lilliputThey captivated us so much with their recent track ‘Heavy Clouds’ that we thought it wise to pin down LILLIPUT and find out what they are all about. Band member Joe, told us about how they approached writing this time around, their change of direction that their sound took and their forthcoming album Midnight Daydream.

You’ve previously stated that “2015 felt like a year without a plan”; why was that?

To be honest, 2014 was very similar. It kind of rolled into the next year and we panicked a little when we realised it was February and we’d not really thought about music or releases at all. Even in a part-time band, it’s all about planning and structure, something we struggle with as a six piece north eastern outfit.

Were you able to overcome any of those difficulties? Did they, in turn, inspire the writing process for your new material?

We decided to roll with the ‘no plan approach’. We did some writing and gigging and it ended up being great for us. We went back to jamming songs and getting excited about music. I think part of that loose approach helped us a lot. Often when you gig all the time you end up writing with a live show in mind. Songs get faster, structures all the same and that often makes for a one-dimensional set. The songs felt less forced and more laid back with the new approach.

Your latest track ‘Heavy Clouds’ is simultaneously chilled-out and groove-ridden with some great harmonising. It is quite a departure from your previous sound, what inspired the change?

Heavy Clouds (not a single) sounded like the biggest change in production for us, hence we used it to announce our debut album. It’s more of a taster track than anything. The album has a variety of textures and styles that come
and go throughout. We worked with Robert Whiteley who co-produced the album and he was really keen to keep things fresh. It definitely makes for a more interesting listen. We varied the production depending on feeling and meanings. It was a really open project from start to finish.

Did you find developing your new sound challenging? Did you all share the same vision for Lilliput?

 Being a big ensemble we always have different opinions and there’s always a compromise for someone somewhere. The sound really has taken a curve on our debut and having played together so long certain members are bound to favour previous styles in sound. Personally, I really like the way it’s going but I never want to stick to a genre or style. I think It’s important to create, learn and move on. We get a little braver every time we write; more honest, a bit more ambitious. These are things I really admire when hearing bands or artists release music.

What artists did you grow up listening to? Do they still influence you today?

We all grew up listening to The Beatles. That’s probably the main common band that it always reverts back to. We’re probably in the ‘super fan’ category. Always Beatles trivia when we’re together. I went to Liverpool for uni and we’ve recorded there ever since. Just a coincidence but a nice one nonetheless. Aside from that, we went through the brit pop and the indie years. (A few of us went to primary school together). We love Blur, Super Furry Animals, The Bees, The Strokes to name a few. There not on our iPhones now, but those songs were our introduction to pop bands really. We fell in love with Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake at 15, became obsessed with Radiohead shortly after. A pretty stereotypical musical upbringing. Of course, we tested each other with obscurity too. Josh introduced me to ‘Flying Teapot’ by Gong early on and myself and Jamie got into the Incredible String Band for a while.

Your debut album, Midnight Daydream, is to be released soon. What can listeners expect?

There’s a load of harmonies on the album and as mentioned before a variety of styles. It’s got the pop singles (we think), but then there are tracks like Autumn Leaves and SHA SHA that are more west coast sounding. It has hints of psych and folk-rock. I like to think it’s a surprising listen with enough continuity to bring it all together.

You have crowdfunded the release of Midnight Daydream using Pledge. Have you been surprised by the amount of people that have been willing to support you to allow you to release it?

Pledge is a great platform for releasing and without it, I don’t think we’d have been able to release out debut in such a fashion. The response has been great and we’re super close to reaching the target so fingers crossed.

Do you have a tour in the works? What can your audience expect from your live show?

We’ve not been on tour before in this band. Not out of choice, it’s just never happened for us. Of course we’d love to and hopefully, we get out in the new year to promote the album across the country. We’ll definitely be hitting London and Manchester in the meantime. Aside from that we’re launching the physical albums at Sage Gateshead this December (21st) and in our hometown Sunderland at Independent towards the end of January.

What are you listening to at the moment? Who do you recommend?

Currently, I’m listening to Whitney’s debut album ‘Light Upon the Lake’ which is great. Also Hiss Golden Messengers latest album ‘Heart Like a Levee’ and ‘Schmilco’ by Wilco. Anything with a Nilsson reference gets our ears.

Lilliput’s track ‘Heavy Clouds’ is available to listen to on their Soundcloud.