22 May 2012 (released)
22 May 2012
There's a hot new band on the scene and they're called the Lonsdale Boys Club.
Since landing a recording contract with song writing supremo and boy band royalty Gary Barlow, and opening for the Kooks and the Ting Tings (to name but a few), the trio from London have come leaps and bounds, and are swiftly making a name for themselves as the must-hear pop band of the moment, and just in time for summer. Having wrapped an arena tour alongside Olly Murs, finished their first headlining tour, and with funk-filled debut single 'Light Me Up' out this week, the Lonsdale Boys Club have much to look forward to in 2012. Music News caught up with frontman Charlie Weaver to talk singles, albums, street cred', and hooligans and hula girls.
Music News: What are you guys up to at the moment?
Charlie LBC: We just finished the photo shoot for our album art and some press shots for the album, which was quite fun, but tiring. I find photo shoots a bit bizarre sometimes, it can be exhausting being there all day, constantly scrutinising yourself, but it's all good, I enjoy it really.
MN: How's the album going?
CLBC: Musically it's in the bag now, there's just a few technical things to finish, but it's great. We knew from the start that 'Light Me Up' would be at the core of the album, so we were able to work around that and experiment with genres, but still making sure that we were making 'LBC' tunes. That's really worked to make a great sounding album in that sense, because there are songs that are more Pop, some that are more Rock, some that are more Hip-Hop, but they all sound like us, so I think the making of our first album has been a success.
MN: 'Light Me Up' is quite anthemic and 'sing-a-long', is that a sound you consciously go for?
CLBC: I think it does come quite naturally because I love a good hook, whether it's melodic or production wise, I go for ear candy and things that get into your head, and all three of us have that in common, so it comes out in our music. We have this test where we imagine being in a stadium playing a song, and if we can envisage the people in the stands singing it back to us, then it's probably a good chorus and we'll keep it. We want to play in big places, and to play in big places you need big tunes, so we like our songs to have that 'sing-a-long-ability'.
MN: You do some rapping on some of the tracks too, where did that come from?
CLBC: The rap thing is something that I've always been into. My first two albums had a big influence on me, one was the soundtrack to the film 'The Harder They Come', which I think is possibly the greatest reggae compilation ever, the other album was Eminem's first album. Those two CDs got me into rap at a really early age, and I'm still really into it, my true love is Hip-Hop. I know that the way I look and being a guitar guy means that the rap thing might be a bit 'different', but I feel like I'm just being true to myself and I wanted to get a bit of that into the album. It also feels really energetic live, a bit like being a dragon and breathing fire.
MN: Does your rapping mean that you've got a lot of street cred' then?
CLBC: [laughing] Definitely, I have bags of street cred'. I dunno, that's a difficult one, because I've got such a wide variety of friends. Some of the people I hang out with are pretty street, then there are people that are opposite, so personally, I don't know, you'd have to ask them.
MN: So how would you describe your overall sound and what can we expect from your debut album?
CLBC: Our sound is quite zesty and fresh, but then there's also a throw-back feel to some of the songs, it's quite pop and rock, but it's also dancey, and it has an urban flavour to it, mostly it's bangin'! We didn't want too much subtlety in some of the songs, we wanted them to be party tunes, so there's that, then there are a few with a bit more emotion and stuff, but it's a real mixed bag. Mostly, it's just fun and funky with a 90s feel at times.
MN: You're signed to Gary Barlow's record label, what is he like as a mentor?
CLBC: Gary is an amazing coach for me and it's a little bizarre having him involved with the band, because we weren't even looking for a label at the time, we just had our music on Facebook and stuff, but then it started to get a lot of interest and one of the labels was Gary's; it was an offer we couldn't ignore. One of my dreams is to be celebrated as a good songwriter, more than a band guy or a singer, and so having Gary involved, him having won multiple Ivor Novello Awards, is a really good feeling and exciting.
MN: Do you get to spend much time together?
CLBC: When we first met him he came up to our studio and we played a few of our songs acoustic for him and it was so mad, he was like 'that's a really great tune, what made you think of this?...what made you think of that?' Since we've been signed we've been able to spend a bit of time with him here and there, but he didn't want to push too much direction on us, because we'd already come quite a long way in terms of the band and the album. He mostly just liked our vibe and just said 'keep doing what you're doing', and he'd pass comment on the songs once we'd gotten them to a good point to be able to show people. I don't know what our relationship will be like going forward, but I'd love to have a writing session with him and get him a bit more hands-on, but it's also nice to currently have lots of freedom.
MN: Does that mean there's a Gary Barlow/LBC duet on the cards?
CLBC: If Gary said, like in a years time, 'boys, now that your first album's out do you fancy having a writing session?' we'd obviously jump, if he called tomorrow we'd be there, down like a clam, but who knows? It's a weird one. When you get in the studio writing with people it's either a massive hit or a total miss, but I'd like to think that writing with Gary would be amazing.
MN: We think so too! So finally, can we join the Lonsdale Boys Club?... What are the rules?
CLBC: Totally, anyone can join, the best thing about our club is that there aren't any rules, but anyone that joins is either a hooligan or a hula girl, that's why we have that song. So if you wanna be in our club, come and party with us and see us live; we're hitting the festivals this summer so we'll see you there.
'Light Me Up' is out now!
For more information check out LonsdaleBoysClub.com
Twitter: @LonsdaleBoys @Charlie_LBC @Loz_LBC @Topher_LBC