Monday 6th October, release day for the long awaited 4th studio album from Watford’s post-hardcore punk band Lower Than Atlantis. With the dreary October weather going strong outside, and a quick bagel run complete, I got the pleasure of sitting down with LTA drummer Eddy Thrower at the venue of this evenings album launch, The Monarch Camden, to talk about the bands newest release.
‘We’ve had it for so long now, the first song we wrote was almost 2 years ago…’
After a fantastic reception to the single ‘Here We Go’ released in June, the self-titled album is a long awaited return for the Watford band. Excited about the final release of a product of extensive labour, Eddy spoke of how the first song written for the new album came 2 years ago, and developed over the time the band spent away from the live scene. Following their 2012 album ‘Changing Tune’, LTA took a 2 year break from performance in order to focus on the writing and producing of the latest self-titled album. Having built their own studio, Eddy tells me that the band had the freedom to stop and start at their own will, which provided a sharp contrast to devious recording experiences of knocking out a full album in around a month. To add to this freedom, going into the writing of the album LTA did not have a label or manager, and did not approach Sony RED until the album was already written. Eddy also mentions that had the band not found a label, they had planned to release the album on their own regardless.
‘This time we took a year and a half out just to record it and write it…it came out so different just because we had time on our hands’
It is the additional time taken for this record that Eddy feels has made the biggest difference to the experience and result of the recording for this release, as the band was able to really spend time working on the album fully, granting them the room to experiment and explore different genres, styles, and arrangements. In respect to influences during the recording and writing process, Eddy reveals that there were no particular artists that the band took influence from, instead choosing to mainly focused on exploring and concentrating on their own sound. On the writing of the album, Eddy talks of the collaborative nature of the bands writing process, with initial ideas stemming mainly from vocalist and guitarist Mark Duce, to then be brought to the rest of the band to add their own ideas to the fray.
‘Probably the best representation of who we are and what we are… it’s changed so much, but if you can predict the album it’s not worth doing’
Speaking of the noticeable differences and variety in the sound of the new album, Eddy says that the self-titled release is ‘the best representation of what we are and who we are’, which contributed greatly to this release being self-titled. Although some fans may not appreciate the change and clamour for another ‘For Q’ or ‘World Record’, Eddy raises a brilliant response by pointing out that ‘if you can predict the album it’s not worth doing’ showing LTA’s ambition to never make the same album twice, therefore striving not to repeat themselves, and always move forward.
After the previously mentioned break, LTA returned to live performance earlier this summer with a string of club shows, as well as playing to a rammed Radio 1 tent at Reading. After playing the Reading main stage in 2013, Eddy mentions that the band tend to prefer the atmosphere of tent shows to the slightly more removed spectacle of main stage performance, remarking that for a band like themselves, the more grimy atmosphere of a tent show, coupled with enthusiastic fans is more suited to their performance, making the band’s Reading experience this year a great one.
‘It suits us playing in a tent, with people going nuts’
This album release week will see LTA play a series of HMV in-store shows, as well as a number of secret sets, including this evenings launch at The Monarch, available to competition winners only, making the gig an especially intimate and exclusive show. After the madness of release week is finished, LTA will be embarking on a tour with A Day to Remember this November, as well performing a headline show at KOKO, London in December. The return to touring has been a long time coming, and the band ‘can’t wait to get back on the road’, as the absence has, Eddy says, made them appreciate performing live even more, and made the band eager to get back to it.
As I leave Eddy to his bagels and the preparations for tonights Monarch gig, as well as the HMV Oxford Street in-store later on today, I am left with the impression that the members of Lower Than Atlantis are very pleased and excited about the release of this obviously nurtured project, and that as a band this album has allowed them to fully explore their musical talent and range.