Lets Wrestle are survivors of the class of ’06; a band of North London indie teenagers; the only one that back then didn’t make you want to iron your ears off and the only one of note that haven’t changed their name, dissolved into obscurity or ironed their own ears off since. Likeable principally for an unconsciously stylish lack of ego, they were instead characterized (and self-identified, lyrically) as lazy and incomplete, ‘growing up’, essentially interweaving with the music’s parabolic self-aware naivety and engineering a longevity for their disarming, wry slacker pop and a fan-rapport that’s in a couple of instances gone too far (more – or maybe not more – on Wes’ stalker later).
Currently in the business of touring sophomore LP ‘Nursing Home’ [the band’s first on Full Time Hobby], Wesley Patrick Gonzalez talks to us while we put up his disturbed and poorly drawn filth online, a new comic called Home that ties-in with the release of following single ‘If I Keep On Loving You’. The B-side, ‘Dick In My Zipper’, is about a mutual friend of ours, so we were able to get a super-intimate interview out of him… and he won’t mind that it’s a week late for the single’s release.
You just got back from touring with Yuck.
“Yeah. Touring was ok I suppose, nothing to write home about. We just did a big headline tour that was a lot better, a lot more fun. We got to pick a bunch of like-minded bands to play with. Being back I’ve been forced to stay at home and wait for the guy who we rented the van off to pick it up. I don’t know when he is coming, he was supposed to come yesterday. ‘Dick In My Zipper’ is about Adam, by the way.”
Did you record that with Steve Albini too [the Big Black demi-god produced ‘Nursing Home’]?
“No, that was recorded with Simon who did our first Record. We always forget to record B-sides etc. when we are recording the album. I think the plan was: this album, make a really good sounding record that kind of finishes a chapter. I don’t want to regurgitate the same record over and over again, especially with this grunge revival stuff coming up. It’s time for a change.”
Where do you think the ‘grunge revival’ and attendant media wind-piss will go and where do you go?
“I think it’ll end soon, it’s pretty lame. I don’t think anybody involved actually gives a shit. Maybe the people in offices handing Volcan Mush or whatever new cool band come out cash. We are trying to go a separate way. I just want to make a record that sounds like everybody’s favourite records, like Neil Young, The Beatles, The Byrds and The Velvets. I don’t even want it under the umbrella that is ‘Indie’ – just straight up Pop!”
Do you like The Smiths? Some of the lead guitars on your second record give us the howling Johnny Marrs.
“I can never figure out my feelings on The Smiths… I mean they have some good songs, but they piss me off in such a massive way I can hardly listen to them. I used to really like them when I was a kid, I Imagine it has probably rubbed off on me.”
Does everyone ask in interviews how it was working with Steve Albini?
“Yeah, he was normal.”
Joseph Whalley [Tyranorapist Rex bassist and another recipient of the dubious honour of having Wes write a song about them] asks, for personal colour, what’s your favourite baked good and game?
“Hi Joe. Aunt Bessie, Risk. I don’t know about any game as in ‘deadly’. As a veg man I am not sure what game actually is – just birds right?”
I hear you have a stalker?
“I can’t tell you about the stalker – she reads all my interviews. I can let you know about other weirdos though. The other night in Leeds, this woman said, ‘I’ve listened to your lyrics and I think you are Bi Polar – are you?’, whilst I was trying to load the van. It was weird. Another time, packing the van in Manchester, these two girls asked our friend Perry if he liked Avenged Sevenfold and if she could get aids seeing as she just gave someone a blowjob. I don’t really know what Avenged Sevenfold sound like, aren’t they like a Screamo band? The girl at the van kept on asking me if I liked Screamo. I just said ‘No, I like The Beatles’, and then she said, ‘The Beatles, wow, they aren’t even music.’”
Did any of these lot inspire the deranged character in your comic?
“’Duffy’ is from Sam’s imagination. He used to tell some kid in Birmingham about how he was coming to get him. I used to do comics when I was about 15. I got some in Rough Trade but that’s about as far as it went. It was really enjoyable trying to remember how to do it again.”
So, are you still ‘chronically lazy’ or is stepping-up and taking responsibility taken on some sort of new appeal?
“It’s hard not to be lazy when you don’t have anything to do, but I always try and get myself to do stuff. I booked the whole tour we just did, by myself, to give me something to do. A lot of the new songs aren’t as much about being lazy etc. I don’t really know what the new songs are about, some are about having breakdowns, some are about Mike leaving and there is one about Dennis Nilsen.”
[Serial Killer] Dennis Nilsen grew up in Muswell Hill like you. What do you make of Muswell Hill?
“Muswell Hill is weird, I am not very fond of it. Sleeping on my mother’s sofa means I’m in Muswell Hill as we speak. I can’t wait to move. I don’t leave the house when I’m here, maybe that’s why a lot of the songs have a lot of “I’m Isolated” lyrics but hey, that’s the suburbs.”
By Edgar Smith
Exclusive for www.loudandquiet.com