Little Destroyer are a weird noisy alt-rock band from Vancouver who’ve got a penchant for telling it straight. Hot on the heels of their exhilarating singles, feminist protest anthem ‘Hitman’ and euphoric ‘Love and Anarchy’, the trio come thrashing onto the scene with their disorderly new single ‘Only Way Out’ alongside their fierce debut album 1134, out now.
The Canadian three piece fill every room with as much energy, spit and spectacle as humanly possible and apply this same ethos to their music. Their first full-length beams in their own brand of glitch-rock with pummelling basslines, heavily-saturated drums, dazzling keys and frontwoman Allie Sheldan’s addictive, nonchalant vocals and sharp lyricism. Inspirations for the album are as diverse as you’d expect from this motley crew. From Portishead and Massive Attack to indie-rock stalwarts Sleater Kinney to Elvis.
Of the new single, Allie states, “’Only Way Out’ is a pivotal song on this album. It sits on the threshold between a past and future. It draws a lot from the angst of our older songs but with the positive frenetic urgency of someone who is on the edge of an evolution. The only way out of pain is through it, you can’t avoid that – there are no detours. I wrote this song while I was discovering that, and was needing to pump myself up for the road ahead of me.”
Allie speaks unapologetically on feminism and empowerment. Allie, along with brothers Chris and Michael Weiss, are multi-instrumentalists who grew up playing in punk, psych, and rock and roll bands, later venturing into alt-pop, inspired by Soulwax Night Versions & Charli XCX. Here for a good time and a long time, even after a number of particularly crushing years of blow after blow from the music industry, they’re still happily grinding away.
We had a chat with Allie all about Little Destroyer’s mission as a band, 1134 and more. Read the Q&A below.
Hi guys! How are you? For anyone discovering Little Destroyer here for the first time, how would you describe your sound and your mission as a band?
“Our mission as a band is to always 1) put on a great show 2) connect with the humans that connect with us 3) speak truth to power and have fun! I guess I would describe our sound as grungy alt pop but live we definitely have a more aggressive energy than is usually found in pop music – and we all got our start in punk/rock bands but have are so inspired by the electro mash up between alternative and pop music.”
You’re gearing up to release your debut album 1134. The record is described as a gritty salute to feminine power. Please tell us more! What/who were your influences?
“For me I really wanted to create a collection of songs that felt alive, like imagining all the emotions of a 24 hr period. The human experience of 8am Friday morning to 8am Saturday morning. The release of pent up energy, lust, excitement, anger, stress. Ultimately I wanted the listener to feel good listening to the music. I think we’ve always created cathartic music (and certainly a cathartic live show) but it’s always been coming from the single perspective of angst and struggle and sadness. This time around, I really wanted to make music that was cathartic from a much broader spectrum. I also wanted it to be more true to our influences. In the past we were trying to service too many alters, which is easy to have happen in this industry – everyone has an opinion on your career and art.. We wanted to refocus and reclaim ourselves here.”
Please take us through your songwriting/creative process for 1134. What was your favourite part and what did you find most challenging?
“It was the height of Covid when we were writing this album so we weren’t able to get together in person, which really changed the way we wrote these songs. We’d share files back and forth, adding onto each others ideas – each of us writing, recording and producing at home. It was disconnected but not negative, it was actually a really interesting way to go about it. But my favourite part was when we were able to come together irl, in the studio and bring our demos to life. And as for challenges, I think it was just keeping our heads OK, each living through the pandemic reality, and not bringing too much madness to the table.”
If there was just one thing you could change about the music industry, what would it be and why?
“Kill all the dinosaurs! Self explanatory.”
Absolutely! Finally, what’s next for you guys? Do you have any gigs coming up in support of the record? What can we expect from a Little Destroyer show?
“We do! We have our official album release on October 27th at the Fox Theatre in Vancouver with the amazing Mauvey. Our shows are really intense! I think often more agro than people expect, but we’re also funny and nerds and really just want to show our hearts and our humanity and create a safe, powerful, exciting and energetic space for people. I hope people leave feeling inspired and powerful.”