There is an odd sense of fascination I get from talking to bands that are underground. They always seem to be so unique and interesting. Left in the Wake just happens to be one of those bands. I had the pleasure of conducting an interview with lead singer Damon Lumley, who had some interesting things to say about the band and what they’re all about.
You guys are currently based in Madrid. Does this have an influence on your music?
It influences a few things really. One, there’s not too many opportunities for bands like us to expand beyond our current “fan base”, the style we play is more similar to English and French bands at the moment so our current goal is to get our name across Europe a bit so we can branch out to bigger audiences. But in terms of influencing our music, I guess it’s more evident in the lyrics [that] there’s a feeling of lost hope across Spain at the moment. I wrote more about real situations instead of trying to relate to things I don’t understand or don’t feel, i.e. there’s no songs about ex-girlfriends or religion on this album.
How would you describe yourselves as a band?
If you mean the people in the band I would describe us as… five dudes just playing music we like and having fun… as cliché as that sounds, we’re not in the band to “make it big”, we’re under no illusions that we’ll be the next Metallica or whatever, we just want to play our music, tour, have fun and if possible, keep funding the band with its own earnings. We would obviously love to be able to live from the money the band makes but that’s a dream at the moment and for now we just need to do what we do and persevere.
What events led to the birth of the band?
For me it was boredom. I used to play in a few bands in England and after moving to Spain I wanted to carry on playing music. I found an advert looking for a vocalist online so went for an audition. The other guys knew each other beforehand from other bands, so they all got together and formed the first formation which included a different guitarist as well as a keyboardist. But we have been this current line-up since 2011 so that’s where we consider the real birth of the band.
People always assume that bands just pick their names at random by stringing together random words. What was the inspiration for naming yourselves Left in the Wake?
We just strung some random words together and boom, Left in the Wake!
Nahh, basically we were quite dark-sounding (Betraying the Martyrs) before and the name fit the sound but these days most of the bands in the genre have one-word names like Volumes, Architects, Counterparts etc. We decided that our [current] name suits us better nowadays as we don’t play any particular style or any particular “Core” genre, we just play what makes us happy. I do wonder what would happen if we changed our name to “Wakes”…
What morals do you guys stand for as a band?
Hope, Freedom, Passion and Ambition. That’s what I wrote on our Facebook bio anyways ha ha. We’ll probably make a T-shirt of it or something. As I said before, I try and write about interesting topics while keeping the lyrics ambiguous as well as relatable. The song “Th£ Gr€at Progre$$ion” [found on The Banner We Follow] is about how even though the world is a mess, there are still medical and scientific breakthroughs every day which I think is more important than telling everyone about a break-up or how cool we are. That shit feels really forced and I hate it… unless Mötley Crüe are singing about it.
A lot of your songs seem to have a theme of resentment towards society, with special reference to systems of governance. Are there any specific things that fuel this resentment?
Idiots at the controls of the world. I’m not going to pretend that I know the solutions to world problems but I have eyes and ears and can see that things are not going well. I think the whole world is in a vicious cycle at the moment, everyone’s pissed off at each other and I can’t see a way out. I do approach my writing with a formula to writing my lyrics that goes like this: [ problem + opinion + solution + hopeful thought to finish on = Left in the Wake song ha ha]. I like to think that most of our songs are positive though.
What influences your song writing and musical style?
We listen to a lot of different music as a band. Most people in the band have other musical outlets like Jazz, Indie and Funk bands so I think you’ll notice that when listening to the album. But generally we all sit together, think of a style of song we want to write and just start piecing ideas together. Obviously for referencing riffs we’ll say the “Comeback Kid riff” or whatever, just because if they played the same riff, it would sound normal in their music. We’re thinking of writing the next few songs around the already-written lyrics just to see what comes out.
You guys state that you’re a melodic hardcore band. How does it feel to be part of a scene that has recently gained a lot attention and popularity thanks to bands like Defeater, POLAR, Comeback Kid and Touché Amore?
It’s cool I guess, we’re not metal enough to be metal but I don’t know if we even fall into the “melodic hardcore” category really… but we like those bands a lot and it’s awesome to see POLAR getting some attention; I come from the same area of England as a few of the guys so it’s cool to see them doing well. The scene is full of those sorts of bands at the moment and I think it’ll be difficult to break into it on an international scale but we’re trying everything we can!
What plans do you guys have for the future?
Ummm another tour of Spain in May. June, we’re trying to get on some festivals for summer, looking to get back to England for a tour and we’ll be recording a music video at some point in the near future but other than that, we’re just playing wherever the people want us to play!
If all of you weren’t in a band, what would you guys want to be doing?
Well Hans [C.R., drummer] would probably be really fat and depressed as that’s all he does, he’s a session musician and a drum teacher soooooo yeah fat and bored. I would have some money and probably be looking to further my career in something…. Dani [Pamplona] and Carlos [Olcina, guitarists] are both aeronautical engineers or something, so again, they would probably have money and nice things. Angel [de la Peña, bassist] would probably be just as grumpy and bad-tempered as always because bass is a way of life, not just an instrument.