Interview: Letherette

Emma Gritt

Le 300x225 Interview: LetherettePrevious releases on Hotep and a string of well-received remixes got plenty of people talking about Letherette. Now, they’ve been signed to Ninja Tune and their new EP, Featurette, is set to get plenty more tongues wagging.

We caught up with them ahead of their debut headline show in London on November 29th to find out more about their background, what it means to them to play live, and that awesome Machinedrum remix.

What is Letherette?

We are Letherette consisting of two people, Rich and Andy. We are both from Wolverhampton in the west midlands, a place of fine culture, sunny weather and outstanding football.

How did you come to form Letherette?

We’ve known each other for a long time, we pretty much grew up together so our musical paths sort of developed side by side. Letherette came about from years of messing around with samplers, synths and whatever else we could use to make sounds with. We both made music for years, independently, but we decided it made sense to combine our ideas in to one outlet being as though our tastes, influences and ideas were so similar.

How would you describe your sound?

It sounds very Letherette.

OK, so what influence has Wolverhampton had on this ‘Letherette sound’?

It’s a combination of things. For a start, there’s not a great deal of things to do, especially when you hit the age where you’re leaving school and its not acceptable to be playing out on your bike, or playing football at the bottom of your street anymore! So, you have to find other interests. Ours was music production and sound recording, things like that. because everyone’s in the same boat, you meet other like minded people who inspire you. we have a great group of friends that share our interests and tastes and they help to shape what we sound like more than anything.

Letherette – ‘Featurette’ by Ninja Tune

Are you hoping you can put the Midlands on the map for something other than heavy metal?

I’m not sure that’s all we’re known for! Don’t forget ELO, Dexys Midnight Runners, Bibio, Actress, Lone… The Midlands has a lot to answer for.

True! What other artists or labels are you really in to right now?

Rich: a friend of mine introduced me to Beach House quite recently and it’s been on heavy rotation since; I love Teen Dreams.

Andy: I must admit I have also been listening to Beach House too, plus Clark’s new album Iradelphic, Actress, Bibio, plus loads of mixes by people like Africa Hi-tech, Dorian Concept to name but a few.

How do you make music?

We do all of our recording, arranging and editing with computers. For times when you want to get away from a computer screen, we use samplers, effects units and other odd bits of gear to come up with stuff and try and get inspired that way.

You’re playing a show in London on November 29th – it’s hotly anticipated, what can people expect?

Hopefully just a great party. It’s an intimate venue from what I’ve been told and they’re often the best in our opinion.

Will it be a live show, or a DJ set?

It’s a live show of sorts. We use laptops with a couple of midi-controllers and a mixer. We just play, remix and rework tracks live. We take existing tracks and break them all down to their separate parts, then just semi improvise ways to play them with added effects and whatever else we decide to use on the night.

How did you end up on Ninjatune?

We’d been working on an album demo for around a year and when we thought it was time to send it out, we had a short list of labels we definitely wanted to have hear it, Ninja being one of them. So, our manager Greg got in touch with them and luckily, they’d already heard of us. I think it was through our connection with Alex Nut and our releases on Hotep. They seemed keen to hear it from the start so we sent it them. In the mean time we continued to send them more and more stuff and eventually they decided to offer us a deal.

The EP is called ‘Featurette’ – will all your future releases have ‘ette’ on the end?

We’ve considered it, yeah.

The remix you did for Machinedrum is great, how did that happen, and have you got more remixes planned?

Thanks, that’s one of our favourites too. Actually, I think that was our first remix ever… We get offered remixes from time to time but We’ve been really busy getting our next releases sorted so haven’t been able to give them the time they deserve. But, we love doing them so hopefully we can do a few now that we have a bit more time to concentrate on them.

What are you looking for when making a track and what’s your creative process?

Sometimes we have something very specific that we’d like to achieve so we go at it with hope of achieving it, but then this more than often turns in to something else when the track is finished. You just have to go with what inspires you at the time I suppose. Then other times it can just be from stumbling across things accidentally, when you’re just playing with ideas. Often the best tracks just come from a stream of inspiration. I’ll just get in a zone where things just unfold and each part just slips in to place really naturally. It’s rare, but an amazing feeling.

Will there be an album or more live performances to look forwards to?

Yes, there’ll be an album early 2013, and lots of gigs!

What song have you sampled in Ettewards?

Who said it was a sample?

Letherette play The Shacklewell Arms, London on November 29th. Click here [link to] for tickets

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