By all accounts, Brighton-based ludd gang Dark Horses formed under a grotty pier in Brighton as recently as a year and a half ago. From there, they went about siphoning the craft of their ancestors – Suicide, Bauhaus, The Velvet Underground – into an aesthetic entirely their own. We spoke to Lisa Elle and Andy Bang of the troupe, about mystical personas, playing Wembley and their hotly-tipped debut album.
Why ‘Dark Horses’? What does the term mean to you?
Everyone’s a dark horse, with fantasies and secrets that can be hidden and revealed.
You’ve played a handful of large shows – specifically at Wembley supporting Kasabian. How did you go about bringing the brooding intimacy of your live shows to such big settings?
We have big heart and big sound.
What mindset do you get into before shows? Do you do this intentionally?
Precision with abandon.
You’re keen on pushing grand, often political statements – your website is positively littered with them. Are you big readers? What inspires this?
Everyone is exposed to so much information and so many images nowadays. So much of what we see has no depth, so we feel with an un-ironic naivety that it’s so important to imbue our pieces with layers and lightning. Take from it what you like.
Who produces the 60s/70s-inspired artwork and footage that accompany live shows?
We collectively collude with photographer Ali Tollervey and art director Pierre Angelique.
What is it about adopting mystical personas that you feel enhances the music’s overall impact?
Give a man a mask and he’ll show you the truth. This offers liberation; perpetually evolving.
Who do you currently look up to, musically?
Your single, Alone, was produced by Death in Vegas‘s Richard Fearless. How did this come about? Are you big fans of the band?
We sent out the call, he answered in our language. The new Death in Vegas record is a triumph.
What’s planned for the new year? How is the album coming along?
Our long player, she’s almost fully formed. It’s an exciting time.
Words: Jack Mills