Interview: Lonely The Brave [March 2015]

By Lais

Cambridge five-piece Lonely The Brave are currently in the midst of their headline UK tour, before they head to Europe and then smash the festivals. 2015 is a big year for them, after releasing their debut album ‘The Day’s War’ back in September. We caught up with guitarist Mark Trotter and drummer Gavin Edgeley at their Cardiff date in Clwb Ifor Bach to see how they’re enjoying life in Lonely The Brave since the release of their debut.

This is the first day of your UK tour. How are you feeling?

Gavin: It’s like Christmas Eve.
Mark: Waiting at the top of the stairs until 9:30pm and then running down and hoping there’s people there.

There will be, because it’s sold out! Do you just feel excited or do you ever get the nerves?

Gavin: I think we all react pretty differently to it but I get the nerves. I get the fear, but that’s how I get by.
Mark: There’s a lot of pacing in this band.
Gavin: There’s not a lot of laughing in this band, like “Haha! Let’s do this!”

Oh really? Is it tense?

Mark: Oh yeah!
Gavin: It always has been. It’s manageable, obviously, but it’s good. We thought it was time to take it a little bit seriously a couple of years ago. We’ve been together for five years, but we’ve been pushing it properly for about two or three years now.

Your debut album, ‘The Day’s War’, came out in September. How has it been since then? Has it all blown up a bit?

Mark: It’s weird, it feels like ages ago to me. But I guess we’ve been working on new stuff.
Gavin: It’s different when you’re actually in the band. It’s very much like a machine that just keeps moving on and I’m still waiting to actually take a step back one day and be like, “Jesus Christ, look at everything that’s happened.” It’s constantly moving onto the next step. The last two years have been absolutely incredible and we’ve done stuff we never could’ve dreamed of. We’re just grateful really.

What have been some highlights so far?

Mark: Like he said, we have to stop every now and then and give ourselves a reality check because it’s bonkers. One of the first things we did after getting the record deal was support Deftones and Bruce Springsteen. As British musicians, playing Glastonbury was amazing too.
Gavin: Download, Reading, Leeds. All of it, really. There’s been a fair few highlights.

So crazy! And now you’ve got this headline tour, so you’re out all month, right?

Mark: This tour is on for the next month, but we’re out for the next couple of months. After this is Europe: Germany, Italy, France, Norway. It blows my mind.

Have you done much of Europe before?

Mark: Yeah, we’ve done quite a bit actually. We’ve been really fortunate that people have been so receptive to us, which is amazing. We’re always blown away that we can even drive to another town and people will come to watch our band. Playing sold out shows is crazy. All these people there to see our band. It’s pretty mental.

And then you’ve got festivals, like Reading and Leeds. Main stage!

Gavin: Putting that to one side until August, because that’s brown pants. That’ll be our third year playing: first on the Introducing stage, then NME/Radio 1, and now main stage. We’ve been there so many times just as punters that we’d just be standing there getting leathered if we weren’t playing.
Mark: Now you get to play and then get leathered.
Gavin: Yeah, it’s a strange one, I haven’t really taken it in and processed it yet.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

Gavin: At the moment, we’re just completely focused on this UK run because we’ve been looking forward to it for so long. The shows started selling out, and that’s so humbling. We’ve never played in this venue before, and we love Cardiff, and it’s sold out, so we’re just gonna get up there and do it.
Mark: Cardiff was the first one to sell out. We’ve always had really great shows in Cardiff. People are really up for it, it’s great.
Gavin: We came up here with Don Broco originally. That was a big room.

It seems to be getting better and better for you all the time.

Gavin: Yeah, it’s pretty surreal, but we’re just trying to enjoy it because it can be a fickle old industry.

I think it’s been a good gradual rise for you though.

Gavin: Oh yeah, there’s been a lot of hard work going into it for three years now. But time just moves by so quickly that it seems that so much has happened in a short space of time. Long may it continue!

Where would you like to see yourselves in five years?

Mark: Do you know what? In five years’ time, let’s have at least three albums.
Gavin: How about an EP?
Mark: Maybe a couple of EPs for a laugh. Just to be able to continue what we’re doing would be amazing. We’ve never had a plan in detail of what we wanted to do. All we wanted to do was survive so if we could survive from doing this that would be amazing.
Gavin: To still be here in five years’ time would be a blessing.
Mark: It’s pretty weird. It’s pretty surreal because we’ve been wanting to do it forever.
Gavin: It’s hard to get your head around when you’ve done ten years on a building site, so to be – not a man of leisure – but not to have to get up at 6am every morning anymore is pretty crazy. I can have four beers on a week night!

What can people expect from the shows on this run if they haven’t seen you live before?

Gavin: You can probably expect Mark to fall over.
Mark: Yeah, pick on the ginger kid, it’s fine.
Gavin: It’s terrible, innit?
Mark: But seriously, we give everyone everything we’ve got every night. That’s the way it’s always been, and if we didn’t do that then we’d feel like we were cheating everyone, because people are spending their hard earned money to come and see us and listen to songs we wrote about things that have happened to us, so if we don’t give them everything we’ve got then what’s the point?
Gavin: Hopefully we can give them a nice time. Instead of opening up a circle pit, we should open up a slow dancing pit.
Mark: A nice sax solo!


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Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]