Q: We here at Rising Artists love the sound of your newest single “The Change”. It’s a great summer, fresh single, what inspired the songwriting behind it?
LEISURE THEORY: Thanks! The Change came to me in a dream weirdly. I had just handed in my notice at an old job and had the craziest dreams that night as I slept. I woke up at 3am to hum the chorus melody that just appeared in my head, then went back to sleep and recorded a rough demo that morning! The song itself is about anxiety and trying to combat that feeling of perfectionism and self-hatred. I think everybody struggles with this at certain points in their lives – I guess for me, it summarises the feeling of uncertainty at the time of being in between jobs and in my day to day life. I think we should all learn to be a bit less critical of ourselves and I hope that this song serves as a reminder!
Q: Selling out two Manchester headline shows, an Irish homecoming tour and receiving support from Amazing Radio, BBC Northern Ireland, you must have felt pretty good putting out new music in 2020. Unfortunately we all felt the effects of the Coronavirus but you went straight to work. Tell us about your creative process during that time.
LH: That feels like such a long time ago now when I cast my mind back!It felt great that even during a global pandemic, the EP I released was so well received and welcomed so many new people to Leisure Theory.I had written all the songs on the Deliverance EP pre-pandemic in 2019. I spent the spring/summer months just finishing the lyrics and recording the tracks. It really helped that I had played these tracks live before the world turned upside down although I adapted some of the lyrics to be more relevant to the world we are now living in. Being stuck inside 24/7 really had its perks!
Q: Do you write your own songs or is there a collaborator that you enjoy working with consistency?
LH: I hadn’t really worked with many collaborators until last year, but when I started, it really helped to switch my way of working. My upcoming EP has input from quite a few people. I worked with producers, Kid Blue, Sam Harding and Karl Ziegler on the tracks. Each of these guys brought something new and fresh and their input helped me perfect each track.
Q: What made you want to become a musician?
LH: I think I’ve always admired bands and artists as I grew up. I remember my older brother making me a mixtape with a load of 00’s indie bands on there. I think that really helped form my taste as I grew. I became more and more interested in music as I begame a teenager and started to invest in guitar pedals and synthesizers. Playing in my first band from the age of 14 was just so addictive and when I moved from Ireland to Manchester in 2016, I knew it was something that I wanted to continue, especially with Manchester being such a music-rich city.
Q: Your EP Momentary Ordinary is coming out soon, what can we expect from that release?
LH: Yes, it’s my third EP! To me, Momentary Ordinary is the best depiction of Leisure Theory so far. It stands out from my other releases as it feels the most fully formed and it has more of a narrative running throughout it. Each track feels like I’ve pushed it to the extreme in terms of songwriting. The pop songs are really poppy and accessible and the heavier tracks are more in your face than ever.After creating music as Leisure Theory for the last 4 years, I’m super proud of what I’ve created, especially during such a strange period in my life. I can’t wait for people to hear it when it is released on 27th August!
Q: Now that venues are opening up again, do you have any live performances we can catch you at soon?
LH: I believe we have one gig that’s in the books waiting to be announced. It’ll be toward the tail end of 2021 so keep your eyes peeled for that. We’ve got a cool live version of The Change coming out soon which I’m excited for people to see/hear.I was gutted to have to cancel our biggest scheduled headline gig for June this year. I’m hoping to get that re-arranged as soon as I can!
Interviewed by Stephanie Pankewich
FOLLOW LEISURE THEORY: