There's a photo they have on their Facebook page, a black and white image of the pair onstage somewhere, Tom with his guitar and Angela's hand on her hip. It's a wonderful image because, to just look at it, you'd have no idea when it was taken. And to listen to them, you'd have no idea what age they were a part of. There's a timelessness to their folksiness, that's for sure. If you have yet to get to know Les Shelleys, friends, read on. And then go have a listen.
Les Enfants Terribles: How the hell are you?
Les Shelleys: I think we're ok.
LET: What was the last song you listened to?
LS: "Nintendo" by Shelley Short. It's playing in my head right now. It's a catchy melody. But sometimes I don't like catchy melodies. They call it earworm, the repetition of a song or fragment of a song in one's head. Like when it happens with Christopher Cross whose title I won't mention here. Jesus, I want to bash my head against the wall. The last song I listened to: "Nintendo" by Shelley Short, a great, great tune. Glad it's stuck in my head.
LET: Playing music is:
LS: Pretty fucking sweet.
LET: What album most made you realize you wanted to make music?
LS: An album by San Diegan Gregory Page. When I heard these songs I could see myself singing them, performing them. It was almost like I wrote them. Romantic Adventures Of Harry (BizarrePlanet, 1995) is so unforgettable too because every word recorded is pure emotion. You can at times even hear him smile.
LET: Beatles or Stones?
LET: Top 5 albums (of now, of this month, or of ever):
1). Soundtrack to Shawshank Redemption
2). Soundtrack to Fabulous Baker Brothers
3). The Complete Recordings of Robert Johnson
4). Then Came The After by Shelley Short
5). Romantic Adventures of Harry by Gregory Page
LET: Favorite music-related movie?
LS: Coal Miner's Daughter
LET: Half-full or half-empty?
LS: What's half-empty, again?
LET: Which of your peers do you think is making the best music these days?
LS: Frankel - a songwriter I've know for years who lives in Silverlake. I just heard his latest album and it blew my mind.
LET: What’s the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning?
LS: OK, am I here, or have I gone on?
LET: Little-known Les Shelleys fact?
LS: The first two songs we ever sang together were "Sowing On The Mountain" and "I Still Miss Someone," at Tom's North Dakota record release in San Diego back in 2002.
LET: The greatest record store in the world is:
LS: Lou's Records in Encinitas, California.
LET: Shaken or stirred?
LS: Depends on the drink.
LET: Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
LS: The Lord loves a working man. Don't trust whitey. If you get it, see a doctor and get rid of it.
LET: If you weren’t in a band you’d be:
LS: living somewhere far off in Latin America.
LET: Favorite Shelley: Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, or Shelley Duvall?
LS: Shelley Duvall!
LET: What do you find most comforting/most disconcerting about going out on tour?
LS: Most comforting: going back to places with good memories and new friends.
Most disconcerting: uncomfortable beds - leaving a cozy bed behind is hard to get over.
LET: If you were so inclined, whom would you form a tribute band in honor of?
LS: Thin Lizzy.
LET: Best song ever written?
LS: "Life On Mars" by David Bowie.
mp3: The Late John Garfield Blues (Les Shelleys from Les Shelleys) (thanks to Ketelmuziek)