WET LEG – Interview

Foto-© Hollie Fernando

Als Wet Leg im Sommer 2021 ihre Debütsingle Chaise Longue veröffentlichten, trafen sie damit augenblicklich einen Nerv, der viel zu lange ruhig gelegt war. Der dynamische, bunte, kühne Indie-Rock von Rhian Teasdale und Hester Chambers ging direkt viral, die folgenden Singles ebenfalls. Mit ihrem heiß ersehnten und selbstbetitelten Debütalbum schielen die beiden Britinnen von der Isle of Wight nun auf einen der oberen Plätze im Album Of The Year-Ranking, wenn es am 08. April 2022 endlich erscheint. Wir trafen Sängerin Rhian Teasdale (so richtig im selben Raum und nicht via Zoom) in Berlin zum Interview.

Let’s start the interview with something fun because I read that you researched cults for the whole album, and if you ever consider starting one, let me know please.
I’m a member myself.

Where do I have to sign?
You don’t have to sign, you just have to give us your mobile phone. And your shoes. You can expect lots of late nights sing alongs and the only thing we eat is Greggs sausage rolls. And that’s pretty much all there is to it.

It sounds beautiful, I’m in! How did it this research helped you in terms of the album?
I think it wasn’t really so much for the album. The part in our press release was misinformation. Sorry!

Woohoo, fact check! What was the real reason?
So it was more just to do the Wet Dream video. I kind of wanted it to look like we have a kind of like a weird little following at the countryside, but it was more aesthetically. I like the costume design.

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Love the visuals! You also said in the text – and I hope it doesn’t get debunked as well – that you found it freeing to work with another woman. I would like to know more about your experience because I feel understood.
Music is so male dominated. So Hester and I were at college together, and there were maybe say 20 boys and five girls studying music. And I’ve seen that it repeats itself in every kind of musical group that I’ve been in and dropped out of…I think working with guys, not that it’s necessarily their fault, I don’t know why, but I will make myself smaller. I will. In my head. I will think that my ideas aren’t worth mentioning. It’s not even like guys make me feel like this.

I think it’s just what we were taught all of our lives, maybe not directly, but the whole system worked like that for a long time and still does…
Yeah, it’s just inherent. So when me and Hester started making music together, playing together, there was just so much more space, just the whole sense of it. There’s no such thing as a stupid idea. It’s a so much safer space to be writing and playing.

I often have the feeling that you have to explain less of what your idea is. Because, for me, I have an idea and then I think maybe it’s not good. Maybe I have to explain it to the person next to me and this is what’s holding me back so often. When you talk to other women or work with them…just sometimes easier. I get it without so much to say.
We’re really lucky, we’ve got a female sound engineer. There are few and far between, so we’re so glad to have her, Karima Kingsley.

I just love the energy when women work together, also in the background. It’s so nice and freeing in a way to see there is happening something.
Really great to have role models and have your friends as role models.

How does your and Hester’s creative dynamic work?
It’s funny. It’s just so nice and supportive. I didn’t play guitar at all before Wet Leg, and Hester has always been this kind of championing, while me being „I don’t know, it’s too hard, I can’t do it.“ She’s just like „you can do it! You know?“. I think it’s just nice having someone there when you’re filled with your own self doubt. We will take times of being the kind of strong match for anyone: You know you can do it!

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It’s so nice to learn that, when you have doubts about yourself, you meet someone who maybe has doubts about themselves to them, but it doesn’t mean you go further down the hill. It’s rather the opposite. You said you wanted Wet Leg to be goofy and a little bit rude. Which I think is maybe my favorite combination, ever. Was that an initial thought when you went into working together? Or was it more like the dynamic of you two?
It just kind of happened? It was out of our control. We’re just very silly when we get together, we have a lot of inside jokes and things like that, so I don’t think we set out to make it like super goofy, there are moments on the album where it’s totally not that and because you know, what goes up must come down. We can’t just be super happy and funny all the time. So sadness was kind of seep in there a bit. The ethos of the band and why we’re doing it like this, it just comes down to us wanting to do music and wanting to do it in a fun way, we didn’t take yourself too seriously because I’m so many bands that take themselves very seriously.

