Spotlight returns with Laura Mills asking the questions for the first time. In the hot-seat is lostboy, the Sheffield indie four-piece.
RNRR: In three words, how would you describe ‘Lover’?
LB: Ballsy, groovy and heart-felt.
RNRR: So, what’s ‘Lover’ really about?
LB: It’s written in a way that’s sort of a difficult relationship and you feel like you’re building towards like this big breakdown in communication, a big fall out. The track aims to build tensions throughout, that feeling of uneased, it’s not right and you can’t figure out what’s gone wrong. Then it all kicks off in the middle when the lads join me and that’s kinda like the big fall out moment when everything kicks off, it puts things in perspective.
RNRR: With ‘Lover’, how long did the song process take? Comparing with other tracks, too.
LB: So, the track started out with that sort of peddling one note guitar part that fall throughout all the verses, and then the main riff section just come about. I knew I wanted to do a breakdown there and make this moment, but the lead guitar wasn’t in there. I sat down and we wanted to make something hooky and repetitive. The main sort of line came about in the studio really, the track we had to play around with. We’d always really liked it but didn’t know how to make it a tune, I think that’s why the structure is a bit weird on it, but I kinda love it for it. It’s short but not too short, short enough in a way that’s like when people listen to it they go “f**k” and wish it had been longer.
RNRR: What would you rate ‘Lover’ out of ten?
RNRR: Definitely a ten?
LB: Yep. I’d like to say 11 or 12, but I hate people that do that. So, ten.
RNRR: Comparing ‘Lover’ to your other tracks, how does it stand up? Would you say it’s better?
LB: I don’t like to pick amongst my children because I love them all, they’ve all got different feels. The next track we’ve got dropping, which is gunna be pretty soon, is called ‘Maple’. That’s a lot more kinda heart-felt and it’s got more of a feel of our older stuff, like 'Luna', which I know a lot of people love. We wanted to give them something like that. I dunno, the whole EP is like this natural progression from start to finish. The first track is how I used to write music when I was listening to rock bands when I was a kid, the tracks in the middle are what we’ve been doing as lostboy but a bit more advanced, sounds a bit better and a bit fresher. Then the last track on the EP is the way we are heading. We spent last weekend in Liverpool and other than going out with the guys from Bandit – we went out with them to this little Irish bar and got smashed and there was guy with a kiss mark on his bum cheek and apparently the pub was called "Kiss My Ass" in Irish – we weren’t just dossing about, we were writing new music and the new stuff we’ve written that weekend makes sense to the EP and when people hear it, we might play it on tour, it will make sense.
RNRR: If ‘Lover’ was the first lostboy song someone heard, what do you hope they would think?
LB: Hopefully, that this would sound better live and then they go to our website and buy tickets to the shows and merch. Then I’d check my bank account and wouldn’t be having a Pot Noodle for tea.
RNRR: I know the last time we chatted was after your show in Sheffield, and from the sounds of it the approach to lostboy’s music has changed. Has it changed since then?
LB: I think what happened was that we did the vast majority of writing for lostboy in Lockdown without that live element with the band. I think now we’re writing it for the stage, when I write a tune or going over a guitar set, I go “Who’s gunna kick off to this? Can I see it?”
RNRR: I know so many upcoming bands, like lostboy, used Lockdown as tool to really work on their music and song writing. Do you worry now with life seeming to be returning to normal that you’ll have the time to put into lostboy?
LB: When we were in Lockdown I was on furlough, but before that I was working a lot, and I saw that, I wanted to make sure I had the time to actually put work into the thing I love. So, I’ve actually just changed my job so I balance things outside and still do it. I’m working at home so I’ve got that time and I’m proactive with making sure I set time aside at night, even like two hours in the evening just playing guitar and see what happens. It’s not ever something I wouldn’t let myself have time for, it’s a challenge but it’s something all musicians at this level face.
RNRR: I think your dedication shines through and with you setting that time aside, it’s definitely going to pay off.
LB: Yeah, Lostboy is not going anywhere.
RNRR: As we’re still quite early in 2022, is there anything as a band that you’re hell-bent on achieving this year? Any goals you have to tick off?
LB: Yeah yeah, sell out as many dates of the tour as possible. People seem mad for gigs, especially after the few we did last year. Obviously getting the vinyls out too, getting as many people as possible listening to the EP. Breaking it with some of the gate keepers like Jack Saunders from Radio 1, he’s not touched base with us yet but yeah some of the day time stuff of Radio 1 would be great. Definitely play as many as possible in festival season too.
If you would like to find out more about lostboy, you can find the links to all their social medias below via the icons:
Spotlight returns for March with Sunday Crisp! Edward Burnett sat down last week to talk with the Quebec outfit. A lovely bunch with a cool backstory, the band pulls no punches in this deeper look into their music and performances.
RNRR: Hi Sunday Crisp! How are you all doing? Would you mind introducing yourselves and your style of music to those reading who may be unfamiliar with your work?
