Punk trio Dead Naked Hippies are one of Leeds’ best up-and-coming bands. They’ve just dropped new single ’Rare’, and this weekend they’ll play 2Q Festival in Lincoln alongside Public Service Broadcasting, Honeyblood, The Orielles and more. Frontwoman Lucy Jowett introduces her band.
Hey Lucy, how’s it going? Enjoying autumn?
It's going rather swimmingly thank you. Absolutely. I'm an avid jumper wearer, and they are well and truly out again.
How did you guys all meet, and what prompted you to start the band?
We all met at uni in Leeds. We played in bands together while we were at uni, but we didn't start Dead Naked Hippies until around two years after we finished. Honestly, the prompt was that we were all about ready to quit playing music because we were all extremely fed up and frustrated up with our previous projects for various reasons. Dead Naked Hippies was a no pressure, fun kind of project - I think because we took the pressure off we all fell in love being in a band again. We ironically got pretty busy with it quite quickly, too.
Did you all agree on the kind of music you wanted to make straight from the off?
Yeah, actually! We didn't ever set out to make 'x' genre though. I think because we were friends at uni and have a certain amount of history together, we knew each other on a personal level, knew we wanted to make something loud & for it to come from an honest place.
Tell us about the first song you wrote together?
The first song we wrote together was 'Lights Out' and it ended up being our first single. We wrote a very big batch of songs before we played any shows or recorded anything. We sent demos of all the songs to Matt (Peel) who we've recorded everything we've ever done with; it was his favourite out of the batch and ours too. It had something about it, and we went for it.
Do you have a favourite Dead Naked Hippies song?
For me, it's 'Rare'. Lyrically, it was making light of a very dark situation. I've always struggled with my mental health, but this song was written at a time I was feeling pretty horrendous. In short, it was me telling myself it was fine to feel not like myself, to feel anxious and to feel depressed - a celebration of being human I guess. So every time we play the song live it serves as a powerful reminder. Jacob and Joe's favourite is 'Guillotine'.
What are you working on at the mo?
We've just released a new single with Leeds Label Come Play With Me, so a lot of prep has been going into that. We've also played a lot of shows over the past couple of months too, but we're just about ready to bury ourselves away for the next couple of months to focus solely on writing some new songs. We'll be in the studio in early 2019.
What would you most like to achieve during your music career?
To be able to fill more of our time with doing it - travelling, experiencing and performing in lots of places & meeting more people, writing and recording! There's obviously dream scenarios, like being able to play Glastonbury would be amazing, but there isn't a pinnacle as such. We're not bothered about attaining any quick or unsustainable success. This band is absolutely our baby, so putting the groundwork in is challenging and can be hard work but can also be extremely rewarding. We're all about that longevity.
Other than the making and performing music part, what’s the best thing about being in a band?
Feeling at home in our little dysfunctional family is pretty special, we make each other laugh a lot. Other than that, the people we've met for sure, we've had so many people leave a lasting impression on us, whether that be people in other bands or people who've chatted to us or been present at shows. It's a beautiful thing.
What’s on your bucket list for 2019?
We'd like to play out of the UK and want to do our own vinyl release. We've done two compilation releases now and are raring to do our very own & make it something special. Watch this space, kids.
Anything else we should know?
Probably, but I don't even know where to begin…
Dead Naked Hippies play 2Q in Lincoln on 3rd November. Visit 2qfestival.co.uk.