Hey, we’re back, and we have an awesome new interview with s&n faves Lions. Talking about their latest release ‘Forgettingism’, and their previous EP’s ‘MTNZ’ and ‘Roosevelt’, Lions also consider what lies ahead.
What’s the story behind Forgettingism?
Immediately, after ROOSEVELT – we felt it was time to write again and tighten the screws and begin redeeming ourselves. Before we even recorded the songs, we decided we wanted to release a mega split. Multiple bands, two songs each. With that in mind, we already had in mind to write two tracks that we would be super fucking rad. I started formulating the split, which was hard (coordinating schedules, recording times, bands that were willing and able by having new material). We were talking to You’ll Live, Tir Asleen, Televangelist, The Speed of Sound in Seawater, So Much Light, Cloud Gavin, etc. For the most part, those bands are some of our friends and are incredible musicians. In the middle of formulating the split, we finished writing the two songs: “Defeating Verbs” and “…And Then You Moved Away”. Sadly, putting together everyone’s schedule was too difficult and we decided just to put the two songs out immediately digitally.
We also recorded at a new studio (which was the reason we felt ROOSEVELT fell short in any aspect) – with that solved, everyone felt smoother and more organic. Resulting in what we feel is our strongest written songs yet.
How do you feel you guys have progressed from MTNZ to Forgettingism?
This is probably the best question and probably the hardest to answer. When we first were recording MTNZ we didn’t have a sense of what we were releasing, and we didn’t even know what to call ourselves in terms of genre or sound. After releasing it, all the things reviewers and bloggers were saying helped us to match what it is we were doing: mathrock, poprock, indierock, emopunk, etc. When that immediately happened, we were excited to be associated with former bands under those tags and categorizations, but also nervous because anything released after would be judged immediately.
The most important thing that happened between those releases was right after MTNZ was recorded; we got our new drummer, NATHAN LARSON. He has been pivotal in any element of us keeping our sound and any changes in our sound. ROOSEVELT was us getting used to writing together. We kind of got fucked during the recording process and made for the final result to be less than savory, but we still love those songs and wish we played more of those songs live.
ROOSEVELT was recorded live, with both guitars, bass, and drums all in one room with no click. We then decided to record the two songs off of FORGETTINGISM live as well, except in a new studio that is about an hour and a half south of were we are based. MTNZ: we were just trying to write songs that people would want to sing and dance to. ROOSEVELT: we finally had enough people listening that were interested in what we were doing but we at times in that release got too in our heads and had a lot of ideas at one time, but ultimately the songs were actually more personal, lyrically to me. FORGETTINGISM: has us, finally being able to mix the two were they are appropriate. Technicality with the fun and emotive, that we will continue to do.
I think I have grown as a lyricist. I have tried to cover a lot of ground with my themes so to push myself and how I really feel about particular things. Relationships, family, careers, jobs, being isolated or alienated, because I don’t want to be known for writing about the same things. Also, I have never really considered myself a singer – I merely did it because I know that LIONS should have a singer and music with words and I was willing to do it. I am finally getting the confidence in my voice because of our friends and family being so honest about how much they enjoy my voice and the melodies and by singing along so much at shows, which is opening up a lot of opportunities for our songs.
We have progressed by having enough confidence in ourselves in writing, and also still having the excitement to mindlessly experiment and try new things. Sometimes it works and allows for parts of songs or riffs that you never would have been able to sit down and write methodically. The one constant with this band has been to try and make passionate, poppy punk rock that at times is technical but is always accessible and relatable.
Are there plans in place to release Forgettingism or Roosevelt on vinyl or any other format?
We have no plans for ROOSEVELT, and for FORGETTINGISM we have currently put up preorders for it on Cassette Tape through a new distro/label Emp’r’r Records (Emperor). The Tapes just arrived on Tuesday (7/30/13) and they will start shipping immediately. Also, we will have them at shows. The idea behind the split was to have a physical release with a bunch of unique bands; so even without everyone being able to contribute we still wanted to have a physical element with these two songs. Resulting in the tape with different artwork.
What next? I hear you’re getting ready for a UK tour?
We are mentally preparing for the tour but we are unsure if it will actually come through. We released MTNZ through Enjoyment Records, and Dale from Enjoyment is currently helping us book and put together the tour. The big problem going on now is that we are wanting to go overseas at a peculiar time. End of December until the beginning week of January. Apparently there are a lot of issues with that time frame, but that is the only time that works for us due to college. Hopefully it comes through, but if not we will still tour in the states. We just want to come to the UK because a lot of people tell us constantly that they would appreciate it. It would be incredibly fun for us but it is getting the details in order that may make it impossible to make-work.
Are you in the writing process at the moment?
We are always writing, per se. We are currently arranging a Blink 182 cover for a tribute vinyl that Enjoyment Records is putting out later this year. We want it to be good so we are making sure to do the best cover we possibly can.
We have started writing for an ambitious release once the Blink cover is sorted out, with a lot of songs so were planning to take our time for once. We released MTNZ a little over a year ago, then ROOSEVELT and then two new songs two months after.
Thorough, but honest and interesting. Thanks to Josiah and Lions.
You can listen to Forgettingism here: Lions
Buy it on tape here: http://emperorrecords.bandcamp.com/merch