Lins has teamed up with Tom Hudson and Nestor Matthews for a new project.
Magic Mountain is the new band from Leeds trio Tom Hudson (from Pulled Apart By Horses), Nestor Matthews (from Menace Beach and Sky Larkin), and Lins Wilson (from Grammatics and Mother Vulpine).
Having unveiled their debut single ‘Zodiac’ just a week ago (out 13th October via Come Play With Me), the band are gearing up for a handful of live dates over the next few months.
It's an exciting new project that sees Lins flex her songwriting muscles - and she's excited for people to hear some of their music - “it's been ace hearing the positive responses so far,” she says.
So Lins, how did you guys start making music together? You must've all known each other for a while?
Yeah, you could say it's been a while! Me and Tom first played together in Mother Vulpine in (cough) 2006/7, and around the same time, I was also playing with Nestor in the first Sky Larkin line-up. So it's kind of come full circle. I've also stood in on guitar/bass a few times for Pulled Apart by Horses back in the day when one of them couldn't make it to a gig... and I've played for Menace Beach in the same sort of way. As Magic Mountain, we've been chatting the idea over for ages, and I'd been tinkering about with demos over the last two or three years, just sort of waiting until the timing was right, as we've all been pretty busy with our various projects. But it came together pretty quickly once we started playing together, it's pretty darn magical in that practise room.
How does being in Magic Mountain compare to your previous/other bands? Is there a bit less pressure?
I think for all of us it's definitely about taking the pressure off, just having fun making loud noises without any expectation or schedule, for now at least. But then, it's a bit different for me because most other bands I've played in, I've not been a part of the songwriting (other than MV and the last Grammatics EP). So I do have more of an expectation on myself, just mainly from myself. I've also worked with so many incredible songwriters over the last ten years that it can be a bit intimidating to do it myself. Collaborating with Tom has been amazing, though – four albums down with PABH definitely helps to shape the songs that step further – with Nestor bringing his own ideas and style into it all too.
Tell us about your new single, ‘Zodiac'. What's it about and how did it come to fruition?
This was maybe the third or fourth full song we wrote; I think it came out of just wanting to write something short and fast, but also a little dreamy. I once said to a good friend of mine how I wasn't sure how my 'floaty' style of singing could fit with harder, fuzzy riffage, but he was just like, why not? We actively chose for me to sing the lower dreamy parts and Tom to sing the higher falsetto parts with his slight snarly-ness... which moves it away from PABH a bit more as we want it to be different. I think I got a bit stuck right in the middle of the track, so I just handed the guitar to Tom – we sometimes go back and forth between us until something sticks. We'd just watched Interstellar at the time, so it's really just about that small concept of infinite time and space.
Are you guys working towards an album, too?
I think if you start a band you're always working towards an album, right? It'd be silly not to. We're just taking our time and chipping away at writing while we edge out into the world with this single and a handful of shows. We recorded Zodiac with Rob Lee (of PABH), and it sounds great, so we're just going to keep going and see where we get to!
How did you hook up with Come Play With Me? Were you guys buds beforehand?
We didn't really know Tony beforehand, but we'd heard of CPWM, mainly as Harkin had put out a song with them. It's a great project for getting regional acts out into the world, really eclectic too. It's nice to join the roster.
There's always so much going on in Leeds - what's good there at the moment?
Leeds is a lively one for sure. It feels like there's a bit of a resurgence at the moment, I don't know if that feeling is just from being more active in the scene again, and so being more aware of the next generation of the DIY bands appearing (makes us sound really old). We're enjoying MJ (Hookworms) new project, Family Scraps; there's Team Picture, Mush, Weirds, Fizzy Blood and always love a bit of Cowtown. It's hard to keep up, to be honest, might be a better question for CPWM...
Do you have any plans to tour with Magic Mountain?
We've got a few gigs lined up in October to launch the single - 9th at Headrow House, Leeds, 10th at The Old Blue Last, London, 16th at Night & Day Cafe, Manchester. Then one in Hull for the Humber Street Sesh (Polar Bear) on 21st November. I'm sure there'll be a few more to come – one of the main reasons we started the band was just to support bands that we love, so we get to see them as well! We supported Meatbodies for our second gig, so that was a pretty good start.
What else are you working on at the mo?
Too many things as always! My day job is working as a producer for Lord Whitney, a creative studio in Leeds who build worlds via set design. So there's always plenty going on there. I'm also chipping away at some cello ideas, having written a concept album on cello a couple of years ago (called 'Evangelist'). Tom still has some PABH shows this year and never really stops writing. He's also an illustrator and animator and has been creating our little teaser vids, posters and is working on a music video for us. Nest is doing more with Menace Beach and also works as a teacher at Leeds Music Hub amongst other things. Life isn't dull that's for sure.
Finally - what's the most exciting thing you have planned between now and the end of the year?
Catch Magic Mountain live at the following:
09 Headrow House - Leeds
10 Old Blue Last - London (Free)
16 Night & Day - Manchester
21 Polar Bear, Hull - Humber Street Sesh (Free)