Lyrical depth with Aussie hip-hop trio Living Earth Sound Sessions

Living Earth Sound Sessions are an acoustic-hip hop trio out of Melbourne, with members from NZ and the UK. They boast about being a different kind of hip-hop, but still encompass the original essence. We caught up with L.E.S.S. to discuss their sound, their ambitions and the local scene. Harry Upton writes.

Thanks for your time today, what led to the creation of your name Living Earth Sound Sessions?

We wanted our name to be different and original. Its a mouth full, but we like to shorten it to L.E.S.S. We play organic acoustic sounds with lyrical depth that will breathe life into you at a live show, so it comes from that concept. 

Two of your members relocated from NZ to form the trio, do you think there is more opportunities for musicians in Australia?

For sure! Melbourne is the music capital of this side of the world right? At least its where we want to be. We have managed to make some sweet lives for ourselves as Melbournites and the opportunities to play shows keep flooding in! Fletcher (percussion/vocals) moved to Australia from the UK for the same reason so he will second those thoughts. There are so many great musicians in Australia looking to collaborate so yeah heaps of opportunity. We suggest getting to an open mic if you are looking to collaborate with like-minded musicians. While Emil and Sam are friends from way back when, Fletcher was introduced at an open mic. We all digged each other’s sounds, started jamming and here we are today.

Your acoustic take on hip hop is quite unique, who are your influences?

We haven’t found any hip-hop/rap groups that sound like us in Australia. We don’t think our sound has come from one particular style of music or has been derived from a certain bands style but rather a combination of all our likes and our different styles. We all live and breathe hip hop but our likes and influences range from lots of genres like reggae, folk, punk rock. I think we can all say we were Nirvana fans in our teens. These days we listen to everything from Shihad toJohn Butler Trio, Tom Scott (Homebrew Crew), Fat Freddies Drop and even Eminem so a combination of styles and a love for live music and instruments makes our sound. 

What do you think of the hip-hop scene here?

We are huge fans of Aussie hip-hop and Melbourne definitely harbours the cream of the crop. At least thatwhat we’ve seen so far. We can’t wait to break into the Sydney scene to see what they have to offer, even as intimidating as that sounds to us, we are keen to show them what we have and suck up some of their vibes too.

For those interstate, do you have any plans to take LESS on the road?
That’s the plan! When we first got together we thought it was important to discuss our goals as a group and decide exactly what we want to do with our art. We came to the conclusion that the best things we could possibly achieve in life are travel and making sounds for music lovers. We want to play festivals; Bluesfest in Byron for example would be a dream come true. We want 2015 to be a year of interstate shows for us. We will be announcing a small east coast tour and some regional shows mid 2015 if all goes well and we can save enough dough so we don’t have to slave (work) in Melbourne for that period. All news will be announced on our Facebook page 

If you could work with any artist on a future recording who would it be and why?

RF - Any artist? Holy crap, where would I even start? Im a huge acoustic pop music fan so to be able to work on something mainstream catchy like an Ed Sheeran track would be a big deal for me. At the same time, there is so much independent talent in Australia I think I’d rather do a double album of collaborations with independent musicians. People like Tim Moore (SA), Kevin Murphy (VIC), The Rambling Roots (VIC), Brother Fox (QLD) have so many stories to tell, I think I’d learn a bunch about both my music and soul.

ES - My dream would be to collaborate with Tom Scott. His lyrics showed me a whole different take on what hip-hop/rap can be. I was really inspired after first hearing him spit his heart out.

SW - I have always been a huge fan of the alternative rock/grunge scene so for me it would be Jon Toogood of Shihad. I have been a fan since a young age and admire his song writing ability and musicianship. Deep down I love big loud rock guitars.

The songs I've heard from you are all a decent length, is this a deliberate decision to allow the listener/crowd to get into the groove?

The songs we jam are deliberately catchy and have a similar build leading up to each chorus. We want to stand out in the hip-hop/rap scene, we want crowds to feel the energy at our shows and get active so the first hook in each song will always grab everyone’s attention. By the time the chorus comes around the second time, everyone is well versed and eager to join in. Everyone feels like they are part of the performance and there is a togetherness created that feels pretty cool to be a part of.

Do you have any recordings available? I hear there is an EP in the works?

We have music and videos on while we finish off our EP. We are aiming to release it late January 2015 and will make a big deal about it as we near the date. So far we have recorded 2 out of the 4 that will be on the EP. It will be titled ‘Daydreaming’, after our favourite track.

What stimulates your soul? Getting on stage and watching people feel our music. Not just hear it, but feel it. We get athrill from the stage and love seeing people grooving to a mellow beat, better yet, our beat.