Leggy totally captured our hearts with their debut EP Cavity Castle. The Cincinnati trio’s self-described brand of “blonde-heavy nü garage indie punk poptarts” is the sweetest treat to hit our ears this summer and we’re so psyched they agreed to do an interview with us. In addition to the interview (!!!!) we’re also giving you a taste of two brand new tracks from the band (“Chardonnay Summer” & “Honey”) posted below and “Chardonnay Summer” you can download from our summer compilation out later today!
The Grey Estates: Give us a little history of Leggy. How did the trio come to form and what made you decide that you wanted to start a band?
Kirsten: We all played music together in high school up until Veronique went to college in DC. Once she moved back to Cincinnati we moved in together and started up the band. A couple of the songs on our EP were actually written when we were 15.
Veronique: The last year I lived in DC, I started writing songs for the first time since high school. I visited Cincinnati that year for Midpoint Music fest. I think we all got drunk and inspired and vowed to start a band. When I moved back to Cincy we started living together and kept talking about it for like, six months. We finally started practicing once we had our first show booked. We’ve gotten a lot better since then :)
TGE: You used to be called Sweet Teeth, so why the name change?
Leggy: We discovered another band by the name of ‘Sweet Teeth’ who are responsible for this. Keeping our name was not worth ever being associated with them.
TGE: What was the process behind releasing your EP? Had you been playing live before recording or did you record and then start live shows? And how did you come to get assistance from Jerri Queen.
Chris: The punk-ish Cincinnati music community, and the music community as a whole is pretty tight-knit and most people are open to collaborating or helping fellow musicians. We’d been playing shows for a few months when we were able to coordinate schedules to work with John and Jerri. Both of them have been rad friends of ours for a long time, plus they’re two of the best dudes around and are also the best at what they do artistically/musically so working with them just made perfect sense.
TGE: Speaking of Queen, you guys are also from Cincinnati like Tweens, is there anything about the area that influences your sound or the band?
Kirsten: I think of the band Wussy as having the ‘Cincinnati sound’ that is an inspiration for a lot of local acts. They capture the grittiness of a post-industrial city with Midwestern humility.
Vero: Also, the benefit of being in a mid-size city like Cincinnati is that the the indie music market is less saturated than other cities; it’s easier for new bands to get press or book shows. Plus, the Cincinnati music community is small enough that everyone is a friend of a friend, and people are happy to help out each other.
Chris: Across the board Cincinnati has an extremely storied and strong history of cranking out incredible, interesting artists and bands spanning every genre. There’s something about Cincinnati and the Midwest overall that feeds creativity. Most people are down and open minded to anything coming from an earnest place, which is kind of more encouraging or influential than anything else. During the residency we were lucky enough to play with a lot of our friends bands, ranging in sound from Spazz-esq Powerviolence (Monitor Lizard), to a solo art-pop operatic cellist (Kate Wakefield), to fuzzed out psych-punk rippers (Bummers Eve), to grungy post-riot grrrl stoner pop (Swim Team) and dance-til-u-cry synth pop (Black Wolves), and regardless of people’s personal cultural identifications or social preferences or whatever everyone who came out to the shows stuck around, checked everything out, were pretty positive and stoked on the variety. I think all of that kind of stuff, plus cheap rent, good food, good spots to play, great art, great music, inspiring physical geography and amazing people have had a solid impact on our jams and band (and all other Cincinnati bands we’re proud to call buds).
TGE: The EP is short but also packs like a serious punch. How did you decide what songs to include and what’s the writing process like for y’all?
Vero: For the most part, I’ll come up with some lyrics and a basic chord melody, maybe a lil’ bit of a song structure in mind. I’ll bring it to K & C and we play around with it at the practice space until the song feels right. A few of our songs, like ‘Honey’ , were from our high school band, and that’s reflected in the lyrics and the simplicity. Choosing which songs to include wasn’t difficult. When we recorded there was still snow on the ground, and two songs were just total summer jamz. So we released the other four we had recorded. The others, “Chardonnay Summer” and “Honey”, are up on our bandcamp now. It’s finally short-shorts weather!
TGE: And what should first time listeners except of your EP. How would you describe it?
Vero: The sounds of a girl caught in a ‘he loves me/he loves me not’ whirlwind pseudo-relationship drenched in reverb/attitude and melted into bite size sugary sour pop jams.
TGE: I’m always interested in like how bands come to find a sound or decide to be as you describe “blonde heavy garage indie punk pop tarts”, so how you know like hey our sound like this really kicks ass?
Kirsten: Chris is great at making up genre descriptions that make you go, “Shit, you’re right. That’s exactly what it is.”
TGE: You’ll be wrapping up a residency locally, so how has that gone and what goes in to something like that where you’re playing multiple times?
Chris: The residency was a great experience! It was fun to play with great friends, see even more great friends, goof around with some covers and be treated to the finest burritos in the Cincinnati area.
Vero: It also really pushed us to work on new material, which was awesome and rewarding in itself. Plus, having residency at Comet in particular was amazing because so many other great bands, such as Tweens, also had residency there when stating out. It was all just very encouraging.
TGE: What’s next for Leggy? Will there be more tunes, please say there’ll be more tunes!
Leggy: We’re stoked on playing some super fun shows this summer, hopefully recording in July, and then going on tour in August. New tunes are imminent though! We’re really happy with our newer songs.
TGE: Give us a Leggy fun fact.
Vero: The ep is named “Cavity Castle” after the apartment we live in together. We named it that because we used to always have bowls of candy out! They ran out after the first party and we never re-upped :(
TGE: With all the references to sweet teeth and candy what’s your favorite candy?
Kirsten: Blue/red sour gummi worms.
Vero: It’s really hard for me to pick. But definitely Sour Patch watermelons or Jelly Bellys.