Vocalist Véronique shares what they have in store with their self-proclaimed sound of “Cincinatti lush punk”
“Cincinatti lush punk” is how Leggy describe themselves, and their own observations couldn’t be more apt. Oozing feminine perspective whilst being firmly anchored in brattish punk guitars and hazy surf undertones, the trio move in the same circles as Bleached, Charley Bliss and Best Coat. With a penchant for bolshy basslines (‘Kick The Habit’), full-throttle drums and lush guitar-work – as seen in their most recent track ‘Not What You Need’ – the band are a true riot. Vocalist Véronique Allaer took some time out to chat about what’s cooking in the oven…
We loved the energetic vibe to your latest track ‘Not What You Need’! Can you tell us a little of how the track came to life?
Véronique (vocals): What’s interesting about this song is that the bass riff came first and the rest of the song was written around that. Kerstin just starting playing this super catchy riff and we knew we should definitely use it in a song. Everything else just followed.
The lyrics are quite simple and repetitive but help make the track incredibly catchy. What sort of atmosphere or scenario were you trying to tap into when you were writing?
The lyrics were written when I was in the midst of a complicated relationship, one of those where you and the person both know that it’s really no longer ‘healthy’ to be together but you both want to be together. I know that feeling so well, and I think a lot of people can relate to it, so I didn’t think it needed to be complicated. “I was standing there, fingers in my hair, won’t you be my baby again?” is reflective of being drawn back into each other, and “I know I’m not what you need” is obviously the part of you that knows it’s not really a good idea.
It’s your first release since 2016’s self-titled album! Do you have anything exciting for us in the near future? What can you tell us?
We are recording an album this month and we are incredibly excited about it. In a way it’s our first “real” album because our previous one was actually a compilation of EPs. This will be our biggest batch of songs recorded at once, meant to be one cohesive album. We are working with two producers in Cincinnati who are our good pals, and they happened to have recorded our first two EPs back in 2014. It’s going to be cool to work with them now that we are no longer super newbies.
Leggy was your first album after releasing two EPs, Nice Try and Cavity Castle. What was the experience like? Did you find writing or recording the album a challenge?
V: Leggy was actually a compilation of those EPs plus one more (2015’s DANG) and one extra song. Therefore it was recorded over the span of two years and even though the songs luckily sound good together, the album didn’t really have a super cohesive, thought out sound. So we are stoked to have the opportunity to create that on this new album !
Spain and Portugal were so amazing ! It felt like a dream. We were there for ten days and the whole thing was a blur. The people in Spain are so incredibly hospitable and welcoming. Some highlights were meeting the women who brought us over and booked the tour – they run the blog Mad Girls Magazine. They were younger than us and so fucking cool and sweet. Another great part was doing a Slapback TV session, which is similar to Audiotree but based in Madrid. All the people working that were awesome and became our good friends – we even stayed at the family home of one of the guys for two nights and his parents served a traditional Spanish lunch when we were there, it was like six courses. They also made tapas with tiny quail eggs one night !
What is the most memorable thing that has happened on tour, for better or worse?
I think the most memorable part was the friendships we made and the places our new pals took us. There is a plethora of abandoned building in Spain and they took us to some really cool spots, like this abandoned military barracks building where they now book a DIY fest called Saint John’s Festival outside Madrid.
Your music has a bright pop edge yet persists in being punk. What bands or artists did you love growing up and how do you think they’ve had a lasting effect on your sound?
I’ve always loved pop music and pop stars, especially the way they can be super theatrical and over the top. Artists like Lana Del Rey, St Vincent and Kesha are a big inspiration to me. Music wise, I am pretty influenced by garage and punk bands because that is how I learned guitar- bands heavy on reverb, distortion and power chords like The Distillers, The Vines, The Von Bondies.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only listen to three albums until you were rescued (or died,) what would they be and why?
Strange Mercy by St. Vincent because it’s so sonically beautiful. Capacity by Big Thief because of the lyrics and the softness but heaviness of the songs, and Ultraviolence by Lana Del Rey because it makes me feel like I’m somewhere else.
What made you all decide to pick up your instruments and get involved in bands? Was there a specific moment when you thought, “I need to do that!”
We were all in bands at a pretty young age (Kerstin and I had a band in high school) but I stopped playing the whole time I was in college. I had no plans to continue music after but I had this crazy accident where I feel off of building. It was seriously fucking crazy, I had just graduated college and was living in DC and was raging on July 4 and then next thing I knew I was waking up in a hospital like two days later. I ended up only breaking my hip but I could have died and I truly had this life changing epiphany where I realized I wanted to play music even if I thought it was unrealistic, I didn’t care. Six months later I moved back to Ohio and into a house with Kerstin and Chris and we started the band.
Photos © Jahan Swanson
Leggy’s track ‘Not What You Need’ is out now.
The band play SXSW in March before heading out on a UK mini tour with their label mates on Damnably.