Young Legionnaire live in session. Yeah we did.
We exclusively debuted a live video from the new Young Legionnaire EP, Wreckonomics back in November and in celebration of the EP being released this week, we're unveiling a second video from the session! Oh yes, we saved one specially. The track is Killdozer, a brutal four minute assault.
The five track EP, recorded up and down the UK and mixed by the legendary Alex Newport (At The Drive In, Death Cab For Cutie, The Melvins) is out now on Wichita Records.
This comes after a blistering year that saw Young Legionnaire release their acclaimed debut album Crisis Works and play alongside the likes of Death From Above 1979, Les Savy Fav and Pulled Apart by Horses. Oh, and for the uninitiated, Young Legionnaire is the brain child of Gordon Moakes (Bloc Party) and Paul Mullen (yourcodenameis:milo) and is completed by full time drummer Dean Pearson. We spoke to Paul and Gordon about the upcoming EP, the session and the potential re-awakening of MILO.
On the day of the session we recorded two brand new tracks from your next release - Wreckonomics. Was an EP always the plan after your album launch back in May?
Not at all really. In fact it came about as an idea from the record label which we just ran with. We did have a couple of ideas we hadn't had time to flesh out before we started making the record, so we knew there was material there, and on top of that we went into a rehearsal space and worked up some brand new stuff too. In the end these songs all came together really quickly and pretty naturally - it just felt like an extension of the touring band we'd been for a while, and creatively I think we felt were just hitting our stride when these songs came together.
Do you find that EPs are replacing single releases now - or was it simply that you had new tracks you wanted to get out that didn't quite fit somewhere like Crisis Works?
We'd talked about doing one new track, or maybe two, but when it came to it, it seemed quite ambitious to try five or six. We were up for the challenge. I think there's a different pressure these days on bands to deliver 'unique content' all the time and there's nothing more unique than new songs! But at least that's asking a band to do what it does best, rather than saying, can you create more unique content on your Tumblr page, or whatever.
Speaking of the album, I remember catching you guys with Pulled Apart By Horses earlier in the year, were you anxious to get out on your own headline tour? And how did you find it?
Yeah, I think we wanted to try and build a reputation on our own terms, but you also have to be careful than you don't run before you can walk. It is harder to establish yourself as a live band than I think it was when Paul and I first started out in bands eight or so years ago. Back then, you got one journalist at your gig and news would travel fast. With the internet, the focus on bands is a little more disparate and a band like us can still be under some people's radar. But ultimately as band, you have to go out and play.
I think the shows on this tour we enjoyed most were London and Newcastle -our hometown shows, effectively. Glasgow was fun too. Festival-wise, I think we'd have liked to have done some more, but Sonisphere and Reading were both good fun.
I picked up a copy of the 7inch single you had out on Holy Roar Records - with Iron Dream and Colossus - from the outside it looks like quite a big move from Holy Roar to Wichita - can you tell us a bit about how that came about?
Well, in a way that was a little more 'retro-active' than the big jump from label to label that it looks like. I've had a long relationship with Wichita, and Mark Bowen, and it was always the plan to put a full-length out on Wichita as long as it was good enough. The link with Holy Roar came from William, our first drummer, who plays in a band called Brontide on Holy Roar. I think Mark thought kicking off our release schedule on a little label like Holy Roar was a perfect way to get things moving, so it was always part of the 'bigger picture'. It was a good fit.
There are an awful lot of artists on our site who ask how important it is to 'get signed' or find 'a deal' - after being involved for so long yourselves, is there any advice you would offer those just starting out?
I have mixed feelings about this and I think it depends on your band, bottom line. I think if you're Slow Club and the sound you make is just two of you in a room playing guitars and a tom drum you don't necessarily need a record deal any more. If you're good, it will build from there and long-term you can turn it into something that has a life of its own and may well generate money for you and a label.
For a band like us, I think we felt there was an injection of cash that would make a difference to the gear we could record on, and give the album some sonic strength that you can't just get for free. But I've learnt a lot doing this too, and how some of the way it was being in a band that got signed are starting to be old hat. You've got to learn to adapt to different expectations. But ultimately you need to hone yourself as a live band, any label will tell you that. From that. all things will flow.
Are any of you involved in any new musical side-projects we should be looking out for? Heard a rumour that things might be happening with yourcodenameis:milo...
I have mentioned in the past that Milo isn't dead. Just resting. He's got some unfinished business. When will he wake? I don't know. Once in a while Milo meets with his old friends in The Cluny and has a big fuck off burger. Maybe when the burgers run out.
I have also joined Losers with Eddy Temple-Morris, Tom Bellamy (Ex Coopers) and Mark Heron (ex Oceansize). We're putting the finishing touches to Album 2. Should be out early 2012.
Lastly, are there any bands you've seen, or played with, that have had a particular impact on you?
There's a band called Grass Is Green from Boston MA. They had a song called Uhm Tsk from Yeddo. Best thing I've heard in a long time. And So I Watch You From Afar are the best thing I've seen live this year.
Check out more from Young Legionnaire at their amazingtunes.com profile.