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.
Jon: What?

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 serious.
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?
Jon: Er…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!….Or maybe 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 see: Morrissey.
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… LED! '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 as possible.
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 important?
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 do so?
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 to/read/watch?
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