We don’t do a lot of interviews on this site so its pretty rare that we double up on interview subjects. I previously talked to Letters to Cleo when they released their first new music in 17 years back in 2016. When I heard they were releasing a new EP called OK Christmas, I knew I had to talk to the band again. Lead guitarist, Greg McKenna was nice enough to talk to me about the holiday season, gift giving, and eating ice cream.
Your new EP is OK Christmas, what made you want to do a Christmas album?
Over the years, we’ve half-jokingly/half seriously talked about doing a Christmas album. It’s this year that we finally got off our butts to record one.
Generally to make a Christmas album, you have to record during a not very Christmas-y time of year. What was it like recording a Christmas album months away from the actual season?
For most of the band, living in LA, the Christmas season isn’t too different from the summer season. For me, I just ate a lot of ice cream to get me in the mood.
How did you decide what Christmas covers to put on the album?
Everyone went looking through their holiday records and we came up with a list of songs that we thought would be cool. We ended up picking one popular song, one local song, one re-arrangement of a classic Christmas song and an original song. There were quite a few great Christmas songs that didn’t make the cut that we would have loved to record!
What’s the best Christmas gift you have ever received?
An $18 acoustic guitar from Bradlee’s. Had no idea that it was a cheap little thing, just knew it was the greatest guitar in the world!
You’re going on a short November tour, what should fans expect from these shows?
A good mixture of old and new songs, one or two surprises and a very Christmasy mini-set of seasonal music!
After the tour, what’s next for Letters to Cleo?
Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, a new album, Memorial Day…the usual…