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Lonely The Brave Interview May 2015

Carrie Humphries

Triangle

2015 is shaping up to be a rather promising year for Cambridge’s Lonely The Brave. Following the successful release of their debut album in Autumn 2014; the lads have been out on the road for both their own tour and support slots with artists such as Twin Atlantic. They are now set for the release of a revised edition of the album and several festival appearances during the summer months. As I sit down with the band’s drummer, Gavin; I am told that their beginnings in the music business were not such smooth sailing. “We began from the local music scene in Cambridge, and various bands imploding. We basically decided to try something together and here we are.”

Guitarists Mark and Ross didn’t know what to expect nine months ago when The Day’s War was initially released; but excitingly, people are still discovering it and they are absolutely thrilled at the reaction from the listeners towards the songs. “The reaction has been unbelievably positive. Off the back of it, we’ve done so many mad things since; I mean, we’ve been constantly touring all over Europe. It’s been really humbling.” The album has been such a success for the band that they have decided to release a new version; The Victory Edition, with four additional tracks and some alternative versions of the old material. Mark says that there will be a long wait for the second full length record. “We wanted to get some new stuff out there as soon as possible, so the best way to get those tracks out there was to do this new edition of the record. We’re really proud about it and we’re doing a show in London in June with the alternative versions. It’ll be interesting to perform with pianos and strings going on.”

Lonely The Brave are back at Reading and Leeds Festival this year, for the third time in three years. They have also had opportunities over the last few years to play major venues supporting immense artists such as Bruce Springsteen and The Deftones. I ask whether they like playing these larger venues or prefer to perform to a more intimate audience. Ross likes both; “You play the small venues and see everyone and really connect; but then again the bigger ones are terrifying, yet amazingly exciting!” On their most recent tour with Twin Atlantic, Gavin particularly enjoyed their night at the Brixton Academy; “We’d never played Brixton before and usually I get really nervous before every show that I do, yet that night I didn’t have any nerves! It was one of my favourite shows that we’ve done in ages.” While we’re on the subject of support slots, I ask them if there’s any acts that they haven’t had the opportunity to perform with yet that they’d like to support on a tour, and there seems to be one band that they all agree upon; The National. “We’re all massive fans. They’re an incredible live band.”

Life on tour is not always the most exciting time for any band between performances, and can involve a lot of waiting around for sound check slots. The band tend to use this time for some hard earned relaxation and catching up on their favourite TV shows, in particular; The Office. Gavin says that everyone is rather content in this down time “It involves a lot of sitting around, but it’s fun though. You generally don’t get much moaning from us, apart from me sometimes.” I ask how they jolt themselves back into ‘performance mode’ when they are so relaxed, and Mark jokes “We fist bump! Have you ever seen Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place? Well we do that one!”

2015 has seen the band on the road throughout Europe for much of it, and they have seen both the darker and lighter side of touring. When asked about the strangest thing they’ve ever witnessed on tour Mark recalls “We were playing a show in Hamburg and Dave was in the tour bus chilling. The windows of our bus are tinted, so you can see out, but anyone outside can’t really see in. Anyway Dave was just chilling, and he saw this woman walk up to the bus and wondered what she was doing. Then she just got her penis out and started peeing up the side of the bus, so he was like ok… that’s not something you see everyday!”  Strange stories aside, they have loved every minute of the European dates. Ross enjoyed visiting Leon, while Gavin also liked Germany and Holland. They explain that one of the reasons that they enjoyed it so much, is that the European venues treat artists particularly well. “You get really spoilt when you’re touring in Europe. Venues look after you really well. The dressing rooms are usually crowded with nice food and drinks.”

With their music video for The Blue, The Green quite deservedly being nominated for a Kerrang! Award recently, I ask the band about the emotional rollercoaster of a video and Mark explains that the idea came from the director Greg following a brief of the song’s themes. “It’s a very personal song for David (our singer) in particular. It is about his brother and their relationship and bits and pieces. Greg expanded on that, and kind of ran with it a bit. At first I wasn’t keen on the idea; I thought that if it wasn’t handled sensitively then it would have been bad. Luckily Greg’s very good at what he does and got it perfectly. It has a kind of harrowing aspect to it, but it also has a massive amount of positivity and hope to it too.” Ross adds “The reaction to the video has been extremely positive overall. We have been really touched by the stories that have come in to us about how it helped people.”

For the rest of the year, the band will be promoting the re-packaged album with more dates across Europe and the UK, and getting to work on the much anticipated second album. With so much to look forward to later this year, it seems impossible to imagine that the band might have any regrets about their past; but I ask if they could go back in time and give their younger selves one piece of advice about being in a band, what would it be? Gavin answers “Don’t give up. Keep on going no matter what you do. Also don’t listen to anybody at school; certainly not at my old school!” He also smirks “I’d like to go back to 1988 and tell myself not to have that perm that I was given in the kitchen!”

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