Interview: Wet Leg's Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers just want to have fun (2024)

Interview Transcript

Edited for clarity and length.

JILL RILEY: I'm joined by a band that I've been getting so much great feedback about on The Current and their song that we've been playing "Chaise Longue" has been number one on The Current's Chart Show for multiple weeks. We've been wondering ever since we added this song, who is this band? We've got to get to know them, we got to know more--and I have the privilege of being joined by the group Wet Leg. So I've got Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers with me, and we're connecting--I know that you guys are at home, the Isle of Wight over in the UK. So how are you? Welcome to The Current.

RHIAN TEASDALE: Thanks for having us.

"Chaise Longue" has been such a catchy song ever since we've been playing it last summer, we've been wanting to know more about you. So let's start from the beginning, and I know that the beginning is not that long ago with the two of you being in a band. Take me back to how the two of you know each other, and how you decided to start a band.

HESTER CHAMBERS: You go first, I think you're faster.

RHIAN TEASDALE: Ok I'll go fast, and then if I forget anything, you have to butt in and let me know. So we've known each other since college. But we've been in and out of bands on the Isle of Wight, never quite seeming to come together. Then I was doing like a solo thing, and I was sick of it, and sick of doing everything by myself. It was really boring, and I got the courage together to ask Hester if she'd play the last few run of shows with me, before I stopped doing it. Then we just ended up having a really fun summer of just like going to festivals and seeing loads of music and getting inspired. That's where we came up with the idea to start our own band, start something fresh. Start something where we're both playing guitars. For the past projects I was playing keys and sat down, and it was quite folky and a bit subdued and all the lyrics were like, really introspective and sad. So rolling around festivals together in the summer, I think that really influenced our band and what we wanted it to be about.

I don't know a ton about where you live--the Isle of Wight, I connect that to a pretty major music festival. Is that something that the two of you have attended together and you felt some inspiration like, "Hey, we want to do that." I mean, it's one thing to say, "Hey, let's start a band!" But then to actually do it is another thing. Hester, I just want to ask you, when the concept of the band came up, how do you decide like, "Okay, well, this is the kind of music we like," or, "This is the kind of music we want to play," because you guys make some really fun songs from what I've heard so far.

HESTER CHAMBERS: Early on, we were just getting to grips with playing guitars in a different way. Well, for me in a different way to what I had done before, and for Rhian to even really pick one up. So it was having the courage, and we started off kind of trashy, like we just wanted to make the sounds and have loads of fun doing it.

So how long between the time that you know, "Okay, we're going to start a band. Here we're going to test out some sounds. We know that we want to play guitars. We know we want to have fun." How long between that and playing your first show together?

RHIAN TEASDALE: Not long. We didn't even have a full set of songs.

When you were going to play your first show together, what did you do? You're like, "Okay, we have to fill a set time." So for that first show what did you guys decide to do? How did you fill the time?

HESTER CHAMBERS: Oh, what was our first one? It was--

RHIAN TEASDALE: It was Isle of Wight Festival.

HESTER CHAMBERS: Yeah, a locals tent, like really great. It was our favorite place to be when we go to the festival. I think we probably had about half an hour, but we definitely didn't hit that. I think one of the songs we did was a cover of a friend's song.

So a local tent at the Isle of Wight Festival is your first big show. That's huge. It's not as though you got to kind of like do a trial run in front of 10 people that were going to come to your show in like a really small club. That's a pretty big first show.

HESTER CHAMBERS: Well, I think we played pretty early in the day, and I think we did play to about like 15 friends.

Okay, so that took some of the pressure off at least. But my point is, it really wasn't that long between, "Okay, we're gonna start a band," and all of a sudden we're playing shows. How did that feel to have so much excitement and buzz around what you were doing?

RHIAN TEASDALE: I mean, like, we had the whole of lockdown before we really started playing shows, we only played like four gigs before we found our manager and signed to Domino. The weirdest part was coming out of lockdown and straightaway playing Latitude Festival and then Green Man Festival and then getting all these like amazing support slots. It's been amazing having the opportunity to hone our set and just playing together every night. Yeah, we've been thrown in at the deep end of it. But yeah, we're so fortunate. It's been so fun, it's really wild.

Yeah, nobody wants to say a global pandemic was a good thing. But there are some things that you can find the silver lining--you can actually put the time into something that you enjoy doing. So that's obviously to your benefit. You got to hone in on what you wanted to do with this band. "Chaise Longue"--it's the first single we heard from you. Tell me about writing that song, was that the first song you wrote? Or was that the first song that you kind of said, "Okay, this is the one that we're going to release."

RHIAN TEASDALE: I think the first song we wrote was about being abducted by aliens.

