Photography by The Reids

Clara Bullock

Freelance journalist based in Bristol. Loves hardcore, her heated blanket, and pasta.

We chat to London art-rock quartet Legss, who have just dropped their new EP ‘Fester‘ via The state51 Conspiracy

Legss takes the listener on a journey through their new EP and through each of their tracks, they all tell a story. There are three acts, each succinct and still part of a whole picture. Legss master the art of suspense and building drama, fully immersing the listener.

Throughout the EP, there’s a dark uneasiness that flows through the vocals, lyrics and instrumentation. Just when the listener feels safe and familiar with the music, it surprises with vocal yelps or discordant noise-rock stabs.

The four-piece take inspiration from literary and visual works. They say this is “key to the immersive soundscape” in which Green’s perturbed protagonists are “truly awakened”. This narrative aesthetic is reflected sonically by drummer Louis Grace, who co-produced the EP with Balazs Altsach.

Clara sat down with Legss to chat about what inspired their new EP.

Clara: Where did you all grow up and how did you find your way to music?

Legss: We grew up between the metro-land of Greater London’s terraced ideals and Merseyside’s Victorian-pool red brick idylls. Music came to us in the ordinary way: through our parents’ records, absorbed through car journeys and battered vinyls, and then later as a wholly unoriginal means to express a sense of defying our parents.

We met as friends first, through Goldsmiths and South East London, in various other bands, equally bad, before packing it all in and becoming a Beatles cover band in 2018, before packing that in and starting Legss. A lot of it happened around The Five Bells in New Cross, which is sadly no longer whinnying with us. Being friends first has definitely helped us, though, because we always have that delirium to fall back on

Clara: And how would you describe your music?

Legss: Unsure of itself, untrained, melodic but harsh. Derivative but well-meaning.

Clara: You have said previously that you take inspiration from visual art and you have released films alongside songs before. How do you think visual art influences music and vice versa?

Legss: I’m not sure that our music takes inspiration from visual art, but we all care a lot about the visual output that accompanies the music, and how it can add or compliment the music. In our songs, and especially in our EPs, we always try to build worlds, which can only be furthered more positively by visual aids, so in that sense, anything we do visually is an extension of the world we’ve already created in the music.

Clara: You’ve said you take inspiration from London’s “urban landscape”. How does London as a city and the London music scene influence your music?

Legss: It’s only influenced us as much as any other city would do if you spent the formative years of your life there. London has its own overflowing history of literature, art and music created in and about it, but knowing that sort of presents its own problems; how do you engage with it all? I feel like the more we live here, the less we’re interested in documenting London in the same detail that we have before.

Clara: Tell us a bit more about your new EP ‘Fester’ – what is it about, what do you want listeners to take away from it?

Legss: It’s boring and hackneyed to say it but we felt pretty disillusioned/exhausted coming into writing these songs, and so didn’t want to give ourselves any deadlines or restrictions etc., and basically just shun the idea of momentum which is probably the least helpful thing you can do as a small band trying to get heard.

The process of how we produced it was completely new to us. We chipped away bit by bit, recording ourselves more regularly, which meant we had more time to play about and question what sort of music we wanted to write not only now but in the future. We found we wanted to push the dynamics of the songs further: make the lighter bits lighter, and the heavier bits heavier. This led to more introspective, vulnerable songwriting, and an emotionally richer sound.

Our Louis was producing it all in his bedroom, building a wider sonic world for the project, until we met Balázs Altsach who co-produced, engineered and mixed the whole thing. Balázs gave the music what it deserved and we couldn’t have done it without him. In terms of what we want the listener to take away from it, we really don’t mind. It’s all there.

‘Fester’ is out now via Thestate51 Conspiracy.

Listen to it here: