Words - Daisy Dunn
On the first reasonably warm day Leeds has seen this year, I met up with the lovely Jordan from Loux in Leeds City Centre. First formed last year, the Leeds based trio is made up of Chris on guitar and backing vocals, Ali on drums and Jordan taking the lead vocal and keys. All three of them met at University, however it was Jordan and Chris who first played together on previous projects - leading them to form the wonderful Loux, nearly three years on from finishing their degrees.
As well as performing and writing regularly they have also started up an innovative evening of music called ‘Loux’s Room’, which regularly showcases new artists/bands and is proving to be a great platform for “bands to meet other bands and chill” as Jordan tells me.
Shandies in hand we chatted away, covering everything from our love for Shania Twain to her development as a songwriter and performer, and their new single entitled ‘Cool’, due to be released on May 11th.
See Interview below :
Would you mind givng us a brief explanation of your journey as Loux so far?
“ So after Uni I think everyone gets a bit of a shock, I did anyway, especially after leaving somewhere like Leeds College of Music where your community feels so tightly knit and then the bubble suddenly bursts. I think after I left it took me quite a while to get used to that feeling of just doing it on your own with no surrounding bubble to help me out. Chris and I worked on projects at Uni and just really got on, we work well together and we’re friends too, so that’s a plus. We knew of Ali while we were at college, and had always wanted to work with him so when we started planning what we wanted Loux to sound and be like, we thought it was the right time to approach him about playing together.
In terms of ‘Loux’s Room’, that’s just a completely separate project we really wanted to start up. I’ve had past experience in events and being in bands and just wanted to create a night where even if people are just starting out and don’t have a huge following yet, they can still have an audience and perform to a friendly crowd, Oporto’s just great too - everyone loves Oporto. ”
When it comes to writing would you say anyone takes the lead, or is it more of a joint effort?
“ I think we all definitely have different strengths when it comes to the whole writing process, but to be honest , the way we write changes so much that to try and describe it is really hard! A lot of time there’s a melody or a phrase I keep playing around with, and then I might take it to Chris and he’s really good at the whole arranging thing. I used to obsess over what I’d write a lot more than I do now; think it didn't sound like I wanted it to, or worry it wasn't alternative enough. Since we’ve been working as Loux I’ve felt so comfortable that I’ve relaxed into it a lot more and not brushed aside as much material, which has been a great feeling. ”
A lot of thought seems to have been put into the visual of Loux as well as the music, which we love! Is this something that’s important to you?
“ Oh my god I love visuals, they’re literally like chocolate to me, I love everything about them. I can get pretty anal about it all to be honest! The name Loux was perfect as well in terms of tying into the Wes Anderson, old school feel we wanted to capture. We knew we wanted a name with an ‘X’ in it - I just think it’s really easy on the eye and satisfying, so we started playing around with French words and this is what we chose, it sounds pretty nice too. I obviously think music is so important when it comes to being a successful band but also know that if you have a good brand people will recognise you, and I think we all want to be known for what we represent. I just wish we had the budget to do everything we wanted! ”
You’ve been a singer/songwriter in a few different bands over the years, how have you found being a female musician in Leeds?
“ I think I’ve been really lucky! All of the men I work with are really respectful and supportive, as I am equally of them. It’s all about finding a balance and I think we’ve managed to do that well. I’m really aware that reminding women they need to support each other is crucial, sometimes I think competition can distract from the importance of us all helping each other out, but I’m also aware that it shouldn't become an us against them situation with men. I’ve been in bands now for a while and have always been careful to make sure everyone’s enjoying it and happy, regardless of whether they're a girl or a boy, and I think that’s how it should be. ”
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you feel that your gender has resulted in you being treated differently?
“ To be honest, as a musician in a creative sense, no. Normally I think musicians are pretty used to working together, from what I’ve experienced anyway, it’s like there’s an unspoken respect between us all.
There was one time where a member of the audience came up after we’d played and started talking to Chris about the gig. I was stood right next to him and answered a lot of his questions, but he was still pretty focused on Chris and his opinion, that’s the only time I can think of though off the top of my head. Sometimes it throws people off when they hear my name and assume I’m a guy, then I turn up and they’re kinda like, who the hell is this! But apart from all that I’ve been pretty lucky. I’d just love to get to a point where I’m not even recognised as a ‘female’ singer to be honest, but just the singer in a band - that would be great. ”
What can we expect from your new single ‘Cool’ then? Has your own taste in music influenced you a lot with this one?
“ I’d say ‘Cool’ is probably the most poppy song we’ve released so far. To an extent I guess everything we write is influenced by what we listen to, as well as our individual tastes in music. With ‘Cool’ it’s kind of sarcastic, and a bit of a reaction to all the ‘cool girls’ out there. If you’ve read or seen the film ‘Gone Girl’ the
reference might be clearer, that’s where the original idea came from for me. I’ve read the book and seen the film because I love psychological thrillers and there’s this ‘cool girl’ in it who just got me thinking about all the girls out there that just...go along with everything I guess, whether it’s going along with your boyfriends plans, or just agreeing with everything he says so you don't appear crazy and annoying. I see all these girls and I’m definitely not one! So this is just my way of saying that’s ok if you want to be like that but I’m not, and if I’m not happy with something I'm not going to just sit back and let it happen, you're gonna know about it! ”
So, what’s next for Loux?
“ At the moment we’re just focusing on writing and releasing this single I think. We don't have any set plans to release an album right now but we’re all enjoying writing together so much, that at some point I’m sure that’ll happen!
Immediately, that classic sleepy Sunday feeling was lifted and we were in for a treat.
With an incredible turn out Loux mesmerised the audience with an effortless and immersive performance. Chris, Jordan and Ali took us on a journey of raw emotion, whether this be happiness, vulnerability or at times anger, through their beautifully constructed songs.
Their friendship is clear to see through their joking on stage and familiarity with the audience; immediately putting them at ease, and leaving many feeling like they’re watching a group of friends that they’ve known for years.
Every element of the evening was thought out beautifully, with Loux even providing a light show along side their set, truly highlighting their attention to detail and want for the audiences experience to be as enjoyable and alluring as possible. Playing songs such as ‘Meet me Half Way’ and ‘Darling’ alongside their next single release, ‘Cool’, it’s really clear that Loux have developed a sound totally individual and unique. Not just electronic music with a groove, (however great this is!) Loux’s approach to music seems to have a new energy behind it, full of attitude and at times a pinch of sarcasm which the audience really thrives off.
Definitely ones to keep your eye on, you can find all of Loux’s music social media below :
Facebook - www.facebook.com/louxband
Twitter - www.twitter.com/Louxband
Instagram - www.instagram.com/louxband
Soundcloud – www.soundcloud.com/louxband