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Interview: Lower Than Atlantis

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Fast-rising British band Lower Than Atlantis have just begun their 2013 UK tour, and we catch the band before their set at Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton.  

After being stopped in the street for a photo with a fan, and a desperate search for a McDonalds, vocalist Mike Duce talks about their year so far, festivals, and what fans can expect after The Fuck It To The Man Tour.

 

Lower Than AtlantisSo your new album has been out since October, and it’s a bit of a change in sound from World Record, was that a conscious decision? 

It never is really, we listen to all types of music, we listen to absolutely everything and it just seems to happen.  It keeps it interesting.  I think, if you’re a music fan, you can appreciate anything as long as it sounds good and a lot of our fans are quite open minded.  

We do have certain fans that just like one album, but we play a bit of everything.  It wasn’t conscious at all; it’s just what comes out. 

Have your musical influences changed over the past few years, or do you still find inspiration in the same kind of places? 

There’s a few core artists that will always be there with us, but we keep up to date with what’s going on in the musical world and check out new artists, and I guess it has changed.  You’ve got to look at what is current and what people like, not that we’d ever change what we’re doing but you’ve got to incorporate a little bit of that, to keep yourself relevant. 

Do any of you have a particular favourite song from the new album? 

I don’t know, you always put so much into each one of them so it’s tough.  So no, they’re all bloody great! 

Earlier this year you supported All Time Low on their UK tour, how was that? 

It was cool, it wasn’t something we’re used to because we were playing to a younger crowd and the idea was to go and play to a different demographic and pick up some new people.  I don’t know if kids are interested in what we play, like ‘children’ kids, because some of them are like twelve and there with their mums and dads, so I guess they want to hear about girlfriends and other crap, but we don’t play that kind of music. 

Did you get along well with the guys in ATL, and would you be up for doing something with them again? 

Yeah we did.  We’ve been a touring band for six years, we’ve been everywhere and we meet so many people that, when you tour with another band that’s been doing that for as long as you have then there’s a kind of mutual “Hey man, how’re you doing?”, but you can’t possibly be best friends with everyone the whole time.  There’s just not time for it, we get along really well but don’t call each other up all the time. 

If they asked us [to go on tour] again then we’d probably think about it, it all depends on what you each have on at the time. 

As well as that, you’ve just started on your new tour too! What is the best thing about being on the road, and the worst thing (besides the lack of McDonalds’)? 

Getting pictured outside McDonalds! Probably the best thing is that now we have a really nice tour bus.  We used to tour in busted up vans that we used to buy for cheap, and sleep on peoples floors.  So now we have a really nice tour bus with a kitchen, a bathroom and flat screen TVs and stuff, that’s definitely the best thing. We’re still kind of getting used to that. 

The worst thing is missing people.  If we ever go away for a long time that’s always quite hard, because everyone is in long term relationships, apart from Eddy.  He’s single, and up for it, put that in there!  Missing loved ones is hard.  And trying not to be an alcoholic! 

Are you looking forward to visiting any particular cities on tour, or have you had a really great night in any place so far? 

No, we’re not looking forward to any of them, we hate everyone equally!  London, I guess, because that’s always the biggest market.  It’s at Shepherds Bush Empire as well, which is a pretty big deal.  We played there three times in a row with All Time Low while we were a support band, so to be headlining on our own is pretty cool.  We know what to expect as well seeing as we’ve played there before, so nothing can go wrong at that show. And now I’ve just jinxed it! 

I’ll un-jinx it, I’ll say it’s going to go horribly and then it’ll be fine! 

There you go, sorted! 

You signed to a new label, Island Records, fairly recently as well.  How is that going, are you feeling happy with them? 

Out of all the labels that could have come to us, although it’s a major label and, essentially, what they do is make money out of music, I think Island is a lot more credible in that it’s not big fat dudes that know nothing about what’s current, sitting around a desk in an office.  It’s younger people, and people that like music, so it’s cool.  It’s been really good, couldn’t be happier. 

As well as doing your own tours, you’ve played a fair few festivals as well.  Do you prefer being on tour or being part of a bigger festival? 

It’s a completely different vibe at festivals because there’s SO many people that you’re playing to, and they might not necessarily know who you are and like you, so it’s always a challenge.  You’ve got to win them over.  

It’s like being on a support tour, you’ve got some of your fans there, but a lot are people who could just be walking past, see you and walk over to have a look.  I always feel you have to put a little bit more effort in to try and win people over there, but you can’t beat your own headline tour.  Every single person is there to see you, so even if you went out there and farted down a microphone it’s still going to be bloody great, because everyone’s there for you. 

Are there any festivals that you feel went really well for you guys? 

Reading and Leeds, definitely, last year was mental.  That was kind of a dream come true as well, as we’d never played it before. 

Are there any festivals planned for the band in 2013?

We’re not allowed to announce any until after this tour, but we have what I think is a ridiculous slot on quite a big festival.  I can’t say any names, but we’re pretty blown away with where we’re playing.  It’s going to be absolutely great. 

Are there any new ones that you would really love to play at, or ones you would like to play again? 

We’d probably like to headline smaller ones like Heavy Fest and Slam Dunk.  They’re really fun, and the great thing about festivals is that all of our mates are in bands as well, and that’s why they’re our mates.  Because everyone is always on tour the whole time, and everyone is in different places it’s hard to stay in touch.  But, at things like that, it’s just like all of your mates in one place, and you get free booze, so it’s a fucking mental party.           

So what’s next for Lower Than Atlantis? 

We’re not really thinking about albums, we’re working on songs at the moment, trying to get some really good songs together.  There’s not really pressure from the label, and we’ve been bashing them out once a year but we’re going to chill out for a bit now.  We’ll get a little bit of time off, work on some new music, see our families and stuff like that and then, I don’t know.  Release another shit album!

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