HESTER CHAMBERS: We wrote "Chaise Longue" in 2019 at Christmas time. Rhian had come to stay at mine and my boyfriend's house for a sleepover. But you didn't leave, so, we didn't write it that night. We wrote it like Week Five into the sleepover. In the evenings, we'd be like, painting or watching telly, or writing silly songs together and "Chaise Longue" was one of them. We don't know why it kind of stuck. In the beginning it was just something that we could like, cry-laugh 'cause you're like, "Look at this funny--" Like it's just really funny, not serious song. So different to anything we'd put in the computer before.

I like the description of funny, not serious. It's got a catchy hook, and I think it's exactly what people were looking for because during the pandemic things were getting really serious. We're getting really serious and heavy and it's kind of refreshing to just get like--let's go back to the basics of a fun rock'n'roll song, and something that's catchy. Your lyric writing that song is--every time I listen to it, I think I hear something new. Or I hear a new meaning in something. Even the name, like what you've decided to name yourself, Wet Leg. I was thinking, "Well, what does that mean?" So I went and googled it, because I'm like, I hope it's something super dirty that I haven't heard about before or whatever. But when it comes to Wet Leg, I Googled it and then you can see what other people have searched. Somebody had searched, like, "What does big D mean?" And that made me--I mean, I was cry laughing because it could mean about 100 different things in that song. Like I said, I hear a different meaning every time. Going back to the name of your group. How did that come up? Did it just come out of like, you guys are hanging out together, and wouldn't that be kind of funny? Like, what does it mean to be a Wet Leg?

HESTER CHAMBERS: That's a nice question.

What does it mean? I don't know.

RHIAN TEASDALE: It doesn't really mean anything. It's just a reminder to not take yourself too seriously, because at the end of the day, you're in a band called Wet Leg.

Exactly. I've referred to people as a wet rag, not to their face. But I was just wondering if there was just like a different meaning to that, like some kind of term I hadn't heard. I know you have another song called "Wet Dream," and I'm not even going to ask what that's about because I get it. But there must have been some motivation where like, "Okay, we're gonna write this song, and here's why." What leads you to write a song called "Wet Dream"?

RHIAN TEASDALE: I wrote those lyrics just after--I had a boyfriend that after we broke up he would text me saying that he had a dream about me. It was just really unsolicited, and just like, "No. This is done now." So that was a bit of--yeah.

How do you even respond to that? You just say, "Good for you. Like, I don't care. But now, because you're annoying me we're gonna write a song about this and make fun of you." That's kind of the best revenge, isn't it?

RHIAN TEASDALE: Yeah, I'm quite mean really. No, it's just a joke, but also, don't do that. Why would you do that?

So far I've heard two songs from you. So you've got two singles--is that kind of the plan for you two, is to keep releasing singles? Are you going to put out an EP? Are you going to put out a record? I know that you guys are having fun kind of living in the moment, but what's the plan for any more releases?

HESTER CHAMBERS: We do have a single coming out in a few weeks, hopefully. Maybe even two, I don't know. Then more songs in spring time, next year when we're going on tour. So it's really exciting that there'll be more tunes out by then because it's kind of strange, only having two songs out and then the rest of the set to play for people to see if they kinda like it.

Well, they're going to like it. You two have generated a lot of buzz. When you come over to the US, you have dates in December--I see New York, LA, San Francisco. I beg of you not to forget about us here in the Midwest, because you have some fans here in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Don't book too small of a room because it's gonna be a hot ticket. It's really exciting. Does it feel kind of overwhelming at times, like how did we get here? How did we get here so quickly? I would feel a little nervous about it, and maybe you guys don't because you're like, "You know what, this is just the thing that's happening to us now, and let's roll with it."

HESTER CHAMBERS: I think it's a bit of both.

RHIAN TEASDALE: Yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head.

HESTER CHAMBERS: It hasn't sunk in, I don't think. I can't really talk about it--feels like a big dream. It's really fun.

Have you talked about it with each other like, "Okay, how are we going to handle this together?" I mean, I don't know if, like when you started the band, if you made any kind of deal with each other, you know, we want this to stay fun. We don't want to lose who we are. Have you guys kind of talked about that? I mean, that's a hard thing when you're in a band with your friend, you know what I mean?

RHIAN TEASDALE: The "keeping it fun" thing is definitely a conversation that we revisit a lot. And we have to ask ourselves, "Is it fun? Yes. Okay, let's do this. Is it not fun? Okay, let's try and do less of that," what we're not enjoying, because that's the point of it is to just have fun.

I love that. Let's just run it through the fun filter. In fact, I think anybody listening right now or watching this, that's great advice from the group Wet Leg. Run it through the fun filter. I would like to take that advice. Well, we look forward to you making your way over to the US. There's excitement for you guys to do more, so congratulations on everything so far. And looking forward to hearing more music from you guys, because it's a lot of fun.

HESTER CHAMBERS: Thanks so much.

RHIAN TEASDALE: Thanks for having us.

External Link

Wet Leg - official site


Host - Jill Riley
Guests - Rhian Teasdale, Hester Chambers
Technical Director - Peter Ecklund
Producer - Jesse Wiza

Interview: Wet Leg's Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers just want to have fun (2024)


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