Recognise that face? It’s Lande Hekt, from Muncie Girls! Spreading her wings with a solo EP, the wonderfully-titled ‘Gigantic Disappointment’, her new batch of tunes saw her up-sticks to record in sunny Australia, where she braved the heat and kangaroos to try out writing, playing and singing very nearly every damn thing herself. The result is an intriguing new glimpse into one of our fave songwriters.
Hey Lande, what prompted you to put out a solo release, then?
I’ve wanted to make a solo record for a really long time. When I was in Australia earlier this year, my friend Ben from The Hard Aches offered to record some of my songs at his studio in the Adelaide Hills. It’s not an opportunity you get every day, so I took him up on it.
How does the writing process differ from working with Muncies?
Although I write the songs in Muncie Girls, there’s still a lot of collaboration, especially when it comes to arrangements and turning them into full-band songs. We’ve always had a particular style, and the songs we write kind of inevitably sound like us.
This time I didn’t have input from anybody and the whole process was my own, so it was a really different experience. Apart from the producer, Ben, there was no one there to tell me what sounded good and what didn’t. I think the result ended up being a bit similar to the initial demos that I record for Muncie Girls but with better production.
And how was your time in the studio?
With the exception of one guitar solo, a bit of cello and some percussion, I played everything on the record. So my time in the studio was tiring! I used to play drums in a riot grrrl band, but I haven’t done that in a while, so I enjoyed trying to remember how to play.
The studio is on top of a hill in the middle of nowhere, and at the same time every day, two kangaroos would come up to get some water and say hello. There were also koalas and a very nice sunset. Oh, and it was 37ºc every day!
Do you have a favourite track on the release?
I think my favourite song is the first one, ‘Wake Up’. I first demoed it with my friend Iona from Shit Present in her bathroom for reverb purposes. Ben’s friend in Australia played some cello on it, which is the first time I’ve ever got someone in to play any strings.
Was there a reason you didn’t chuck on a couple of extra songs and release an album?
I think at the time when I recorded it, seven songs were literally all I had and even they were kind of bare-bones. I had to finish writing some of them really last minute so there wouldn’t have been a way to record any more. Plus I think an album would have been a bit more pressure for me than an EP. It’s quite scary releasing songs on your own when you’ve only ever done stuff as part of a band. I wanted to test the water with a shorter release before decided what else I wanted to do.
Are you going to do any solo shows around the release?
I’m doing a few shows with my friends from Exeter, Soot Sprite, right after the release in November. And I’m doing one or maybe two extra shows as well. All the shows will be full band.
What are your future plans? Will there be more solo material coming?
Well, at the moment I do have a bunch of songs written, and I’m trying to figure out which ones are solo songs and which are more suited to Muncie Girls. I would really like to record an album early next year, but I think I’ll see how it goes with this record first.
Taken from the November issue of Upset. Lande Hekt’s ‘Gigantic Disappointment’ EP is out 15th November.