Sunday, 6 October 2013

TRANSIENCE: Our interview with Welsh classic rock band LowLife!

Photo: Watch this space for out interview with classic rock band LowLife, it'll be up later tonight! AB Records
1 - What was your earliest musical memory and what pushed you towards pursuing a career in the music industry?
Gary: "When I was a kid I was particularly taken by 'Billy Don’t be a Hero' by Paper Lace although I think that may have been a cowboy thing. When I was ten my parents bought me a cassette recorder and my uncle gave me a home recorded tape of the Beatles' Abbey Road and Sergeant Pepper. Pretty good start eh? After that I was constantly borrowing stuff from him. All the Beatles stuff, The Who Live at Leeds, Who/Hendrix stuff. Good taste my uncle!"
Lee: "My dad plays bass and I used to go to gigs with him as a child, so it comes
from there."
Steve: "My mum singing me to sleep with my favourite 'I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen'. Much later, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple and may others inspired me and made me want a career as a musician."
2 - Had you been involved in any other band prior to LowLife?
Gary: "I was in a punk band from South Wales called Stiff Kittens for about ten years. We did a lot of work. Five albums of varying quality and played everywhere. We broke up amicably a few years ago."
Lee: "Yep...had a fairly successful band called "Rufus T Firefly" but that sadly
kind of faded away."
Steve: "Yes many! The most well know being Welsh classic rock band Budgie from 1974 until 2010 when the band last toured. Until recently I also played with LowLife guitarist Lyndon Price’s rock covers band Axe II Grind."
3 - How did LowLife begin?
Gary: "My old band used to record at Lyn our guitarist's studio and he and I had already known each other and enjoyed each other’s company. I’d known Lee for a few years as he’s a neighbour of my parents."
Lee: "Tuesday night music club with Lyn, Gary and sort of evolved."
4 - Where did the name LowLife come from?
 Gary: "It came from one of the first songs we started writing. It’s funny because Stiff Kittens came from a Joy Division rejected name and Low Life is an album by New Order, the band which Joy Division became."
Lee: "Our first tune we wrote together had that title."
5 - How would you describe the sound of LowLife?
Gary: "Modern, melodic, anthemic British rock. If you like The Manics, Skunk Anansie, The Cult you’ll like us. I’ve heard people call us an indie rock band but I think that we have bigger, grander ideas and plans than that! When we play live we really kick some arse. Don’t forget there’s a lot of experience in these old hands!"
Lee: "Classic rock with a twist..."
Steve: "Melodic, eclectic, old school meets new tricks rock 'n' roll at it’s very best."
6 - Your debut album was called 'Transience', which made number one on Amazon's Classic Rock Download Chart. How did it feel to get this acclaim with your first album?
Gary: "At the time, it was euphoric. We were gobsmacked. I still have a photo from the Amazon site where our album is in-between Physical Graffiti and The Houses of the Holy. Two Led Zeppelin albums!  Two of my favourites! In the cold light of day it doesn’t mean a great deal but it’s something for the CV."
Lee: "Amazed!"
Steve: "Wonderful."
7 - What influenced the songs of your first album?
Gary: "We brought in loads of influences because we all like different things.  It was written a song at a time. When one thing was done, we started on something else.  My main influences are probably The Who, U2, Mike Peters/The Alarm for the acoustic stuff and also lesser influences like Pink Floyd, The Stones and The Beatles.  Lyn is a metal head but I know he listens to The Carpenters too!  Lee likes prog stuff like Dream Theater which is not my thing at all. We would all bring individual songs in which would sound like our influences but when we all get together and play they sound like LowLife."
Lee: "For me it had to be melodic and catchy...I am a huge Steve Lukather fan, so
that was my shape on it, then combined with Gary and Lyn it became LowLife
8 - You are now working on your second album. What can fans be expecting from it?
Gary: "We have a few things in the can already that sound interesting. One very catchy poppy rock song and one rhythmically complex thing that’ll be cool to play live.  I’d like to do something long and sprawling like Physical Graffiti, Exile on Main Street or Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Not a concept album but a huge collection of songs that takes the listener on
an adventure."
Lee: "We have some stuff in the pipeline...a catchy pop rock tune that we are
playing live already called 'Rising Son', and a groovy 7/8 tune that we have
been rehearsing called 'Utopia'. Plus many, many ideas sitting there in Pro
Same genre as Transience but a different head on it. We will write and
rehearse this album before recording it, which is completely the opposite of
the last one."
