NU MUSIC INTERVIEW: Alex Lleo
Spending time in nature – in Worcestershire’s Lickey Hills where Alex Lleo lives and grew up, the awe-inspiring Scandinavian mountains, and surfing the various coastlines of the British Isles – has shaped Alex’s creative outlook. You can hear his attraction to the natural world, its peace and its drama, in his music, which is exquisitely paced, laid-back and rich in melody.
Alex Lleo has shared the second track & video to be taken from his forthcoming debut EP, ‘Park Studios, JQ’.
‘No Way Back’ was recorded live alongside Alex’s six-piece band over the course of one afternoon in Park Studios, Birmingham.
Ahead of his headline show at Birmingham’s Sunflower Lounge later this month, we caught up with singer-songwriter Alex Lleo to find out more about his sound.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, How did you get into music? What inspired you to take it seriously?
It was a quite a natural progression really. I’d had guitar lessons during my time at primary school, and it just felt like one of those extra curricular things that kids do. It wasn’t until I got to high school & started making horrific noises with my best mates, that I realised it was all I wanted to do. Once I began writing towards the end of school, that’s when things took a bit more of a serious turn I think.
How would you describe your sound?
Honest. I guess all the songs start from quite an organic place, usually an acoustic instrument & my voice. However moving forward, I’m really fascinated with what you can create when the natural world meets the never ending possibilities of technology. So for this EP, raw & soulful- but down the line who knows! I kind of like that concept..
You recorded and named your debut EP at Park Studios in Birmingham, was this a conscious decision or did it happen organically?
Well it was a conscious decision to cut these songs live with the band, and the studio played a pivotal role in bringing it all together, so it felt right to name the EP after its birthplace really.
What do you love about the West Midlands?
It’s the people really. My life is full of pretty straight talking people, which makes for honest feedback when it comes to music (If you can handle it! Haha). I know the accent takes a bit of stick from other areas of the country, but we quite like being underestimated.
Who are your musical influences?
Ahh at the moment I love anything that tests the ear a little. Anyone that takes conventional arrangements, and applies their stamp to it. I love acts where you see a natural progression throughout their career. From greats like Neil Young or Paul Simon, to modern artists like Bahamas or Ben Howard.
Who is your dream collaboration?
Its gotta be the man himself, JV of Bon Iver. Any excuse to get in that studio!
You’re perfoming in Birmingham in April, What can people expect from the show?
A big band. In a tiny place. Taking you to outta space! Haha! Its gonna be a lot of fun getting everyone in a room again, and I’m looking forward to celebrating with everyone.
What else has 2018 got in store for you?
Well we’re busy finishing up some new material at the moment, so looking forward to taking those on the road this summer. I’ve got a solo tour in the South West starting next week, hoping to convert a few ears ahead of my set at Boardmasters in August. Then the summer is littered with shows all over the shop, which is really exciting!
Alex’s debut three-track EP ‘Park Studios, JQ’ will be released on the 20th April 2018.
See Alex live on Sunday 29th April at Birmingham’s Sunflower Lounge. Tickets on sale now at https://birminghampromoters.seetickets.com/promoter/birmingham-promoters/7059/default/1/500