Getting To Know: The Great Leslie's
In a sonic evolution that defied expectations, The Great Leslie conquered 2022 with an electrifying shift in direction, propelling them to global acclaim. Their chart-topping trio of singles - 'Feel Alive,' 'Liquid Spells,' and 'All Good Things' - not only dominated airwaves worldwide but also cemented their status as indie-rock pioneers. Apple Editorial's prestigious 'New in Rock' playlist showcased all three tracks, resonating with listeners across continents. 'Feel Alive' made history as the band's inaugural Spotify Editorial hit, securing a coveted spot on the 'Hot New Bands' playlist, a hallmark of UK Indie Rock excellence.
The crescendo continued as 'All Good Things' surged, not only landing on multiple Tidal playlists but also scaling the heights of Tidal's 'UK Indie: Best of 2022' compilation. The stage was set for greatness, with Amazing Radio's unwavering support echoing from both sides of the Atlantic. As the curtain rose on this remarkable year, 'Feel Alive' claimed the crown of 'Track of the Day' from Gigslutz and This Feeling, while Radio X and Kerrang! Radio amplified its energy nationwide, courtesy of John Kennedy and Johnny Doom. 'Liquid Spells' cast its spell on BBC Introducing and XS Manchester, hailed for its infectious energy and rhythm.
But 2022 showcased more than just chart-topping victories. The Great Leslie emerged as touring powerhouses, sharing stages with both rising stars like MOSES, Two Day Coma, and Late Night Honeymoon, and seasoned legends including the unforgettable Franz Ferdinand. The O2 Victoria Warehouse in Manchester bore witness as the band delivered a career-defining performance to a sea of fans. The Great Leslie's journey is far from over. A trailblazing force in the indie-rock arena, their melodic odyssey continues to captivate hearts and minds, reminding us that true innovation knows no bounds." We caught up with the band as they reflect on another standout year.
How have you been since we last spoke?
Busy - In one word! We’ve been playing a few festivals all over the country and recorded our latest EP as well as a Live Album at Abbey Road Studios! This release really feels like you are putting the issues you care about to the forefront, was it a harder process writing the songs about things so personal to you and others?
Are there any other artists you are particularly inspired by who are speaking about similar issues in their music? Not particularly, at least not consciously. When writing this EP the intention wasn’t to speak about issues because others do so. Instead we felt the need to write about these things because they’re imminent. Take migration or climate change for example. Issues that require immediate attention and so we decided to use the voice and reach we have by now, to raise even more awareness. In the midst of a pandemic and ongoing issues including Brexit, how hard has it been to keep going as an independent band?
Great question. We’d probably have to look at it from two perspectives. The first one being the obvious one: money. While inflation has hit everyone pretty hard, our expenses as a band have gone up as well. Recording, mixing, mastering all of it is incredibly expensive (even with Friends and Family discounts)! The other perspective would be the artistic point of view and there’s really only one thing to say: we are more determined than ever! Lockdown gave the band plenty of time to write music and concerning Brexit, well funny anecdote: We toured the south of France last year for a week or so. We had to fill out a so-called Carne, which is basically a visa for instruments. Took Ollie days to fill it out only to find out that neither the French nor the British border staff knew what it was. You are a band we've followed for quite some time, and really are a model example of how to run a band. What would your advice be to aspiring musicians who've just started their journey as a band?
Thank you first of all. This is just our experience and doesn’t necessarily apply to all new artists out there but the whole point of it is to have fun. If you want to have fun, you need to do what you love. So the advice would probably be to keep writing and playing music for yourself. You’re not doing it for others cause you never know whether the audience will like a song or not. Sometime they don’t even know what they like. So as long as you’re doing music that you think sounds you’ll be alright. Oh, and networking. Get yourself out there.
What are 5 essential tracks in the dressing room before a gig?
We wish all venues had dressing rooms haha. If you mean the ones, we’d run to warm up it would probably be the more complex ones in terms of vocals and fiddly guitar/ bass bits. So the top five would probably be: - All Good Things - Can’t Touch - Wait Around - Feel Alive - and then the new stuff like Burn Me, Drown Me What have you got planned for the next year?
Big plans: so, we will release three EPs each with five tracks. So, there will be plenty of writing and recording and hopefully some bigger festivals next year!