Steve: "Sometime in 2014. Exciting ideas being churned out like happy meals on a Saturday afternoon."
9 - Do you have any 'rituals' before you go on stage?
Gary: "Have a pee and remember to take my drugs!"
Lee: "Not me personally, but others do haha!"
Steve: "I insist on a gramophone in the dressing room so I can play my 78’s and practice my tango and polka steps."
10 - Any live dates coming up?
Steve: "We have one more date this year at the Factory in Porth in October and a few festivals pencilled in for next year. Keep a look out on the website or Facebook for announcements."
11 - Any new songs in the pipeline?
Gary: "I’ve just told you that! Poppy rock track and one that’s a bugger to play live but cool as fuck!"
Steve: "Shedloads. Watch this space."
12 - When can fans be expecting the next release?
Gary: "Not for a while as we've only just started writing. It'll be next year sometime."
Steve: "2014."
13 - Who would be your dream collaboration?
Gary: "I’ve got it already! Me on vocals and guitar, Lee Powell on bass, Lyn Price on guitar, Kev Parry on keyboards and Steve Williams on drums."
Lee: "We already have it..."
Steve: "I’m honoured to presently be sitting behind four of the most talented musicians I’ve ever worked with in the most musically satisfying collaboration of my career. I’ve spent many years compromising on my musical principles and sticking with what I don’t really believe in to keep the wolves from the door and it’s a breath of fresh air to finally be in a band where everyone knows what they are doing and always do it to the best of their ability."
14 - Who would be in your dream supergroup?
Gary: "Most of them are dead! John Bonham, John Lennon, John Entwistle, David Gilmour,  Mick Jagger. It goes on..."
Lee: "Steve Lukather, John Petrucci, Mike Portnoy, David Paich, Bruce Dickenson,
Nathan East, Leland Sklar...the list goes on."
Steve: "Micky Dolenz, Chas Chandler, Rob Zombie and Uncle Bulgaria."
1 - Favourite Beatle?
Gary: "George Harrison."
Lee: "George."
Steve: "Pete Best."
2 - Favourite band?
Gary: "The Who/Stones."
Lee: "Toto/Dream Theater."
Steve: "Deep Purple (original line up)."
3 - Favourite new band?
Gary: "None of them, they're all shite!"
Lee: "Avenged Sevenfold."
Steve: "None of them, they're all shite!"
4 - Favourite song?
Gary: "Baba O'Riley, Wild Horses or the medley on side two of Abbey Road."
Lee: "Hells Bells - AC/DC."
Steve: "Jealous Guy (Lennon)."
5 - Favourite album?
Gary: "Varies depending on my mood. Quadrophenia, Sticky Fingers. I like Send Away the Tigers by the Manic Street Preachers."
Lee: "Kingdom of Desire - Toto."
Steve: "Court of the Crimson King."
6 - Vinyl, CD or download?
Gary: "I used to buy loads of records but I'm afraid I'm a CD man."
Lee: "CD."
Steve: "Vinyl."
7 - Style icon?
Gary: "I have no style. Swagger maybe. I love the way Paul Weller looks."
Lee: "I have no style!"
Steve: "Harold Steptoe."
8 - Favourite clothing brand?
Gary: "Levi, Converse."
Lee: "Mmm..."
Steve: "Primark."
9 - Favourite film?
Gary: "The original Italian Job."
Lee: "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels."
Steve: "Monster Inc."
10 - Favourite TV show?
Gary: "Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes."
Lee: "Have I Got News For You."
Steve: "Walking Dead."
11 - Who would play you in a film of your life?
Gary: "Gwyneth Paltrow."
Lee: "Robert Lyndsey (lookalike)."
Steve: "Harold Steptoe."
12 - Favourite food?
Gary: "Chinese."
Lee: "Indian."
Steve: "Medium rare sirloin, garlic mushrooms, baked potato with soured cream and a large glass of Ozzie cabernet sauvignon."
13 - Football team?
Gary: "Don't like football."
Lee: "Manchester Utd."
Steve: "Don't like football."
Hope you enjoyed this feature on LowLife! Check out our previous feature on Jenson Tagg!
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