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Interview with Lonely The Brave
27 April 2015
LONELY THE BRAVE
Lonely the Brave is a five piece Melodic Rock band from Cambridge who play powerful uplifting music that has elements of indie and modern rock but manages to keep its own unique identity. So far the band has released an E.P. called 'Backroads' as well as their debut album 'The Day's War' which, at the time of writing this, has crashed straight into the UK album charts at number 11. Roland Oei talked with guitarist Mark Trotter to find out more about the band.
Can you please give us a brief history of how you got together and the main things you have done so far?
We have been a band for just over four years now and we came together the way most bands come together, we all live in or around Cambridge and the scene there is pretty incestuous so we all kind of knew each other and the timing was right and we became that thing over there (points to the stage). In the last 18 months we have toured everywhere pretty much in Europe, we have opened up for Springsteen, played with the Deftones, Neil Young, Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds, Rock Am Ring, all the bits and pieces.
Has the music changed between the E.P. and the album?
It hasn't changed at all. Some of the tracks on the E.P. are on the album the reason being that we already had the album recorded before we released the E.P. We wanted people to have a taster of what we were doing but not give our album out straight away so it hasn't changed naturally. It will for the second record but for now it hasn't.
You recorded the album in 2012. Why has it taken so long to get released?
Various reasons really. We were going to self release it at one point and then Hassle Records got involved a little while ago and so we had 18 months or so with Hassle and then after that Columbia/Sony got involved and they asked us to delay putting out the record and allow them to do what they do which was a really hard decision for us to make as we desperately wanted the record out but I do think it was the right decision to have made now.
Is there a typical writing process within the band?
Yeah pretty much we all write but I mean people will come in with an idea and the music comes first. Dave does all the lyrics and all the vocals so he will take the songs away and do what he does which is infinitely better than any of us could do on that sort of thing.
In another interview you said you are still learning things about Dave through his songs.
Yeah I think so. It is quite an interesting one because I write music about situations I guess and music is kind of my vehicle for doing that where as Dave's vocals and lyrics are his vehicle for doing that so we do kind of get to know some things in that respect.
Which songs do you feel are the most personal for you and Dave?
I think they are all personal to Dave. That is not a cop out. If you listen to the lyrical content of the songs some of them are very honest and it is very obvious as to what they are about. Others are more slightly more veiled. For me, probably The Blue, The Green. I know what that song means to Dave and what it means to me personally so that is probably my one.
Apparently Dave doesn't like facing or looking straight at the audience when you play live.
That is not strictly true. We just get this kind of....Dave is not your typical front man who is standing at the front of the stage swinging a mike around his head. That we applaud him for, if I am honest. Yeah Dave stands at the back by the drums and goes with it and lets it take him somewhere else which is a lot different from what other people do I guess.
Is there a specific meaning behind 'The Day's War'?
That is one of Dave's lyrics and it is based around the fact that everyone has things that they go through. Life isn't easy and to some people each day is a war.
There is a CD book pack version of the album which is limited. What do people get for their money with that and how limited is it?
I am not entirely sure how limited they are actually. In terms of the actual book pack you get all of the lyrics hand written on the inside which is something that is really special to us and is something that we really wanted because as I said earlier for me as a musician, my job is to provide the vehicle for Dave's lyrics so to me they are the most important thing. He would probably disagree with that (laughs). Yeah, that's the thing, you have all the lyrics in Dave's handwriting.
What are you most proud about the songs on the album?
It's the fact that they are out there now after all this time. That is the most amazing thing for me. Our record came out this week and we are number 11 in the UK chart so it really is a bonkers time.
How would you describe your sound to someone that hasn't heard you?
I don't really know how to describe it. We get asked that all the time. A friend of ours, we were on a tour with called Bad Rabbits and the drummer coined it best. He said I don't know how to describe your music so I am going to call it Doom Pop.
Where does the Doom come into it?
Well if you have a listen to the record, the lyrical content will describe some of that I guess. It can be pretty dark at times.
Mark Williams (Biffy Clyro) produced the album. How did you end up working with him and what did you learn from him?
Well our manager worked with him on previous projects and suggested him and we had done some demos with him before and he's a really good guy, really talented so it was worth going with him and all we wanted him to do was catch a version of our sound live, you know how we sound live in the studio and he did an amazing job especially with the budget that we had at the time.
Did you record the album live all playing at the same time in the studio?
It wasn't a live take, no. Well sort of I guess but no not like we were in a room, mike up and go for it. We had a period of four weeks to do that whole record.
Did the songs change much while you were in the studio?
No. We knew what we wanted from it and pretty much went in and bashed it out. Some things do change in the studio but not dramatically.
Were some of the songs easier to write?
Yes definitely. The songs that write themselves are the easiest ones and they are usually the best ones. They just come from somewhere and they hit you and off it goes and it does its thing but others you have to work at a bit more.
Can you pick two songs that people that haven't heard you before should check out?
I would probably say 'Backroads' because it is just a real good interpretation of who we are and represents us I guess and maybe 'Black Saucers' because that is at the other end of the spectrum of what we do. It is a bit heavier, a bit faster and a bit more chaotic and I think our live sound and our live performance is a bit more chaotic as well so I will go with that one.
What are your main goals for the band?
This is not in any way being funny but we are very much in the mind set of taking every day as it comes. Above surviving from doing this, that is our key. That is all we want to do, to be able to survive and play music and everything above that is a bonus. This is our full time job and if we can keep doing that we are happy.
Have you got any message for your fans that read this?
We are amazed. The reaction to the record has been incredible and just thank you to everyone that waited because it could have been really quite bad and it wasn't and everyone stuck by us so a massive thanks to anyone who is listening to it and keeping us on this journey.