After a number of fun and glorious performances at SXSW, we caught up with Leggy. The band, who just released an incredible new album, took some time to chat their official debut, touring, shopping, and more!
The Grey Estates: This marks the official debut for Leggy. How does it feel? I feel you took a somewhat unconventional approach of releasing EPs and singles a lot before this. Why did you decide to wait?
Véronique Allaer : IT FEELS GOOD ! I can't wait ! I also can't believe it's been so long. We didn't decide to wait on purpose, we just were so eager to release new songs once we recorded them , rather than wait until we had enough for a full length. Hence, three eps that were re-released as an album in 2016 by Damnably. Let Me Know Your Moon feels like a much more cohesive release.
Chris Campbell: Now that this is out though we're just gonna keep the jams comin!
This debut is SO different from what we've heard from you in the past. You've really grown as a band. What did you learn during your years of touring and making music that you incorporated into the recording? Going into the record, what were you hoping for the album to represent
V: Learning to trust our instincts as artists is something that came after a lot of time touring. My fave artists all sound super unique - Lana Del Rey, St Vincent, Joanna Newsom, Eisley- so embracing what about Leggy makes us special and different from other artists is super important to me. We were really learning a lot (about ourselves, our instruments, the sound direction we wanted to go) in our first three eps. Let Me Know Your Moon sounds more realized to me.
In your Pittsburgh and SXSW shows, you mentioned a track about consent. Which track on the album is it and why did you decide to include a track about that? Do you think it's important for artists to speak on that?
V: The song is "Prom" . It's not about a prom or even a specific incident or person. It's more about a lots of instances that I've experienced and I know my friends have experienced where afterwards you look back and realize that kind of wasn't okay... that grey area. The lyrics for the chorus are " I can do a lot, I wanted it you thought, so what? I said that we would not". I mean, if someone says 'No' to sex but then they keep hooking up and eventually sex is had, that's not good ! This happens all the time so I am glad we were able to address it . The best songs are based in real experiences.
C: It's way extremely very important, anyone with a public platform to communicate with other folks should utilize that to reinforce the absolute necessity and importance of consent. I picked up a lot from lyrics, album inserts, zines and reviews along side peers' experiences growing up and in my teens and still to this day; music/lyrics are crucial means of communication and consent is an issue/message that should never stop being demanded, discussed and promoted.
You've been touring so frequently over the past few years! How did you manage to do that while also recording and writing the album? Did you learn anything from touring or performing live that you incorporated into this album?
V : Touring a lot is a big part of why it took so long to get this album out. But I wouldn't change our past tour experiences for the world though. I literally love touring so much ! I think it actually worked out in our favor that we have 5 years of touring already under our belt because touring is a way to hone in on what you really want to do as an artist because you're exposed to so much awesome live music.
C: Yeah touring is great. A lot of these songs were either started on the road or workshopped on tour and the intermittent disorienting periods at home in-between. I think that definitely influenced our process and presentation. Becoming a more confident and generally tight live band spilled over into the writing and recording too.
This album includes a lot more experimental noise and the songs are much longer than your previous very short singles. What inspired that? Even Kerstin performs! What caused you to include these new changes and embrace this new chapter of Leggy?
V: We've always wanted Kerstin to sing so I'm glad we finally got it on the new record . We already had three releases of short punky catchy stuff so we wanted to try something new !!! Also we don't want to be limited by just one sound. There are short catchy songs on this album too !
C: Got bored, wanted to spice things up.
Kerstin Bladh: it took me awhile to feel confident enough on bass to be able to sing at the same time. I didn’t want to sacrifice the complexity of the bass parts to add vocals.
For fun: what's the one song you always have to play in the Leggy van?
K: “Ride” by Lana on west coast tours. Fleet wood Mac - “The Ledge,” Times New Viking - “Fuck Her Tears.” Oh also, because our CD player is broken and we don’t have an aux port, we often listen to classic rock radio stations for long stretches of time and I love when “Running on Empty” by Jackson Browne comes on in the middle of an 8+ hour drive.
V: Make a Mess by Vacation. Shut Up & Dance by Walk the Moon. Swing Swing by the All American Rejects.
C: Ghost Town DJs "My Boo", Kristy MacColl - "A New England", Natalie Imbruglia - "Torn", Sade - "Sweetest Taboo"
What's your favorite memory as a band?
V : Our UK tour with Shonen Knife, Spain and Portugal in 2017, any time we've gotten really loose in a place far from home !! Also I love flying with my pals and getting drinks at the airport.
C: Spain/Portugal 2017, UK 2016 and the first time we all got Taco Bell with band money.
K: Getting weed delivered to the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
What's the dream Leggy merch item?
V : Leggings would be cool !!! Also maybe a vape or something ?? Also sexy bras. Actually, it's definitely Barbie versions of ourselves . I would love to own those.
C: I want Leggy potato chips. A Leggy 42oz Travel Mug. Leggy iPhone headphone dongle thing?
K: Leggy t-shirts for dogs
What one piece of advice would you give our readers?
V : Adding some lime or lemon juice to a cheap beer improves it immensely.
C: Start a band with people you love and if ya already have, just start a side project or three. And always stay hydrated.
In honor of the album's cover, what was your favorite store at the mall growing up?
V : Limited Too ! Hot Topic. Wet Seal . And then Forever 21 was a game changer when it came into my life.
C: Gonna get specific. Kenwood's FYE, Eastgate's Hot Topic, and Forest Fair's Guitar Center were all heavy hitters for young me but truly the best was the VHS booth at Caesar's Creek Flea Mall or the corn dog hut at Red Barn Flea Market. Flea Markets are malls real heads know.
K: My favorite mall store evolved in the following order — Limited Too > Bath and Body Works > Delia’s > Hot Topic > Kiosk with 3D photos engraved in crystal