Attendees at Secret Garden Party 2011 will remember them as the band in the enormous squirrel tails and the wings of Wizard Of Oz monkeys.
Electro scene insiders will remember them as the band feted and courted by James Lavelle, DJ Shadow and DJ Fresh. XFM listeners will remember them as The Remix host Eddy Temple-Morris’ dance-rock band. Indie kids will remember them as a crazed industrotronic Cooper Temple Clause/Automatic/Yourcodenameis:milo ‘supergroup’.
One thing’s for sure. No-one ever forgets Losers.
Losers started life in 2007 as the remix project of Temple-Morris and The Cooper Temple Clause’s Tom Bellamy, sparked off when one of Tom’s remixes became Bomb Of The Year on Eddy’s XFM show. Since Eddy too had remix credits under his belt – for Dub Pistols and Kasabian amongst others – the pair began remixing tracks together, until deciding there was more credit in making their own dance music.
“The first album ‘Beautiful Losers’ we put out in September 2010 was basically Eddy’s record bag, essentially a dance album that I engineered for Eddy,” says Tom. The brand was already his, but he always wanted Losers to be a collaborative thing, along UNKLE lines.”
Sure enough, after Losers had built a formidable reputation for scintillating live sets, come October 2010 their format morphed. Paul Mullen – formerly of Yourcodenameis:milo, The Automatic and Young Legionnaire – came to stay at Tom’s flat in Arnos Grove, North London for a month and, on the last day of his stay, the two wrote a Cure-flecked rocktronic rampage called ‘Half Built House’. “Up until that point Losers was a dance band,” says Tom, “and after that track happened it was much more guitar, much more rocky, which was obviously Paul’s influence. It was the start of the new Losers.”
Paul joined the band and the second album started to take shape: “A lot of the album is about relationships,” says Tom. “It’s like hurting the people that are closest to you and treating your loved ones like shit. It’s essentially crying in a field while dancing. Paul came on board and luckily he’d just broken up with his girlfriend, so that helped.”
With ex-Oceansize drummer Mark Heron also on board, by festival season 2011 Losers had transformed into a crunching, expansive industro-techrock act – part New Order, part Pendulum, part Kraftwerk, part Justice – that tore up fields across the UK and France – Glade, Latitude, Rock Ness and several French dates saw tents virtually mosh their way out of the ground. But it was at surrealist rabbit-hole festival The Secret Garden Party that Losers played the gig of their lives so far, the inspiration for the sublime, epic electro-hook beast ‘Oblivion’ and its joyous howls of “Crystal stars align, guiding us on… I feel on top of the world”. “’Oblivion’ is the album’s little bit of hope,” says Tom. “It’s taking everything and going with it. I was at a point in my life where everything had flipped upside down and I was getting myself in a bit of a hole and had to up my game. So I stepped outside and looked around at what I had and built myself up again. It’s about moving on and going forward with stuff. It was a big turning point for me, getting that out. Everything that came with the Secret Garden Party in 2011 had a massive impact on what happened afterwards, us realising what we had, how it was special and where we could take it.”
Over the following year, with Paul migrating regularly between Sunderland and London, eight more tracks came together for Losers’ romantically damaged but melodically immaculate second album ‘And So We Should Never Part’. ‘DNA’ is a deep and dangerous throb of hangover anthem rave that Tom composed immediately after The Cooper Temple Clause split and has tweak with Eddy since. “It’s about being an arse, waking up in the morning and thinking ‘why am I like this? Why am I always being such an twat and letting people down, who have I upset now, what have I done, who was I last night, what is this down to?”
The propulsive, hard-riffing synth metal of ‘Acrobatica’ (a metaphor for trepidous but ultimately triumphant romance), ‘Half Built House’’s emo edge and the haunted house atmospheres, brostep squeals and brooding beats of ‘Turn Around’ caught the attention of James Lavelle, who’s keen to work on remixes with the band, and DJ Fresh and DJ Shadow have both expressed an interest in collaborations after hearing cuts from this adventurous, articulate and inventive album that will jolt the electronic scene into a host of unexpected shapes and open a plethora of doors for Losers themselves.
“We could be a dance band to some, we could be an industrial rock band to others, we’re happy in the space somewhere inbetween.” Say eddy and Tom. “Let’s see what we turn into…”
Whatever they become, Losers will be unforgettable.
written by Mark Beaumont
Music made by Losers has appeared on The London Olympics 2012 (Official BMX Theme), CSI, Chuck, Bones, Made In Chelsea, and on the computer game Far Cry 3.