Interview: Listomania

Nieve O’Donnell

After solidifying their line-up whilst attending University in York, Listomania are now settling into Leeds and finding their feet through upcoming gigs across the North of the UK. Michael (bassist), Lewis (lead guitarist) and Charlie (drummer/producer), with the absence of lead singer Jordan, talked Nieve through their current musical findings and some exciting gigs.

Since moving to Leeds recently, the band are trying to expand their horizons musically, especially on the run up to their upcoming gigs. “Charlie is trying to learn more drum grooves, I’m trying to learn more 80s guitar, Michael is just doing Michael, lead singer is doing his stuff,” Lewis said.  Despite not yet having management, the band have done well to secure gigs in Leeds and across the country. The band have an indomitable series of gigs lined up in October, beginning at York’s famed The Crescent, Leeds’ Eiger Studios and then following them back home (for a few members of the band) to Sunderland before embarking on Newcastle.

Ambitiously, the band tell me that they’re planning to have a release every month for the next four months. The idea behind this is that “there’s loads of bands making music at the minute, you’ve got to have something unique about you and it’s difficult for us to stand out. We’d like to bring out loads of music and excite our listeners,” Charlie enthuses.

Leeds seems to be suiting the band well

The marketisation of bands in the modern music industry rings true. “At the end of the day you need to be marketable. Our image and social media output is something we like to look into because if you have no confidence or stage presence, it’ll bring you down,” Lewis explains. Charlie adds that “bands might go into the studio and put loads of money into it but they might come out with just one good single. We’ve got this studio and we want to record loads of music and just play loads of gigs.”

In fact, Listomania were chatting to me from their studio space, which happens, incredibly conveniently, to be in their new Leeds residence, making their ambitions for the next four months that bit easier.

Recently, they even hosted an intimate gig from that particular room. “We had a gig in this room a couple of weeks ago with like 30 people, we packed it out and it was sweaty and disgusting but amazing,” Charlie gushes. “We said we would play for a crate of beer which hasn’t worked out very well because we’re just getting drunk every time,” Lewis adds with a laugh. Leeds seems to be suiting the band well though. Admittedly, though, Lewis says that “it’s so different from York. There’s always stuff happening in Leeds 24/7 and it’s fun although expensive”. Michael nods in agreement. 

the band’s run of gigs coming up in October is certainly close to their goal

The band like an intimate venue for their gigs, with Lewis stating that “the smaller the venue, I think, the better for us because we like to have a decent atmosphere”, supported by Charlie; “we like intimate”. Nevertheless, the band hope for bigger things. “Ideally, we’d like to support bigger artists as well,” Michael admits. Charlie gives an example, stating indefinitely: “Bombay Bicycle Club.”

The band’s run of gigs coming up in October is certainly close to their goal. Unanimously, “we’re most excited for the Sherlocks. Some of us have been listening to The Sherlocks since we were 14 and the crazy thing about it is they pretty much asked us especially as a Sunderland band,” Lewis explains. “The gigs we have before are nice warm ups for us. We’re getting on the grind for them now. It’s a learning curve,” Charlie divulges.

Further to this, the band’s gig at the Stone Roses Bar in York also feels like a bit of a homecoming. “We’ve been in York for 3 years so to play somewhere we’ve been drinking for the past three years is mental. It’s a massive shock,” Lewis admits. “And the crazy thing is, we’re the only band playing!” Charlie exclaims. For the band’s first headline gig, it’s refreshing to hear them state that “It’s not just for us. People are going to have a good time and get drunk. We can put on a bit of a show for them,” Michael promises. “We’ll play four covers and four originals that we haven’t played before to see what they like,” Lewis discloses. “Songs that a lot of drunk patrons can sing along to,” Michael confirms.

See Listomania on tour:

7th October, The Crescent Bar, York

9th October- Eiger Studios, Leeds

15th October- Stone Roses Bar, York

22nd October- The Sherlocks, Sunderland

5th November- Head of Steam, Newcastle

Nieve O’Donnell

Featured image courtesy of Alex Comaish. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

In-article images courtesy of @listomaniaband via @instagram.com. No changes were made to these images.

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