Interview: Rob Lynch [2000 Trees 2016]

By Tamsyn Wilce

Having already performed a stellar set on the opening night of 2000 Trees, we caught up with folk-punk artist Rob Lynch to discuss new album ‘Baby, I’m a Runaway’ and what he loves about the tiny Gloucestershire Festival.

You’ve returned to 2000 Trees again this year, what’s your favourite thing about the Festival?

I think the atmosphere, it’s so good. I’m not slagging off bigger Festivals, because they’re great, but there is more chance of their being a bit of aggro and animosity at those bigger places and you lose the intimacy that you get here. You can wander around on your own and within two minutes you see someone that you know. I was thinking about it as well, line-up wise, if you took all the bands that you wanted to watch at something like Reading and Leeds and put them on one Festival, split between four stages without clashes, that’s what you get here. If you took the Lock Up stage [from Reading and Leeds] and a little bit of the Festival Republic stage, that’s 2000 Trees with 5,000 people. It’s great.

That’s what I love about it, I have one clash the entire weekend and that is just lovely. Plus you can get anywhere you need to be within five minutes!

That’s it! It’s like they’ve actually thought about like, “this kind of music band might want to watch this band so we won’t put the bands of the same genre on at the same time”

You’re here with so many label mates and buddies, is there anyone in particular you’re excited to see?

I’ve seen a lot of the bands I’m friends with play recently at shows or Festivals, but I am excited to see Basement. I’ve seen them once or twice, but not for a few years so that will be cool. I’m excited for Creeper, always excited to see them. Ash as well, I used to have ‘1977’ on cassette tape when I was ten years-old, so that’s what? Twenty years ago now? I don’t think I’ve ever seen them so I’m kinda excited for that.

I’m not sure if I can fit them into my schedule, but I also kinda want to see them just to see what they’re like now.

Thing is, they’re not even that old! I think Tim was like 16 when they put out ‘1977’, which is only six years older than I was at the time, so he must only be in his mid-thirties. Mad.

Your new album isn’t far away now (available at time of publishing) how are you currently feeling about it?

I just want to get it out there. It’s been a year in the making I guess, from writing to release it’s been a year, so it feels like now it’s time to get it out there.

How did you find writing this one compared to the last?

Relatively easy actually. I’ve chatted a lot of people and they’ve all said “second album is the difficult one, you’ve got your whole life to write your first album but a year to write your second”, but it came together in the space of about three months. I just got myself in a headspace and the songs kept on coming and coming, then I chose ten that I was happy with and that was the album. I didn’t struggle with it, so touch wood it’s the same with the next one.

Were there any particular topics you wanted to approach with the album, or any messages you wanted to convey?

The first album was extremely personal and kinda dealt with grief and moving forward and trying to find positives in dark times, so I felt like I’d kinda done that approach and for this one I wanted it to still feel personal but to not rehash old themes. I went for kinda deconstructing how I’ve kept friendships and relationships alive whilst being on the road for a year and a half, and finally realising dreams I’ve been working towards for years and years and what impact that has on other people. Maybe sometimes I don’t think enough about how that all effects them. It’s still incredibly personal, but just not coming from the same angle as the first one.

What do you think makes the album stand out?

We just went for our take on a sound that isn’t really a thing at the moment. We weren’t like, “let’s jump on that sound because that’s really popular at the moment” or because we love this band or that band who are doing really well. Let’s just write some songs that we like, drawing on influences from music I was listening to growing up, so we kinda looked at a lot of bands from the nineties and took bits from them and used them in a fresh way. Hopefully it sounds like our own record rather than trying to ride off coattails, whether that works or not, who knows?

The album is called ‘Baby, I’m a Runaway’ – but if you could runaway to anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

You know what? I’d go to Cornwall. Every summer as a kid we’d always go to Cornwall, there are these two beaches where we always used to stay. I’ve got really fond memories of family holidays and it’s just perfect. You could travel halfway around the world and literally not find beaches as nice, or views as nice as there. I hadn’t been for years and years, because it was a place we’d go as a family and when my Dad died, we went the year after just to go one last time and then I thought I’d put it to rest. But, we played in Devon recently and we had an off-day so we drove to the beaches I used to go to and it was amazing. It was a beautiful, sunny day and we got to walk around for a couple hours and I was like, this is paradise. I felt at peace for the first time in a long time.

I completely agree with you on that one, it’s nice to feel disconnected for a while in such a beautiful place! Moving on then, if you could play a Festival with any three acts, who would they be?

Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen and Elliot Smith

That’s a strong three!

Yeah it is! It’d be well good wouldn’t it?

Yeah that’d be a pretty great Festival. Did you see Bruce Springsteen when he came over [to the UK]?

I didn’t! I really wanted to and I slept on getting tickets. I thought someone else was getting me a ticket and I hadn’t seen there message saying, “dude I can’t afford to get your ticket, can you get it?” and I didn’t see it until all the tickets had sold out. I’m hoping he’s going to be back again.

Fingers crossed! Finally then, tell the Punktastic readers why they should pick up your new album?

Because I could really do with the money to pay my rent haha. London rent is expensive and less people are buying music so please, help me.


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]