photo by Thaddeus Ruzicka
Since forming in 2014, Wet Leather has become a staple of the local New York music scene. That’s not to say the band easily blends in with the musical tapestry created by the rest of the city’s local bands. The band’s self-described “anxiety-pop,” which seamlessly combines tense verses with accessible and infectious pop choruses, has done well to set the band apart from your average indie band. That stylistic prowess is on display with “IWMU,” a single off Wet Leather’s upcoming EP, Present Lives.
The track you guys are debuting today is called “IWMU.” Tell me a little about this song. Was this one you guys were sitting on, or was this written while you were recording the new EP?
IWMU came together at the last possible second on our last day of recording. We were frustrated and exhausted but that last delirious take ended up capturing the desperate mood of the song perfectly. Sometimes the best performances come out of the tension and stress in the room. Low blood sugar plays a role. Eat at a granola bar, kiss and make up in the mix.
The new EP is called Present Lives. Based on the title, one could presume the material on this upcoming release would be heavily autobiographical. Would they be correct in doing so?
We need a trace of autobiography in our songs to lend a sense of urgency to the proceedings, but we’re not committed to accuracy. The songs aren’t really about us. Ultimately we’re trying to leave enough room for the listener to project their own experience. It’s always fun when you feel like a song was written for you.
The band’s sound demonstrates an appreciation for 80’s pop acts (Prince, Tears for Fears etc.) and mid-00’s indie-pop mainstays (LCD Soundystem, Phoenix etc.). What do you think of the pop music scene of today? Are there any current bands coming out of the pop world that the band particularly identifies with?
The pop scene today is great! It’s a total choose your own adventure experience across more genres and aesthetics than ever. It’s overwhelming. We certainly draw a lot of inspiration from the two eras mentioned in particular, but there are so, so many great contemporary bands and artists, too many to name! As far as local heroes, Mr. Twin Sister is just one of the bands that we unanimously love.
Wet Leather has been a constant of the local NYC music scene since 2014. What keeps you here and motivated to continue creating art?
We keep doing this simply because we love making music together, and corny as it may sound the main engine of the band is really the friendship between the four of us. After doing this for a few years we also have a sense of being a small part of a larger ecosystem. We’ve ended up making meaningful friendships with so many bands and artists across genres, which occasionally makes for some odd pairings, but its New York in 2018 and there’s no reason why every bill should have three identical bands.
If you could bring one musical icon onstage with you during your show at Elsewhere on 2/2, who would it be?
Uuuuhhhhhhhh can we request a co-writing session in a studio with Mark Mothersbaugh instead? Don’t want any idols messing with our onstage chemistry 🙂 As for 2/2, hopefully Ben Seretan will come out and shred with us since he’s also on the bill! He’s one of the most incredible guitarists in New York.
Interview by Shane Stroup
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