The props have come flooding in since ‘In The Court…’ was released last month. We gushed about its good humour and understated emotion in our previous issue, and many others have paid attention.
“We’re proud of the record, but weren’t expecting that many positive things,” says Wesley. “It’s really weird to have that. I don’t want to say we are the only band fighting a cause, but there is so little going on which is doing music positively, it’s more generic and drab, it’s become a very grey thing indie music, so when you do something a little bit different it gets picked up on.
“They’ve all been good reviews, but a lot are saying we are pretending to be bad musicians, but I think the musicianship on the record is good, of a high standard, we’re not pretending. All those punk bands that got big could play their instruments. It’s baloney when they say that they couldn’t. I could always play guitar and I think the second album will be a bit more self-indulgent.
“The other thing I don’t get is how people are saying it’s so lo-fi when there’s stuff like Daniel Johnson and Lou Barlow recordings which are really fucking lo-fi.”
Mike: “The first thing you wouldn’t say about a Daniel Johnson record is about how lo-fi it was. We really tried and got some good catchy little riffs and some really nice melodies.”
Though these are two of the hallmarks of indie music, the band don’t feel aligned with any such bracketing.
“I don’t feel like we fit in,” says Wesley. “It’s a really hard question, when people ask ‘What kind of a band are you?’ I’ve just been saying a punk band, as I won’t say Indie band now.”
“It means something else,” offers the quiet Darkus, regarding the ever-shifting meaning of the ‘indie’ tag. And with that his bandmates speed off on a passionate rant.
“Technically, Coldplay are an indie band,” begins Wesley “and they sound like Pink Floyd. Like Radiohead; I really don’t like Radiohead, they sound like fucking prog music! That’s not fucking indie! I don’t like them, bloody hell, I don’t like them.
“So we tried to come up with a few different names for us – one was Flaccid Jazz, one was Scuzz rock. There’s nothing, I’m not saying that we aren’t describable, but I don’t want to be put in a category. We were at this festival yesterday – Hop Farm – and I was looking round and was just like, ‘I hate Indie music, I just fucking hate it!’”
Mike’s turn. “In the true meaning of the sense we make Indie music,” he justifies. “Indie in the eighties, punk in the seventies and we’re grunge in the nineties, but if you say we’re an Indie Punk Grunge band, it just looks like Razorlight mixed with Greenday, so it’s really fucking hard to describe”
To put the heated tirade to an end, Wesley quips, “when we were at school it was ‘Grunger, grunger, you’re a fucking grunger’, so we’re a grunge band.”
Like with any bands inspired by the original grunge/slacker movement, Let’s Wrestle have a DIY ethic, even though Mike maintains that a lot of the time this was born out of necessity, purely as they “can’t afford to do it any other way”.
There are no big backers trying to shove Let’s Wrestle into the spotlight as tomorrow’s next bright young thing, but despite the restraints, Wesley maintains that they do have high ambitions.
“There is a time when we’d like to have lions on stage with us or something, we have a lot of ideas like that. We did a gold 7” for the single before the album and I remember going to the label and saying we wanted it in frames, like how you get gold discs. We wanted a hundred gold vinyl in frames that you couldn’t listen to unless you broke the glass and it coming with a little hammer. That was the original idea, it was just an idea, we never thought they would go for it and they turned round and said they’ll do gold vinyl.
As they’ve already said (sorry, ranted) though, it’s never one thing or the other with Let’s Wrestle. It’s all bling releases one minute, and confessions of self-management the next.
“We’ve only just got a manager,” they say “we’d always done it ourselves, never had an agent. We’d always work out sleeping on floors and stuff. I find it more interesting to do that anyway. If you’re in the same hotel room in a Travelodge every night, I think you’ll find it a lot easier to get really fucking sick of each other as well. In a lot of ways being a DIY band is a lot more fun.”
“Even if we got huge all of a sudden, I’d rather do something like this, sleep in a shitty van with beds built in as opposed to going to a hotel every night,” says Mike. “I watched The Fratellis at Hop Farm festival. They had a revolving guitar rack with loads of guitars in it, if we ever got to the stage where we could afford a guitar rack, we’ll just fill it with the same guitar ten times.”
Wesley: “We’re trying to break through, we’re going to be the next Lily Allen, a melody monster. We’re going to go back to America quite soon, hit the euro scene, try and do another tour over here, set up a label, start doing the second album, do an EP before the second album, a lot of stuff … For the two years before this album came out, we were just stumbling along, not having any plans whatsoever. We had a meeting before this tour where we worked everything out that we’re going to do over the next year. It’s going to be fucking huge.”
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