Interview: Let’s Eat Grandma

28th June 2018

Let’s Eat Grandma’s debut album I, Gemini was a brilliantly unique take on pop music. Its follow-up I’m All Ears sees their musical aesthetic evolving even further, whilst retaining their distinct vision.

Leander from our Warminster shop spoke to Let’s Eat Grandma aka Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth earlier in the year and asked them about the music that helped shaped their distinctive sound.

‘Wondaland’ by Janelle Monáe

Rosa: “I listened to the album The ArchAndroid a lot when we were writing our first album I, Gemini and I really got into it. I just love its versatility, how it takes you through different styles and yet it still sounds cohesive. It was inspired by the film Metropolis; it’s about an android that has gone back in time to free the android community from oppression, with the androids being a representation of minority groups. It contains themes that you still see in society today, its important social commentary.

“I think telling a story like that on a pop record is a really great way of talking about the important issues of today and may make people view them differently, so the album is important. It’s also a real inspiration for me, as it challenges the boundaries of pop music construction, I love all the layers and the instrumentation, which we try and use a lot in our music.”

 ‘What I Mean’ by A.G. Cook

Rosa: “I was really into this around the time I was doing my GCSEs at school, so I would be walking to and around school listening to this. It’s so infectious it would always put me in a really good mood. I had a really bad time at school, but when I put on my headphones and watched everybody it was like my own personal soundtrack and it changed my perspective. This song felt so out of context to the school world it was just like good escapism I guess.

“I didn’t really enjoy doing music at GCSE; the composition of the course was so restrictive, it’s the least creative I have ever felt! Although we didn’t go to the same school, Jenny and I got to collaborate outside of school and that was when the exciting stuff happened, which is why Let’s Eat Grandma is so important to us.

“School seems a long time ago, it feels like a different world, because so much has happened since and it’s so different in our lives now. Sometimes I forget that I even went to school, I think I blocked it all out, because it was so painful.”

‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ by The Beatles

Rosa: “The Beatles definitely shaped the way I think about and write chord sequences and how chords work with melody. ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ demonstrates how chords can change the way a melody sounds and that was really exciting for me as a composer.

“In ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’, the melody is really simple but the chords are constantly shifting keys between the verses and the chorus. That’s what makes it interesting and it’s just really clever.”

‘Lover, You Should’ve Come Over’ by Jeff Buckley

Jenny: “My inspirations and music tastes are always changing and I was never really into music like Jeff Buckley until I got into him, if that makes sense.

“I think ‘Lover You Should’ve Come Over’ is incredibly beautiful and it’s such a journey to listen to it. The way he writes lyrics are quite inspiring to me; they are vivid and poetic, but they aren’t overly complicated, so you can easily grasp what they mean. The whole album Grace is brilliant, and I feel quite vocally inspired by him and of course his use of chords is amazing, particularly in the song ‘Grace’ from that album.”

‘Machine Gun’ by Portishead

Jenny: “I only recently got into Portishead and it’s probably one of the biggest musical influences I’ve had in the last few years. A lot of people solidify their music tastes in their early teens, but I feel like mine are constantly changing.

“We played Latitude in 2015, Portishead were playing there too and I hadn’t seen anything like them before. They played ‘Machine Gun’ and they projected images with lasers, which together with the beat was just such an incredible experience. Then afterwards I got so into Earthling and Massive Attack and into the history of the music and how they used breakbeats and stuff. From a production point of view that group of Bristol bands are really interesting to me, the way they used older music and film soundtracks to create texture and meaning in their songs.

“The beat in ‘Machine Gun’ is relentless and it has this natural energy to it. I like the culture around trip hop, the way it’s influenced by dub music and Jamaican culture, it was such a move against Britpop and I really like that, Britpop was all about ‘60s white guys and stuff and this felt like a real alternative that brought communities together.”

These five songs tell the story of two friends living, laughing and growing together in music, two friends with very distinct personalities and influences, but who together have become the genre defying artists they are today.

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