Wet Leg’s singer and guitarist Rhian Teasdale has told Music Week that the band can set an example to young women it in the music business.
The duo, completed by singer and guitarist Hester Chambers, are gearing up for the release of their self-titled debut album on Domino in April and have just dropped the video for a new single, Angelica.
Speaking in the new issue of Music Week alongside Domino boss Laurence Bell, A&R Jordan Whitmore, manager Martin Hall and agent Adele Slater, Teasdale outlined Wet Leg’s mission statement.
“We are still doing things that scare us every day, but I think it’s important for women to not feel like they can’t get involved with music and start bands,” she said. “That’s what I thought for so many years. I would see my male counterparts and they just seemed to have this confidence built in. I’ve never had any lessons playing guitar, I felt like it wasn’t my place. Not because anybody told me that, but because I just felt like that somehow.”
Teasdale continued: “The best thing would be for younger women, women my own age or women older than me, to feel like they can do it too. You don’t have to be really technical to write a good song. The song doesn’t have to mean anything. It’s great if it does, but also you can get a lot of joy out of something silly, like Chaise Longue. Every time we play it, it’s just so fun.”
It’s important for women to not feel like they can’t get involved with music and start bands
Wet Leg released Chaise Longue as their debut single last summer and it has recently ticked past the 10 million play count on Spotify, where the band have more than 1m monthly listeners. Their Dan Carey-produced album was already in the can when they released Chaise Longue, meaning the band could focus on playing live as venues opened up again after lockdown.
“The album doesn’t sound like Chaise Longue, that’s why it’s smart and that’s why they’re great writers,” said Martin Hall. “You can try and recreate success, but ultimately it has to be organic and about what connects with people. You have to trust the artist to come up with the creative stuff and I do trust them. People think they had a director behind the Chaise Longue video but it was shot on an iPhone on the Isle Of Wight, before they sent it to anybody. I think it’s genius.”
Hall added: “Doing this as long as I have – managing Manic Street Preachers for 30 years – it’s good to have a really hot, alternative guitar band. It’s great that things have moved so quickly and it’s been great working with the nice people at Domino. The songwriting will grow, too. I’ve heard stuff that isn’t on the record, and it’s really good. I think it will surprise people. I’m feeling confident about the future.”
Laurence Bell reflected on a successful breakthrough so far for Wet Leg, who took second place in the BBC Sound Of 2022 poll.
“Everything they do is very natural and instinctive, nothing is overthought, and they are just hitting a nerve with people,” said Bell. “Chaise Longue was one of the buzziest tunes of the second half of last year but I suspect it’s only just getting going in some ways. This year, I think it’s just going to grow and grow, as more people hear it. It’s a lot of fun to work with them.”
Agent Adele Slater of Paradigm emphasised the importance of Wet Leg’s touring. The band have a full schedule in the UK and America this year, including a stop at SXSW, but their big break came at Latitude last summer.
“The single had started to do the work, and by the time of Latitude Festival, which was only their second ever show, there was massive anticipation,” said Slater. “In some ways, not being able to do shows before that only helped build up hype and expectation, there was a massive queue outside the tent and people were jumping the fences to get in to see them.”
Slater described Wet Leg as “superstars in the making”.
“The best part was, they also showed they are not just a one song band, and actually every song is a hit,” she added.
Read the full interview in the new edition of Music Week. Subscribers can read it online here.