The Great Escape: ‘Seaside Retort’ – LEISURE

With The Great Escape well and truly kicking down the festival season door, it is time to prepare for another fantastic summer of live music. One band destined for a busy summer is LEISURE – the Auckland-based soul-pop five-piece who will soundtracking many barbecues and beach parties with their irresistible grooves.

It is all in the name. LEISURE capture that freeing, relaxed state and with a new album TWISTER scheduled for release on July 26th through Nettwerk, you can expect to hear them a lot this year. In preparation for their sets on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th May at The Great Escape, GIGsoup’s Findlay Anderson caught up with Tom Young and Djeisan Suskov to discuss the festival and the new record.

Hi LEISURE! This year will mark your first performances at The Great Escape. How does it feel to be playing the festival?

Tom: These types of events can go either way depending on the organisation, but we’ve heard only good things about TGE so we’re looking forward to being part of the atmosphere. There’s a bunch of bands we’re keen to see as well – my personal highlight is definitely Viagra Boys on the Friday.

You have two sets lined up, including one that takes place on Brighton Pier. Will this be the one of the most obscure venues you have played so far?

Djeis: We’ve played quite a few fun and interesting venues back home… some of these include old cinemas and a festival on an island… we love to make each show special so it’s nice for us to be playing unique environments.

The Great Escape will also mark your first appearance in Brighton. What are you looking forward to most about your trip to the seaside?

Tom: We’ve heard the vibe of the place over TGE weekend can be pretty crazy, so definitely looking forward to just wandering about and catching some moments.

These two shows will serve as a taster for your forthcoming album, TWISTER, due 26th July. Can we expect any new songs to make their way into the setlist?

Djeis: Yes, we currently have a setlist that’s about 50/50 new and old… it’s nicely balanced and very fun.

You are performing as part of a showcase presented by the New Zealand Music Commission on Friday 10th May. Are there any fellow New Zealand acts you will be checking out at the festival?

Tom: Yeah! Looking forward to seeing Soaked Oats, The Beths and Drax Project who are all from NZ as well. There might be more NZers but that’s off the top of my head.

With beaches and attractions aplenty, do you have any sights you want to see while you are around Brighton?

Djeis: I’ve never been to Brighton, but I’ve heard it’s a great spot so very excited to see as much as we can.

TWISTER will mark your first album in nearly three years, following in the footsteps of your largely successful debut. What was your main mission with the record?

Tom: Exploring our sound in all directions was the main goal, I think. With 5 song-writers you can get a pretty wide variety of sounds, so we do our best to dive deep into each universe and see what we can find. After playing more live we naturally began making more upbeat music, but we’ve also dug into the more ‘introverted’, ‘stoner-y’ side of our sound as well.

Your latest single ‘On My Mind’ is destined to soundtrack many summer parties, and with The Great Escape in May, festival season is truly underway. What are you looking forward to most this summer?

Djeis: We definitely love the summer parties! Usually Leisure summers are a blend of parties, quality time with loved ones and cooking up lots of new tunes.

The Great Escape starts today, Thursday 9th May to Saturday 11th. LEISURE play The Arch on Thursday at 9:30pm and Horatios on Friday 10th at 2:30pm. LEISURE’s album TWISTER is set for release July 26 via Nettwerk.