In an era when bands have moments rather than life-long careers, it’s seems easier to dub some new band as your “favorite band of the day” or “the next big thing” tags on your social media apps and just go with the flow like the rest of blogosphere and enjoy the hype surrounding the new band. And prepare your heart for the eventual break up after one, two LPs or even a handful of singles and EP. WU LYF (World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation), the four-piece from Manchester England is one of those bands that decides to break up after releasing one awesome album that better than most music out there. It takes only one year after the critically acclaimed debut album Tell Fire to the Mountain been released on 2011 for the band to called it quits. Its not a full stop for the former members, though. Ellery James Roberts the vocalist has been releasing some singles with his guttural and raw voices that’s not that far from WU LYF original materials while drummer Joe Manning and guitarist Evans Kati reunited with bassist Tom McClung last year to create the pop-centric trio Los Porcos. Not long after that, McClung emerging as solo artist under Francis Lung moniker and releasing indie rock singles like “Age Limits”, “A Selfish Man”, and “Tsunami Blues” that’s quite different with his former works. The songs are dancey and infectious with pop sensibilities amidst the darker lyrics like natural disasters and loneliness. Now, the singer-songwriter ready for his own path.
Hello Tom, how are you? Where are you right now and what were you doing before answering this email?
I’m really good thanks, I’m in my flat in Manchester and I was just restringing my acoustic with D’addario 13 gauge phosphor bronze series strings. do I get an endorsement now?
I just wonder if people usually call you Tom or Francis nowadays? What’s the story behind the moniker?
People usually call me Tom, or Lung, maybe even Francis for a joke. Francis is my confirmation name (Catholic). I needed a name for the new project I was starting, so I thought I’d work with what I already had.
When I’m listening to your songs, I can’t help but think they’re sounds very different than WU LYF’s songs. Do you think you kinda held back you own musicality before? And what’s going solo means for you personally and creatively?
I don’t think I held back my own musicality in the band, I only learnt more about it. I learnt a lot about playing less, about so called ‘economy of notes’, and how to rock. just because somebody finds themselves behind a bass one day doesn’t mean their musicality is compromised, just altered. I guess now I’m ‘solo’ I am free to play more instruments and pursue my own musical ambitions, but the ethos is the same. using your notes and words to best effect.
Looking back, WU LYF gains some big recognition, but how you do really feel about that?
I’m really grateful and honoured that people feel like we made something worthwhile.
What were you doing after you guys decide to break up? How’s the relationship towards your former band mates?
What was I doing? Apart from drugs? Only joking. I guess after we split I had to reassess things in my life. A huge part of that was deciding to pursue my solo project full time and to finish recording a batch of songs I had never got around to finishing. my relationship with my friends is different, but its not bad. Its certainly better than it was.
Well, enough talking about yesterday. Please share some stories about your upcoming records, what’s the main theme of it?
I’m gonna be releasing the first volume of a collection of music entitled “Faeher’s Son” this spring, hopefully. The story is; I recorded these songs by myself in my bedroom and tried to get signed. the plot is ongoing and I don’t know how it will end. Themes include – frustration, desperation, fear, dissatisfaction and stale smoke.
Who are some singer songwriters that really influence your works?
Paul Westerberg, Alex Chilton, Stephin Merritt, Neil Young, Cass McCombs and Neil McClung.
You said you want to continue as one-man band, and recently you’re supporting Kishi Bashi who pretty much doing anything himself, how was it?
He’s certainly a unique performer.
“A Selfish Man” and “Tsunami Blues” were telling about tsunami disaster, what inspires you to write songs about it?
I wanted to tell a story within a song that wasn’t based on anything I’d experienced before. It originally was about some god-like force destroying the earth in a ’10 plagues’ sort of way. Then I thought if it could be relatable to something recent that happened, like the tsunami, it could become relatable.
What’s next from you?
A shiny black Fender Stratocaster.