The Untitled Interview #216: Starring Leverage Models

Leverage Models first blipped on my radar as I was getting ready for this year's Hopscotch festival. I was drawn in by their energetic, eccentric textured synth pop, and I was hardly the only one whose interest was piqued. It was a huge bummer to have missed them live, but I was undeterred.

Graciously, the LM duo took some time to answer some questions, and you can read on to see what Shannon and Alena have to say about all things Leverage Models (Sugarcubes! Alicia Keys! Glenn Gould!). And join me in hoping these two take their act on the road pretty sharpish.

Fuzzy Logic: What was the last song you listened to?
Alena Spanger: Judee Sill – “The Kiss”
Shannon Fields: Madi Diaz – "Trust Fall" (remix by Jensen Sportag)

FL: Playing music is:
AS: A counterweight to the brain.
SF: Escape from myself, a way to be present, a license to dance, joy, therapy…maybe a cry for help. I think I’ve just said exactly what Alena said but less elegantly.

FL: What album most made you realize you wanted to make music?
AS: Alicia Keys “Songs in A Minor.” I was 12 when it came out and would listen to it obsessively on my portable CD player. That’s when I decided I definitely wanted to move to NY and be a singer….and be like Alicia Keys.

FL: Beatles or Stones?
AS: Never really fell in love with either….but probably the Beatles.
SF: In my own inner life that paradigm doesn’t really hold much meaning. Neither was important to me growing up and neither had any direct impact on my music.

FL: What’s your first music memory?
AS: Dancing with my dad to Ray Charles in the living room. Not sure how old I was, but I remember sliding around in my socks on the wood floors and singing “Hallelujah I love Her So.”

FL: Top 5 albums (of now, of this week, of ever):
SF: How about “5 Late Night Records to Match the November Weather in NY”:

- Lawrence English: A Colour for Autumn

- Bill Nelson, Fila Brazillia & Harold Budd: Three White Roses & a Budd

- Hamlet Gonashvili: Hamlet

- Girls & God: You are Copper Greening in Open Air

- The Weeknd: Thursday

FL: Favorite music-related movie?
AS: Dancer in the Dark destroyed me.
SF: 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould.

FL: Half-full or half-empty?
AS: Half-full??
SF: Empty. Almost entirely. But I’m trying to find something to fill it with.

FL: What's the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning?
SF: …
SF: Who am I and how did I get here
SF: ...
SF: Maybe I should stop drinking.
SF: Nah, fuck that.

FL: Little-known Leverage Models fact?
SF: All Leverage Models facts are little-known.

FL: The greatest record store in the world is:
SF: Euclid Records, New Orleans, LA. I might be biased because two of the people that run the store are two of my favorite humans. But it’s pretty badass, and in one of my favorite cities in N. America.

FL: What was your first show?
AS: Avril Lavigne? I was like 10….it was pretty punk rock to me. And Good Charlotte opened for her.

FL: Your boots were made for:
AS: Stomping?

FL: Shaken or stirred?
AS: I would probably never order a martini but if I did, definitely stirred to be fancy.
SF: Broken.

FL: What’s the longest flight you’ve ever been on, and where to?
AS: My flight to India was 14 hours. It was an absolute nightmare. I get really panicked and claustrophobic on airplanes.

FL: If you weren't in a band you'd be?
SF: Alone, without purpose, in a perpetual state of existential panic. This is very melodramatic. And entirely true. Maybe I should quit.

FL: If you were so inclined, whom would you form a tribute band in honor of?
AS: The Sugarcubes would be a blast.
SF: Whichever one Alena was in…I think I could pull off being a screamy Einar Örn next to her Bjork….but we’d need to throw in some dope KUKL jams.

FL: Best song ever written?
SF: Nope.

Leverage Models...

As a weather event:
SF: Microburst.

As a denomination of currency:
SF: Leverage Models *is* a denomination of currency. It’s cultural capital and that’s a kind of currency. Knowing our music makes you sexier to the right people. Way better than money.

As a work of literature:
SF: Something between Barry Hannah’s Yonder Stands Your Orphan (for madness, vulgarity, sexual darkness, violence), Carole Maso’s Ava (for the impressionistic, romantic, precious, structurally open), Annie Dillard’s Holy The Firm (for its pleading with the unseen & the unknowable, making peace with the dark, & for the sentences), and George Saunder’s Pastoralia (I can’t explain why…which is why). This answer is cheating, but Leverage Models might be a cheat.

As a campaign promise:
AS & SF: Nope.

[posted 11.28.15]


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