You know a band is special when they perform at a competition (Big Gig 2018) and come close to taking the prize when it’s only their 2nd ever gig. Laundrette are without doubt one of the most interesting and intriguing bands to have emerged from Wales this year. When it comes to our list of bands to watch in 2019 don’t be too surprised if this band are pretty near the top of those recommendations.
What caused Laundrette come into being?
I had made the Reverberations EP by myself and was originally planning on translating it to live with a more stripped back two piece group, but that didn’t end up working out so I started planning stuff with our guitarist Ollie, who I’ve been making music with for years now and it snowballed from there.
Why did you decide to call yourself Laundrette?
I wanted something that I felt would kind of act as a kind of umbrella to fit many different styles of music under, so that I had enough room to do what I wanted under that name in the future.
There seem to be a lot of young interesting bands emerging from Cardiff this year such as yourselves, Perfect Body and Rosehip Teahouse etc. Why do you think that is and what do you think has caused this movement/trend?
Well, as good as the Cardiff scene can be, there’s just so many bands that sound the same. There’s just not much diversity, and I think people might be getting a bit fed up of that and realising that the way to get yourself heard is by doing something a little different.
You’ve included visuals at your gigs. How do you source the material to show and what prompted you to use this method of presentation?
All the visuals we used were found online in the public domain. They were mostly art installations and experimental films from the 90s from a few different artists. We included the visuals just to try and immerse people as much as possible. Our goal is to create a completely holistic experience at our shows, which is why we don’t talk inbetween songs or anything.
If you had a huge production budget what would you like to include in your stage performances?
Definitely properly worked out and timed visuals, as the way we did it last time was just playing along to a video file which was timed to our set, which isn’t the easiest way of doing it. Aside from that, I’d love to sort out some some sort of eerie, cabaret stage performers or something.
One of your first gigs was the big gig earlier this year. You made a huge impression there. How did you find the experience of taking part?
It was just really shocking to be playing top of clwb for our second gig. Even though it was nerve-racking, Clwb is a landmark at the end of the day and it was just quite humbling to play there, especially since we were such a new band.
You describe your music as having “ethereal tones, gothic dissonance and gentle harmonies”. That’s a fascinating combination. What or who caused it to develop?
I think the “ethereal tones” side of it comes from a love for stuff like John Carpenter’s soundtracks, or Burial. I think overall though, as a band we’re inspired by all kinds of stuff like Sufjan Stevens, Slint, and My Bloody Valentine. Me and Esther are also both huge Beach Boys fans and I feel like that’s really shaped our vocal lines.
You released your Reverberations ep last year. Tell us about how you put that together, where was it recorded and how were the songs written?
Like I said earlier, Reverberations was made when Laundrette was just my solo project, so the EP was recorded over five or six months on and off, entirely in my bedroom. The songwriting process was a little unconventional as I would write the songs and parts as I recorded them, deciding where the song should go whenever I reached the end of a section. I’m honestly surprised that the EP sounds like it does, considering I didn’t really know what I was doing back then.
“The Fear” contains a sample of a comet and bottles clinking. What made you want to incorporate these sounds on the track?
They just really added to the atmosphere of the song. The comet sample I found and just thought it was such an interesting piece of sound that I had to try it out in a song, and it fit The Fear so well. The bottles clinking came from an older version of the song, where the intro was the sound of loads of layered, cascading bottles. That’s still in the song, just much more reverby and it’s used as more of a riser or a transition.
Is experimentation important to you when recording and have you got specific things you want to try out in the studio?
Yeah definitely. If you can do something that hasn’t been done before with sound, or at least something that sounds anywhere near “different” then it just means your music is going to stand out that much more. It’s also really intriguing to stumble upon something that actually surprises you, when you know the song inside out. Sometimes it can save a song for me.
Plans for the rest of the year?
Well, we’re all going off to uni soon so we’re in the process of getting something out before then, which is hopefully just around the corner, but there’s still plenty more gigs coming up. Expect to hear some heavier stuff at our gigs from now on too.
14th November Porters, Cardiff (supporting Silent Forum)
24th November The Moon, Cardiff (supporting Medicine Boy)