By Jon Milton
Life’s a funny thing isn’t it? One minute all your hopes and dreams are about to become a reality as you release your debut single and head out on tour to promote it and everyone’s wearing your pretty darn cool (if a little snug) ringer t-shirts, and the next a global pandemic has forced you and everyone else you know into lockdown, putting all those exciting plans on ice. Such is the story of Brighton’s Les Bods, who released their excellent first single ‘People’ in April, just as lockdown started to kick in and properly pissed on everybody’s bonfire.
Over the last few months, the band have been hard at work writing and refining new material and are looking forward to releasing their next single ‘Tea Stained Day’ in early 2021. Earlier this month I caught up with vocalist/guitarist Harry Mitchell and guitarist Harry Hayes to talk about People, their impeccable taste in music and their plans for 2021.
Tell us a bit about Les Bods?
Harry Mitchell: Basically we started this band about a year or so ago and it had another two people in it, Harry Sotnick and Sam Evans the drummer for DITZ. Sam had to go as he had show’s with Ditz and Harry went to work for a label in Germany, so I ended meeting these boys. It was quite a weird meet, I ended up meeting Zane in a graveyard and he knew Jacob on a different show that we were doing as we used to be stage managers and touring crew. We started doing shows, got a few nights at Concorde in support slots. But then all this shit happened!
Now we have Harry Hayes in the band it feels like we’ve got the sound, we’ve got the people, we’ve got the equipment to record it and we’ve just self-produced and it sounds so good, so you should be seeing a lot more music, interviews as we’ve been working on a lot, albums one and two!
On your Facebook page you have your influences as relatively contemporary artists like Ty Segall, Oh Sees and so on, but I kind of get an older sound coming out of you, Led Zep and those bands. What other music inspires you?
Harry Hayes: Black Sabbath, Stooges, Crosby Stills and Nash and I’m a huge Grateful Dead fan, all the old hippy shit! We try and merge all the old and new stuff. Mitch is a bit more aware of the new stuff than I am, so creatively we like to take inspiration from the old stuff but have it in a modern format in terms of structure and production, really phat and big and our new single (Tea Stained Day) is sounding wicked.
Harry Mitchell: (Tea Stained Day) kind of stemmed from one of those days when something fucked happens, and then something else happens, nothing goes right and you’re just pissed off. Toward the end of the track it’s about what’s been going on with all the bullshit I see - just be a nice person, don’t be a dickhead, so many people are just treading on people, there are too many arseholes in the world!
When’s Tea Stained Day coming out?
Harry Mitchell: Next year – we want to get all the branding, artwork and PR right and get Christmas out of the way
How pleased were with the reception that People got?
Harry Hayes – Well happy!
Harry Mitchell – Buzzing! We hadn’t expected it to get through to so many countries, Its gone all over, like 62 different countries, Peru and other parts of South America, Poland and we’re sending merch all over the world. Its like this song that I wrote at Uni in my bedroom and is getting all this reception – its really nice! And that’s our old stuff – the stuff we’ve been doing as a four piece is way up there compared to People, so I’m looking forward to the future of our music.
What was it like releasing the single in lockdown?
Harry Mitchell – That was tough. Normally you release a single, put on a show and you promote through that. Having to do it online and at a time when I was looking for a job was tough. I was learning how to use social media and the internet (we’re pretty old school dudes!). It was weird, although it was good that we got it to so many people outside of Brighton.
If lockdown hadn’t happened, how would you have promoted it?
Harry Mitchell – we were going to be going out on tour. We wanted to get a load of merch out and then go onto some support slots but obviously everything stopped and venues started closing down.
The Brighton scene seems to have a lot of good bands – Egyptian Blue, Public Body, Laundromat, bands like Compliments are up and coming – what other bands are around?
Harry Mitchell: There are loads of great bands – our friends Youth Sector are fantastic, Shame (not from around us but we’re really into them), Talk show, Feet, Do Nothing, Lice, and in Brighton – as you say Egyptian Blue, CLT DRP, Lime - four girls that just smash it, really cool and clever.
You’ve got loads of stuff written, what are your plans once its all got back to normal?
Harry Mitchell: Our plan is to get on to the Festivals and work with Scruff of the Neck, and get on to some support slots for larger bands and get singles out and get our first EP out and play as many shows as we can. And talk to people, we love to chat to people!
And by larger bands they mean 'King Gizzard, Oh Sees (that would blow our minds!), Ty Segal, Shivas, Skinny Milk (another Brighton band)' so for anyone associated with those bands, make it so!