Name: COMPLICATED MEN OF LEISURE
Location: HUDDERSFIELD, UK / AMSTERDAM, NL
Mission: 1. RELEASE RECORD 2. SELL OUT 3. DRINK AND TAKE DRUGS
The story of how me and Matt met is quite a funny one to admit publicly. We actually met on a dating website! We had a lot in common and got on really well so in January 2013 I made my way up to Huddersfield on the train to go and meet him. I’d left my trip open ended just in case I needed to make a speedy exit but luckily that wasn’t necessary. We hit it off really well and after spending a week hanging out with him and his friends it decided to snow leaving me stuck in the north for another week. It was a wonderful experience and the start of a beautiful friendship.
Matt’s parents bought him his first guitar and he knew from an early age that all he wanted to do was play in a band. So one day he decided with his fellow mosher outcasts to do just that, “we were called Fluke Shot Frenzy and it was awful wacky ska with party cannons and balloons. Hilarious albeit tragic”. After that fell apart Matt got together with some friends and trombonist Robin Leitch to form a more serious ska endeavour called Random Hand. He spent the next 10 years with them and got to tour the world with some of his favourite bands including Voodoo Glow Skulls, The Skints, Sonic Boom Six, Bad Manners, The Beat, Skindred and The JB Conspiracy to name just a few. In 2012 he left the band due to personality differences and moved to Huddersfield. It was here that he met drummer Karl Smith and with one of his other friends, Victoria, they formed a new band. Or as Karl put it “I got drunk with Matt one night and we decided to make a sexy band and here we are!”
Matt had once asked his manager who he thought the best band on his books were, “without missing a beat he said ‘Jaya the Cat’ so i went straight to their Myspace (that long ago) and got washed over with the best most honest love song i have ever heard ‘Good Morning’ and decided then they were, and still are my favourite band”. Matt and his new band supported Jaya the Cat on their annual trip to Huddersfield in August 2013. Geoff, singer and Jaap, bassist were both watching and “immediately liked the sound of the two scruffy looking dudes with the high pitched voices” said Jaap. “We looked at each other and decided at the same time that we were gonna be a part of this. So after the show we pitched our idea to the guys, which in no time led to a fruitful recording session.” Matt said “it’s a very surreal experience to have people you look up to and admire so much want to be part of something you created. Now we are just waiting on the finishing touches of our new ep and are gonna release a vinyl … definitely a pink one!”
So the band is comprised of two current members from Jaya the Cat and ex-members from Random Hand and Mr. Shiraz giving them the impressive line-up of Jan Jaap Onverwagt – Bass, Karl Smith – Drums & Vocals, Geoff Lagadec – Guitar & Vocals and Matt Crosher – Guitar & Vocals. Complicated Men Of Leisure describe their sound as “depressing cocktail time reggae to lift your spirits to” which when I asked them to expand upon this they said “its reggae pop with an uplifting sound but with depressing content that you’d listen to at the time of day that it’s acceptable to drink a cocktail, usually later in the day after you’ve done all the stuff you have to do, before you take off your pants.” Geoff had his own take on what the band is; “it’s like an alcohol support group without the doughnuts that lets you drink at the meetings and no one would object if you happened to have an idea for a song while you were sharing to the group that day.”
The band made their first music video for ‘Kill Me’ in Huddersfield. “Jaya the Cat had just played in Huddersfield so it was a rare occasion that the band were all together but none of us had slept and we came straight from an after party (staying up all night drinking and being mischievous at a friends house) to the Parish bar without a real plan, not knowing what song we were doing and still very much … errrm awake?” The video was released on the 21st of August this year and has already clocked up an impressive 6000+ views.
With 1000+ likes on their Facebook, The Complicated Men Of Leisure are going from strength to strength and 2015 is set to be an exciting year for them. With the future release of the shiny 10″ coloured vinyl ep and offers for gigs in Europe next year Matt said “things have been slow but we are getting there. I’m basically kinda relying on a bunch of favours to get all the stuff done. For example artist Simon Mitchell is drawing up the artwork for it and he’s a really talented guy.” So keep your eyes peeled for these guys next year and if you want to be kept up to date head over to their Facebook page.