Posted: by The Editor
Photo by Nikki Nesbit
Leggy is how you’d get your friend who veers towards softer music to give punk a try. They give rise to a medley of brashness and tenderness with their rattling, granulated hooks and sugary vocals. Their take on feminism is enthralling, depicting it as an adventure rather than a chore, like in the notably sassy line of theirs, “there are plenty of fish in the sea / but girls like us don’t grow on trees.” I spoke with lead vocalist Veronique Allaer about their unconventional take on punk and resiliency.
The Alternative: How did you get your start in music?
Veronique Allaer: My dad introduced me to classic 90s stars like Sheryl Crow, Alanis Morissette and No Doubt. My number one daydream was being a rock star. (Leggy’s bassist) Kerstin and I had a couple bands in high school that we didn’t take seriously. After I finished college, we moved in with (Leggy’s drummer) Chris and decided to form a band.
I can see how those 90s stars influenced your music, but it’s also heavy. How did that juxtaposition come about?
When we were starting the band, I didn’t know how to play any other style of music. I learned how to play guitar in high school by looking up tabs and chords online for garage rock revival bands like The Strokes and The Vines – power chords, reverb, stuff that’s not perfect. When we were starting the band, I was into EDM and I wanted to play in an electro pop band, but I didn’t know how to use synthesizers and that stuff. But I can figure out guitar so I was like, I guess this is what we sound like now.
I like the feminism messaging that’s found in a lot of your lyrics. “Taffy” particularly caught my attention. How did you craft the lyrics to that song?
Particularly, the line in “Taffy” “you can stay, but I never made you stay” is about a situation in which I explain to someone who’s interested that I’m not looking for anything serious—and if you choose to proceed, then that’s on you. What else can you do besides be honest?
It reminds me of 500 Days of Summer because in that movie, Summer tells Tom that she doesn’t want anything serious, but he falls for her and gets his heart broken anyway. What inspired you to write “grrrls like us?”
Kerstin was telling me about some boy problem and I wanted her to know that she’s a rock star who shouldn’t waste her time on people who don’t love and adore her.
I love how fun your take on feminism is. It’s refreshing.
I describe our music as flirty and sexy. I love pop stars; Lana Del Rey is my queen. I love music that embraces being confident. When we started, punk was super anti-femininity, which is misogyny. I’ve never had any time for that. I love being a woman.
It gives your brand of punk a unique take, I think.
I’m very comfortable embracing femininity. I like surprising people. When I’m setting up at a show while wearing a dress and platforms, I can tell they don’t really understand what they’re about to see. Leggy just did shows with Pile in England and some people didn’t think we were going to be as heavy as we are. I don’t know for sure, but it was a feeling I had based on microinteractions. But you should expect that at a Pile show. You know they’re intense.
How did you become a Lana Del Rey fan? I know your first record has a song called “Even Lana” that’s a nod to her.
She was huge on Tumblr around 2011. A lot of our early songs are influenced by her, like with the mentions of cigarettes and her motif as a whole. You know how after Mac Demarco became popular, a lot of dude bands took after his sound? Similarly, I feel like we’re going to have a post-Lana wave of sad girl pop—which is already kind of happening.
You have to take her with a grain of salt. I’ve gotten into arguments with people who say Lana isn’t feminist because she feeds into the fantasy of meeting a man and says things like “I would die without you,” but I think that’s just her art – I don’t know if that’s literal.
What inspired the song “Prosper”?
This is maybe because I’m a double fire sign, but the song is about but getting mad and starting a fight, then not remembering what it’s about halfway through. It’s a situation that has happened to me before, which is where the line “why did you tell them to go home?” comes from. But ultimately I know I like them, which is why I also say “I love you, babe” in the song. But I will be stone-cold if i feel you did something wrong. I don’t think people who know me are going to be shocked if i’m upset about something. They’d know what’d piss me off. I’m not shy about saying what I feel or asking for what I want. There’s no time for that.
What’s your favorite dessert?
I really like blondies and key lime pie.
Let Me Know Your Moon is out now via Sheer Luck Records
Bineet Kaur // @hellobineet
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