LostAlone release their second album I’m a UFO In This City today which has seen them collaborate with two of the biggest music producers.
The band is currently whipping up a storm on their latest tour and I caught up with Steven to talk about the album and how the live shows are going.
- You kicked off your new tour last week so how are the shows going?
It is going great actually. We are nine days in and the tour is thirty eight days long so I am trying to look after my voice and stuff.
We have supported some bands in arenas and that has been amazing but we are playing 500 capacity venues and it is really cool to be right in front of people. I have been loving it yeah.
- For anyone who has got a ticket for any of the remaining shows what can they expect from the gig?
I think what they can expect is a very passionate show, we don’t just stand there and play out songs it’s the one moment of the day where I can let loose so it is pretty intense. The album songs come across as they do but with me trying to do press-ups on my guitar, it is the moment in the day where everything feels brilliant.
For people who haven’t seen us I think the best reaction that we have had. I don’t know about you but when you see something that is so brilliant that you laugh well I like to get that out of an audience.
So we have seen people smiling and, at the end of the day, music is entertainment; I take the writing of the songs very seriously but in terms of the show I want people to be happy and leave saying ‘that was great.’
- With this tour you are performing material from you new album I'm A UFO In This City so how are the new songs being received by audiences?
It’s insane. I am so happy because we have had quite a struggle to get the record out over the last year because of boring label stuff. The songs have been out there on YouTube videos of us playing live so people do know then, and we have had a single out; people are loving it and I have been really overwhelmed.
We have never seen ourselves as a cool band, we are not part of any trends, and we have noticed that people are singing a long to songs that they haven’t even got. So that feels brilliant actually.
- Well that is my next question really how much of a buzz is it for you when you get to show off new songs to fans?
Oh it’s amazing! When you are playing them and you can’t see that the record is actually coming out it’s almost a depressing thing because people are saying ‘oh that’s a great song where can I get it?’.
But on Monday I know that my album is coming out and it’s amazing that we are playing these songs and people are reacting way better than they ever did to anything before.
I just felt I was writing for the world on these songs to make it universal and people are singing everything, it’s the best feeling in on earth when you go to somewhere that you have never been and kids are singing lyrics that you wrote in your mum and dad’s house. It’s an unbelievable feeling.
- And the new album is out today so what can we expect from the record?
It isn’t like a one trick pony, I suppose that is the best way to describe it, out first single was quite a heavy track and the one that has just gone up on YouTube is a big anthemic rock song. I have seen the Kerrang and NME reviews and they were amazing, not that reviews are everything, but these two reviews have got the band so well.
There are a lot of bands in the UK at the moment that all sound the same and out record doesn’t sound like that it sounds like LostAlone, that probably comes from the fat that I don’t listen to modern rock bands; my favourite artist at the moment is Marine and the Diamonds and she is nothing like what we play.
I love rock but it’s not really what I listen to it so I think that the melodic elements come from are band come from the fact that I listen to a lot of different stuff.
- You spent some time record this new album in LA so how was that experience?
That was crazy to be honest. It might sound boring but it almost didn’t matter that it was in LA for me because what was brilliant was when I was young I dreamt about going somewhere and making a record with the best producers.
We got thrown to LA and we were in a studio for six and a half weeks with two of the best producers so it was just amazing. My band mates went out and saw all the LA life and I was in the Oakwood apartments working on what we were doing because I was just so excited - but I am sure that I will get the chance see it again.
For a band from Derby to be flown out to LA and given everything that you want to make that record perfect it was like a dream come true really.
- Jacknife Lee and Greg Wells are just two of the big named producers on this record so how did those collaborations come about?
Basically I was asked to submit a list of my top five dream producers and those two were in it. So I couldn’t believe when they rung up excited to work with us they were like ‘we have heard the demos and we would really love to do you record’ and I was wow. With Jacknife Lee it was a natural think because he has done huge rock bands.
Greg Wells run me and said ‘I have done both of Katy Perry’s albums and Mica so I might not seem the obvious choice but I love your demos and I am a rock guy at heart’, I knew that it wouldn’t turn us into a pop band but it would bring out that element that I loved of our band; his tracks on the album are actually the more heavier ones.
So it really was a dream come true to work with those guys and I hope that we will work with them on the next record.
- So what does their experience bring to the album?
