You released your debut back in 2016 and now your gearing up for the second album. Since then how have things changed for you musically?
3 years is a long time so a lot. We’re all crate-diggers – always curious about our favourite artist’s favourite artists so we’re always finding new inspiration whether that be sonically, lyrically or visually.
In comparison to your debut, how would you describe bringing this album together? Did you have a different approach to your songwriting?
The process of bringing it together was similar to our debut which was basically a process of going away together to beach houses and writing a bunch of songs over the course of a weekend or week (usually 10 or so). Our favourites are the ones that stick around longer than the others. We are usually condensing an album’s worth out of about 40-50 songs at various stages of completion.
What styles of music were you exposed to that helped create and shape the new album?
It’s hard to say as I find a lot of that stuff is a subconscious process. But I know that we tried to shake the ‘pop fear’ with this record. We have also being playing live a lot so naturally writing to that environment, which may explain why there are some more upbeat songs on this second record. We are also pushing further in the other direction simultaneously, exploring the deeper more psychedelic side of our sound – it’s much more fun to have a varied body of work rather than everything chill and buzzy or everything upbeat and poppy.
There was a great reception to your debut album, did you feel pressure with your second release because it might not get the same response ?
Yeah, I think we did. I don’t remember it being too scary but having an album can ‘officialise’ bands in a way, which brings its own burden – it can be sometimes easier to operate when things are less set in stone and more malleable. It did challenge our motto of trying not to over think anything too much. We will also be releasing this next album through a label, so it will be interesting to see how that may or may not change the process. It may at times prove challenging to maintain the “don’t over think or worry too much, peace and love” kind of attitude when you’ve got album costs/advances to re-coup haha.
You recently released ‘The Hype’ and ‘Tied Up’ can you tell us the process of bringing these tracks together?
Our team was interested in The Hype as a single, something that we didn’t really think of as an option. We’ve been trying to scatter some more chill/down-beat songs in with our more upbeat releases and we know there is a large part of our fan-base who love that side of our sound – myself included 😉
“Easy Way Out” shows us a darker and more personal side of the band. In the chorus you sing “I’ve come undone, but I’ll never take the easy way out”. Why is it important to never take the easy way out during difficult situations?
Taking the easy way out just causes more problems in the long run, it also doesn’t do a lot for your own self-esteem and can sometimes make it harder to sleep at night. It’s always better to deal with issues or ‘take care of your admin’ as they say. It builds character and makes others and yourself think more highly of you when you tick those boxes, get your shit together, answer the “unknown caller ID”, stand up straight and make eye contact.
Being on the road and away from home can sometimes take a toll on your mental health. How do you guys help each other stay mentally strong during tough times?
We don’t do long travel stints very often, but we always keep things fun when we do. There is always a new inside joke generated by Jaden and Jordan’s constant banter which always keeps the other boys entertained. Thankfully, being creative people, we are all pretty emotional-clued in, so if someone is visibly not in a good spot the others always sensitive to that and take steps to lighten the mood.
What song off the new album are you most looking forward to performing live?
My favourite to perform so far has been Falling. It just has a sensitivity to it that isn’t in any of our other songs we play live at the moment. It’s this ultra-slow, sludgy, sexy thing that crescendos into a reverb wall when we play it live. Feeling Free is also super fun and makes people go nuts.
New Zealand has had some amazing acts come out over the years from Broods, Lorde, The Beths. How would you describe the live music scene/community over there?
It’s just like anywhere is guess, I personally don’t think it’s unique when compared to the rest of the world. NZer’s do have a very humble nature, which can often be both good and bad depending on the person or group. We have a great funding system though, which provides band and artists with opportunities they otherwise might not have access to. At the moment there is quite a chasm between mainstream radio and independent radio – I think there are a lot of artists missing out of airplay simply due to being not pop and formulaic enough for corporate mainstream radio and too hi-fi/not indie enough for independent radio. Personally, one of my favourite NZ artists right now has to be Roy Irwin.
You’re going to be touring Australia in March. What are your plans for the rest of 2018?
We’re heading to Europe in May! Putting out this record in July. We’ve got more travel plans too but still figuring all of that stuff. Most of the boys are working on their own things too. Josh and Djeisian are engineers/producers/song-writers by day and have been working on artists like BENE, Balu Brigada and Mitch James. Jordan put out an amazing record near the end of last year under his solo moniker HIGH H00PS (a must-listen for fans of LEISURE). Jaden’s working on some solo stuff which I’m excited to hear as he is a melody wizard. I’ve written a solo record under my own name (Tom Young), which will be out this year and I also have a dark dream-pop project with my fiancé called The Melancholies.