I caught up with London duo (and sometimes trio) Lights out Lester who have been making some sounds down in the capital, and getting people’s attention!
First things first how did you come to be?
Ben: – We coincidentally lived together at university and bonded over creating a foul potion at the end of Marty’s 21st birthday party. The ingredients included, vodka, wine, whisky, orange juice, milk, coke, celery, salami, leftover bolognese.
Marty: – Yeah, it wasn’t till after that year of living together that we started doing the music thing properly. Whenever we hung out in that house we just sort of dicked around. Then it wasn’t till about 6 months after Ben had left uni that we had our first recording session for fun and came to realise we worked together really well musically.
What genre of music would you say you play?
B: I guess it’s kind of ‘exploratory rock’ if you do have to put a label on it.
Which bands/artists do you take influences from?
M: There’s far too many to begin to name. We were just talking about this a couple of hours ago. That’s probably the biggest plus of being part of a generation that grew up with the internet, if you love music then there’s so much incredible music out there from all over the world and that was made decades ago that you can access/discover 24/7. Plus it’s not just music that influences us. Personally I get influenced by anything from listening to my favourite musicians to people-watching in coffee shops. The song we’re recording at the moment which is gonna be track 2 of the EP was actually an instant response when I was watching an episode of House Of Cards! The lyrics have got nothing to do with anything in that show and neither does the mood of the music, but I think Kevin Spacey did some monologue where he talked about phantom pain and I thought ‘I’ll have that’ and went upstairs and did a demo of the song. So it’s often not even necessarily music that influences us musically.
Best venue you’ve ever played and why?
M: We both have a bunch of live experience from past projects, but we’re not starting gigging together as Lights Out Lester till Autumn when everything with the EP and the music video is complete. But we have done one gig together which was a lot of fun. It was a party in a field in the middle of nowhere next to this old pub called The Bull’s Horn.
Best gig you’ve ever attended?
B: Soundcraft at Latitude. That was probably the most I’ve enjoyed anything ever. Was it Soundcraft? Kraftwerk! No, yeah it was that. With a K.
M: Probably the Hives at Glastonbury in 2013. They were one of the first acts on the Other Stage on the Friday and they had so much energy. Plus their roadies were dressed as Ninjas so they had everyone’s attention before they’d even stepped foot on stage. That said I might be securing a pair of Kylie Minogue tickets this week, which could change everything…
A band you would most like to support and why?
M: Lana Del Rey because then she can fall for me and I can tick that off my bucket list. Or Snoop Dogg.
B: Pink Floyd. There’s just something really ‘full’ about their music that I’ve been drawn to.
A band that you would like to work with?
B: Tame Impala.
M: Snoop Dogg. Or maybe Lana Del Rey.
Top five albums you’ve ever heard?
Bold As Love by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
To Pimp A Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
Live At The Greek by Stanley Clarke
Hot Shot by Shaggy
Kind Of Blue by Miles Davis
Biggest accomplishment as a band/solo artist?
M: I guess the fact that we’ve taught ourselves to do everything from scratch and it doesn’t sound shite! Everything from the songwriting to making sound insulation to where the microphone is placed to the mixing is done by the two of us with no external input/assistance. That and pulling off quite ambitious songs without it sounding pretentious. The finale of the EP is a song called Ant vs Elephant and it’s 6 and a half minutes long, has three key changes and I think we’ve written, recorded and mixed it without making it sound pretentious. Or at least I hope we have.
What’s next in the pipeline?
B: Putting the finishing touches on the EP, shooting a music video for SMOKESCREEN with a production company called Somnio and then gigs gigs gigs!
Thankyou so much guys for taking the time out to answer the questions,you had some interesting answers I never expected!