I Know Leopard are a Sydney five-piece making celestial, ‘70s inspired pop tunes with an unintentional penchant for pulling heart strings.
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
Collectively, we have a pretty wide variety of musical influences but the most important thing to us has always been the feels. For us, a song has to give you those warm, heady feelings in order for it to work. A big influence for I Know Leopard has come from a lot of the ballady, sunshine pop of the 70's like The Beach Boys, 10cc and Electric Light Orchestra. There's something about the warm, tight rhythm sections and romantic melodies that really hits home for us. So I guess we chose to engage with that vibe and try to bring a modernity to it.
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
Probably our friends. We are lucky enough to belong to a tight knit community of artists, musicians and filmmakers here in Sydney. Over the years, we have continued to collaborate and inspire one another. Its a wonderful thing to feel a sense of belonging to a group of like-minded people. It drives you further creatively and makes it all the more worth it. That's what 'Hold This Tight' is all about essentially. We wrote that song as a kind of ode to friendship and a vow of devotion to our little collective.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
The most memorable advice we ever received was from one of our best buddies Josh Moriarty from Miami Horror and All The Colours. We were discussing how, as an unsigned band, the music industry can be a bit of a jungle to navigate when you're starting out your career. His advice was as profound as it was succinct - "Nah, all you gotta do is keep making rad shit." True that, we all thought.
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
An oldie but 'The song formerly known as' by Regurgitator has never failed to transform my day upon one listen.
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
Autoluminescent by Rowland S Howard. A devastatingly beautiful song by one of my favourite Australian artists ever. The melancholy in that voice coupled with the fragility evoked by the instrumentation is for me the ultimate tear-jerker.
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
Probably Uncertainty by Jagwar Ma. I've lost myself on the d-floor a couple of times recently to that one. Its got such a great hook and makes you shake your ass at the same time as sending you into a psychedelic trance. Good combo.
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
The last gig I went to was in Sydney but the band was actually a Melbourne outfit called Jimmy Tait. It was at this super cool, intimate little venue in Newtown called The Midnight Special. Uniquely, the stage there is split so that half the band plays on one side of the room and the other half plays on the other. Jimmy Tait were wonderful. Their songs were kind of like gothic tinged lullabies. The frontwoman's vocals were so effortlessly melodic and they just floated perfectly above the conversely dark and at times noise-esque vibe of the band. They were so enjoyable! I highly recommend.
Tell us about the bands or people in the Sydney music community that inspire you.
Just as inspiring as all the amazing bands in Sydney are the venue bookers, managers and promoters who continue to put on gigs every week regardless of turnouts. It shows how much they do it for the love of music. A few years ago Sydney was experiencing a bit a lull in the live music scene but I think it's fast recovering thanks to all the new venues popping up around Sydney lately, giving more and more bands an outlet to present their work. As far as bands go, I really like it that Sydney doesn't have a signature sound. It is a city of largely disparate styles. We love Little Bastard, Battleships, The Laurels, Dappled Cities and our great comrades Rapids who have recently called it quits but have the most exciting new incarnation on the rise called 'Mossy' which is sure to blow everyone's minds.
What are your plans for I Know Leopard in 2014?
Well we just shot a clip for Daisy Eyes on the weekend so that will be out in a week or so. Our EP, Illumina also drops on May 16th and we will be announcing a national tour to support it very soon! We have also been busy writing songs for a new record so we can't wait to bunker down in the studio once again.