurice Brown, Nels Cline, Myra Melford, Marco Benevento, John Medeski, Will Bernard, Brian Haas, Wil Blades, Reed Mathis, Sonny Fortune, George French, Roland Guerin, Wess "Warm-Daddy" Anderson, Kenny Werner, Aaron Parks, Joel Frahm, Theresa Andersson, Anders Osborne, Steve Masakowksi, Lucien Barbarin, James Singleton, and many others.
"To call Lott's drumming style ferocious could be the understatement of the year. He does not attack the drums as some would; he merely lets them come to him."-- Brenton Plourde, All About Jazz (New York City)
"Simon lott can tame a rhythm, stretch it, bend it, invert it, reframe it, then chase it into chaos-- all within the space of a few beats."-- Richard Russell, Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
"Simon is a very supportive drummer with the ability to create moods and textures that are inviting."-- Steve Masakowski, jazz guitarist and Coca-Cola Endowed Chair of Jazz Studies, University of New Orleans
"Simon Lott can carry the weight."-- George Porter, Jr., bassist The Meters
"He's like Jo Jones, he's playing real American Jazz."-- Norma Miller, The Queen of Swing
"I'm like 'Who is this?' Playing so gutbucket, and so elegant!"-- Lynn Whitfield, actress
”I think you & him [David Bowie] would’ve had some amazing silent conversations.”— Jason Linder, keyboards David Bowie
"World class."-- Michael J. Lewis, film composer