Love Ends Disaster
LED!'s trick is to cut achingly beautiful noises with
harsh, hopeless, cynical lyrics and jagged chords which warp everything
backwards and make them feel All Wrong
while leaving enough of
the beauty untouched to make the cynical hurt feel even worse in contrast.
It's very moving music, but with an alien, science fiction quality which
means you can never forget to listen carefully to the cleverness and
unexpected qualities. And taken as a whole, it's unsettling, haunting,
utterly addictive and just frankly lovely.
Love Ends Disaster: Who, what and why?
Jon (guitar): 5 boys lost in this confusing post-post-ironic world,
channelling a somewhat odd imagination through the medium of noisy indie-prog-pop.
How would you describe your sound to the uninitiated?
Matt (bass): Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, boring guitar solo, chorus
to fade. Oh no sorry, I meant verse, verse, chorus, weird bit, verse,
different weird bit, sudden change and an ending which sounds like nothing
that preceded it, on purpose. We want the sound to be as huge as the
ideas but all the time keeping it reigned in with a pop-like edge.
Pete (drums): We're the sound of 2009.
Where did the name come from?
Pete: For our first show we had to come up with something to put on
the posters, and some idiot panicked and printed a load with our name
as LED Rubbercrumb, whatever the hell that is. Later, we ditched the
second part and I suggested we came up with something to make LED into
an acronym. It was my first suggestion, and I wasn't being entirely
Jon: I love the fact it has a weird sci-fi, B-movie, utopian feel. Somehow
it sums up our confused / excited worldview.
There's a science fiction geekiness and bizarreity to your music;
is that something of a band trait?
Jon: Definitely - musically, I think we're influenced by lots of things
around us - the odd atmosphere of 70s science fiction films, weird analogue
equipment, droney, buzzy sounds, different combinations of guitar pedals,
rather than just other bands. We're quite keen to experiment with sounds
and ideas, and I think that comes across, albeit in a digestable pop
format. Call it geeky if you may
Matt: Well it's the geeks that inherit the earth! We all have our own
quirks and personalities which I can't see any marketing director grasping
hold of and selling us to the masses like individual Spice Girls. I,
for example, relish attention and have an ability to to open my gob,
piss off well built blokes in shirts and shoes and somehow avoid getting
punched by looking too pathetic to bother with.
What do you hope your sound will stir in those who listen to it?
Some abstract, underlying themes that exist in all of us.
You know, the whole Jungian dual personality thing. Emotions you never
thought were possible! The realisation that life is a mere flicker of
a candle, and we must grab it! Without burning ourselves!
just the joy of listening to music that doesn't sit there and blather
on about how someone had a fight with someone else. Over some fags.
In a pub.
What do LED! songs tend to be about?
Oakes (vox): Lyrically they're about various things. I do tend to focus
on feelings of discord and alienation, whether it's to do with personal
relationships or on a wider scale. I like trying to mix up the viewpoints
in a song; my own opinions are never that certain and tend to shift
from one moment to the next and that uncertainty tends to come through
in the lyrics. It's not that I don't believe in anything, but I like
to get my head around all the different ways that people view things
and how our motives are never completely clear or honest. It seems al
lot of people have difficulty in accepting that there aren't really
any answers to anything, usually just a lot more questions.
You've got a lot of rather hopeless songs about romance/relationships,
and your sound tends to have a strong current of melancholy running
through it: is the LED! worldview a particularly bleak one? Or does
the bleakness just sneak in while your backs are turned?
Jon: When you reach your mid twenties, for us anyway, you seem to hit
this cynical wall where the same old tired clichés, musical and
otherwise, become apparent. I think it's a frustration, a longing to
find more in culture and general life, rather than a teenage angst,
"I hate you dad" thing. I think we do have a bleak worldview,
but we revel in the absurdity of it all. All very existentialist. Also
Pete: I never really noticed that. Oh, hang on. "I thought I killed
you in my sleep". Yeah, maybe.
Oakes: There are some things that constantly impact on your life, such
as love and relationships. It's been a bit of an up and down few years
in those areas, so they've found their way quite regularly into my lyrics.
I'm sure it'll settle down at some point and then I'll just write about
rabbits and deer running through idyllic woods or something
'the Disney years'. Actually, if I did write about rabbits running through
the woods it'd probably end up more Watership Down than Bambi; death
stalking the land, swearing seagulls and lots of blood and violence.
I guess when it really comes down to it I'm just a miserable bastard.
pic Metro, London, Jan 2006 by Marc Hibbert
What's the LED! live show like?
Jon: An intangible mess of tight noise pop. We try to be as dramatic
Pete: If Hitler had seen us, there would have never been WW2.
You use very distinctive, often a tad disquieting artwork for your
EPs - is there any particular logic behind it? Are artwork and image
Jon: Its not necessarily logical, if anything its pretty abstract and
surreal - it tends to be based on comic books and fantastical scenes
that are nightmarish, other worldly but also strangely cute and exciting.
Like the music we're trying to create, it has an unhinged atmosphere,
lots going on. You can take from it what you like. I think "image"
is important if we're talking about a band's ethos as its part and parcel
of how music is consumed nowadays, but its also important in an art
sense - I don't think a lot of bands are bothered about that enough,
they just want to look good in photos. Sod that, we want to create a
whole little LED! World.
What's happening in the LED future in the near-to-middle future -
any plans for world domination?
Oakes: In April we're back in the studio to record the next single,
a track called Suzanne. It should be out late summer. Then after that
we'll be getting to work on our debut album, which will hopefully be
out later this year.
Jon: If some people throw some money at us! It's going to be a semi-concept
album that you can play whilst watching Logan's Run. You know, like
the Wizard of Oz and Dark Side of The Moon.
Matt: Oh and as much touring as we can fit into our little lives. So
quite a lot hopefully.
Why should people listen to Love Ends Disaster! - and how can they
Matt: You can still buy our first two Eps from shops around the country,
and our new single will be online to download on March 12th. Otherwise
go and steal it from someone!
How important is rock'n'roll, and why does it matter?
Jon: You should probably ask Donny Tourette that one. I'm sure he'd
give an eloquent answer.
Matt: I think rock'n'roll can be important. It can reinforce beliefs
and attitudes especially in people growing up. It can alter your take
on things for better or worse depending on who you are and your disposition
to certain things. On the other hand, music very rarely causes revolution,
especially in modern society. George Melly said that within the realms
of the music industry one can only revolt into style. I agree to some
extent, especially these days when every band is hyped and end up meaning
very little. "Rock'n'roll salvation, I never believed it anyway"
- TV (by Love Ends Disaster!)
Pete: "Rock and Roll is everything. Everything to a lonely man".
I live by these words - music is the food of the soul, for real, but
you don't count on it for any answers. Do you know who made that quote?
Martin Smith of Delirious. It might just be bollocks.
What else is out there at the moment that you recommend people listen
Jon: There is so much good stuff going on out there, you don't have
to look hard. Personally, I'd recommend a fellow Nottingham band called
Lo-Ego make some gorgeous proggy shoegaze stuff, plus Popular Workshop
from London are making some snazzy lo-fi pop. The Knife's Silent Shout
was my favourite album of last year, its incredible.
Matt: The News. We once headlined a festival in Loughborough and introduced
ourselves whilst playing the Channel 4 News theme-tune.
Oakes: Read Haruki Murakami, listen to Regina Spektor and watch Red
Road. Then we can all be melancholic together.
Chips or cream buns?
Matt: Neither. We're on a strict diet of crack cocaine and herbal teas.
Interview by Holl(i)y
Visit Love Ends Disaster here
See them live at the Portland on Friday 13th April