Hailing from the rainy city of Manchester, St Lucifer have quickly become a force to be reckoned with on the city’s gig circuit with their high-energy live shows and infectious electro-punk anthems. We caught up with this unlikely foursome for the first of our Introducing series.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. What’s the story behind St Lucifer and how would you describe your sound?
Although we only had our first rehearsal/gig as St Lucifer last October it somehow still feels like the ‘coming together’ of a whole list of different projects and ideas:
For example, although David and John have been running Valentine Records for nearly 15 years – and produced/remixed/promoted a whole range of records in that time – this is the first time they’ve really focused on making new/original music together.
Meeting Alex (vocals) and Charlie (drums) last year really was the catalyst for this change of priorities – Although we’ve drawn on Alex’s solo Soundcloud output (recording as Oberloyntnant) as well as various songs David had written it’s still felt like a really natural/organic process putting the songs together and shaping them to form a coherent sound/vision. Or at least get some matching suits to wear on stage!
Indeed – most of the first live set we played came together in a single evening – turns out we work quite quickly together, which is helpful!
As for our sound – that’s an easy one: #blackmetalgaydisco!
What motivates you and inspires your music, aesthetic and vibe?
What motivates us? Hmm, lots of things! We all share similar interests and bounce off each other completely and between the four of us, we could probably list a million things that inspire us!
Aesthetically, we’ve had a few ‘looks’ but at the moment we’re running with what’s been described as a “goth-friendly wedding” look (as someone described us in a recent review of a gig in Leeds) – which we think sums us up quite well!
Your debut single Van Der Lubbe Was Innocent/Do as Little as Possible was launched at an intimate DIY gig in a record shop in Manchester last year. How did that come about and what made you opt for such a unique launch event?
Right time/right place really – the ‘incubation’ period before we formed St Lucifer was mostly spent in Alex’s (sensational) record shop – Soundwaves Here We Come – that was originally out in Stretford (and has since relocated to Afflecks Palace in the City Centre).
David and John did some DJing there last year for fun – then got involved in the (rather stylish) refit of the shop – adding a stage/DJ booth and so on – so it was a no-brainer that we should unveil our first single there. As it happened the sound was ridiculous on the day – we were FAR too loud for such a small space – especially with so many people packed into the shop – but as a one off it was brilliant and full of energy. Next time we’ll hire a big marquee or something!
St Lucifer certainly seem to be an active gigging band. How important is playing live for you, and what are your thoughts on live electronic music in the UK at the moment?
Massively important. It’s what makes St Lucifer distinct from the various studio-bound projects we’ve been involved with before. We really love the energy of playing live – it’s really pushed us forward as a band in terms of playing together/developing the sound and where we’re going with it all.
As for electronic music in general – it’s a really exciting time from where we’re standing: after the collapse of the ‘conventional’ music industry there’s a real sense that the DIY underground approach has filled the breach in terms of the sheer number of exciting nights, labels, communities and artists – operating right across the musical spectrum. At the risk of sounding coy, the kind of work AnalogueTrash are doing in terms of cross-promoting electronic music both in Manchester and across Europe is a pretty good example of this!
Give us a tip. What UK band or artist should we be keeping an eye on in 2016?
Wow – SO many we could list here. We’re all massive music fans (although Charlie has a strict policy of only listening to music made before 1990) – and, with Alex running the record shop and us all doing radio/DJ stuff – we’ll have to settle for a ‘shortlist’…
Alex – I’m loving Ten Mouth Electron – who aren’t afraid to use technology to supplement what is essentially screamy, shouty indie music at present and I’m looking forward to hearing what Chaos 8 (a north-east based punk band)’s second LP is going to sound like. The first was like a heavy mash-up of Killing Joke and the Rezillos.
Charlie – 2016? I’ve only just worked my way up to music from 1987! I’m really enjoying Manchester band ILL at the moment though; it’s a complete mish-mash of all the music I absolutely love and I’m very much looking forward to hearing the album they’re currently recording. Likewise O>L>A are another Manchester band you should look out for, a fantastic two-piece ambient/dreampop band that if you have the opportunity to see live you must, a very cool band indeed…
David – Massively enjoying the Minor Victories album at the moment (art-rock supergroup including various members of Mogwai, Editors and Slowdive) – ditto LUH’s Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing – That’s obviously a bit of a cheat though (old artists forming new bands!). In terms of NEW new stuff – I adore Syd.31 and am looking forward to playing live with them soon (is that a spoiler I wonder?) – while I’m going to back Charlie up and say O>L>A are the best live act I’ve seen in ages.
Oh, and I loved playing with Wrapped in Plastic recently – the most fun I’ve had watching ear-bleeding industrial avant-noise in a long while!
John – Gets a bit of a let-off here (as he’s literally about to become a Dad) – but if last week’s radio show is anything to go by, he’s been listening to a LOT of random metal recently! Oh, and Petrol Bastard. Obviously. We all love ‘The Bastard’ here…
Big question… what’s next for St Lucifer? Is a full length album on the cards?
Funny you should ask that! We have literally just finished setting up our new studio ready to record the album. Timing has worked out quite nicely in that we’ve just wrapped up the last in a series of gigs, and will be working away on the album while John gets used to being a Dad for the first time (we’re giving him a bit of ‘paternity leave’ at the start of the sessions – if he can stop listening to Petrol Bastard for five minutes!).
Aside from that there will be two more 7” singles (Trashorama – which we’re just editing Morganna Bramah’s AMAZING art/voyeur/nightclub/horrorshow video for) and Junk Days, which Charlie has decided is ‘the greatest song ever written’.
Oh, and there’s a few rather interesting/unique festivals we’re playing at when we return to live duty in September – watch this space!