AUSTRIA LOVES LEYYA

Quick: how many bands can you name from Austria? None? I’m disappointed in you. You can make it up to me by checking out Vienna-based electronic band Leyya. Their 2015 debut, Spanish Disco was recently reissued with some new remixes for their fans in the US and UK, with the song “I’m Not There” to be featured on the MTV show Scream.

ATYPICAL SOUNDS spoke with vocalist Sophie Lindinger about what’s to come, festival life, and the best new bands in Vienna.

Congratulations on the release of your debut album, Spanish Disco! Is there anything you’d like people to know before they listen to it?
If it is your very first listen: take your time, sit down, let the music do it’s work. To really get into it – absorb it!

Did you do anything to celebrate its release?

On release day, we were playing a show in Brighton at The Great Escape Festival and learned that “Butter” went Number 1 on our favourite radio station. But else, not really. Marco and I are not the kind of people who “rest on our laurels“. If we had not have set a final date, we probably would still work on it. We are very happy with the result and after a time of consideration and the realisation that it is finally out, we wouldn’t change anything after all. Meanwhile we have already started to write new material – that’s the best way to celebrate!

Did you help with the concept for your “Butter” video?

We always start with a certain idea we have for the song we want to make a video to. But in the end, the people we work with, like Gabriel Hyden or Martina Trepczyk, convert our ideas to an actual viable concept. We might change a few scenes or involve in the editing a little bit, but basically we just let it happen.

Your Facebook page says “Leyya” means “marketing strategy” in the Alaskan Yupik language. How did you figure that out?

Well, to be honest…Leyya is a not a real Inuit word. It doesn’t mean anything. We just thought, if someone actually Googles the term to get proof, it has already got stuck in his head and we love the irony about that. The name Leyya is simple, short and you remember it.

Do you prefer performing at large festivals, or in smaller (more intimate) clubs?

I can’t really decide what I like best. Small club shows mostly are something special, because the people actually come to see you and somehow absorb everything you do and play. On the other hand, festival shows give you the opportunity to catch a new audience and a larger target group. Everything is already set up, you mostly have a huge backstage and you don’t have to think about anything.

So I think if time, surroundings, mood, people and many different factors play together – it doesn’t matter where you play. It’s all about giving the audience a good time and to have a good time playing.

Are there any bands you were/are really excited to perform with at a festival?

It is always exciting to perform in a festival where someone is playing that you like. Most of the time you don’t actually meet them, but to see your band name on the same poster as the name of one of your favourite bands, makes you feel a little proud.

I was really looking forward to seeing and meeting at a German festival in June, but then I saw the timetable and realized that we’re playing on a different day…so… damn it.

What is the music scene like in Vienna?

The music scene in Vienna is growing exponentially – and luckily it is getting more and more international attention. Plus there is also much more attention for this scene in Austria itself, which is something considerably new, too.

What are your favorite places there to see live music?

We do now have festivals in Austria where only Austrian bands are playing and people love it! But also the small locations, especially in Vienna, are pretty charming, too. B72, Chelsea, Rhiz, Fluc, WUK…the list goes on and on.

Are there any artists in Vienna you feel deserve more attention?

There are a lot of bands who deserve more attention, and I do not know where to begin – Hearts Hearts, for example, whose debut album was one of my favourites last year. Schmieds Puls, Ant Antic, Avec, Monophobe, Mynth, Robb…be sure to get yourself a little more into that. Austria has a lot of hidden treasures.

What are your plans for the rest of 2016?

In summer we’re continuing to tour and going to play festivals around Europe and we’ll use the time we have left to write new music. I think it reduces your creativity when you are always worried about what to do next, so we don’t really plan much further into the future. Many things just happen and might open up opportunities you don’t expect at all.