It's time to start getting excited, Dear Reader. We're less than a month away from the unofficial start of our 2019 festival season. That May Day Bank Holiday weekend means one thing - Live At Leeds. Packed with (literally) hundreds of the best new bands on the planet, it sees one of the country's most vibrant creative cities turned into a mecca of buzz, hype and awesome live music.
To celebrate, we're holding a special Live At Leeds takeover. Over the course of the day (11th April 2019, in case you're coming to this late - Ed), we'll be bringing you all kinds of stuff from and about the acts playing this year's event. If you're going, it'll help you plan out those all-important spreadsheets. If you've not yet picked up your tickets - well, what are you waiting for? You can grab 'em here, right now.
Wasuremono’s name roughly translates “something forgotten or left behind” in Japanese, but it’s ok guys - we’re not leaving you out of our Live At Leeds preview. The new-ish-comers have just announced their second album ‘Are You OK?’ (due 14th June), and it’s sure to be a riot of synths and fun. A magic combo, and all written and recorded in multi-instrumentalist William Southward’s shed no less. And here we were using ours to store the lawnmower*.
(* We don't have a lawnmower. Or a shed. Or a back garden.)
Hey Wasuremono, how’s it going? Looking forward to summer?
Festival season is the best type of seasoning right after salt and pepper.
When did you first realise you wanted to make music? Did you have a musical upbringing?
My cousin got me into the electric guitar when I was 13; no other instrument had grabbed me until I picked the electric up. He taught me Blue Monday, but it was the version by that band Orgy (sorry). I was then lucky enough to be introduced to an amazing guitar teacher, and had joint lessons with my best mate. We would bring in songs we wanted to learn like Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers, and then he got us both really heavily into the blues. My first band aged 15 was covering songs by the likes of Led Zeppelin and The Doors!
Is being a musician everything you thought it’d be?
I was always a guitarist in previous bands; this is the first band I've sung lead vocals in. I never knew I'd get so hooked on the writing and recording process, it gets addictive, and I can no longer move in my studio it’s so crammed full of synths, guitars and amplifiers.
You’ve a new album out soon, how did you find the writing process? What’s it about?
I’m a solo creature when it comes to writing, with hours, days, weeks now turning into six years of getting lost in the studio. The last two records were written to old drum machines, where I write songs to drum beats I program in. This album involves an old Linn drum computer which I managed to get hold of. It's like the drum sound of the '80s in a box. It took about a year in total to write, record, produce and mix this current album, with two of the tracks written after it was supposed to be finished and added at the very last moment. One of those is going to be the next single, it's called "Self-help". A lot of the lyrics are written subconsciously by interpretation of vocal melodies that are laid down in the early stages of the songwriting. They seem to explore mental health to some degree; maybe they were the songs I needed to hear at that time.
It feels like everyone’s mental health is pretty precarious at the moment, what’s your take?
I feel technology is developing faster than humans can cope with; there are a lot of isolated people out there who don't have people to talk to. One of the lines from the last album was "Hey remember life when people didn't have phones for friends?" I was lucky enough to grow up without mobile phones. Rolling in hay and riding bikes was the original iPhone. I think writing and playing music is therapy in itself, so I'm thankful for that.
What do you most enjoy writing about, generally?
I'm a sucker for a good riff; I could write songs about anything really as long as its got a good hook/riff. I’ve got a lot of catchy songs I've written about food-maybe I’ll release a food album soon? Def got two strong singles, ones about pizza and the other one about fish and chips.
Are you creative in non-musical ways too?
I like to cook, I wouldn't say it's creative, but I sometimes attempt the condiment smear you see on cooking TV programmes. I also made a Parsnip beer once, it was horrible, but you could say that it was creative...
What do you do for fun?
I love dogs, walking and drinking beer in pubs.
You’re playing Live At Leeds soon, is it a festival you’ve done before?
Never played Live at Leeds before but we can't wait! Last time we played Leeds was at the Brudenell Social Club supporting Phosphorescent on their UK & Ireland tour.
Are you going to catch any other bands playing?
We are playing a gig in Glasgow the following day, so we have to hit the road fairly promptly, but we would like to catch old friends Swimming Girls and Tamu Massif who we have played with back in our hometown.
What else do you have coming up?
We are gearing towards the release of our next single 'Self-Help', which is out on 10th May. Our album 'Are You OK?' drops on 14th June. We have a load of other shows too you can check on our website: wasuremonomusic.com.
Wasuremono play Live at Leeds (4th May), The Great Escape (10th May) and more.