It’s like a musical freedom. I have worked with people before and it’s very much like you record the songs and you talk about songs maybe but you don’t talk about emotions.
With these guys it was about sitting down and getting to the heart of what I wrote the song about and that would shape the day, there’s a song on the album that I hate because it is about a dark time but they got me to go to that dark place and that is what the day was about.
So they brought a different level, it wasn’t just about sound it was about each song and you would completely immerse yourself in the feeling. And I think that is what separates these guys from your average producer you become part of the songs for the period that you are recording them.
For me that was heaven, apart from that one song which I hate; that took me to a dark place, but I loved the rest of it.
- What does the new album say about you as a band? And how have you developed since the first album?
I would say, kind of following on from the last question, on out first album it was like we didn’t even know we were making an album, we made some demos and then we made some more and we were like ‘this could be a record’ and things kind of took over.
With this album is was like this is when you are going to make it, you have this amount of time and I had a period of time where I could write the album; the first album it was just about the songs that I had.
This was about right I have a chance to go here and write an album and apart from two songs it was all written in a month, I was in my dressing gown for a month and I was getting up and writing a song then demoing it crudely before sending it to America to the label. When LA woke up at 4pm UK time I had feedback so it was a really collaborative process.
And what is says about the band I tend to go off what other people are saying because it sounds arrogant to say that you are unique but I have been so happy that all the people who have heard the record have said it doesn’t sound like what is going on now - that will either be the greatest thing for us or it will kill us.
The worst thing that you can be is fashionable because that comes and goes, unless you are creating the fashion like The Strokes as they will be around forever because they were the top band at the garage/rock kind of thing. I think it’s good to be a band doing a certain thing rather than just trying to fit in, it’s all major label rubbish; they see one band doing well and so they sign twenty others.
- You wrote all the songs on the album so did the label give you the creative freedom to make write and record the music that you wanted and how important is that creative freedom?
That was a key thing of the deal to be honest, I would never sign anything where I was being forced to be a certain kind of thing; you have to think they are signing you for a reason and it’s because they have seen something within you.
The A&R guy Craig Aronson was brilliant because it was a very collaborative thing it wasn’t that they would choose. He has signed big bands like My Chemical Romance so I welcomed his input totally but I demoed seventy songs for this record and if it was a case of him saying ‘I want this one’ I would listen to his reasons but if I wanted a different one it was my and the band’s choice.
- The likes of 30 Seconds To Mars & My Chemical Romance have been heaping praise on the band and you music so what do you think if comments such as 'they make music like no one else'?
I’m sure you can imagine that it is kind of crazy to have that - also it is important to say that anyone who says that about you it is equally important. When you Gerard from My Chemical Romance of Jared Leto or the guys from Paramore it is so flattering and it brings a smile to you face.
Gerard Way has such a voice in rock music and I read the thing that he said in Kerrang and NME about us and I was just touched - he said that our music saved his life and it’s unbelievable that he said that.
Obviously I can’t ignore the fact that for a new band such as ourselves it really does help, especially somebody with status like that comes out and likes your band. But in modern day that is a real way that bands make it and get there the industry is so hard that you will see a lot of bands coming through that have been recommended by other bands.
So it feels great and it is really humbling actually, we have three of the biggest bands on the planet who are massive fans of us let’s just hope we can emulate what they have done. I don’t want to be the band that all the big bands like that never did anything; I don’t want to be Anvil. It feels good at the moment.
- You are on tour at the moment so are we going to be seeing you at any festivals this summer?
Yes hopefully, I can’t tell you any information at the moment because I don’t know any. That is definitely the hope and we would love to be at all the festivals, things are going on right now trying to sort that out.
- You have an ever growing fan base so for any of those fans reading this interview have you got a message for them?
Yes, it’s trust no one and question everything. I stand by that and I really do live by those words because there really are a lot of sharks about.
- Finally what’s coming up for you in the rest of 2012?
It will probably be like now just sitting on a tour bus and going everywhere and hopefully taking it around the world as well, touring with some of the bands that we have we seem to have a fan base everywhere.
Personally I would love to do what my favourite bands did in the seventies and have the next album recorded at the end of this year ready for next year. I write songs everyday so I don’t want to live on this album for two years I want to be talking to you this time next year about the next record. More songs, more touring, everything 24/7.
LostAlone’s album I’m A UFO In This City is out now and you can read a review of the record here
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw
tagged in LostAlone