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Ex-Wet Leg bandmember claims he’s uncredited for co-writing their songs

Doug Richards alleges he co-wrote ‘Oh No’ and ‘Too Late Now’ from 2022's ‘Wet Leg’

By Charlotte Krol

Wet Leg pose for a photoshoot
Wet Leg (Picture: Hollie Fernando).

A musician who was in the early iteration of Wet Leg has claimed that he’s uncredited for co-writing a couple of songs that feature on the duo’s debut album.

Doug Richards, who plays in the band Plastic Mermaids, has alleged in a new interview that he co-wrote ‘Oh No’ and ‘Too Late Now’ from 2022’s Wet Leg.

Richards founded the band in the Isle of Wight in 2019 with his ex-girlfriend, Wet Leg guitarist/singer Rhian Teasdale, alongside Wet Leg guitarist/backing singer Hester Chambers. The musician, who used to play drums in the band, and the romantic breakup are the subject of several Wet Leg songs.

He told The Times: “I feel frightened to try and approach that subject. But I did write [on those songs] and they are on the record. So I probably should get recognised.”

The Times noted that Teasdale and her representatives did not respond to his claims when contacted. Rolling Stone UK has also reached out for comment.

Wet Leg press shot, 2022
The Isle of Wight pair are now two-time Grammy winners. (Photo: Hollie Fernando)

Additionally, Richards rejected Teasdale and Chambers’ previous claim in an interview that they devised the name Wet Leg by combining emojis at random on a keyboard. Elsewhere, the pair have said that it originates from the term “Overners” (people visiting the Isle from the mainland), “because they have to get a leg wet to come over the seas to come to the Island”.

Richards claimed to The Times: “For years me and a couple of friends had lists of stupid band names. Anytime you’d think of a funny combination of words you’d just write it down. One of them was Wet Book. My brother misheard me and said, ‘Oh you should call it Wet Leg’. Rhian wasn’t sure. Seems to have worked though.”

Wet Leg are now led by Teasdale and Chambers, with support from Ellis Durand (bass, backing vocals), Josh Mobaraki (guitars, synth, backing vocals), and Henry Holmes (drums, percussion).

Richards also alleged that Teasdale asked him to leave the band in the wake of their breakup. “I was really upset by it actually,” he said. “I had the sense of it maybe being quite successful. I also felt like I helped to create it.”

Elsewhere in The Times interview he said that he felt “hurt” by lyrics that he believes are targeted at him. In ‘Ur Mum’ from Wet Leg, Teasdale sings: “When I think about what you’ve become / I feel sorry for your mum.”

Teasdale suggested in April 2022 with The Independent that she regrets that line. The Independent referenced ‘Ur Mum’ as being several songs on the album that are “about the same breakup”.

“It’s about having this realisation of, like, ‘Time to go – time to get out of this one!’ Sometimes, to do that, you have to pretend to yourself that you really hate someone,” she said. “I think that’s why that song sounds so… it’s a bit harsh, isn’t it? ‘I feel sorry for your mum’ is a very mean thing to say.”

Richards added to The Times that the line stung because his mother, Sue, died of cancer in 2013 shortly before he and Teasdale became an item.

“Losing her changed my life,” Richards said. “She was nice, my mum. She was good. I can’t think of anything more targeted to hurt me than that line.”

In other Wet Leg news, earlier this year the duo won two Grammy awards for Best Alternative Music Album (Wet Leg) and Best Alternative Music Performance (‘Chaise Longue’).

Revisit Rolling Stone UK’s interview with the band here.