I love line ups that are a bit diverse, every band’s different, there’s another band on that tour, Rough Hands, which I’m a big fan of. When I go to a show, I want to see four or five bands that are all different, and I think that’s one thing about that tour, I think we’re all different enough to make it an interesting line up.
Released in October 2017, Nothing Will Grow From The Rotten Ground was a nasty slab of hardcore, and Leeched were quick to record a follow up; You Took The Sun When You Left drops on August 24th via Prosthetic Records. With a couple of UK tours coming up, we sat down to chat to bassist/vocalist Laurie after their performance at Tech Fest.
E&D: Thanks a lot for doing the interview, how do you feel your show this morning went?
Laurie: Really well, yeah, it’s always a difficult one being first on, it can go either way, everyone I saw in the crowd… they weren’t bored, we didn’t get booed off. It’s a funny one, I wouldn’t really call us a tech band at all but the festival’s not really just a tech festival anymore. Although… 90% of the bands probably are… we’re probably the worst fucking musicians here.
E&D: It’s your first time at the festival, what’s your thoughts on the festival?
Laurie: It’s great, it got all the similarities to all the other big festivals I’ve been to, everyone’s been really professional and helpful, everything you’d expect from a big festival. It’s only gonna get bigger.
E&D: Who on the line up were/are you most excited to see?
Laurie: I’ve seen Conjurer just then, fucking awesome, we’re all mates with those guys, they’re fucking awesome. That band is gonna go far, if they’re smart about what they do. They’re fucking sick. Sadly missed The Acacia Strain last night, that would have been cool. Mainly Conjurer really.
E&D: Another one you’ve missed on the line up, you’re going on tour with Employed To Serve?
Laurie: Oh, yeah, for sure, how could I forget about those guys? Can’t wait for that.
E&D: Can’t wait for the set, or for the tour?
Laurie: Both. Anywhere they play, they fucking tear the place to shreds so… They’re a force to be reckoned with really.
E&D: In your words, what do you bring to the tour?
Laurie: I love line ups that are a bit diverse, every band’s different, there’s another band on that tour, Rough Hands, which I’m a big fan of. When I go to a show, I want to see four or five bands that are all different, and I think that’s one thing about that tour, I think we’re all different enough to make it an interesting line up.
E&D: Let’s move on to your new album, the not-yet-released You Took The Sun When You Left. For those who haven’t heard it yet (most people, it’s not been released), how does it compare to your previous release Nothing Will Grow From The Rotten Ground?
Laurie: We thought about it a little bit more, it took quite a lot longer to write. I’d say it’s a bit more structured, a bit more experimental. The EP was kinda just throw down whatever fast shit we can, get in and out, don’t mess about. There’s a lot more artificial elements like synths on the album. I’d like to think it’s a bit more well thought out.
E&D: One thing I noticed, ‘Harrow The Pastures’ is like 6 minutes long, and the EP as a whole was ten minutes. It’s gonna surprise people?
Laurie: Originally we thought, how the fuck are we gonna right a fucking half hour album? We can’t do that.
E&D: How did the writing process go for you?
Laurie: I think every band has their own difficulties with that sort of stuff, you just have to sit in the room until it’s done.
E&D: Did you find any songs particularly easy or hard to write?
Laurie: I wouldn’t say there was any easy parts, we just had to keep slogging at it, filter out all the crap, and when we’re happy with something, keep it.
E&D: Looking at your lyrics, I get the impression that you’re a very political or socially conscious band. Is that accurate?
Laurie: I’d say you could interpret it that way, certainly. The members probably aren’t really very active politically. I think, from the lyrics, you could get that, and I think if someone wants to take that from it, that’s great.
E&D: Would you ever want to explicitly say, ‘these songs are political songs’, or do you feel that not having context, would let the song mean something different to everyone? Do you lean either way?
Laurie: I’d say the songs weren’t written with a goal, for example, a political message to be conveyed. I like to think, if anyone can take any meaning from a piece of music, and if they can use that to back up their narrative, then so be it. Unless it’s some dark shit.
E&D: The two songs that particularly stood out when looking at the lyrics, were ‘Hollow-Point Weddings’ and ‘Cripple The Herd’. Maybe I’m just misunderstanding…?
Laurie: They are actually quite political, to think about it now. ‘Hollow-Point Weddings’ is loosely based around the water crisis in Flint, that’s the underlying theme of that. And ‘Cripple The Herd’? That’s a political one as well, about war. Like I said, you could take it to be about anything though.
E&D: A couple of quickfire questions to finish off then. Let’s pretend you’re curating a festival. You’re on the line up, you can pick six other bands to play with. They can be anyone, any scene, you can bring bands back that have broken up. Who do you choose?
Laurie: I’d say… Swans, Pink Floyd… It’s a tough one, I’d definitely say Conjurer. Another band I’m a big fan of, Pijn. A band called Gaza. And probably… Converge. It would be a pretty fucking crazy line up.
E&D: I’m getting the impression you’re really into post-metal? Is that something you draw on with Leeched?
Laurie: Like a post-metal influence? Maybe loosely. I definitely listen to a lot of post-metal, maybe it’s something I’ll think about more in the next album.
E&D: Which post-metal bands would you recommend? Obviously you’ve already said Conjurer and Pijn…
Laurie: Top post-metal bands? Probably Russian Circles, 65daysofstatic, they’re amazing, they’re not that metal, but you could count them, probably Pelican…
E&D: Last one. What’s your favourite biscuit?
Laurie: Jammie Dodgers.
Leeched are on tour with Employed To Serve in July, and Full Of Hell in August. Catch them at the following dates:
23/7 – Think Tank, Newcastle, supporting Employed To Serve
24/7 – Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton, supporting Employed To Serve
25/7 – Sticky Mike’s, Brighton, supporting Employed To Serve
26/7 – The Anvil, Bournemouth, supporting Employed To Serve
27/7 – Borderline, London, supporting Employed To Serve
20/8 – Asylum, Birmingham, supporting Full Of Hell
21/8 – Trillians, Newcastle, supporting Full Of Hell
22/8 – Rough Trade, Bristol, supporting Full Of Hell
23/8 – The Underworld, London, supporting Full Of Hell
24/8 – The Green Door Store, Brighton, supporting Full Of Hell