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LETHARGY (UK) (ANDREW)

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HI! WHO ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? AND WHAT DID YOU DO 10 MINUTES AGO? Hi, Andrew from Lethargy – just returned home from our UK tour. Last 10 mins, been clearing a backlog of emails. THERE ISN’T MUCH ABOUT YOU ON THE INTERNET. WOULD YOU MIND TELLING ME ABOUT HOW YOU GUYS CAME TOGETHER? We formed in 2000 while still at school as childhood friends. The place we grew up in is quite a small place called Neath. DO YOU RECKON YOURSELVES MORE AS A CLASSIC METAL BAND OR MORE IN THE EARLY TRADITION OF GRUNGE? I wouldn’t say we are a metal band. There are influences from various genres but I guess it depends on what you classify as classic metal. In the 70s people regarded metal as Zeppelin and Sabbath etc but today there are many sub genres within the metal genre and the lines are blurred. Parts of our roots are based in the grunge legacy and I think that is reflected in the music which we produce, although we don’t like to pigeon hole ourselves. As a band we listen to everything from blues to soul to motown to metal. THE OBLIGATORY BALLADE „FRAGILE CRYSTAL DREAMS“ EVEN SUGGESTS A HARD-ROCK BACKGROUND? Yes certainly, as I said in the previous question we are a band that will try and absorb as much good quality music that we can find, regardless of the genre really. For me, as long as the music is well written, has lyrical potency and soul, then it is good music. I think it is important to reflect light and shade on a record, and the tracks “Fragile Crystal Dream” and “I See Man’s End In his Construction” represent that we can offer more than just a hard edged sound. It offers the listener more too, something to absorb and keep coming back too. DO YOU THINK THAT REALLY GOOD AND NEW MUSIC IS ONLY POSSIBLE BY KNOWING THE PAST? THAT YOU HAVE TO LOOK BEYOND THE THINGS YOU ALREADY KNOW? I think it’s very important to understand the past, but not to live in it. Current and new music is an evolution of past music and that can chronicled right through the ages, but it is important to keep pushing boundaries and experimenting to keep things fresh. THE ENDING OF “I SEE MAN’S END IN HIS CONSTRUCTION” SOUNDS TO ME A BIT LIKE PINK FLOYD. DOES PROG PLAY A ROLE FOR YOU? I HAVE TO CONFESS, THAT I’D WISH SOME MORE PARTS LIKE “I SEE MAN’S END IN HIS CONSTRUCTION”, BECAUSE THAN YOU COULD DISPLACE YOURSELVES FROM ESTABLISHED ROCK CONVENTIONS, WITHOUT BEING PROG. BESIDES, THEY ARE ORIGINAL AND REFRESHING AS WELL. I think progressive music does play a role like any other kind of music. Pink Floyd in particular are one of those classic bands that will always influence people for generations to come and I’m pleased to see that you have enjoyed a different aspect of our music. We could have included more material like that on the album but the songs we had recorded were primarily more riff based. However, this is an area that we will no doubt expand into in the future. We are fans of more intricate and expressive passages of music, but at the same time I believe many prog bands become too self indulgent and then the ethos of the song becomes lost. TO MY EARS, THERE IS A LOT OF EARLY SOUNDGARDEN ON „PURIFICATION“. WHY DOES A YOUNG BAND REVIVE THE GRUNGE HISTORY? There is no doubting that Soundgarden were one of the great bands of the 90s and of all time. I wouldn’t really say that we are trying to revive the grunge history because what happened in Seattle was real and something special. Although the grunge era is associated with drugs and darkness, it was born out of real music and passion in opposition to the oversaturated 80s glam market. Any band will have its influences, and it just so happens that many of ours are associated with the grunge scene due to the fact that they were and some still are simply great bands. IF YOU ARE GEARED TO ALBUMS LIKE „BADMOTORFINGER“, WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT „SUPERUNKNOWN“ OR EVEN BANDS LIKE AUDIOSLAVE? “Superunknown” is another classic without a doubt. But any album by Alice In Chains or Nirvana or whoever from that scene is just the same. It was explosive stuff and shaped a new generation, and its aftermath is still being felt now and always will be. Even though it was the late 80s and 90s when it was most prevalent, I think that grunge as a genre, is classic in itself due to the legacy that it left behind it. Like The Beatles in the 60s, Zep in the 70s and so on, certain bands or sounds represent a certain time and decade, and the 90s was grunge. WHAT ABOUT THE MUSIC SCENE