Lonely The Brave talk to Steven Loftin in this exclusive GIGsoup interview. Edited by Hazel Webster. Lead image by James Oakley
In the middle of a tour where they’re currently road testing new material as well as stoking the fan-fire, I managed to catch up with Gavin ‘Mo’ Edgeley and Ross Smithwick from Lonely The Brave to discuss the new material, touring and other fun stuff. After meeting them outside of the venue, Manchester Club Academy, we proceeded up to a room on the top floor of the building which was intimate at best.
How’s things going then? This is the fourth day into the tour correct?
RS: Yeah, good! I mean it’s getting steadily better dare I say.
MO: It’s picking up pace. We’re not spritely anymore, it takes us a few days to get in to it!
And what do you find to be your favourite aspect of touring?
MO: I like all of it, it’s my favourite thing to do totally. I like it much better than doing other things like being in the studio. It can get a bit sort of…
RS: I mean, it’s a weird existence isn’t it but the shows at the end of the day are amazing. There’s a lot of waiting around…
MO: *laughs* to me that just breaks up the monotony. It’s the in-between, the between shows and stuff that you really need to find something to do.
So on to the second album, how’s it coming along?
MO: Yeah, pretty much finished, we’ve got to head back up and do a couple of other bits and pieces in January but yeah it’ll be totally done, completely finished.
Do we have any estimate of a release date?
MO: We’re hoping for May, really. Maybe early summer, hit the festivals.
RS: We’ll see…we might not get it done for then…
MO: Yeah, at some point, even if it costs a million pounds.
Is there much of a difference to the first album, in the process or the sound?
MO: There’s definitely a different sound on it, it’s a damn sight… sounds a lot better in my opinion. I’m probably biased because I’ve been listening to that album for god knows how many years. Like Ross has come in about a year, two years ago, so we’ve written as a five piece together for the first time. We did the entirety of the first album as a four piece, so now we’ve got some of Ross’ influences in there.
With a fifth person is it easier now, with that extra person?
MO: it’s makes things definitely harder, It’s just another opinion you don’t need *laughs* we’ve all got them all flying around left, right and centre…No it’s been great really, it’s just the first album is what it is and it’s just a shame Ross wasn’t involved.
Do you think it would have changed much, having Ross before?
MO: The sound? Dynamically I think it would’ve done. We’d probably have had about 2,000 guitar takes to it rather than 1,000. But no, I don’t know it’s really difficult to say we didn’t expect anything from that first album.
(2014’s ‘The Days War’) Which blew up massively…
MO: Yeah it did, yeah, very weird.
RS: Just still can’t understand…the next records gonna be like a different feel.
MO: We’ve not actually listened back as pieces are flying back… and being on tour we just can’t listen to it, we’ll wait till we get home and listen to it on some decent speakers. It’s gonna be different, the first album’s so old now. The old ones are still important, they aren’t going anywhere once you put that album out there, it’s just, you know people take what they want from it and just enjoy it and hopefully the new one as well, all going well.
Everything to do with your brand is, in one word, epic. Is this all purposeful or is it all circumstantial?
MO: There wasn’t a single agenda, it’s really cool that’s everything’s happened but it’s also baffling because everything was paid for ourselves and, like I said, it was a four piece just around Dave’s house and you know shitty little rehearsal rooms.
Taking that you’re originally from Cambridge, how are you finding writing new material after coming from a small place and having that environment? Will this have an obvious affect?
MO: Probably to a certain extent… we’re all roughly in the same area still, Dave’s in between London and Cambridge because his child’s in London. So it’s definitely going to show on the next album it’s just going to be a combination of stuff that’s happened in between the last record and this one. Really excited by it.
Last few questions then, quickly back to touring, where are your favourite places to play?
MO: It’s an odd one really, you know Manchester’s always been really good and last time we were in Glasgow, always have a good time in Glasgow, but it’s just some are better than others you just feel really grateful to be able to do it
RS: It’s always a good turnout wherever we go, you know which is like obviously amazing because we can go up to Glasgow, and we can go across the country which is amazing.
MO: It’s been a steady climb you know, it’s not been like oh here’s our one moment and then suddenly there you are. We wouldn’t have wanted it that way to be honest, we’re not built for it, emotionally, psychologically or financially. *laughs*
RS: It feels like we’re doing things in a good way, steadily moving up the ladder. And it’s spreading out to Europe as well which is phenomenal to see, three shows in Holland and they’re all close to selling out and one in Berlin sold out the other day. That’s when it kind of starts to sink in that you’re doing something right.
And favourite songs to play live for whatever reason?
MO: I like playing ‘The Blue, The Green’.
RS: Yeah ‘The Blue, The Green’ and ‘Backroads’ because they’re the ones that the audience knows they’re gonna see every night and people go mad for it, but fun wise, I like ‘Black Saucers’ because it’s heavy and you get to thrash out.
MO: Yeah, it’s like when we played that last night, I don’t know what happened at the end of it we just…sometimes it gets like that you know, you just keep pummelling and pummelling, even when the songs ended.
RS: I don’t really know what happened either we just kind of…everything broke! The new ones are really fun to play, there’s obviously less crowd reaction.
MO: A few blank faces, with the clapping. *claps*
RS: No they went down really well actually, there’s one that’s really quite long and a bit mad.
Do they have names yet or are you still on that process as well?
MO: Yeah…most of them have names, few have working titles I think. That won’t be finalised until the track listing’s done, until it’s on a piece of paper on the back of the record.
To finish up, the favourite song you’ve written, lyrically or musically?
MO: …start of the earlier record, I’d definitely say something like ‘Call of Horses’ because I love Dave’s lyrics and his vocals on that but, I’m just like, I’ll just always be a fan of Dave to be honest. It’s just nice to watch him do what he does from where I am on stage and stuff like that. And obviously with a song like ‘The Blue, The Green’…
RS: …It’s become this sort of epic track and that’s transcended and connected with audiences. We get messages all the time saying crazy stuff like – what was the one on Facebook the other day? Some guy was saying “Oh I was gonna kill myself before I heard your music.”
RS: Yeah it’s like, we do get a lot of that stuff! We get some like, really deep shit, and obviously that is amazing. That’s something to be very proud of.
MO: It’s difficult to keep up with all the messaging as well. It can make you quite paranoid sometimes, not ignoring people, just not being able to actually keep up with it and stuff.
RS: You get things like that and you wanna write a massive letter about it…
At least you made the difference
MO: It’s the biggest thing you can do in life really, just try and do something like that, and just try and be genuine.
Lonely The Brave are one of the few bands who are completely genuine. They’ll always come straight out after the show to meet every single fan that waits. They’ll give you everything they have till there’s nothing left and then they’ll just find some more. The future of music is far from a bleak one, the big sounding guitars bands are all still here, just waiting for their time, and Lonely The Brave will be at the front of the line.