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Interview: A speed date with Wet Leg's Rhian Teasdale.

Interview: A speed date with Wet Leg's Rhian Teasdale.

"These four followers need to know what I've had for breakfast today!" declares Wet Leg frontwoman Rhian Teasdale, mocking her own social media habits with the same signature dry wit that's become synonymous with her specifically relatable razor-sharp lyricism ("I don't need no dating app to tell me if I look like crap / To tell me if I'm thin or fat, to tell me should I shave my rat / I don't need no radio, no MTV, no BBC / I just need a bubble bath to set me on a higher path" she lays out in the first-rate anxiety anthem 'Too Late Now').

Today, Teasdale is in town off the back of a sold-out Auckland show and situated in a hotel boardroom, gathering her many trains of thought to discuss Weg Leg's brilliant self-titled debut album, her hate for dating apps, and other important topics of conversation (also available in this month's print zine)...

COUP DE MAIN: Having been known to walk on stage to the song 'Concerning Hobbits' from the 'Lord Of The Rings' soundtrack, how does it feel to be here in New Zealand now?
WET LEG - RHIAN TEASDALE:
It feels very frustrating because I know that we're two hours away from Hobbiton, so we're all pretty pissed off. It feels frustrating! Mainly.

CDM: But you're coming back next year! To play a stadium with Harry Styles!
RHIAN:
Apparently... crazy! It's really hard to envisage. And imagine. Like, people are saying that this thing is gonna happen, but it's just so hard... I've never even been to a show at a stadium, so I don't really know what it's gonna be like playing.

CDM: Well, we will be there. And we'll all be cheering for you.
RHIAN:
Yesss!

CDM: You've said that 'Being In Love' is "about how being in love is not very conducive to doing much of anything else at all." Why do you think love is such an all-consuming emotion/feeling?
RHIAN:
It's really weird that we celebrate it so much and put it on a pedestal. I was reading about it, and I don't know what you'd call it because I'm not a scientist, but there have been studies where they've done brain scans and the patterns in your brain are similar to the patterns of people that have disorders like OCD, so it kind of looks really similar to mental illness. It's kind of weird.

CDM: 'Piece Of Shit', 'Loving You' and 'Ur Mum' are amazing diss tracks. Is writing your way of building a new home for resentment to live in, so that your exes don't live rent-free in your head?
RHIAN:
<laughs> That's a really nice way to put it. It's such a cliché to say that writing music is cathartic, but I guess it is. Or maybe it's just that time has passed, as well, to be fair. But it's kind of cool to document that headspace that I was in at the time because I definitely couldn't write a song like that now, because I'm just not angry at anyone. I'm actually really in love. So who knows what kind of music we'll be writing for the second album.

CDM: In 'Angelica' you relatably say, "I don't wanna follow you on the gram." People put so much importance and social currency into whether someone is following you, or following you back on social media, and it's exhausting. I also don't like how it's normalised that if people know what their friends did last night from their Instagram stories, then they don't feel an urgency to check in with them and ask how they are.
RHIAN:
Yeah, for sure. That's definitely something that I'm guilty of doing and feeling.

CDM: What is it about dating apps that you hate so much?
RHIAN:
So many things. Where do I start? Well, they're constantly evolving, which is probably a good thing, due to necessity, maybe because of so many people. There's this one called Thursday, where you have to meet on a Thursday, otherwise your conversation and the contact will be wiped. I guess that one came up because so many people were just chatting to boost their egos, but when it came to meeting up, they wouldn't want to. So that's one downside of apps, that people are using people to give themselves that... everyone wants to be wanted. It's nice to feel wanted, but then you're using people. And then also, really the thing that I hate most from my own experience of using them, was you would meet someone and there would already be this prerequisite that you'd be interested in each other romantically. So even if you're getting on at the end of the date, they will always go in for that kiss, whether the vibe is there or not, because on paper you've both signed up to this thing that says: 'I'm interested in you romantically.' But then when you meet, the chemistry might just not be there.
CDM: It's that feeling that you owe a stranger something.
RHIAN:
Yeah, for sure.

CDM: "It used to be so fun, now everything just feels dumb," you say in 'I Don't Wanna Go Out'... How do you feel now, looking back on that song?
RHIAN:
I still kind of feel it, especially after the pandemic. I think I wrote that one during the first few weeks of the proper-proper 0.1 lockdown / 1.0 lockdown in the UK. I guess I was 27, and I think I just kind of got to a point in my life where going out on the lash for a two-day bender was just not something that I wanted to do anymore. I didn't like where I was headed. When you're 27, you're like: 'Wow, that sounds kind of grown-up, I should really have my shit together.' I just didn't have my shit together, and so it was really difficult to enjoy wasting time like that because when you would waste time in that way it would kind of be coming out of a place of like: 'I am so fucking lost, so I'm gonna get even more lost for a bit so I don't have to think about how lost I am.' And it wasn't just me. It was other people too. I could see that we were doing that and it was kind of a bit gross.
CDM: And everyone felt kind of frozen from the pandemic - and felt like those years of their life had been stolen from them.
RHIAN:
Yeah!

CDM: 'Mean Girls' is obviously an important film in the Wet Leg cinematic universe. What else is recommended viewing?
RHIAN:
'School Of Rock'. Big time. I think the last time we watched it, it was last summer. We were in Bristol and it was me, Hester, and the whole band (Joshua, Henry, and Ellis). We sat down and watched it and it's just a classic. It's aged really well; it's really funny and really wholesome.

CDM: When you're doing your longest and loudest scream while performing 'Ur Mum' live, what's running through your mind at that point in time?
RHIAN:
Not much really, other than: "Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!" Because that's quite loud.
CDM: It kinda drowns everything else out?
RHIAN:
Exactly. And that's the idea, I guess, so that you can't think anything else.
CDM: It's your nightly therapy.
RHIAN:
Exactly, and it's really nice because when I'm playing guitar I can't look around at everyone, and I stand the whole set with my back to Henry, so it's nice to really get in there and scream in his face.

CDM: And lastly... what can you tell me about Wet Leg Album #2?
RHIAN:
That it hasn't happened yet. We made a joke about Album 2 in an interview, that we'd written a death metal album, and then someone just took it and ran with it and now in all of our interviews we get asked about our second album being a death metal album...

Wet Leg's debut self-titled album is out now.

Watch the music video for 'Ur Mum' below...

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