A year ago to the day we published an interview with Christopher Guard, familiar to many from the small and big screen. We chatted about his band, Leapfrogtown, amongst other things. Break A Leg caught up with Chris again to find out what’s been happening for Leapfrogtown over the last twelve months…
Tell me about Leapfrogtown, what’s new for the band and have there been many changes in the past year?
The main change for LFT this last year has been the recruitment of Andrada on keyboards and BVs. The atmosphere and dynamics her playing brings to live performance are the missing pieces in the jigsaw.
The other major change has simply been the ongoing togetherness and vibe between the 5 of us. When we hit the road this will be as important as the music itself.
You performed in a live gig back in March; what sort of vibe and feedback did you receive on the night?
This was an in-house showcase gig, with a fantastic crowd. We recorded and filmed the whole show, and the energy totally translates. It was proof that the keyboards work and the band has its own unique vibe. The feedback was heartfelt and genuine and provided terrific momentum going forward.
You have recently added new songs to your set, what was the inspiration for them?
Yes, new songs both with the band and as an acoustic duo with Florin. The Lie Song contains the line “Lie to me if you have to baby, Lie to someone else, But for god’s sake baby don’t lie to yourself”. That’s what it’s about! When You Made Me is about the love my parents must have felt for each other in the good times when I was conceived, and the tragedy that ‘tore us all apart’ and wanting to ‘go back to the start’, a return to innocence. It starts with the line “I’m bored, I’m bored, I’m really fucking bored…” cos there’s nothing more frustrating than being ignored by people who used to love you! I Need to Hate You is a great line Andrada quoted to me from personal experience…it just had to be a song. It has a Cobain sort of vibe and is about the hypocrisies of trying to get out of a relationship painlessly.
What’s coming up next for you all?
Currently we’re recording and mixing some of my songs for Wendy Morgan’s ground-breaking new movie ‘Mercy’, coming to festivals in early 2018. There are also plans for a live premier, with the band playing some of the music live to picture. I’m also honoured to be sound and vision supervisor on the movie.
What do you hope the future will hold for Leapfrogtown?
The next step would be to hit the ground running at festivals in 2018. We’re particularly interested in playing alternative events, with edge and political sensibilities. Meanwhile Florin and I plan to play some intimate venues as a duo…and I may even pitch up solo from time-to-time too.
What’s your advice for budding songwriters?
Well, my daughter Tallulah is one that’s for sure…and she just tells it like it is. She works hard, absorbs a wide variety of music, old and new, and is always playing and honing, learning to edit and nuance her material until it is immediate yet somehow mysterious. Write about what you know. That would be pretty good advice for anyone really. And don’t be afraid to ditch things if they’re not sending shivers up your spine. Remember…no two days are the same. Ideas may come in a torrent one time, so fast you can’t keep up, then vanish the next. Learn to be patient with your own imagination. Nurture it like you would a child, and gradually lead it home to somewhere we all can share. Starting with a title is a good idea. It becomes the quintessence of what the song is about. Then all roads – verses, pre-choruses, whatever – are feeding into that core idea, like rivers to the sea.
Thanks to Chris for chatting to Break A Leg again – and here’s a flavour of the live in-house gig… ENJOY!