All formerly members of Jellyfish, and band members of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Slash’s Snake Pit, Finn Brothers, Alice Cooper, Air, and Beck, Roger Manning, Tim Smith, and Eric Dover reunited in 2017 to form alt-rock outfit The Lickerish Quartet.

The longtime friends recently put out their infectious new single, “Snollygoster Goon,” the first offering from their recent EP, Threesome Vol #2, which is out now via Lojinx. Following the release of the single, we caught up with all three members of the band to chat about the collection of EPs, the recent American presidential election, and whether they plan to work together again past the release of the third EP in this series.

Thanks for your time. How has 2021 been treating you so far?

Roger Manning: “We’ve been treating 2021 exactly how we want. We’re feeling empowered to go about our business and offering our art up to whoever wants to come to the sonic party. Whatever’s happening on the world stage at any given moment has no real effect on our primary goal of connecting with and expanding our audience.”

You’ve just put out the second of three EPs, I believe the original plan was to have all three out by September 2021? Is that still the case?

Manning: “No idea. Can’t control the climate, can’t control the politicians, can’t control the financial institutions, can’t control viruses. What we can control is the quality and scope of our artistic offerings. They happen when they happen and at exactly the right time.”

How has the ongoing pandemic affected your plans for the year ahead and what are those plans now?

Manning: “We are invited to work apart, long-distance, via file sharing and lots of email communication versus in person. This slows down the process but often invites new challenges that ultimately encourage us to be even more self-reliant and resourceful. Almost like a new hurdle added at the last-minute in an already fun-filled obstacle course that we enjoy playing.”

The first EP was released in March last year. Was the material already written for the three EPs pre-lockdown?

Manning: “The foundations (musical beds) of all twelve songs were recorded from 2017 to 2019 in person. However, all final decorations and finishing touches, including mixing and mastering, have been put on both immediately prior to and during lockdown. And there is still plenty to do in order to complete EP number three.”

Could you tell us a little about the EPs? Is there a theme or concept linking them all together?

Manning: “There is not. We have assembled these batches of four songs at a time for no other reason than we thought they varied from each other stylistically, thematically, musically. We were intentionally opposed to themes or grouping based on any premeditative concept. We simply strived to take the listener on as varied a journey as possible over the course of 20 to 25 minutes.”

Artwork for ‘Threesome Vol #2’ by The Lickerish Quartet

What was the thought process behind the three EPs and not one album? Any plans, when live shows return, to play all three EPs together?

Eric Dover: “We felt that with this being a new music endeavour that we should dip our toes into the water slowly to gauge what interest there was in the music. This was our reasoning in releasing three EPs rather than just come out of the gate with a full-length release. So far we are very pleased with the response. As for the future and playing any of the songs live, we shall have to wait and see.”

Let’s talk about your new single then which Eric described as “themes involved greed, graft, and corruption as applied to any political sphere.” Could you expand on the inspiration by song, and are they themes that inspire your other material?

Dover: “I find that writing about human nature is more interesting than being so dogmatic and structured unless the music is screaming for it. ‘Snollygoster Goon’ could very well apply to any point in human history. ‘The Dream’ that took me over addresses the grey area between sublime ecstasy and uneasy premonition in relationships. We write about many different subjects. I don’t know how one theme influences another. I’m sure they are conjoined somehow but as for me it’s not been something I consciously am doing.”

What are your thoughts on the future of America given the political circus that has been going on and will be going on for the immediate future at least?

Dover: “As long as I’ve been alive it’s always been a circus. Thankfully I have a more than adequate supply of popcorn.”

Okay, going back to 2017 when The Lickerish Quartet got together, how did those conversations come about to work together again?

Dover: “Roger called Tim first and they called me in a bit later. We have written music off and on together for quite a few years at this point. Getting back into it was pretty much second nature for us.”

You’d obviously worked in other high-profile bands between Jellyfish and TLQ, as well as having your own bands. What did you learn from those experiences?

Tim Smith: “That every artist at every level has its own positives and negatives, and that you have to be able to adapt to a different set of variables, in terms of your musicality and skill set, as well as different social interactions and dynamics.”

What were those initial sessions like when the three of you worked together again?

Smith: “A bit cliché to say, but it really was like jumping on the horse again. We all have sort of kept in touch socially but have had little musical interaction. It was quickly evident that all three of us were able to communicate our musical ideas clearly enough so that references or themes we wanted to convey were understood and expanded upon. It was certainly refreshing and exciting to work together again, after all those years, mostly because we’d really never done anything like this together, ever!”

So, now that the EPs are in the bag, have you talked about the future of the band and what plans do you have in terms of new material?

Smith: “(laughs) No, we have not discussed anything past this third EP. Personally, it seems like we have the ability to do more, and if everyone feels the same desire, we hope to continue creating music!”

Thanks for your time. Just to finish off, looking ahead to 2021, are you apprehensive, excited, scared for the year ahead?

Smith: “Personally, I don’t think things could get much worse than 2020, so nowhere to go but up! Let’s hope the music industry can find a way to get back on its feet.”

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.