LØE: ‘We wanted to honour John Lennon’s work for peace’

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LØE are an alternative/progressive rock band from Leeds and Halifax formed by Josh Gardziel, ex-guitarist with funk and jazz collective Fold. Their ranks also include bassist Ben Walsh, his brother Justin and Ben Hirst.

While using spoken word samples, like Gardziel’s former band, their music explores new directions.

“All four of us have grown up in the same area on the same streets since we were little kids, so there’s that connection and friendship there,” says Gardziel. “We’ve grown up listening to more of the rock and ambient and psychedelic music so that’s where all of our passions and interests lie.

“I suppose there is similarities between Fold and what we do but it’s much more of a rock persuasion. It’s an amalgamation of our influences from bands we listened to growing up, so that’s how we came up with the idea. In terms of the speech samples, we never set out to have a political message as such in the same way that Fold does, we don’t have a unified theme that we’re trying to put across. The idea behind the speech samples is to try and capture moments in time. With the music we try and capture some of the mood and emotion from that sort of period.

“Given the fact that most good orators are from a political background, I suppose there is that element of it as well, but that was never the intention to be an overtly political band.”

People Have the Power, LØE’s debut single, features a sample from an interview of Beatles singer John Lennon – and the band released it to pay homage to him on the 39th anniversary of his death. “It was an interview that I came across on YouTube, basically mentioning that he believes that people have all the power to make a change,” says Gardziel. “We wanted to use it to honour John Lennon’s work for peace, especially give what’s going on at the moment with the political and social side of things in this country. It felt apt and quite nice to honour what he stood for, his ideology.”

The idea behind the speech samples is to try and capture moments in time. With the music we try and capture some of the mood and emotion from that sort of period.

Josh Gardziel

The track has been played on BBC 6 Music “which was quite humbling”, says Gardziel. Meanwhile the band has been busy gigging. “We’ve done about ten dates. We’ve only been together five months so we’ve had an autumn/winter run of dates. We’re booking at the moment for 2020 dates.”

Shows in the new year will coincide with the release of a self-titled seven-track EP and a second single, Once and For All, which “hopes to hold up a snapshot of the frustration and anger felt by protesters who faced police violence during the 1968 [US] Democratic Convention”.

LØE already have enough material for a 45-minute set, says Gardziel. “We’ve never been in a band where we’ve been able to put this sort of stuff out, so when we came together we had ten or 15 years’ worth of ideas that we’d been holding onto,” he explains. “There’s new stuff that we’re still working on as we’re speaking.”

LØE’s EP is out on January 10. They play at Wharf Chambers, Leeds on February 7. www.facebook.com/weareloemusic/