Lonely The Brave Interview & Review @ Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton – Tuesday 1st October 2013

Lonely The Brave Interview & Review @ Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton – Tuesday 1st October 2013Lonely The Brave Interview & Review @ Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton – Tuesday 1st October 2013Lonely The Brave Interview & Review @ Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton – Tuesday 1st October 2013Lonely The Brave Interview & Review @ Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton – Tuesday 1st October 2013Lonely The Brave Interview & Review @ Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton – Tuesday 1st October 2013Lonely The Brave Interview & Review @ Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton – Tuesday 1st October 2013

Steve Gerrard Photography

As years goes by there are always one or more ‘up and coming artists’ or ‘the next big thing’, those terms get used so much that they start to lose meaning. Sometimes though they can be right and standing watching Lonely the Brave soundcheck in Wolverhampton, I can see why the music press has been singing this particular band’s praises. After a quick photoshoot with Steve on the slightly seedy backstreets of Wolverhampton we headed inside for a quick chat with Mo and Mark from the band.

Your debut EP release is officially out next week, you must be pretty excited about that?

Mark – Yeah, absolutely. Its been a little while coming and its a big moment for us. We are really happy with the tracks on it.

Mo – Its on vinyl as well which just makes the whole thing 10 times better, we never thought we would get it on vinyl but now we have and its lovely.

Mark – Its got all the lyrics handwritten inside as well, its gatefold, its proper.

Signing to Hassle Records is a pretty big deal, they are big independent label, how has that worked out?

Mark – They’ve been great to us. They can really understand what we’re doing and the way that we are on stage. A lot of people would want to change that and they are really accepting of the fact that Dave our singer likes to stand to one side. He isn’t a traditional front man and they’re really accepting of that, and that’s great. That’s how its always been…

Mo – It’s never going to change, its just what were comfortable with and we’ve been doing it for a long time.

Well he’s got a good voice so wherever he stands I can’t see it mattering.

Mo – He’s got a good set of pipes

Is it right that you’ve got an album out soon?

Mo – Yeah, hopefully January. It was meant to be out when the EP was coming out, that was our initial projected date but one things led to another and its hopefully coming out in January. Definitely next year.

You releasing that on vinyl as well?

Mark – Apparently so.

Mo – Yeah, that’s what were hearing so that will be amazing.

For a band that is yet to release your début you’ve had a fair few music publications singing your praises, what is it about you guys that made people stand up and take notice?

Mark – We’re not trying to be anything with our music, we didn’t set out to be any type of band and I think a lot of people identify with the fact it is just natural, there isn’t any gimmicks. I’m not saying all bands are but there are ones that maybe have an idea of what they want to be and try and aim for that but we haven’t. We just kind of ended up how we are and think a lot of people see that and see that its real. They’re just songs about things that have happened to us all and I think people identify with that.

Mo  – It wasn’t pre-meditated in the slightest, we just rehearsed and rehearsed and wrote and it just came out this way. Its really organic, not gimmicky or anything like that, we’re just doing what we do.

You guys are from Cambridge, what’s the music scene like there?

Mark – Cambridge itself has got a scene but where we’re from is mainly just fields and bleakness.

Mo – and cover bands in pubs on a Sunday afternoon but Cambridge is producing some pretty good music. Mallory Knox are from just up the road from us, yeah there’s a lot of good stuff coming out of Cambridge.

This summer saw you play Reading Festival, how did that go?

Mo – Amazing, a lifetimes dream. One of us would have been there that year if not like 2 or 3 of us even if we weren’t playing, we’ve been going for years and years and to be able to do Reading and Leeds, I’ll never get over that, its the pinnacle.

Mark – It’s a tick box its done moment.

You also just supported Deftones in Paris, that must have been a bit of a life affirming moment?

Mark – We are massive fans, huge fans and not only was it amazing to play with them and meet them but to realise that your heroes can be really nice guys as well which is really important. You’d be devastated if the people you looked up to when you were growing up weren’t the people you wanted them to be when you met them but they were the most accommodating bunch of guys.

