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Lol Tolhurst x Budgie x Jacknife Lee

James Murphy features on Lol Tolhurst, Budgie, and Jacknife Lee’s new single “Los Angeles”

24 July 2023, 14:38 | Written by Tyler Damara Kelly

Lol Tolhurst, Budgie, and Jacknife Lee today announce news of their debut album Los Angeles.

Made up of two of the most inventive drummers of the post-punk era – The Cure’s Lol Tolhurst and Budgie from Siouxsie & The Banshees and The Creatures – along with stellar producer and multi-instrumentalist Garret ‘Jacknife’ Lee, this unlikely alt-supergroup have spent the last four years working on an album which guest vocalists and musicians including The Edge (U2), Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse), Bobby Gillespie (Primal Scream), Civil Rights avant-garde artist Lonnie Holley, Mary Lattimore, Starcrawler's Arrow de Wilde, Mark Bowen (IDLES) and more.

The seeds were planted for Los Angeles in December 2018, when Budgie was passing through LA in John Grant’s touring ensemble, and he and Lol Tolhurst met for lunch in a downtown diner. “As we were finishing, Lol turns to me and says, ‘I think we should do something together.’ With these things, I usually go away and forget, but for once in my life I said to myself, ‘Yeah good idea!’" Budgie recalls.

When the pair reconvened in early 2019 to make music, they had a couple of sessions – first at Tommy Lee's house up the coast in Morro Bay, “but it just wasn’t sounding right – we were falling into that trap of trying to paint ourselves as we once were.”

In what he describes as “a pit of despondency,” he went up to Topanga Canyon to visit Garret "Jacknife" Lee (Taylor Swift’s Red, U2’s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb and the final two REM albums), his advice was in true post-punk fashion: rip it up and start again. “Once you’re starting from nothing,” he advises, “you can do anything.” When Budgie returned to California between commitments with John Grant, they ended up recorded in Topanga for two weeks, with Lee cannily straddling the roles of musician and mentor-cum-producer.

“Lol is very leveling. He calls himself a pragmatist, whereas I’m very impetuous, and it was like Garret was bridging the two, in his consultation room," Budgie says.

Come March 2020, they were fairly certain they were just about done recording an instrumental album “which was the original intention,” says Budgie, but as he flew home to Berlin just as COVID-19 was forcing the whole world into lockdown, Tolhurst had taken the step of contacting post-punk fan James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) with a vague idea of him voicing on one or more of the tracks. In those first few weeks of isolation, he put feelers out to a few other friends and admirers to see if they might also be interested, and the rest is history.

"Los Angeles" featuring James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) is out now. The debut album, Los Angeles, is set for release on 3 November via Play It Again Sam and available to pre-order here.

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