Interview: Weirds

Alex Yau chats to Leeds band Weirds

Posted on Jul 17th, 2013 in Features and Interviews / By Alex Yau
Interview: Weirds On first glance Leeds University’s ultra-modern chemistry department doesn’t look like it had its volatile past. Step back thirty years and loud bangs and smoldering debris would flare up around those brave enough to venture through the former explosives testing facility. A stark contrast to the lab coated students and art exhibitions now frequenting the area. One art student is almost ready to ignite the fuse on his latest exhibition here.

Aidan Razzall will soon present his latest exhibition: a 25-minute film that’s draining every ounce of energy from the young man’s body. It’s a look at the fast-paced world of rubber necking and consumerism in the digital age. Oddly enough, it’s all being told through the eyes of a small baby.

A bizarre concept to some but not to those already familiar with Aidan’s band, Weirds, whose sludgy psychedelic sound aims to conjure biblical images of plagues, incest and wrongdoing: see standouts ‘Yolk’ and ‘Crocodile.’ The four-piece formed via a bond built scraping knees in the playground and roaming dusty corridors as schoolyard chums. It’s a very natural experience that’s led them to starting bands since being fresh-faced 15-year-olds, according to Aidan. “We find it quite natural if we’re playing together. It’s not as if we sit in the room and say we want to make a song that whoever will like. If that happens, it just sounds quite shit. A lot of the bands sound like an amalgamation of styles. We try not to do that. It’s the way we work.”

Hookworms’ MJ has oozed his own style of trippy psychedelia into the band: a welcome influence considering they love his music. “We’re all massive fans of Hookworms,” says Aidan. They heard MJ had his own studio and fired off an email to ask for the man’s signature touch producing their latest batch of songs.
“I actually listened to their four-track EP from 2011 and was really drawn to its unique sound. It’s organic and there’s hardly any trickery. It’s a very natural sound.” This was vital for replicating their live sludgy sound; unshackling the polished and minimal gloss of recording technology that Weirds aren’t so keen on. “For us, playing a song is a different incarnation of the song every time you play it depending on all these factors, in a studio, you’ve got to get one definitive take on the song. It was challenging and fun and I really enjoy creativity because of all the freedom to experiment with different sounds. We want our songs to sound as close to that live impact as possible.” MJ’s knowledge helped them discover new things about recording that they otherwise didn’t know too. “I think we just learned about different ways to record together. We’ve done recording in the past and it was constrained in the fact that everything had to be bang on time.” They learned how to pick things apart and how flimsy is good. “We didn’t want to be constrained by an external beat that isn’t part of the song. It’s not there to sound perfectly in time. The songs fluctuate on their own level. “

Live music is at the core of the band’s sound and the freedom to replicate what they love seeing is what fuels them. Aidan moved to Leeds to experience the venues, bands and top class live scene. “Places like the Brudenell Social Club and the amount of good music from Leeds is astounding. Nantwich is a small town with no music scene whatsoever.”

The rest of the band calls Nantwich their home but as of September they’ll be dispersing to various places around the country. Not a problem, according to Aidan. “We’re not too concerned about being from one place or the other. It’s kind of alien for me when bands are so obsessed with place. We see ourselves as a band that are not too concerned with where we are or what we are surrounded by. We just enjoy it.”