by Ed Mellet
The Lost Prophets are busier than they’ve ever been right now. ‘Start Something’ has just been released in the UK and has received widespread acclaim in the States. After taking a long break to record it, the band have set out on what will in effect be a year long world tour covering Europe and the United States. It’s something they’re very excited about. We caught up with Lee from the band at the Manchester date of the latest tour.
“If anything we’re enjoying touring more now than ever before. Now we’re back on the road playing new songs every night it all feels so fresh, it’s great. Saying that, we’re still playing all the old songs too, and we love doing it. I still love playing Shinobi!”
The Lost Prophets have an air of defiance about them nowadays in both their live shows and on record. It is something which seems to have been verified by the success of the album. “The album itself was actually a bit of a fuck you to everyone that’s had a go at us in the past. You know, everyone changes their image and does their hair and what have you but, I don’t think it matters. Music’s my one love. We do like other stuff like fashion and shopping and clothes. But that doesn’t affect the music; if it did then I’d be concerned about it.”
But surely the band’s image is a large part of the all round Lost Prophet’s package? “Maybe,” says Lee. “But ultimately it comes down to the music. If the music’s good then that’s all that matters.”
The new album went into the UK chart at number 4, even higher than the new release from US rock gods Incubus. “This time the CD went gold in ten days. The last time it took almost a year! It kind of proved to us that we’re doing something right. I loved the last album, but it was recorded in a week and written in a short space of time, with next to no money. It was a really good album for us, but we feel like we’ve really done ourselves proud with ‘Start Something’, which we had a whole year to complete. We also had Eric Valentine producing it, the same guy who worked with Queen’s of the Stone Age.”
In light of the recent news of inter-band strife within Queen’s of the Stone Age and the rapid departure of Nick Oliveri, could it be said that anything similar occurs within Lost Prophets? “They had a hard time in that band. I know a lot of stuff about Nick and Josh, Nick didn’t have an easy ride in that band so that’s probably why he’s left. Good move for him. Good luck to Nick I say! As far as we’re concerned, if you spend every day of your life together with 6 guys there’s bound to be a few problems. But you just go off and find your own thing to do, like go off and listen to music or read a book or chill out and go shopping on your own. I always find time to get away from everyone. If we weren’t friends I think things could get a lot uglier!”
The group plan to release four singles from the record but, despite the blinding live rendition of Justin Timberlake’s ‘Cry me a River’ which has been added to the band’s live shows, there is no plan to release it as a single. “It can only ever by a b-side. I really like Justified. I think it’s a really good album. It’s so easy for us to go and cover a punk record or Glassjaw song like all other bands do, but we’d prefer to do something which takes time to work out. It’s not a metal song but we managed to turn it around to become a rock song. I think it shows another side to the band.”
Out of the last three live appearances of the band in Manchester, two have been at the Academy and one has been at the Academy III (Hop’n’Grape). Each has been a sell out. In fact every date of the latest UK tour has sold out. In light of this, is there a chance the band could be stepping up to Busted-sized venues in the near future? “I’d like to do it as an achievement thing. I don’t know how it would be if we were headlining, but we have played with Linkin Park in arenas. Performing to that many people is an absolutely incredible feeling. I don’t see there being a problem if everyone there is into it. It’s cooler to have more people totally into you than less! There are some plans for a two or three date arena tour at the end of the year, its possible we might even play the MEN.”
“There’s a lot of ground to cover until then though. We’re taking Funeral for a Friend out with us in Europe from the end of February and another band called When Reason Sleeps who are going to be the next band to get famous from Wales. They’re amazing.”
The Welsh metal scene has a reputation for being incredibly amicable and rather incestuous at times too! Lee admits that “Hondo Maclean, Funeral for a Friend, When Reason Sleeps and Shaped by Fate have all been around since we’ve been doing our first gigs. We played with Hondo Maclean in their old band and we played with Funeral in some form in their old three bands! I’ve known Dan from Funeral since 1990. We’ve been playing guitar the same amount of time.”
“We always pick all the bands we tour with. I think it’s pointless to pick people who sound similar to us. It’s far better to give the audience a selection of styles to listen to. Avenge Sevenfold and the Bronx (recent UK touring partners) sound completely different to us but its really good to have a wide selection of bands for the audience.”
The future looks pretty bright for the ever evolving Lost Prophets. After Europe and America, Reading and Leeds festivals seem set up for later in the year. I suggest you pay the band a visit, most likely towards the top of the bill on the main stage.
Interview by : Ed Mellet
all pictures (c) lost prophets
(c) (p) musicdash 2004