Mo – One of my favourite drummers and a massive influence on me and he’s probably the nicest guy I’ve ever met. They were all just really sweet and good to us we couldn’t have asked for more really and we got out the country on this band!

Do you think support slots like that help your band to reach bigger audiences?

Mark – Absolutely, at the end of the day we played to god knows how many thousands of people that night that wouldn’t have know of our band till that night. The way things are now you can see the effect it has, all the nice messages on twitter and facebook and that’s even better. Any show, any where is worth playing if there is someone that will listen but to do to that kind of scale is amazing.

Mo – It would be really good to do it continuously as well, play the big tours and the big shows which is something we love doing. The ones we’ve done with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club a little while ago they were big shows for us as well, we really enjoy that big atmosphere.

What have you highlights been of 2013 so far?

Mo – Deftones is definitely up there

Mark – That has to be a career highlight. Reading and Leeds, Download was our first big festival, we supported Springsteen at Hard Rock Calling, signing to Hassle Records, its been a big year.

Mo – Signing to Hassle (http://www.hasslerecords.com/ )was a great day for us, I’ve been buying records from Hassle since early Alexisonfire and City and Colour records, I love all that stuff. That’s definitely a years highlight for me.

Anything exciting planned for the rest of the year other than your EP release?

Mark – There’s potential for some bits and pieces, live shows, we have our début London headline show on the 15th October which sold out months in advance which is pretty ridiculous!

Mo – Who’s buying these tickets?!

Mark – Its going to be the first time we play the album from start to finish as well, its the début of the record people won’t have heard it and that’s going to be a highlight I think.

Mo – This tour as well, this Zico Chain tour we’re about halfway through now has just been so much fun, just playing small venues then you get to a venue like this.

Mark – Now I’m not just saying this but we’ve been to a lot of venues and this is by far the best venue so far.

Personally what are your favourite releases of the year so far?

Mark – There’s two probably for me actually, The National, I love that record, actually I’m just going to go with that one.

Mo – I would say probably the new Defeater record which I love, its great in all its dark miserable glory. I absolutely love that.

Mark – Its a van favourite.

Mo – Yeah, we put that on in the van all the time. The new Deftones as well, that’s a great album.

Any guilty pleasures in the van on those long drives?

Mark – We do have 80’s cheese, evenings of driving home listening to Meatloaf and singing.

Mo – Yeah we have Meatloaf and Erasure, they’re popular as are Pet Shop Boys. I don’t really count it as guilty pleasure because they wrote bangers. Erasure- A Little Respect, that’s a classic. Dave will put a little Madonna on, Papa Don’t Preach.

Mark – He put on Cyndi Lauper.

Mo – Was it ‘True Colours’?

Mark – No not ‘True Colours’ the other one

Mo – ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’?

Mark – Yeah!

And on that note the interview was over.

Steve Gerrard Photography

After a quick refuel I headed back the the venue to catch their set and was looking forward to it, I mean if you sound that good in soundcheck the real thing isn’t going to be too shabby. Lonely the Brave don’t really have the usual band dynamic as far stage positioning, the guitarists are at the front and the main focus of attention while the singer Dave choosing to stand in the shadows in the back of the stage. It may seem a bit odd for a lead singer to not want to hog the limelight but its all forgotten when the guy opens his mouth and belts out the songs because boy has he got one hell of a voice.

Steve Gerrard Photography

This band has the potential for a huge future, the songs off the EP sound massive especially Deserter and Black Saucers and the crowd takes it all in giving every song a massive round of applause. The guitarists up front are very much the focus of attention and they really seem into it but your eye can’t help but be drawn to Dave. He may have positioned himself to the back but he quite clearly means every word he sings, you can’t fake that emotion as he loses himself in the songs.

Steve Gerrard Photography

If you like huge rock songs then I suggest you start listening to Lonely the Brave, pick up there EP on vinyl if you can because you never know how much that could be worth down the line. This band could be the next Pearl Jam and you could be one of those that supported them from the start.

Steve Gerrard PhotographySteve Gerrard Photography

Review & Interview by Hannah Sebestjanowicz
Photographs by Steve Gerrard

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