Brooklyn’s Folding Legs are ambiguous not only culturally (Members hail from NYC, Vienna, and Stockholm.) and sonically (Their influences range from high-minded pop music spanning several decades to performance artists), but even in terms of artistic mediums themselves (In addition to music, they take inspiration from theatre and film, which are responsible for much of their backgrounds.) They’ve been at it since 2009, but October saw the release of their debut EP, “Drown in Light.” The EP blends folk songwriting with a postmodern brand of sass. Their songs have the potential to impress both fans of poignant, introspective crafters of musical compositions and also dance parties for the hiply disenfranchised. They’re “composed” enough to fit singer/songwriter dinner theatre venues, but also popularly transgressive enough to fit on a bill with the likes of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I recently got a chance to chat with Folding Legs about just how they came about and just what drives them.
Izzy Cihak: I understand that you have some pretty interesting and disparate influences, both from the world of music and from other places. What would you consider to be the most significant influences behind your debut EP?
Folding Legs: Yes, seeing as our lead singer has a background in experimental theatre – our influences aren’t solely confined to music. For example, Jan Švankmajer is a huge inspiration, in regards to the band’s visuals. As musicians, we all draw inspiration from various vastly differentiating sources, ranging from Blonde Redhead to Bootsy Collins and Talking Heads. The lyrics of this particular EP focus a lot on personal life events that were occurring at the time the material was written.
IC: Do you have a favorite track, or one which you think best signifies where you’re going, musically, in the future? I really like “This Glass House.”
FL: Glad to hear you like the song. All of the songs on the EP are close to our heart, and the fact that they are all quite different speaks for how we are as a band, and our continued wish to experiment with different genres, as long as it feels organic. We’re still open to trying out new sounds in moving forward.
IC: I realize it came out quite recently, but have you had any favorite reactions to the EP?
FL: The warm reception we received from the Austrian audience was lovely.
IC: How is it that you all came together? I understand you’re originally from quite different regions of the world…
FL: Yes, we hail from Sweden, Austria, and the US. Chris and Greg are childhood friends, whereas Greg and Katharina met at a Theatre History class back in the day. Before we were all living in the same country, we’d make our music by sending tracks back and forth via E-mail and jamming together over Skype. Jesse joined the group in 2012.
IC: What have been the highlights of the band so far? It’s still relatively new.
FL: Growing together as musicians and performers, as well as getting a chance to share our inner workings with an audience over and over again.
IC: And what inspired your moniker, Folding Legs?
FL: It was a lyric that Katharina had written down in one of her notebooks, but never used. The words felt fitting.
IC: What do you have planned for 2014? Any chance of a full-scale tour? If so, what can be expected of the live experience?
FL: With time, we’ll be releasing our first full-length album. Of course, we’d love to tour, but we’ll see what the year holds. Regarding the live experience, we’ve vowed to always incorporate an added element of art and performance in everything we do.