Four friends, a dozen great references to 80’s-90’s influential indie rock acts and a straight link to the Athenian DIY scene… One Leg Mary recently released their latest album ‘On The Quiet’ via SweetOhm Recordings and are about to present it at Romantso, on April 8th, along with Pale Oaks. “Amplifier-lovers” should certainly attend… Those of you still thinking about it, have a read below and (hopefully) you will make it there!
Who are One Leg Mary? And why did you choose this name?
Hello Christos and thank you for this interview. One Leg Mary is a band formed in, sometime around, 2010 and consists of four friends. We’ve been playing music in other local bands and as individuals since our teenage years, and this is just one of those formations that survived till now. The name was a totally random thing we never intended to use, but then again we’re known for loving cultish and idiotic ideas so we’re stuck with it.
You recently released the follow up to 2014’s ‘I, A Seawolf, A Madman’, ‘On The Quiet’. Would you like to share some hints and special information about this album with our readers?
‘On The Quiet’ was produced in 2016 at Unreal Studios by Costas Ragiadakos (our bass player) and One Leg Mary. After ‘I, A Seawolf, A Madman’ we stopped playing and jamming for a good while, so almost a year passed without any serious new material. At some point we got back to rehearsing and decided to make new music. Because all our new songs came to be in a really short time, we never actually learned how to play them really well and tight in order to record live in the studio like we did with our 2 previous albums. So instead, we recorded separately, making decisions as we went and that was a new and really fun experience for us. Also, working this way, we had time to experiment with new arrangements and instruments such as cello, vibes, organ, timpani, brass instruments etc, and also some more 8bit and noisy electronics we always wanted to do.
‘Nothing Important Happened Today’ is one of my album’s favorites. Reminds me of some great US 90’s bands. Would you like to tell us what inspired you for this one?
Thanks a lot! I don’t know where to start man! This track was such an easy one to work on because of its straight aesthetic. We’ve been listening to Archers Of Loaf, Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr., Motorpsycho etc, at least for the last decade and I think we just couldn’t hold ourselves any longer. It was an idea of an energetic song and when the first guitars kicked in everyone knew what to do and what to expect out of it.
On Sunday April 8th you are playing at Romantso along with newcomers Pale Oaks. Apart from your new album’s presentation any surprise?
We’ve worked a lot for this show and we’re really excited to play live after almost three months. There will be new merch including vinyls which is a first for us and maybe new songs among old ones. Apart from that there will be no alarms and no surprises.
How did the collaboration with SweetOhm Recordings emerge?
We know Chris from Calf (excellent band go check them out now) since 2014 and he was kind enough to help us with the vinyl pressing. If it wasn’t for him and SweetOhm Recordings we could’ve never done it so we can’t thank them enough for that.
You describe your sound as post-hardcore, math-rock. Which bands/artists do you consider as your greatest influences regarding your sound?
Though labeling our music is not our greatest moment, as I said earlier bands like Fugazi, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Archers Of Loaf, Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr., Motorpsycho, Shellac, Slint, Sunny Day Real Estate, Jawbox and so many other 80s-00’s along with new bands like Cloud Nothings are just some of our influences. Having said that, we never intend to play within genre boundaries but instead be open to experiment with whatever’s inside our heads at any particular period.
How difficult is it to live and create in Greece during the so-called ‘crisis’ years? Do you believe that underground/DIY music blossomed these austerity years?
It’s not that difficult really. You play music for yourself and you do that in any case. Album releases/ vinyls/playing live/or not, we could never see ourselves without torturing an instrument and playing music. DIY has been there since before the crisis and it’s the weapon choice for the most musicians and bands nowadays thanks to the internet and the overall support of the fans. We actually think this is the best time to be in a band, making music and having fun!
What holds the future for One Leg Mary?
A great many things, or maybe not.
I will refer few words and I would like to tell me what they mean for you:
Slint: I know, it’s dark outside
Sonic Youth: Love is running wild in the diamond sea
DIY: Freedom of choice and a contemporary necessity
SweetOhm Recordings: Good, really Good Friends
Indie: Our friend Mitsikas. Love you dude.
Last question: Would you ever imagine OLM without amplifiers?
Not ever, we suck without technology thank you very much.
Photo credits: Panos At