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Meet Lip Filler, the innovative indie band with a rare musical alchemy

Ahead of second EP 'witchescrew', the Chess Club-signed band discuss weaving electronic elements into their rowdy indie sound.

By Will Richards

Lip Filler
Lip Filler (Picture: Jude Harrison)

“We need unpredictability to be our stimulant,” Lip Filler’s Jude Scholefield says of the London quintet’s MO. It’s true of their lauded live performances and is also evident in sonically ambitious new EP witchescrew, out next month via Chess Club.

While Lip Filler were making their name with raucous gigs around London – including a crazed house show at the flat they all shared in Shepherd’s Bush – the members were studying music production at University, and their music combines the worlds of instant live energy and studio tinkering perfectly.

New single ‘followup’ is the best example of this. Based around a simple guitar line, it then deviates from its melodic path into sonic chaos, with the dual vocals of George Tucker (who throws out King Krule-like bars on the boundary of speaking and rapping) and Verity Hughes (with warmer and more melodic tones) proving the perfect foil for each other.

The band – completed by bassist Theodore Pasmore and drummer Nate Wicks – are defined by a willingness to break out of convenient genre boxes, and it’s shown in choosing Declan Gaffney, aka St Francis Hotel, as their producer, with his previous credits including Little Simz and Michael Kiwanuka. Though their music buzzes with the same fervent energy at their gigs, the studio efforts mix this with boundary-pushing production and a refusal to be easily categorised.

Ahead of the release of the new EP, Rolling Stone UK meet Lip Filler in their new base of south east London to discuss their musical progression, the hard times that inspired the new EP and the limitless future they see ahead of themselves.

Let’s go back to the start – how did you all meet?

George: Verity and Jude are both from the same town in Somerset, and I went to the same secondary school as Verity. Those two were in a band together as they were growing up.

Jude: We’ve always made music together, and then when we were about 18 we thought about going to Uni. It all started off very naturally.

That must help in terms of musical chemistry, when you have grown up together

George: We’re so comfortable around each other and it’s a bit of a blessing. Lots of bands have only known each other for a year or so and you have to build that chemistry. We had it straight off the bat and that really helps with writing. We’re very comfortable writing around each other and are very open minded with our ideas.

Your first show together was on St Patrick’s Day in 2022 – how has the idea of the band, as well as your sound, changed since then?

Jude: It’s changed massively, but the one thing you can take from our first set that translates well to what we’re trying to do now the unpredictability from one song to the next. There are songs that are really laid back and then some that are super heavy, which I think is something that still comes across in our music now. The progression has come in the songwriting.

George: From a lyrical standpoint, our music has become a lot more personal too. They never used to take themselves too seriously.

Verity: It takes a while to tap into that aspect, but the second EP is a lot more personal.

What experiences fed into this more personal aspect on the new EP?

George: We had a version of EP2 finished about a year ago, but it felt like something was missing. There was a series of unfortunate events that delayed everything.

Jude: We were all finishing our degrees so busy with that, and then I got appendicitis.

George: At our show at The Great Escape last year, his appendix was literally about to burst! He got driven straight home.

Jude: It was a good show!

George: There was a lengthy period of not being able to find anywhere to live in London, but we really didn’t want to lose the momentum we had with the band. I was sharing a bed with my older brother for two months. It was a pretty dark period, and we were very fucking down. Everything had gone to shit in our personal lives and I was just crying.

Verity: I have no recollection of this!

How did you pick things back up with the new EP from there?

George: We found places to live and managed to get back into the studio with St Francis Hotel and it all started to pick up.

Verity: All these emotions and feelings from that time directly correlate to the sound and identity of witchescrew.

Jude: You can feel the stress!

Verity: The paranoia, the anxiety.

And what comes next?

Jude: The stuff that we’re making now is in the same world as Lip Filler, but it’s sonically different. It comes back to that unpredictability. That’s what we get excited by, because if something sounds too similar to what we made last week, there’s not going to be inspirational enough in the room to turn it into something good.