THE life of the duo…
always intrigues me and causes fascination. I have been talking with Leisure Tank and how they came to be; whether there is a special story behind their name; what inspired their latest cut, Higher; whether there is more material on the horizon – which artists mean the most to them both.
K.C. and Budi reveal what they do away from music and what they would tell to new artists; which current acts are catching their imagination; how they have developed since their earliest songs – and, how their music comes together.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hello. Very good, thank you. We just finished our U.K. tour and are looking forward to two more shows here in London.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are Leisure Tank; an Indie-Rock power-duo located in London. Our concept is pretty simple: electric guitar, vocals; drums and a loop we sometimes use.
Our sound is rather raw, a bit retro, due to our love for our 1968 Ludwig drumkit and the music we love.
Higher is a fresh cut. Can you tell us how the song came together and what inspired it?
I (K.C.) had a guitar loop and riff I experimented with. It all came together pretty quickly and the song basically wrote itself once I had the subject and parts. Budi’s drum came in and we tried to keep everything simple to keep the natural flow...
The song reflects emotions in our chosen partners. Sometimes, we fly high on love without realising that it is happening more in our own heads than between partners. The coming-down can be harsh and we tend to blame the other side. The blame a friend put on an ex-partner in that way inspired the lyrics to Higher. I guess you can say things like that in a song…but not always into someone's face…
How does an average Leisure Tank song come together? K.C. and Budi. Do you work separately or do you sit in a room and hash a song out?
K.C. writes the songs. Sometimes we rehearse ideas but K.C. usually comes with a finished song into rehearsals. Then we add drums to it, loops; other parts etc. We always try to filter through what serves the song: the initial idea best. We have songs that came together quite quickly and others we are still messing with, after years of playing them.
Can I ask about that name, ‘Leisure Tank’? To me, it seems to combine two Blur albums (Leisure and Think Tank)! What is the origin of the name? How did you meet one another, too?
Haha. We noticed the Blur connection after we named the band. That would explain all those disappointed Britpop-ers at our shows…
We named the band at a time when K.C. was thinking about the lack of leisure in our society, in our lives. Inspiration comes from 'leisure'. Just think Newton under the apple tree; the lack of leisure, the constant pressure of having to do or produce something. We figured that, nowadays, you have to protect your right to do nothing: not watching anything, not making and not achieving. That’s how the word ‘Tank’ forced its way in. One needs to be fierce and protective about the leisure time we have.
On the other hand, it makes a nice double-meaning in terms of 'fish tank', swimming etc. We tend to play with the marine part of the double-meaning, just because it is fun.
Is there going to be more material later in the year?
We, honestly, don’t know at this point. We would like to release more music, of course, but need time to write and record.
Do you think you have grown as writers and performers since the 2014 album, Westsuit?
We played the album live a lot, so we feel we have grown as performers. The writing process hasn’t changed much, though. We’re laying more leads to better control of our instruments, and that influences the writing - and it is up to others to say if we have grown.
It is hard to compare your music to other artists. If you had to select the acts, you feel, have inspired you most; which would you highlight?
That’s a hard one. We listen to so much different music and don’t always agree on artists. Budi, as a drummer, listened to a lot of Led Zeppelin and sixties/seventies music when he was younger, as well as Jazz, Skiffle; Rock ’n’ Roll…
We saw the Jazz drummer Max Roach once in Berlin together, which was very inspiring. But, I wouldn’t say we can actually hear it in our music. As a highlight, we both agree on….mh….
Probably, Led Zeppelin, PJ Harvey; Karate, The Band; Bob Dylan, Björk; Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Janis Ian; Sandy Denny, Fairport Convention and Scout Niblett…
Can we see you tour soon? What gigs do you have coming up?
We will play London’s Water Rats on 14th April and the Dublin Castle in London on 26th April.
The summer is, sort of, almost here! Do you think you might get a chance to play some festivals at all?
Unfortunately, no festival wanted us this year...
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
Write and record. Play more shows. I guess every band does that. Haha.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Oh; many! We supported Dave Swarbrick in London before his death. That was great. We recorded our last single at Jimmy Hogarth’s studio which was a great experience and a learning curve. We met Robert Plant last year at a festival. If your own music carries you that far, that’s a great feeling.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
I guess that depends on what the artists want to achieve.
Good advice we give ourselves is to ignore them all, which didn’t help in terms of commercial success...but we always had a hell of a time doing what we want to.
IN THIS PHOTO: Blue Statute
Do you both get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
It’s the other way round: we relax most by making music and writing songs.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
K.C.: Joe Gideon & the Shark – Kathy Ray
Budi: Primus – Too Many Puppies
Follow Leisure Tank