Forget-Me-Nots #2: Lingua Nada

In Forget-Me-Nots, Conor discusses bands he's become obsessed with and tries to convince you to become obsessed with them, too. For February, we have Lingua Nada.

Forget-Me-Nots #2: Lingua Nada

By Conor Mackie

Feb 17, 2017 15:00

Lingua Nada are one of the most exciting bands on the planet right now, period. Combining elements of screamo, surf, pop, shoegaze, garage, post-hardcore and pretty much any other genre you can think of, the four-piece from Leipzig are pushing the boundaries of the punk and emo scenes that they find themselves currently inhabiting.

Adam Lenox, vocalist and guitarist, is well aware of Lingua Nada’s unique ability to straddle genres and scenes, and is constantly allowing his music, his writing style and Lingua Nada itself to change. “Music itself is always an experiment, it’s constantly developing and we, as human beings, are in the same constant state of change,” he explains. “We create music in our minds before even touching our instruments or stomping on our pedals, and given that our mindsets are constantly changing, the music we create changes on its own. It’s not a conscious decision or a forced change, it just happens.” Lenox clearly thinks deeply and meditatively on not only his music but his life, and allows his viewpoints, influences and output to change naturally, never pigeonholing himself or Lingua Nada. “I met a guy the other day who couldn’t believe I had written ‘Goodbye Ally Airships’ (Lingua Nada’s first EP) when I was 16,” Lenox muses. “He kept on saying how much he missed the ‘teenage angst’ of that record whenever he listened to our ‘Shapeshift’ EP or ‘The もしもしSupermagic Compilation’, but it’s like, ‘yeah dude, I´ve got semi-adult shit to deal with, plus I really like surf rock compilations on YouTube now’,” Lenox jokes.

This willingness to at once speak candidly and openly about their artistic process, whilst also making fun of themselves and not taking themselves too seriously, is a noticeable trend not just throughout our conversation, but also through Lingua Nada’s live shows and internet presence. They make creepy, glitchy, hilarious home-produced music videos for their songs and include fake show announcements in their upcoming touring plans. Lenox explains their decisions, insisting that he never wants “Lingua to be predictable – once you expect something from us, I’ll sell all my pedals and we’ll turn into a Spanish ska band and call the LP ‘Los Banditos del Pueblito’,” he laughs.

Writing songs as complex, chaotic, catchy and memorable as Lingua Nada do is no easy feat, and their approach to songwriting has changed throughout the band’s short two year history. “In the beginning, I would write a lot at home and would present drafts to the others, and everyone would change stuff or find new ideas they liked,” Lenox explains. “But for a year or so now, we have been trying more and more to do it as a whole band, which is working pretty well, even though I’m really precious about my ideas,” he goes on. “Working with pedals is just a part of the writing. I’ve been playing with pedals more or less since I got my first guitar, and it’s a bit like playing another instrument – you develop muscle memory and stuff. It is not as random or chaotic as it appears or as everyone would think, we have formulas we work with,” he illuminates. Guitarist/vocalist Michel Geyer guitar and vocals agrees with Lenox: “Yeah, I think it comes pretty naturally to us to use pedals and play guitar at the same time. I can’t really explain how we do it, but I guess I’ve just always experimented with pedals. I think the direction of the ‘Supermagic’ stuff changed automatically because there were other people involved, as well as all being more into surf and garage stuff.”

Having played over seventy shows in ten countries in the span of eight months in 2015, Lingua Nada have a relentless and fearlessly DIY approach to touring. “I booked it all myself (with the help of others), and that’s why we had the worst routings,” Lenox jokes. “We sometimes had to invent some tricks to appear more professional, in order to book better shows or when we were dealing with “bigger venues”, but I won’t share those tricks with you unless we need to use them again,” he laughs. Their hectic schedule in 2015, though, led to a breakdown in the band’s relationship and 2016 saw them go on a short hiatus and endure a brief name change. “In a nutshell, no one could stand my aggressive and do-or-die attitudes,” Lenox openly admits. “Throughout the break, though, I never felt disheartened, and even at times when I do feel disheartened, that’s when I work on things twice as hard. We went on the hiatus after a tour for Lingua Nada had already been booked, so I grabbed a couple of crazies (including bringing back former member of Lingua Nada, the legendary Michel Geyer), and we wrote an entire new set of songs in two months. As we didn’t know what was going to happen to ‘Lingua Nada’ as a band in the long run, we called this new “band” もしもしSupermagic, released an EP and completed the tour.”

Lingua Nada, though, are back and 2017 looks set to be a big year for them. “We have a split with the best screamo band in the world, Paan, coming out next month and we´ll celebrate that with shows in Germany, France and the UK. We’re also writing our first LP which will be released by Kapitän Platte and hopefully some other cool record labels in the UK and France. We’re planning on spending the entire month of June recording and then…it’s a surprise, I can´t say more!” Lenox teases. Whatever 2017 brings from Lingua Nada, it is set to be surprising, exciting and a whole ton of fun. Keep on eye on these dudes, because they’re bound to do something that catches you off guard in the best possible way.

Lingua Nada will release their split with Paan on 17th March through two labels: Kapitän Platte and Lala Schallplatten. You can find our article on it here. They will also be touring in the UK and Europe in March. You can see the dates below.

04 GÖTTENBURG Houseparty
06 LILLE L´Imposture
07 LEEDS Temple Of Boom
08 MANCHESTER Dubrek Studios
09 BRIGHTON The Hope And Ruin
10 PORTSMOUTH Fishbunker
11 LANCASTER Sunbirds Records
12 BXXXXXXN Secret Show
13 PARIS Le Comedia
14 KÖLN prettyinlivesession
16 HAMBURG Gängeviertel