Edmonton-based hardcore band lesserman has gone through a lot of changes in the last five or so years since the group formed. There have been various line-up changes and explorations of style, but despite all that the band is still going strong. The exact genre of lesserman can be a little hard to place, however.
“Lately, [the music] has been a lot more major key, kind of mathy, [but] still in that screamo realm I would say,” vocalist and guitarist Josh Kuykendall says. “I don’t know, I’ve never really been stuck in a specific genre when I write. I just write what whatever.”
As difficult as their genre can be to describe, their Facebook page defines lesserman as “soft serve emotive hardcore.”
“As far as guitar and musically, recently it’s always been in a pretty major key and happy sounding, but the lyrics and vocals and everything are a lot sadder,” Kuykendall says. “It’s a weird mix of emotion.”
lesserman began in 2013, and originally were less riffy with a focus on weird time signatures. Over the years, their sound has changed along with their members.
“We were a five piece, then our other guitar player left after our second tour,” Kuykendall says. “I was the sole guitar player at that point, so I needed to start writing stuff that was a lot more interesting with one guitar. That’s when it started getting a little riffier. Then our old drummer left which changed the sound quite a bit.”
Replacing their old drummer is Clint Hoekstra, a staple of the Edmonton punk community. Hoekstra is known throughout the Edmonton music scene as the founder of Clint’s Haus.
“Curtis used to be a lot more open with his drums, and Clint is a quite full with his drums. There’s a lot of stuff going on all the time, which is really cool,” Kuykendall says.
The band’s most recent recording, titled Hopelessly Alone, was released last July. Even though it was released recently, Kuykendall wrote the songs on it five years ago. The three song EP was based on much of Kuykendall’s own personal experiences and struggles.
“I was diagnosed with a whole bunch of different mental illnesses in the last couple years, so it was a mixture of that, childhood traumas, and a pretty significant death in the family,” he says. “That all kind of inspired it.”
lesserman’s logo was created by the original vocalist of the band Josh Topliffe. The logo combines a lesser than, greater than, and equals sign into one symbol. Kuykendall admits that he doesn’t quite know why, but to him, the idea of lesserman and the logo all come down to equality. It’s a humble name for him, and it’s not trying to be anything greater than they are.
“To me, anyways, it stands for equality,” Kuykendall says. “I actually have it tattooed on my face.”
The band’s upcoming show at The Buckingham, lesserman will also feature Victoria, B.C. hardcore band The Vultures and Edmonton-based doom rockers Hedoro. At the show, lesserman has a few “new” songs (Kuykendall uses air quotes for this). The songs were written three or four years ago, but haven’t been heard by the public.
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