Introducing Lovecraft and the Häxan EP

Häxan is the new EP from Liverpool band Lovecraft. Translating into the Swedish for Witches, the EP’s name gives away some of the band's influences which they list as everything from horror movies and sci fi to Ladybird books and factories. With such a varying range of influences trying to label them with a specific sound can be a bit like building a pigeonhole out of custard. Lovecraft are a band you need to check out for yourself and take away what you will. So do that, here….. on this. (Warning this video contains some flashing lights and an awesome chorus.)

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Wireless recently caught up with front man Craig Sinclair who we were relieved to find had left his gun at home:

Lovecraft has been around in various incarnations for a while now. When did the story first start?

In a sweaty teenage bedroom in Widnes about ten years ago. We were terrible of course but a lot of things that creatively define us - growing up in weird chemical towns, a deep-seated love of Joy Division, horror and science fiction were all present back then. 

A lot of people have come and gone over time due to creative differences or personal reasons but it’s only in the last year that we’ve found the perfect mix of people. We’re all very close, share the same sense of humour and all agree that the song dictates people’s input - the songs are in charge. Everyone writes their parts with an almost psychic understanding of what needs to be done. I’ve wanted to have that kind of musical connection with people all my life and now finally have it! 

We’d previously dabbled in a more theatrical, vaudevillian approach to performing which was very fun but kind of hollow. Now I feel like we’re a lot more honest and it’s all the ebetter for it.

What would you say are the main influences on your sound?

Thematically we take inspiration from everything: horror films, sci-fi, Alan Moore, Brecht, Nye Bevan, ladybird books, factories and the 1960s. In terms of music people like Robert Wyatt, The Smiths, Kanye West, The Beatles (of course), The Shangri-La’s, Syd Barrett, Brian Eno, Arcade Fire and African pop music are all jumbled up in there with about a million other things. 

The biggest influence since we’ve really galvanised our kind of space pop sound is the future predictions of the early 1960’s - the idea of ‘THE WORLD OF TO-MORROW’ where everyone lives in a Jetsons style utopia - all the artwork, propaganda and sloganeering from that period seems so tragic now that it’s almost heartbreaking. We’re really into the idea of being a kind of Orwellian government pop unit enlisted (or perhaps forced) to sell the dream of a non-existent better world to an unwitting public. That’s why we wear uniforms on stage, and there’s a bit of that in all our artwork, lyrics and music I think.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?

Playing Shepherd’s Bush Empire with Half Man Half Biscuit in 2011 was a highlight. Recently every gig has been better than the last though, so I hope we haven’t played the best ever yet!

What’s the worst?

We played the Kazimier (a Liverpool venue we dearly love) last year and all the equipment broke. Every last thing. It wasn’t helped by me attempting to turn falling over into a flailing dance, tripping over an amp and Simon’s bass, both of which promptly broke. We fled the stage after 3 songs. Fortunately we’ve played there since and exorcised our demons with some blood letting and speaking in tongues.

How does your writing process work?

It varies wildly. Sometimes Lloyd (the other main songwriter) and I will send each other loops and snippets of things that sound like ghost choirs or spaceships landing and then churn them into songs which immediately tell you what they should be about. Other times it’s like automatic writing and only later do you realise what the music should be like. It’s quite rare to sit and write words and music all at once for me personally. I often don’t understand what the songs are about until much later on when the lyrics are memorised or recorded, then it becomes clearer what I was on about.

If you could play any festival which would it be?

Festival No.6, purely because we’re such big fans of The Prisoner.

Would you ever go on X factor?

Yes, but only to explode ourselves as a last resort art-protest.

If Lovecraft was a sausage what flavour would it be?

Vegan despair.

Do you ever get compared to other bands? 

A while ago we got compared to Roxy Music and Deaf School, I think because we were more theatrical. Lately we get Joy Division and Arcade Fire which are very flattering, but we understand that ultimately it comes down to people’s sphere of reference.

Do you drink real ale? 

No, we’re more into dandelion wine drunk through an LSD laced straw.

What’s the best pub in Liverpool?

Mello Mello, without a doubt. Everything about it (save the lavatories) is wonderful.

If the band had a motto what would it be?

We already have one - ‘SIC TRANSIT GLORIA’ (‘ALL GLORY FADES’).

If you had a flag what would it look like? 

Our immeasurably talented art-droid Kieran Gabriel made one for us recently:

If you could only listen to one more song what would it be?

This week it’d be either Del Shannon - ‘Runaway’ or ELO - ‘Mr Blue Sky’ but next week it’ll have doubtless changed to to something by The Beatles or Robert Wyatt.

What bands are you currently listening to in Liverpool?

I was recently obsessed by All We Are’s single ‘Utmost Good’ which was just sublime. I listened to it about 20 times a day at one point! Clang Boom Steam are really cool too, and we’re massive fans of Clinic.

Lovecraft are playing A Carefully Planned Festival at Night & Day in Manchester on October 19th and everisland: Hallows Ritual at the Kazimier, Liverpool on October 31st.