Interview: Lese Majesty

Many concept albums have been released, but not as many artists are essentially concepts themselves.  Sydney, Australia alt-rockers Lese Majesty most certainly eschew the latter, with a strong, empowering meaning behind their name and running themes in their music.  Vocalist Jodie Lee Gibson, bassist Joel Henderson, and guitarists Jake Tuffin and Ben Moore have last year’s self-titled EP behind them, and are readying sophomore EP Cold Reason for Change.  “Crown Land” is the first single off the Luke Palmer-produced effort, which is due out in February.

You used to live together in a 10-person share-house.  Was that whole dynamic just bonkers?  

It was.  But strangely enough there weren’t any fights.  We were too busy battling with spiders, snakes and a family of possums that refused to pay rent.  Possums are cute, furry mammals with a mean streak.  Kind of like my ex.  We also had an old guy next door we called ‘old man winter’ who was the villain of the neighborhood.  Picture the spooky leader of the ‘white-walkers’ from Game of Thrones also being a serial killer accountant.  Every party we threw, he would appear out of nowhere waving an icy finger, making cryptic threats.  With such a hefty barrage of common enemies surrounding us it put the old “who left a dirty plate in the sink” into perspective.

Everyone played in different bands before coming together in Lese Majesty.  Was the attraction to each other due to the old bands being a departure from this one?

We circled each other for years hoping that the timing would be right.  Kind of like that person who you never got to date because either you had a partner or they did, but you were never both single at the same time.  It was like that with our respective band commitments and awkward musical attractions.  Our friendships were solid, and we knew there were common interests, so we hoped we could produce something fresh and exciting as a result.

“Crown Land” has a fuller, more driving sound than heard on your self-titled EP.  How does Cold Reason for Change differ overall?

Our 2015 self-titled EP we produced ourselves with all of the guitars recorded at our share-house with our mediocre engineering skills.  The new EP Cold Reason for Change is sonically bigger with darker imagery and themes than our previous release.  We’re always looking to improve and progress, so having a producer at the helm this time around helped us achieve a more focused and mature sound.

“Self-sovereignty” is named as a theme of the band.  Expand on that.

We loved the idea that although the term ‘Lese Majesty’ is predominately used in a legal context to mean ‘a violation against the dignity of a sovereign power’ we could also flip this concept around if we were to entertain the idea that each human being is powerful and sovereign in their own right.  Perhaps we have all been brought up to not realise this, and therefore we have our own instances of ‘injured sovereignty’ that happen to us throughout our daily lives.  As a band we’re drawn back to this theme often.

A few local shows have been played, but what else is shaping up tour-wise in support of Cold Reason for Change?

We’re hoping to take this EP on the road and tour it to as many people as possible.  Although we’re currently on a great big dry island floating in the Pacific Ocean (Australia), most Aussie bands like us are reasonable swimmers, so we will eventually make our way through the sharks and across to the other side of the world where a lot of the action is.

There are a few themes (like the aforementioned self-sovereignty) that run through Lese Majesty.  When someone listens to you, what’s the main thing you want them to take away from the experience?

We realised that growing up we were more likely to listen to the ideas and concepts of our favourite singers or bands rather than the points of view given to us from traditional forms of authority.  Such charged, passionate and positive messages have resonated with us through artists such as Midnight Oil, Cog, Dead Letter Circus, Pink Floyd, Rage Against The Machine, U2, and Kendrick Lamar.  If we can get close to delivering stories with some heart, connecting with people and even spark a positive idea, then that will be success for us.

Lese Majesty online:


I was gonna be an underground star

You expected Pundik didn’t you?  Oh he’ll be back, don’t worry.

*The following is brought to you by Musician’s Friend.

The dream of being a musician is easily one of the sexiest out there.  Many people in regular jobs had/have it, and certain people who work in the music industry otherwise are failed musicians.  Much like Brian Williams, I was there.

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Weekendcore: The Offspring – Smash

The whole time I was writing Thursday’s post about trying to pick favourite artists for a huge list, I wondered if The Offspring would show up.  They didn’t, and that was interesting because while a few 90s alt-rock heyday acts made it, The Offspring and Green Day (who made it) were tied for my first-ever favourite.  That said, the former deserve props too so let’s give them belated in this edition of “Weekendcore”.

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Album Review: Fossil Youth – A Glimpse of Self Joy

After 2014’s split EP with Wickerwolves and last year’s Intertwined with You, Fossil Youth are finally ready to drop their debut full-length.  The Enid, Oklahoma indie rockers will release A Glimpse of Self Joy November 4th via Take This to Heart Records, so let’s get ready for that with a glimpse (*fist pump*) at what’s to come.

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Trying to make a massive list of your favourite artists (aka whoché do you amoré?)

I had the same reaction Jordan!


My girlfriend and a co-worker of hers got to talking about favourite artists today, and he asked her to have me make a list of my 20 favourites.  20!  (!)  He’s a big rock guy too but assumes our tastes are pretty different, but beyond not knowing why he feels that way I was like “20!?”.  On the surface that seems easy, but when you really get down to it it’s kinda daunting.

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Scenematography: The Story So Far – “Nerve”

Earlier today Red Bull premiered The Story So Far’s new video for “Nerve”.  Back when the band’s 2015 self-titled third album was being teased it was the first song released, but for video purposes it follows up “Heavy Gloom”.  Like that song, “Nerve” is one of the album’s best and a good choice for a video (you know, how these things usually work).

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Weekendcore: 90s alternative

Starter packin’.

This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada, so of course excellent food is eaten and thanks is given.  While heading out of town for dinner I listened to Sirius XM’s Town Hall with Green Day, which was followed by a broadcast of the band’s recent show at House of Blues Boston.  It all got me thinking about how Green Day are such titans, and how they and The Offspring co-held the title of my first-ever favourite band.  Thinking back and being thankful (Thanksgiving!) that I had a great base on which to become a music fan led to this genretastic edition of “Weekendcore”.

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Jordan Pundik as the When You… meme, because c’mon now

Yeah, I got nothin’ for this part.

The other day I tweeted a picture of New Found Glory vocalist Jordan Pundik for a When You… meme.  He just has such a face for this kinda thing that I think he’s the perfect regular choice.  Because…

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Track Listing: Alternative Hip-Hop

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While regular vocalists do more overall with their voice, rapping is a science in itself.  The overall discipline that it takes to control your breathing and clearly enunciate while packing in a ton of words is pretty amazing.  Combine that with a rock (and otherwise) vibe, and that’s just interesting.  In this “Track Listing” we’ll look at some alternative hip-hop that…hey remember when rap-rock was in?  I just realized I meant to mention that earlier in this opening paragraph, but…meh, let’s hear songs!

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Liner Notes: Monday, October 3rd

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We’ll start with what I was going to use as a fire tweet this morning, but forgot so here: Solange Knowles was just on SiriusXMU (the indie rock channel).  Are the Illuminati guest hosting or something?

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