Interview with THE LYSERGIC SUITE
Being together in the same studio, smoking a cigarette out of the window while listening to your demo, and being asked by Tom Meighan: Why haven’t you asked me to sing on it? It’s not a thing that happens everyday, to everyone… This is what happened to Gren Spencer, singer and guitarist in the Leicester’s band The Lysergic Suite.
It’s been six month since an article about this collaboration was published on NME.com, and lots of things have changed. You can find this song on the EP “Ghosts on Crusade” (it’s the title track). Let’s know more about the band in this interview with Gren, while waiting for their debut album.
Your EP ”Ghosts on Crusade”, is having great results in term of positive reviews and new fans. Now you’re working on your debut album with excellent collaborations… tell us more!
Yeah, we have had a great reaction, it’s all a bit of a shock to us really, but we’re loving being in this band at the moment. We’re in the studio for another 12 weeks, doing the second half of the album, it’s going really well. But we’re making this debut album for ourselves, really, and saving the collaborations for afterwards. Having said that though, Tom Meighan’s on there, and Jay Mehler, and Nell Catchpole played some violin for us.
“Earth and Water” is an involving and anxiogenic trip that seems the soundtrack of a movie about alien invasions. What’s the genesis of this song?
It’s just a Krautrock psychedelic mess, but I didn’t want to sing over it really, not too much, because the music is so hypnotic, I didn’t want anything to divert your attention, do you know what I mean? But I came across that guy on the phone, and it fitted perfectly.
You’ve also covered the Bollywood song Dum Maro Dum. Seems like there’s a link between your music and visual arts, particularly with the cinematography. The name of your band also evocates more psychedelic visual hallucinations than musical ones… Which are those movies or filmmakers that influence your way of making music?
There’s an old film called “El Topo” from 1970, it’s a mad western about a guy who travels around with his young son, sort of a vigilante. But the visuals are amazing, the film goes on a right weird trip, and almost changes completely in the middle. It’s mental. Things like that can’t fail but to inspire you… Then there’s of course the greats like Oliver Stone, Scorsese, Kubrick, David Lynch etc…
How would you describe the musical side of Leicester to a foreign guy or girl who’s never been there? Which are the most cool places where you can listen to (the best) new bands? Do you remember the first place in Leicester you played as The Lysergic Suite?
We played in a place called “Firebug”, that was our first gig, in June last year. Seems strange now, a lot has happened since then… Leicester’s going through a bit of a change now I think, and not too soon, there’s some new venues, and a new atmosphere about the place.
Who are your heroes and your biggest inspirations?
At the minute, my biggest hero is our manager, a guy called Neil Mcminn, because of all the help he has given us since our first gig last year. That guy just constantly works, I’ve never woke him up on the phone, he’s always at it, but then comes the weekend, and he makes up for his week… Haha! He’s a fucking beautiful nightmare.
What was the first gig you went to?
I can’t really remember, I do remember going to see The Charlatans, the place was packed, everyone started pushing, a friend of mine had to climb over loads of people to get to his girlfriend who was being crushed, it was madness, so I looked at the stage, at Tim Burgess, and thought: Fuck this, I want to do what he’s doing, I want to be up there, there’s more room.
And the last record you’ve listened to?
Dave Grohl will be proclaimed a Godlike Genius at this year’s ShockWaves NME Awards. How did you react to this news? Who’s in your opinion our contemporary godlike genius? Mr. Grohl?
I had no idea until you just told me, mine would probably be very different though…
If I say Beady Eye, you say…
I Spy with my!
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