You played a few festivals and you went to a lot of festivals to see bands, you can really feel this energy on stage when they take them super seriously…
That’s the thing. Festivals are where we want to be, we really enjoy seeing the bands that are having fun on stage, and as an audience, too. That’s what I want to see: I want to see people having a good time.

Transporting this energy from the stage to the crowd, that is always so special and fun.
We’ve had some really fun shows, these people are fun! Because before this band, I had a thing that was more subdued, kind of folky stuff. So it’s really nice to have done the whole serious thing. I think we just kind of outgrown it.

Life’s too short, Rhian! It’s often said that you started Wet Leg as a joke. And I wonder when came the realization that it’s way more than a joke?
We actually keep having those moments. Like just being here today. What am I doing here? Yeah, very regularly. We have that „pinch me like what the fuck are we doing?“ moments. We’re kind of taking a few days to come. Try not to look at our calendars, there are a couple of gigs and other really exciting stuff, but it really does spin you out, if you think too much about it.

Hi, I’m the biggest overthinker, nice to meet you, I feel you! Do you ever get hit by a wave of imposter syndrome?
Oh, AAAAALL THE TIME. Like „Well, what if this is just pretty shit? What if this is just really shit and everyone just lost their mind. And then they gonna wake up and get their minds back and be like „Whoa, it’s shit!“.

How do you handle those situations?
I think just to realize that I am overthinking it in that moment. And maybe I talk to my friends or just go and do something else to take my mind off. Not thinking. Yeah, take that: Never think!

What I found so interesting is that you recorded the album before you even put out the first single. It’s so beautiful to listen to it and think that’s what you really want to do. Most newcomer bands nowadays who have a really successful debut single get their albums a bit to influenced by labels and others in my opinion. But you can hear Wet Leg on the whole thing, you know?
I’m really lucky that it happened for us in that order, because it’s just not it’s so it’s so against the grain. Purely because of the pandemic that it happened like that. I think it would have been a very different album. We were able to just go into the studio and just make something that felt pretty true, authentic to us. Without any noise or interference from negative or even positive comments from the outside world.

What draws me to your band is this clash of a more classic femininity and like the visual language and how you speak, but then you have this dry sarcasm. And people writing articles about how surprised they are that this can actually exist. Hello, we’ve been here all along!
It’s really interesting that you say that because I am someone that likes to dress quite feminine. People are just so broad. So, there are natural juxtapositions to even say that like juxtapositions is kind of contradicts itself because my entire being is a juxtaposition. To put it like simply, I guess it’s kind of translated into the band and the world of Wet Leg. I want to wear an ultra feminine dress, but I still want to like climb trees and fart.

This general thinking of when you wear a floral dress that you can’t climb trees and fart.
People are so keen to categorize everything. Someone earlier said „wow, the album is a really feminist album“. I mean, of course we are feminists…

As soon as a woman talks shit about men in music…that’s feminism?
Right? It’s just me being angry!

Im Mai kommen Wet Leg für drei jetzt schon ausverkaufte Shows auch nach Deutschland – präsentiert von Bedroomdisco.de, weshalb wir noch mal 2×2 Tickets für euch haben! Ihr wollt zu einer der Shows? Dann schreibt uns bis zum 22. April eine Mail mit dem Betreff “Wet Leg + Stadt, wo ihr zum Konzert wollt” an gewinnen@bedroomdisco.de und mit etwas Glück habt ihr schon bald frohe Gewinnkunde in eurem digitalen Postfach!

Wet Leg Tour:
16.05.2022 Köln, Jaki – ausverkauft
23.05.2022 München, Milla – ausverkauft
25.05.2022 Berlin, Kantine im Berghain – ausverkauft

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