SC: Wassup Rock N Roll Reports! We're feeling very good and we hope you do too. We're Sunday Crisp, a band from Sherbrooke QC. Eddy Lava sings the tunes and strums the rythm guitar, Edwin "Duke" Morino plays sick licks on the lead guitar, Henry Magma rocks the bass and Denis Plasma mauls the drums and writes poetry. We also invite Dwig Domimos on the keys quite often, he's an okay guy! We'd describe our music as a mix between surf rock/indie rock and garage pop. It's always accompanied by lyrics that outline our urge to live life to the fullest.
RNRR: Now I see garage rock and indie all mentioned there which always makes me think of The Strokes. Who would you say your own musical inspirations are and how have they affected the band?
SC: Our biggest inspiration assuredly is Kiss. You just gotta admire the stage presence and the fact that you bang your head on simplistic tunes and lyrics. They just really understood and exploited the mechanics of rock music and business to the maximum. We often find ourselves wondering what Kiss would do in a given situation. Apart from that, we're big fans of Nickelback, Backstreet Boys and Destiny's Child. Our band really shines during live performances and we always strive to make shows that are as great and memorable as the ones from these bands.
RNRR: A lot of great bands there for sure. How did you all guys meet then and decide on becoming a band? A slow or fast process? Did you just instinctively know as soon as you jammed out together?
SC: Me (Denis), Eddy and Henri were in the Sherbrooke Cegep's music program. While most folks were playing jazz or classical music, we were really into rock and roll. We quickly found each other in the crowd and decided to jam a bit. I think the first song we played was Highway Star by Deep Purple, or maybe Warpigs by Black Sabbath. Anyhow, midway through the first song it was very clear to us that there was an undeniable chemistry that was worth exploring. We became a band after the first jam, the energy was just too strong to leave it there. Eventually, Edwin came in the music program and we decided to give him a shot. Honestly he really sucked on the guitar at first (he never played in a band before, he was mostly jamming Neil Young songs on his own), but boy did he have a strong persona and some very tight shorts. The guy was (and still is) freakin awesome and motivated so we were happy to give him a shot. Eddy was a terrible singer when he started too and now he's at a point where his vocals are the essence of the band, so we figured that we could take a bad guitarist and turn him into a sensation.
RNRR: How did you guys decide on the band name then? What’s the meaning behind it? Was there a few different options or were you always going to be Sunday Crisp?
SC: Well, in Québec there's a game we call Sonne Décriss. I guess it's the equivalent of ding dong ditch. An old coworker of Eddy jokingly suggested that we call our band Sonne Décriss. Eddy laughed it off and didnt think much of it, but by repeating it over and over he landed on Sunday Crisp, which means nothing but sounds kinda cool and has a certain edge. So all in all, there isn't much meaning behind the name. We however find it fitting because we associate our sound to a weekend vibe and because "Crisp" reminds us of the sound a beer can makes when you open it. That's the first name we landed on and we stuck with it, so no other options really came to mind.
RNRR: That’s a great story behind the name there! What is your favourite beer or drink incidentally?
SC: We always go for Pabst Blue Ribbon® or beers from Avant-Garde in Mtl!
RNRR: So back to the music now, what would be the songs of yours that you recommend for new listeners and why? Which songs would you say really capture your essence as a band?
SC: We really recommend to come and see us in a live performance because that's where we really shine. For the tracks available on Spotify and whatnot, ‘Why'd You Go Away’ and 'Go Figure' are the ones that encapsulate what we represent as a band the most. The former lets you see a more delicate and nuanced side of the band whereas the latter is full of energy and angst for a better future. We're a nostalgic yet optimistic band, so those two songs are good at showing that. Be on the lookout for Bateau Ride tho, an awesome single that will be released this summer!
RNRR: ‘Go Figure’ is especially a great one that I’d personally recommend. So where are you playing live this year? What tour and gig dates can you share with readers living nearer to the band?
SC: Thank you! For the near future, we'll hit the Murdoch in Sherbrooke on March 25th and the Marché d'à Côté in Montreal on March 28th. We're currently planning a double tour with Rinas, a great band from Texas. We'll host them for two weeks in Canada and then we'll go in the US for two more weeks of gigs. We'll definitely release the schedule on our social medias when it's ready!
RNRR: Talking of playing live, what is it that makes live shows so great for you as the performers? Do you prefer it to the studio?
SC: Playing live is such a blast. Where to start? Our shows are packed with energy, we always play like there is no tommorrow. Eddy, the singer, is a hell of a performer. This guy was clearly born to sing in front of a crowd and you can always feel it during a gig. It's impossible not to be energized by that guy. In a live performance, our chemistry as a band and as friends also really shines. We're all so thrilled to be sharing the stage that we just give the crowd enough electricity to dance for days. So we do really prefer live performances. Especially since we rehearsed the songs a trillion times. Going into the studio is something fun too, but it's really different. It requires focus and it's not the same as playing live since you have the record the tracks separately rather than as a band.
