Above Henry (Vocals)
left to right Duke (Guitars), James (Guitars), Nico (Bass), Zac (Keyboards) and Achilleas (Drums)
In a world were bland and drab are not only the orders of the day but they are whole heartedly encouraged, it was about time something came along to shake things up a little. Once in a while something will appear only to disappear as soon as it arrived, but at last the curtain of grey that has covered the music world has been set alight and this is here to stay! Ladies and gentleman, one and all welcome to the world of HMLTD.
This London based outfit are arguably the most interesting new band around. Formed in London in 2016 (None of the members are from London but did meet at parties in the capital) and they were quickly signed to Sony in early 2017 and their buzz has been building ever since. It is easy to see why they are striking a chord with the industry and the public alike. It is abundantly clear how much they care in both the sound and visuals and the end result is, well, a glorious concoction of glamour with a gothic influence and anything else they wish to add to their musical and visual creative cauldron. We were lucky enough to grab a little time with lead vocalist and all round art guy Henry a little while back.
"Stained" their first release. Signed copies from Rough Trade. (Click here to view on YouTube )
Henry thanks so much for joining us today. I like many others can see the rise in your profile lately and you are destined for great things. So firstly you and HMLTD have so many influences could you tell us of your influences both lifestyle and music wise?
Henry ; In terms of lifestyle, I consider myself a romantic. I try not to have idols but if there's anyone I model myself on its Lord Byron. I think an age of high romanticism such as the world has never seen in nigh. When it arrives, I'll be prepared. Musically I'm influenced most of all by Nick Cave, Kanye West, Kate Bush, Death Grips and Bauhaus.
I love the imagery of the band, so what influences you there especially video wise, they are totally out there but in a good way.
H ; Our videos are all about collaboration. We have strong aesthetic tastes and opinions obviously but none of us ourselves are actually filmmakers or video artists. So for us the important thing is to collaborate with amazing artists who are. You can't be good at everything and I think it's arrogant to try and do everything. We always work with new, young artists our age who we like and who we are friends with. So for "To The Door" and "Stained", that was with Jenkin Van Zyl. And "Pictures Of You", that was Duncan Loudon. They're probably two of the most talented artists in London right now and they are both our age. We meet up, look at the songs and discuss concepts, and the videos are born of that.
"To The Door" their second release (Click here to view on YouTube)
The other visual things are just as important. Every headlining live show, we collaborate with our friends, Brockenhurst And Sons, an art collective who create films for us to project and build amazing set designs for us, that you can see, touch and smell- always revolving around the theme of the show .Once it was paradise. The last one was Dante's Inferno.They're amazing artists and all like 18 or 19.
Yes the aesthetic of your whole world is great and it really does the job it is meant to, i.e. getting people to take notice, react and interact. So cool your headspace also about knowing you can't be top of your field in all things and to collaborate can (and does) only add to the fantastic total end result. It is great to hear a band with such a cool outlook on everything and not a band full of ego's and no talent. Talking of collaborations, I am a huge fan of Semi Precious Weapons, so when I heard you had collaborated with Justin (Tranter, vocalist) it was exciting news to say the least. So again, you work with people at the top of their games, so how did you hook up with him, he was a fan yeah?
H ; Yeah, Justin had been messaging us for about six months on every form of social media, but we didn't realise who he was and thought he was just another chancer.
You worked very well together though?
H ; Well because you're in a band you get messaged by people saying they want to work with you and it's all usually spam. But when we saw he had a verified account, we thought we'd check out who he was, and it turned out to be Justin and then we realised loads of our favourite pop songs of the last year or two, like "Bad Lair" by Selena Gomez, were written by him. We completely love him. He's like the cool, gay American dad we never had and just super talented and super enthusiastic, kind and generous.
That's so great to hear and I think he is a total star, no question. Did you just do one track with him or were there other ideas floating around at the time?
H ; We did like eight in eight days.
You obviously clicked then.
H ; "Pictures of you" was one of them and we will be releasing the others too, at some point.
"Pictures of you" great track and great video (Click here to view on You tube), is there going to be a vinyl like your previous three releases?
H ; Yes on the vinyl but not sure when at this point.
"Satan, Luella And I" Their latest vinyl release. (Click here to view on YouTube)
That's great to hear the rest will see the light of day too, I like many others will be waiting with baited breath for those. O.k. back to "Pictures of you" and the latest release "HATE MUSIC LAST TIME DELETE" . I love the lead track "Proxy Love" (Click here to view on you tube) . What's the story behind that track? You open your shows with that one right?
H ; Yeah we do. It started off as just the first orchestral stabs that are in the 30 second introduction to the set which then fell into "Is This What You Wanted", and then we decided to expand it into a full song.
Yes great song and great delivery. Talking of live shows just before we go you are planning to go out on the road later this year with Shame. How did that come about and what can we expect?
H ; Shame are just very close friends of ours. Our approach to music is very different, but we have a lot of respect for each other and are close as people.
O.k. Henry thanks again and looking forward to catching the band live very soon. Good luck with everything and be well.
H ; Thanks and good luck to you too!
Now if that hasn't pricked your interest then WHAT will? Get onboard the HMLTD freight train and enjoy the ride!
Click here for the bands official website
Interview conducted July 2018. Photos by HMLTD and suits and the platform boots vaults.