Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Feb 13th 2010 6:33AM by Farah Ishaq
Stratford-upon-Avon's young upstarts set literature to music. But it isn't Shakespeare. This power-pop four-piece from Warwickshire called Eight Legs are about to cause a stir. The first release on their own record label Boot Legs, their second album 'The Electric Kool Aid Cuckoo Nest' comes out on Feb. 22.
Boldly naming their new full-length release after Tom Wolfe's 1968 novel about LSD experimentation ('The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test') and Ken Kesey's equally paranoia-filled 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest,' Eight Legs' songs are chock-full of similar themes - albeit translated into their own experiences.
"I was reading the 'The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test' around the time we were getting stuck in the album and it caught my imagination in a big way," says singer and guitarist Sam Jolly. The album, he says, is a throwback to the past. "That 60s culture is something that I always pine for. It's the the romantic idealism that I really identify with. The title and final track on the album is directly inspired by Tom Wolfe -- and the whole album is based upon that song."
Belying their age -- the eldest of this many-limbed collective is a mere 19 -- Eight Legs make music that gathers up elements of the Buzzcocks and the Smiths, giving their songs about drinking, fear and isolation a timeless, chiming pop sound. "We recognise the importance of a big hook and a melody that people can listen to," adds Jolly. "We're not afraid to have a bit of pop in there! I'm a big fan of rock'n'roll music, post-punk and Motown -- things I heard through my parents, it's all influenced our music."
With new single 'Best of Me' out on Monday (Feb. 15), the start of their UK tour in Hereford on Feb. 18 and a hometown record-release party at Cox's Yard in Stratford-upon-Avon the week after, things in the world of Eight Legs are somewhat busy.
Just how excited are they the week before the new album is released, Spinner asks? The singer replies, "It is an exciting time, yes! We've had the album ready for quite a while now, but it's taken a long time to get things set up with own label [Boot Legs]. We've put ourselves in quite a strange position -- as musicians we're only used to the writing and recording aspects of making a record -- but now we're are trying to take control of the business side of things too. We're trying to keep everything running as a democracy, no one person from the band is in charge. It's a bit of an experiment, we're hoping that this works. It's so far a lot better than the experience we've had with labels in the past. It's nice to have everything in our own hands."
He adds, however, that the new album is a darker affair. "We've all grown up a lot since the first album [2008's 'Searching for the Simple Life']. It was quite naive and the second album is maybe more cynical. We're only young -- I'm sure we could all get much more cynical -- wait 'til the fifth album! We'll probably end up sounding like Leonard Cohen."
Eight Legs' debut album track 'These Grey Days' is the soundtrack to last year's government 'anti-binge drinking' TV ad -- do they find it funny, given the song's subject? Jolly responds, "Everyone always jokes about the hypocrisy of that song being used! We're pleased to be involved with the ad, as obviously the message is great -- people really shouldn't be drinking until their livers pack in, that's a sad thing and it shouldn't happen."