RNRR: A final note on live performances: who is the best act you guys have seen live? A gig that truly stands out to all of you or each of you and why?
SC: We've haven't all been to a show together, so it gotta be separate answers. For me, it was Violett Pi. For Eddy, it was Skeggs. For Edwin, it was Mac Demarco and for Henry, it was Muse. The common factor in all those shows were stage presence and energy. None of these artists are virtuosos, but they have a contagious energy and they make sure to make your night memorable. So essentially, they ensure that you get out of the show with awesome. Memories. none of us are looking for super displays of technical abilities, we're really just in for a good time.
RNRR: Amazing choices there and especially with Skeggs, there’s bundles of energy on the stage. So what is next this year for Sunday Crisp? New music on the way or just a solid focus on the touring that you’ve mentioned?
SC: We're working super hard and we're really dedicated, so we're planning to do a lot this year. We'll hit the studio to record 2 singles in march, we'll shoot a video for one of them, we actively write new songs, we schedule photo shoots, we work with awesome artists to bring cool merch, we try to play live shows as much as possible. We're thinking about recording the full LP too, but touring is the focus for the summer. We always keep ourselves as busy as can be!
RNRR: A very busy schedule indeed! As for your photo shoots, would that include potential cover art for the upcoming singles and full LP? What makes a good piece of cover art for you guys? What do you like to see in other artist’s covers?
SC: Yeah, we're very likely gonna use the shoot for the cover art of a single! And that's a tough question, there's no recipe for a good cover. Sometimes the art totally matches the music and that creates a complete experience where you feel like you're in the artist's world for a brief moment. I'm thinking about the moment where I first spinned Klo Pelgag's ‘Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs’; the sorta depressed clown vibe from the art puts your mind in the right spot to receive the wave of raw emotions and dispair/hope you're about to hear. Other times, the art is completely unrelated to the music and it's awesome too because it creates a big contrast, like eating lemon pie and being served a beer made with ginger. All in all tho, we think a good cover art leans more towards teleporting the listener to a world that fits the music and the vibe of a band.
RNRR: What are some of your favourite pieces of album artwork of other artists? I’ll just add for the readers that I’m literally wearing a tee with a photo of Kurt Cobain diving into the pool by pure chance as I ask this questions [laughs]!
SC: Sick shirt man! [Edwin]: ‘The Madcap Laughs’ by Syd Barrett. It justs sets the stage super well to get you into this DIY and weird thing that turns out to be endearing when it finally clicks. It's probably one of my favorite records ever. [Denis]: ‘This is Happening’ by LCD Soundsystem. Everything about it is just so classy. The font is super neat, the lights arrangement is perfect and the sideways dancing James Murphy is just an instant classic. You're ready to dance before the record even starts! [Eddy]: ‘If I Ever Fall In Love’ by Shai. It's a pensive and soothing cover that brings you to self-reflection. Who are the real Shai dudes and who are the ones from the reflection? The ones above or the ones beneath? I mean, just that single question would take years to figure out, so don't get me started on the blue sky! [Henry]: ‘Mr. Wonderful’ by Action Bronson. Henry is a man of few words, so I'll leave it at that.
RNRR: So that brings us onto our final question which is the iconic Spotlight classic. You guys are on a desert island, you can only ever play one more album for the rest of your days. What album are you guys picking and why? Individual takes on the question are welcomed too from each of you!
SC: [Duke]: ‘Music From Big Pink’ by The Band. It reminds me of my first musical discoveries and it inspired me to become an artist. The universe surrounding this record is surreal due to its sometimes joyful and sometimes sad moods and because of its vibe and story about boys getting together to do what they love with what they have. [Denis]: ‘In Rainbows’ by Radiohead. I can't get enough of it. I listened to it hundreds of times in my car, on the bus or while taking a walk and everytime it just gets better. You've got beautiful falsettos in there, thunderous hits like Bodysnatcher, awesome feel good tracks like Reckoner and some downers like Videotape. This record can accompany you through good, bad and boring times. And like, there's a disk 2 that's some sort of a b-side and I wouldn't even bring it with me; the original record is a perfect 10 as is. [Eddy]: I was really torn between ‘Breakfast in America’ by Supertramp and ‘Kiss’ by Kiss. But honestly if I was stuck on a desert island, while I'd rather listen to ‘Breakfast in America’, my choice still lands on Kiss. This record makes me want to yell and reminds me why I'm alive because it's the reason why I became the musician I am today. [Henry]: Weird Al Yankovic because he’s funny [laughs]!
RNRR: Amazing choices guys, I’d have to side with Eddy on that one as ‘Breakfast in America’ is one of my all time favourites! Thank you so much for being great guests on Spotlight and we at RNRR wish you the very best for the rest of 2022!
If you would like to find out more about Sunday Crisp and keep up to date with their newest releases, you can find the links to all their socials below via the icons: