Today Legss release their second ever music video, Doomswayers. It is the art rock, post-punk London band’s titular track of their second captivating EP. Nihilistic shouts of social commentary and surreal stories, blanketed in a contemporary mix of post-punk poetry and industrial off beat hammering, is the joyous focal point of this EP. Ned, their front man, provided METAL with a sarcastic interview to accompany Doomswayers’ video release. 
This front man talks, partly, from his perspective of ‘doomswayer’, his own invented term; Doomswayer (noun), “A cynical observer, or a person who lives a nothing life: the most important thing they do is die.” As in, “Oh, look, it’s that stale boy band Legss again. What a scatty lot of doomswayers.”

He therefore, fully commits to the nihilism of his music and writing. Doomswayers’ fantastic and ambiguous splicing of soundscapes is the perfect level of disorientation and thought-provocation. The EP itself comes across as quite literary - it was first recommended to me by a friend whose doctoral research in literature I imagine is sound-tracked by Legss’ disturbing, distorting sounds. However the visions Legss paint, such as famous Radio 1 DJ Huw Steven’s confession of actually hating music in the song Letter to Huw, do not always match up with reality nor the intellectual quality I imagine in their output. Nevertheless, I do feel like there is an absurd truth to be found in every nook and cranny of Legss’ work - despite their reluctance to be identified with satire.
You open the titular music video with a pretty nihilistic definition of your invented word, ‘Doomswayer’. Why are you interested in self-deprecation in an art form that tends to laud the individual?
Because although the song might seem serious in its delivery, or a bit pompous in its performance, or whatever, it’s always good to establish a tone of levity early on, just so people don’t read too much into it all.
Tell me more about your inspirations for this video. It’s quite different to your other offering, On Killing a Swan Blues, with a completely new dress code and now colourised.
It’s a sprawling, epic, emotionally-charged, scatty, nauseating, vitriolic visual accompaniment, set in a 17th Century, modern, time-warped Londinium-by-Sea, to a three-part throwaway Violin Concerto in D Major, found in a tip and then transcribed into this six-minute title-track EP-closer that you can all love, listen to, and now watch, today.
Are you in the Thames or a pond as you make your final stumble of this music video?
The River Acheron, just south of St Saviours Estate.
Satire, from your first EP Writhing Comedy to your recent release Doomswayers, seems to be a running theme for Legss. Why?
I feel like we’d be doing the tradition of satire a huge disservice by claiming that the music we make is satirical in any successful way. Satire only really works when it’s punching upwards. With stuff like Huw, we’re just having a bit of fun. You know, we’re not putting our careers on the line by writing songs like that.
Doomswayers is uncanny in its integration of journalism and music media in your lyricism, BBC Radio 1 sample and interlude of strange diary-esque recollections in the track Letter to Huw. For me, it makes the album play more like a broadcast than a traditional album. Would you associate Doomswayers with a form of pirate radio?
We’re definitely influenced by a lot of the music that came out of pirate radio. Listening back to radio-ripped early 2000s grime sets of Terminator and Prez T and on Axe FM probably helped shape how we arrange vocals, specifically with the melding of talking and reading out texts over different instrumentals. We wouldn’t associate the EP with pirate radio in its form, though, mostly because of the differences in how they’re produced. There’s an obvious privilege in not needing to broadcast your music illegally to get it heard, even if it is self-funded.
I’m interested to know how you would define the genre you inhabit.
The closest existing genre to the music we make, collectively, is probably rock.
Your use of spoken word is really unique. It’s something you also emulate in a playlist for Fred Perry splicing British poets Spike Milligan and Sir John Betjeman into your playlist. What is it that compels you to create this kind of sonic discord?
We defy anyone to listen to Shane MacGowan recite Yeats’ An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, or Betjeman’s Business Girls accompanied by Jim Parker’s arrangements, or Benjamin Zephania’s 13 Dead, and not feel stirred in some way. Taking inspiration from these sorts of methods of incorporating vocals into songs is just one of the ways that we make our sound our own.
Am I right in thinking that some members of the band have a literary background?
Ned dropped out of his English Literature degree after one month, Max graduated in American Literature, Louis reads books posted to him by a girl in New York and Jake is never seen without his British Oaks: A Concise Guide compendium.
Your bandcamp describes your Doomswayers book as “more than a lyric book” - can you tell us more about its contents?
It’s that age-old, Strummer-sensibility of wanting to give people their money’s worth. If it was just a lyric book, containing all the words you can already hear on the EP, then we’d feel hard pressed asking people to pay for it, you know? We’d already made the Good News Horse book after our first EP, so felt confident about putting together another book that was more specifically linked to a musical release. We included prose excerpts and lyrics from songs not included on the EP, illustrations and paintings by the band. All sorts. It’s not too serious, though, we like to have fun with the book format and hopefully that comes across.
On Killing a Swan Blues' music video pictures a dark urban dystopia that reminds me of the following films: Kubrik’s A Clockwork Orange, Orwell’s Citizen Kane and Jean Luc Godard’s Alphaville. What cinematic references did you have?
Yeah, all the above. A lot of Buster Keaton too, and Andrei Tarkovsky and Andrea Arnold. A lot of the visual references were brought by our cine-father, Will Reid, who directed the video.
The band’s press pictures feature Adam Jones’ gorgeous up-cycled beer towel tank top and I read you’ve also worked with the London brand, Denial. How do you relate to fashion? Did you choose these brands based on their sustainable ethics?
Major fashion corporations are just a bit fucked in general, aren’t they? Louis did a modelling job a couple years ago that distressed him to such an extent that I think we all became a bit weary of the fashion industry. Adam and Joe are both mates of ours and we liked what they were doing so we asked them. We didn’t do it with sustainability or fashion in mind; it was more that we thought their pieces would go well with the stuff we wear, which happens to mostly be upcycled, charity shop shit.
Have you played any socially distanced gigs?
None. We couldn’t rehearse together over lockdown because none of us lived together so we wouldn’t have been gig-ready even if we wanted to play one, which we didn’t. We’re off on tour with Pom Poko in September though, so we’re currently debating whether to scrap the entire set and write a musical based on the life of Edward Pygge, or play the extended version of Mark/Martin for the whole 45 minutes.
What’s the plan post-lockdown?
Re-record the third album in LA with Björk, tell WARP to stop phoning us, do a year-long Japanese tour, sleep less and write our own Girls and Boys.