Music Q&A: Heavy Salad

Formed in 2018 by Lee Mann (live bassist with The Moonlandingz), Rob Glennie and Allan Hutchison, Heavy Salad have since expanded to a seven-piece outfit, enlisting Ally McBoo, Esther Maylor, Lucy Hope (AKA The Priestesses) and Oscar Remers along the way.

Charged-up on a myriad of musical influences from surf-rock and free-jazz to over driven pop and experimental rock, Heavy Salad occupy that intangible space between perceived reality and the abyss of your mind. They caught up with Blackpool Social Club as they were gearing up to play SXSW in Texas. They play Bootleg Social on 8th April as part of their UK tour, with support from Silent K and Bethlehem Casuals.

What informs your music and songwriting?
Lee: Music: melody. Songwriting: the absurdity of existence.
Rob: Every record by dad played me as a kid, every record I’ve ever heard, the spirits of my ancestors and the muse of my canine wolf family Flint and Luna sat in my attic with me and the freedom and time of lockdown on this new record and the inspiration of my Heavy Salad family.
Allan: I endeavor to make beats that will hopefully make your pants dance.

How did the pandemic impact your music and how does it feel to be back on the road?
Lee: We had to write songs remotely via email. That was challenging but also rewarding to learn a new technique.
Rob: We put our debut record Cult Casual out during the thick of lockdown so we couldn’t tour or perform or even see each other but we had to keep the creative flow we’ve had from the start so we wrote remotely recording ideas and sending them back and forth. Allan would send drum beats I’d send Lee and Allan songs without vocals, Lee would send me songs without guitar and then whenever restrictions dropped we’d make a beeline for the rehearsal room and work them into proper songs then Ally, Esther, Lucy, and Oscar added their layers of vocal magic. Playing shows again is a magic experience, we had a right good time at the Bootleg last year when we opened for PINS.
Lee: It feels great to be playing shows! It feels great to be travelling again, we want to see the world and make new friends in every corner!
Allan: What I learned is that the real Heavy Salad experience is to be seen live and wouldn’t work broadcast over Zoom!

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
Lee: Writing new music for our third album and making videos for our second album.
Rob: Getting super tight for America and SXSW 2022 then the UK tour as soon as we get back.
Allan: Practicing my chops ready for TEXAS!

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
Lee: Embarrassing – being on the same label as Grotbags. Surreal – Being in Heavy Salad.
Rob: Our first-day recording at Studio 13 with Stephen Street we were stuffing our faces with chips washed down with beers on the studio roof terrace when Damon Albarn walked up that was pretty surreal.
Allan: Dave from the Zutons, who I’d never met before, trying to have a full-blown convo with me whilst we were playing at a gig in Liverpool.

If you weren’t a musician what would you be doing with your life?
Lee: Earning money.
Rob: Sleeping at night.
Allan: Dreaming of being a musician.

What’s on your rider?
Lee: Nachos.
Rob: Cooking lager and canned water (I am happy water comes in cans, death to plastic).
Allan: Plasters / Carmen Pale Ale by Carnival Brewery

What song do you wish you’d written?
Lee: Peaches En Regalia by Frank Zappa and Tusk by Fleetwood Mac.
Rob: Sleepwalk by Santo and Jonny or Starlings in the Slipstream by Pavement.
Allan: Tuyo by Rodrigo Amarante and Pretty Pimpin by Kurt Vile.

What’s your worst lyric?
Lee: I guess this is subjective but we’ll go with this, it’s either genius or terrible!
You are never happy unless your life’s in a loop
Stability is funky like your microwaved soup

Allan: None of them.

Are you looking forward to playing Blackpool and is there anything you’d like to check out while you’re here?
Lee: Yes! Blackpool is wonderful! The Regent looks good, we love sifting through old junk to find weird stuff!
Rob: Yeah can’t wait to come back to Blackpool and Bootleg Social it was major vibes there when we opened for PINS last year, it was a great crowd, awesome sound. Looking forward to having a stroll down the seafront hitting up one of the piers and having some candy floss and looking to strike it big on the penny slot machines.
Allan: Yeah, I spent a lot of time in my youth down Blackpool. Best fish n chips in the world innit…

What can we expect from your live show?
Lee: Chaos.
Rob: West-coast vibes out on the west coast and yeah seven of us wiggin out on stage. Also our tour Brothers Silent-K are such an amazing live act.
Allan: Good Vibrations…!!!

Show details

  • Heavy Salad supported by Silent K and Bethlehem Casuals.
  • Free entry on the door.
  • 7pm – 10pm, Friday 8 April 2022
  • Bootleg Social, 30 Topping Street, Blackpool, FY1 3AQ 


Reclaim Blackpool - Mapping Sexual Harrasment
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    Antonia Charlesworth Stack is a journalist and editor from Blackpool. She was deputy editor of Big Issue North magazine and is editor of Blackpool Social Club. Antonia is also the founder of Reclaim Blackpool, a women's safety campaign that began life as an article she wrote for Blackpool Social Club. She's a contributing author to the Lancashire Stories anthology with her story about a Blackpool performer, The Call of The Sea. The book is available for free in libraries across the county.

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