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  • Heather Cleal


© Frances Carter

‘Leisurevision’ marks the band’s fourth studio album, promising another blissful exploration of sound and influence.

Closing out 2021 with the laid-back, electro-funk record that is ‘Sunsetter’, New Zealand collective LEISURE sought a soft and soothing conclusion to their earlier EP series ‘Side A’ and ‘Side B’, which navigated a particularly transformative and grounding chapter. Their latest release sees the band firmly lean into a post-pandemic sound, with ‘Leisurevision’ offering a celebration of all that has been regained in the time since ‘Sunsetter’.  

According to the group, each track ““navigates the human experience, and all the hope, joy, chaos and euphoria it entails.” Dubbed a “genre-hopping supergroup” by Rolling Stone Australia, LEISURE comprises Djeisan Suskov, Jaden Parkes, Josh Fountain, Tom Young, Jordan Arts, and Paul Roper – all can be recognised as artists in their own right, whether producers, writers, or solo artists. Together though, they have fine-tuned a harmonious and transportative vision, whilst amassing over 3 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone. 

Prior to an upcoming sell-out tour of the USA, LEISURE’s Tom Young (vocals and bass guitar) discusses the group’s latest album.

A huge congratulations on ‘Leisurevision’! You’re currently embarking on your first headline tour of the USA (alongside a host of shows in Australia and New Zealand) - how are you feeling?


Thanks very much! We're super excited and very grateful for the positive response to the album. We've played three awesome shows in New Zealand so far, which has got us feeling nice and confident for our tour.


Is there a particular city or part of the upcoming tour that you’re especially excited about?


Just general travel I think. Most of us haven’t embarked too far abroad since the covid stuff, so it’s exciting to finally be able to get back out there and have a look. We’re also getting a tour bus which is new for us!

Which cities have you had the most fun exploring on previous tours?


I really want to go back to Berlin. We were there for one day only and it was nowhere near enough!

Any plans for European tour dates - please tell us you’re coming to London?


Surely next year??


For our readers who are perhaps new to your music, could you please introduce your sound? 


It definitely takes from a wide variety of influences, but I think Jordan summed it up best by calling it Future Soul. 


© Frances Carter

‘Leisurevision’ is your fourth studio album - what inspired its title? 


The title was a summary of a series of discussions we had about how we wanted to move forward as a band. In the past, we realised we had been in a back-foot reactive mode. We wanted to shift into a sort of unified proactivity and felt Leisurevision best encapsulated that mindset. I feel like the album is naturally more refined than our previous stuff. It feels more expensive too. To me it’s like Leisure in 4k. 


What did the process of creating this album look like?


During the pandemic we realised we work pretty well remotely. Half of Sunsetter was made that way, and about half of this record was too. The other half was us all hunched around a laptop in a studio somewhere in Auckland City. 


On this album, you collaborated with both Muroki and Night Tapes - what led you to these features?


It was fairly natural in both cases. Josh and Djeisan both work with Muroki on his own stuff. We had ‘Summer Season’ all ready to go with Djeisans vocals, but he wasn’t satisfied with it. He asked Muroki to jump on lead vocals (he also ended up putting down his own verse). The result felt great. 

Night Tapes came about from Jaden hearing Iiris Vesik’s singing; she has this mesmerising, ethereal voice which we thought would be a great addition to a beat/chorus idea that some of the guys had come up with.


Do you have a personal favourite track from the album, and why?


Personally I love “Level”. I just find it so lush and attractive.


As a group, who or what is your biggest musical influence?


It’s super varied, which I think is a big strength of ours. It gives us so many worlds and sounds to draw from.


What is your favourite way to unwind on tour?


Making each other laugh is number one.


Who in the group has the best dance moves?


Oo I’m going to have to say Jordan.


And finally, what advice would you give to other musicians and creatives starting out in the industry?


Treat everyone with respect no matter their role. Don’t chase trends. Don’t be flaky. Make what you’re a fan of. Nothing good happens quickly.

‘Leisurevision’ is available to stream on Spotify and find LEISURE on Instagram


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