IN WALES? SPONTANEOUSLY SUPER FURRY ANIMALS AND APHEX TWIN COME TO MY MIND. There is no real scene in Wales that we have been associated with. There are certain bands that crop up now and again playing the same type of music but that’s not been our thing. That said, in the past decade or so Wales has consistently produced bands of a high calibre that have released good music. That’s pretty good for a small country – there must be something in the water!!! : ) A ROCK STEREOTYPE WOULD BE, THAT THE SINGER WRITES THE LYRICS AND MUSIC AND AT THE UTMOST THE LEAD GUITAR HAS A FINGER IN THE PROGRESS. HOW DO YOU HANDLE THAT? As we have three lead singers everything is shared. Marc and myself write most of the lyrics but the music is by everybody. It’s important that everyone has an equal input. IN THE INFORMATION FROM THE RECORD COMPANY THEY DROP THE MANIC STREET PREACHERS, YOU REALLY DON’T SOUND LIKE. WHEN I AM NOT SERIOUSLY MISTAKEN, THEY ARE FELLOW COUNTRYMEN. A POSSIBLE CONNECTION COULD BE, THAT THERE IS – BESIDES THE MUSIC – A CERTAIN REFUSAL ABOUT THE POWER STRUCTURES IN THE UK YOU SHARE? The Manics are fellow countrymen and a big influence of ours. I think you would only pick up on the musical side of things if you were an all time fan of the band as their sound has developed over the years. But lyrically, a very important band indeed. The Manics are political and fiercely intelligent and spoke our language when we were growing up. Not very often, a certain band will come along and just make complete sense – the Manics are one of those bands…. a band that is something more than just the music alone. They represent a power structure in themselves. DO POLITICS PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR LYRICS? WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN TOPICS? Politics do play a role in our lyrics, directly or indirectly, depending on how you want to analyse them. It’s quite a difficult thing to deal with as it’s so vast and no one person alone can know everything. As a band we are opinionated about certain issues although we don’t consider ourselves left wing or right wing. Politics is a very grey and shady area, and the lyrics that we put there are to be debated over if anyone wishes to do so. It’s important not to force your views on people or preach about certain things. I wouldn’t say we have certain topics that we choose, but on Purification we have spoken about the misuse of power through propaganda; the lack of humanity and respect through society and environmental degradation to name but a few. These are things that are important to us, and those are just terms to touch upon and give an indication of what we are about, but if I was to go into detail on that we would have to open up a separate interview : ) ….maybe next time. . I IMAGINE YOUR MUSIC VERY ENERGETIC IN A LIVE SET. ARE YOU A CLASSIC LIVE BAND THAT SEE THE WORK IN THE STUDIO AS A MEANS TO AN END? DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS OF TOURING IN GERMANY? Yes I would like to think that we are energetic on stage. It’s important to put on a good live show. We really enjoy the studio to be honest, its great seeing your work coming to fruition. As far as Germany goes we have nothing booked yet but if you book us we will come : ) ON THE PROMOTIONAL PICTURE YOU LOOK A BIT MEAN AND LIKE THE EARLY LED ZEPELIN AT THE SAME TIME (OF COURSE WITHOUT THE DREADS). THAT DOESN’T QUITE FIT INTO THE PICTURE, THIS MEAN-LOOKING/ METAL POSING AND HAVING THIS HIPPIE-LIKENESS. DOES IT MEAN YOU GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOUR IMAGE AND DO YOUR OWN THING? What you see in the pictures is what you get – this is how we always dress. Early Zep eh…. thanks very much. I guess people can interpret us as they want – judging by what you have said I guess we must be a paradox. I THINK YOU ARE ONLY COQUETTE WITH THESE CLICHÉS? IS THAT POSSIBLE? See above : ) IF YOU’D HAVE THE CHANCE TO COOPERATE WITH ANY ARTIST – DEAD OR ALIVE – WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY? Hmmmm… good question. I don’t know who the other boys would choose but I would choose Layne Staley as he is my favourite singer and has one of the unique voices of all time. AT LAST, FEEL FREE TO ADDRESS OUR READERS WITH SOME MORE OR LESS IMPORTANT STATEMENT(S) Why thank you… please visit www.myspace.com/lethargymusic to find out more and have a good Christmas and happy new year. p.s Purification is available from www.plastichead.com. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME AND ALL THE BEST WITH YOUR STRONG RELEASE.

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