Wakey’s Long Division is one of the best festivals for supporting local talent; Menace Beach’s Liza Violet looks ahead to this weekend's event, which is set to host sets from Peter Hook & the Light, We Are Scientists, Art Brut, Bill Ryder-Jones and more.
Hey Liza, how’s it going?
I’m good thanks, just unpacking a new synth that got delivered this morning, so I’m happy.
What have you guys been up to since the release of ‘Black Rainbow Sound’, has it been a busy time for you? Must be nice to have it out.
Yeah, it’s always a good feeling to put a record out when you’ve been cultivating it for ages. We toured it back in October, and since then we’ve been in the studio and writing a lot for a project that I can't talk about quite yet. And searching out old synths, we’ve got a bit of a museum thing going on at home.
How do you prepare for festival season?
We’re working on some stuff for our live show and pushing the visual side of it a bit further; we really enjoyed that on the last album tour.
Are you planning to attend any you’re not playing this summer?
I reckon we’ll go to a few festivals we’re not playing yeah, depends what festivals our friends are playing and how cheeky we are at jumping in vans with people. I really want to go to Green Man and End of the Road.
Long Division’s going to be fun, the arts and culture bill looks super interesting - what impact do events like this have on the creative community?
I always see these things a chance for these little creative factions to come together and kind of showcase and be proud of what is going on across all mediums. That can be as organised or as loose as anyone wants it to be, really. It gives people a chance to connect and come up with new schemes.
Where are the best hot spots for local talent at the moment?
Hyde Park Book Club is really good for new music or comedy or to see guest speakers, and they also host literary nights and debates. Outlaws Yacht Club always have good music and get really interesting people in to do talks. Wharf Chambers and the Brudenell are always the best for seeing local artists too.
Are there any bands or artists on the Long Division line-up you’re especially keen to see?
I’m looking forward to International Teachers of Pop, and also our lovely friends Cruel World and Cowtown.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get more involved in their local arts scene?
I think just to go to as many things as possible, there’s definitely a good art and music community in Leeds, and I’ve always found it to be collaborative rather than competitive. Most of the people I know and have made music or anything with I’ve met at shows. Apart from that just keep creating and show people what you’re doing, there are plenty of people who want to help artists who are starting out.
What else do you guys have coming up?
We’re working on a couple of new music projects that we’ll be revealing later in the year.
Long Division runs from 29th May - 2nd June. Visit longdivisionfestival.co.uk for more info.