Two weeks ago, we published our review (LINK) of LESS THAN NOTHING’s debut album “It Will Set You Free“, and back then we were really impressed with the album – despite not having a vocals, it managed to hook us in and have us listening in loads of different situations. Two weeks later, we’re still just as hooked in, cos this album is incredible.
The lads in the band were kind enough to answer a few questions for us about the album, their influences, and a ton of other stuff. Have a little read below…
Tell us a bit about yourself, who are you LESS THAN NOTHING?
Jamie: Hello, we are an instrumental band with many influences. In our current form there is me on Guitar, Owen on Drums and Glenn on the Bass. With this line-up we have played on and off together for five years or so, some other people have played with us in between too. I started the band with Yue Fung Wong a bit earlier than that and played with quite a few different drummers.
How would you describe your music to those unfamiliar with it?
Owen: Our songs vary quite a bit and the nearest band I could liken us to would be Mogwai. Not having a singer means that we have to make our music more complex to keep it interesting; we often use unusual time signatures or guitar tunings to make our own unique sound (“Never Enough, Never Give Up” from the album has parts in 15/4 and 17/4).
Jamie: I would say this album has mostly got a chilled ambient sound to it, but with some heavier and hopefully memorable riffs, and a kick to it in between.
You’ve been around for a fair bit (FB identifies it as 2009), and you’ve released an EP and a single or two, but this is the first proper release. How long have you worked on the album for?
Jamie: The past year or so, one of the tracks is about four years old or more “Too Little, Too Late”, but the version on the album is an extended of idea of the original it’s more how we would play it live. We probably properly started on the album as a whole a couple of years ago when we started recording the tracks ourselves but not everything was as good as we wanted. So we decided to go to a studio. Random Recoding Studios was the one we chose and it was a very good choice. We worked with Guy Elderfield who knew how to get the sound how we wanted in the short time we could afford, we also had a good laugh there too. It’s a cool place and has a good set up there.
Owen: Making an album has been something we have wanted to do for a long time, but due to band member changes or lack of funds we’ve been unable to do it until now. We tried to do some DIY recording but this never worked too well and we always had problems with equipment. The album was a combination of what we thought were our ‘best’ pieces; some ideas were from soon after the band was formed and others were written at the studio.
Tell us a bit about each of the members in the band.
Owen: Musically, we have all played in different bands with different genres of music. Glenn, our bassist enjoys jazz/funk and this shows in his playing style. Jamie is a self taught guitar player and so his style is quite unique. I have played in a couple of instrumental bands, and I try to make my drumming as interesting and complex as it can be without being overpowering
Jamie: I have lots of influences such as Explosions in the Sky, The Hated, This Will Destroy You, Jimi Hendrix. Most of the tracks are formed from taking jams together or riffs I’ve written alone and just making them flow into full tracks as long as it feels natural and not forced. Also being at the studio helped as we used a mixture of our own equipment and what Random Studios had, so messing about with different equipment, Guy’s and the amps also helped bring out some fresh ideas and some new parts.
What made you decide against a vocalist when forming the band?
Jamie: We did try in the past, but it never really worked out, we never found someone who fitted in easily into the sound of the early tracks. Maybe one day haha…
Owen: You wouldn’t be able to hear them when Glenn turns his fuzz pedal on.
What’s your favourite track off the album and why?
Glenn: I’ve always loved playing “Too Little Too Late”, from the nice acoustic/drums to the huge thrash out session at the end.
Owen: My favourite track from the album is ‘It Will Set You Free‘. I love the harmonics in the track and the subtle changes in dynamics. If you listen to some of our earlier pieces next to this song you can really see how we have changed as a band since we formed.
Jamie: I’d also say “It Will Set You Free” as all the parts come together nicely and its got a good flow to it. I also like how well the endings for “Never Enough (Never Give Up)” and “Too Little, Too Late” came out.
You launched your album in the fast becoming legendary space that is JT Soar, how was the launch?
Jamie: It was fun a good night, Bouvier came down from York, ROBYN HUGHES-JONES and Ted all played really good sets and it was a good intimate atmosphere. It was great to play tracks from the album, some old tracks and some new stuff we have been working on.
What would be your desert island discs (one each) and why?
Glenn: Hard hard hard hard question! Sheesh… one of them would be “Kid A!” by Radiohead. I love Radiohead.
Owen: My desert island disc would be “How Strange, Innocence” by Explosions in the Sky. This was the first Post-Rock album I listened to and I love every song.
Jamie: Only one? That’s a difficult choice, There’s too many albums I like – Owen’s made a top choice, but if I had to choose just one probably “Axis:Bold As Love” by Jimi Hendrix Experience because “Little Wing” is one of my favourite songs and one of the reasons why I wanted to play guitar.
We’d like to thank the band for taking the time to answer these questions.
Well, there you have it. As you can tell, a band that are really passionate about their craft, and a band that would also take crates full of records to a desert with them if they could!
If you haven’t got yourself a copy of the album yet, what are you waiting for? Are you stuck on the same metaphorical desert island as them? Get over to their Bandcamp, and get yourself a copy. You won’t regret it – LINK
Yours in Love of New Music,
Sam Nahirny x