Locksley, “Let It Ride”

Post Author: Sjimon Gompers

Celebrating their first song in over three years, Locksley premiere the Mark Phillips video for the single, “Let It Ride”, that incorporates animated mercenary paratroopers jumping headfirst into the war-machine pits of oblivion. Since the 2007 release of their first album, Don’t Make Me Wait, to 2010’s Be In Love, the band has run the touring circuits that eventually garnered them a stint as the backing band for one of The Kinks main men, Ray Davies. Taking cues from the blueprints of celluloid heroes and fraternities from the picture book frames of the modern era, Locksley mark their return in bombastic form with an explosive new video, and hints of yet-to-be-recorded material still underway.

The visuals for “Let It Ride” begin with the flight of US dollar-paper planes that fly through the skies of adversity to the sound of floor-tom taunts and guitar chord-battle cries. Symbolic soldiers made up of folded paper currency parachute into the perilous skies, rife with bombs bursting in air, and the glowing red glare of boots and tanks taking full force on the ground. Locksley’s chant of, “If it moves you, it moves you” propels the action of battles, where gears of war are met with mortars and counter attacks that are counted off the by the lyrical allusions of, “One, for the money, two, for the show, three, to get ready, four…to go.” Phillips’ video jumps through the monetized mercenary maze where the post-trench warfare transforms an entire animated playing field into a battlefield. Diving further into the fray, we had the opportunity to catch up with Locksley’s Kai Kennedy to talk about the new single, upcoming songs, a word from animator/director Mark Phillips, and more.

After some three years, what was it like writing and recording “Let it Ride”? Any inspirations in particular that lent any inception here?

“Let It Ride” went through a fair few permutations, but once we locked in on what it was supposed to be, and the song took its incipient breaths, we realized we had a bucking bronco between our knees, and one that would not be so easily tamed. We recorded it a few different ways, but found that if we tried to control it too much, it lost its luster. The version we released is pretty live, and I think the electricity in the room translates well to the recording. Bay City Rollers were definitely an inspiration for the end of the song.

How did the whole dollar bill soldiers, paper airplanes, and takes concept come about for the animated video adaptation from Mark Phillips?

We shot that question to the wonderful Mark Phillips and here was his response:

I’ve had the idea of shooting a paper airplane battle floating around in my head for a few years now, and when the band let me have a listen to this song I thought it was full of great bombastic moments for an idea like that. I expanded it to more than a simple dogfight, but wanted to maintain the ‘papery’ feel throughout the rest of the video, including the characters themselves. Dollar bills not only lent the video a much richer texture but also something more symbolically substantial.

I’m interested too in hearing what the experience of playing as the backing band for Ray Davies was like.

Playing with Ray Davies feels like it happened in a dream. It was more than surreal to be sharing a stage with someone who literally shaped the way I live my life. Almost all of my songwriting has been touched by his craft.

What was it like being one of the last band’s playing in the old school CBGB’s?

CBGB’s had a patina of rank, oily, scum over every surface, with rude staff and an an owner that had basically checked out. Essentially, it was the perfect place for nice fellows from Wisconsin to cut their teeth. We were not a band one would have expected to see playing there at the time, as the typical acts were either groups that no one had heard of, or established acts playing there to wash in the faint glow of the once-bright light that was ‘the punk scene.’

It was the only 16+ venue, so wildly excited kids could actually get what they most deserve: to go to a rock and roll show to see bands that they could call their own for less than ten bucks. I loved that place, and was sad to see it die.

What other recordings does Locksley have in the works, any future releases that you all can hint at?

We are fortunate to have three songwriters in the group, and have thus amassed a rather large catalogue of yet-to-be-recorded material. I’m confident we’ll have lots and lots to share with everyone in 2015.