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Interview: Lusts

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Midlands purveyors of new-wave psych Lusts are not what they seem.

They sound like a classic four-piece but are a duo and are not an old band but part of a wave of stunning indie coming from the middle of the country.

Brothers Andy and James Stone take the reverb-heavy sounds of shoegaze and sprinkle in the bombast of the dark, majestic rock of classic 80s bands like Echo & The Bunnymen, and add krautrock rhythms and psych abandon. Debut album Illuminations, released last year, was an immediate indie-classic, which alongside their atmospheric live performances has set them up for a 2016 where they break out even further.

We connected with James ahead of their set at new-music, showcase festival The Great Escape in May.

Obviously being brothers you have a bond stronger than just music.  Was music something that ran through your family?

Yeah it was. Both my mum and dad are musicians and were interested in getting us involved as much as possible when me and Andy were growing up.

Do you think being brothers gives the two of you the upper hand when it comes to writing music?

One of the good things about being in a two-man band with Andy is that we're very similar. Both dark and moody  (he laughs). We can have open and honest discussions about the music we're making. Like any band we have creative disagreements but it's usually resolved pretty quickly and the music we make shows a harmony in the way we work.

Is your music inspired in anyway by your upbringing or the environment you lived in as kids?

Not really if I'm honest.  We aren't defined by our upbringing in Leicester. We just try to create new landscapes and new world's through our music. The atmosphere and emotional music in movies often inspires us to create moving pieces, the work of David Lynch in particular is something we draw a lot of inspiration from.

Your idea of creating new landscapes and emotions is very clear on your new album. It's also very rooted 1960s/70s psych, so what influences do you draw upon in your music?

To be honest we like a lot of different stuff.  Obviously we like bands that have a similar feel to us, so Echo (& the Bunnymen) are huge for us. Also Joy Division are a band we take a lot of inspiration from when we're crafting the feel of a track.  Newer bands like Hookworms and Grimes, you get the picture - just dark and moody really.

Someone obviously had to give bands like Echo and Joy Division a shot at the big time, what was it that drew you towards signing for 1965 records? 

Well they came along to a few of our shows and seemed to like what we were putting out there, our music suits the venues we play in because we usually choose quite dark and  moody places to gig. You know a lot of labels these days want to take creative control to create an image for their acts, but the guys at 1965 just let us do our own thing, they even let us have a stab at creating our own artwork which was cool.

 

You’re performing at The Great Escape Festival this year.  How important do you think it is for grassroots musicians to have this kind of showcase event to play? 

We can't wait for The Great Escape, we've been before but we're excited to perform in a few months time, it should be good. We love doing inner city gigs so The Great Escape is perfect for us.

They get guys on the ground and with small venues it's always great to get some feedback as well, you know? It's got a personal touch because of it being an inner city festival. We're doing South by Southwest in America as well in March so we can't wait for that. It all about just getting our music out there and building a strong presence.

You're performing alongside some other great bands at The Great Escape, is there anyone in particular you're looking forward to seeing?

I'll be honest man we've been so busy we haven't had a chance to even check out the line up yet, who would you recommend?

Definitely Band of Skulls. They're a cool kinda indie folk - rock trio and their tunes are seriously good. 

That sounds up my street so I'll have to check them out. 

 

Catch Lusts at The Great Escape in Brighton between 19th and 21st May. 
www.greatescapefestival.com/




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