Interview – Rock On Zine 2004
Date: 28th April 2004
Link: Rock On Zine
Mike Chiplin, drummer of the Lostprophets took the time out of his busy touring schedule to phone me for an interview. From reading previous interviews with the band, I discovered Mike was always the silent one. I feared that we might run out of things to talk about, but that proved to be untrue. In the course of about 15 minutes, I’ve accumulated quite the interview (around 5 1/2 pages to be exact). Here, Mike discusses about life on the road, touring with some of his favorite bands, their “Backlash” in the UK, and which boy band member considers himself to be…
Rock On Zine: So where are you guys right now?
Mike: Uhhmm, I don’t know where we are today.
Rock On Zine: Do you even know where you are? Are you still in the States?
Mike: Yeah, we’re still in the states. Oooh, Actually, we’re in Portsmouth, which I think is in Ohio. Yeah that sounds about right. It’s just get off a bus in the morning and might found out where you are.
Rock On Zine: How have the past few months been for you?
Mike: Awesome. It’s been really cool to be able to get this album out and start playing shows again. We did Australia in the beginning of the year and went back to the UK and did a big headline tour for us. It’s been awesome to come over here and do this MTV show with Hoobastank and Imarobot. It’s been a really time for us; this tour and this album.
Rock On Zine: Yeah, I wanted to come and see you guys but couldn’t find a ride when you were in Buffalo.
Mike: Oh, well I think we’re coming back in July and August, so you can catch us then.
Rock On Zine: Hopefully!
Mike: Yeah, that’d be brilliant.
Rock On Zine: So what’s been your favorite band to tour with so far?
Mike: Oh, wow. There’s been so many I wouldn’t like to say one. It’s always been a pleasure to tour with Hoobastank. We’ve done shows with Linkin Park and been so blowed away by how big they are, but how cool they still are. We’ve done shows with the Deftones. They’ve always been just so great because I’ve followed them since Adrenaline. We’ve taken out the Bronx as well, who are an LA rock band. It’s just awesome to tour with like-minded bands and share their music with kids who want to listen and turn them into fans. It’s a pleasure to tour with most bands; I don’t think we’ve ever come across a band that’s been, you know, a trouble to tour with.
Rock On Zine: So, this summer you’re touring with Metallica. You must be so excited!
Mike: I CANNOT WAIT! You know, if I don’t do anything with any other band after Metallica, well then, you know, I will have done enough. That’s some big stuff.
Rock On Zine: That is, no doubt.
Mike: Like the biggest metal band ever. So I cannot wait, it’ll be an awesome experience.
Rock On Zine: I think you’ve got Red Hot Chili Peppers at some shows.
Mike: I don’t know about that.
Rock On Zine: Well, I don’t think you’re touring with them, but you’re playing a few festivals
Mike: Yeah, we’re going to be playing a few European festivals with Red Hot Chili Peppers; Metallica will be on there.
Rock On Zine: If you could tour with anyone, who would it be? Dead or alive. Would it be Metallica, or another band?
Mike: Metallica would be up there. It would be a pleasure and an honor to play with Anthrax. Slayer. The Police would be one. Definitely. Uhh..I don’t know. Faith No More.
Rock On Zine: What sort of bands influence your music?
Mike: It’s different for each one of us. We’ve all got different influences. I take a lot of my drumming influences from Mike Bordin of Faith No More, Abe Cunningham of the Deftones. The reason I started drumming was Stewart Copeland. Dave Silveria from Korn. They influenced me in actually picking up the drumsticks though. I take stuff from them. And I listen to a lot of stuff like Port Affair, Apex Twins, Chemical Brothers, stuff like that.
Rock On Zine: So what kind of music are you listening to right now? What bands?
Mike: I’m not really listening to a lot of new stuff. I’m listening to a few Glassjaw albums, Slayer, Iron Maiden. I will always have Faith No More close to hand. I will listen to anything really. There’s a band from where are they from? Sweden I think. Yeah Sweden. They’re called Mew. They’re really cool.
Rock On Zine: Do you remember the first time you heard one of your songs on the radio? Do you remember where you were?
Mike: Um yeah, we just played a show outside of Las Vegas. We were traveling into Las Vegas to go to our hotel. We thought the guy who was driving us was taking a piss, because they were playing The Fake Sound of Progress. But it was actually on the radio station. A Las Vegas radio station.
Rock On Zine: When was that? A few years ago?
Mike: Yeah, that was back inthe end of 2001. It blew my mind.
Rock On Zine: Is this your first extensive tour of the States?
Mike: No, we were here a few years ago with Ozzfest. Um, we did a 4 week tour before that with Hoobastank. We’ve spent a lot of time in the US.
Rock On Zine: How have the crowds been responding to Start Something?
Mike: They’ve taken to it really well. They really like it. We’re playing a good mix of heavy and pop. And yeah, they react really well. I think we’ve made a lot of new fans on this MTV tour.
Rock On Zine: Yeah, I haven’t seen you guys live, but from just your album, you’ve made a new fan out of me, and some of my friends.
Mike: Wow, thank you very much. Yeah we’re getting a really good response and we also will spend a lot of time out here this year and next year. We want to get our music out to as many people as I can. We spend a lot of time in America and again, we’re getting a really good response.
Rock On Zine: So, you’re reputation abroad I read somewhere that you guys have been described as a boy band, with guitars. How did that reputation even come about?
Mike: Yeah. Um, we had a backlash in the UK. After The Fake Sound of Progress. We started out as this really hot, cool new band and then 6 months later, we weren’t this cool, underground rock band anymorewe were, you know, everyone knew of us. 6 months later, we’d remixed our first album to release in the US. But we released it everywhere because we’d though we’d have a backlash if we didn’t. When we re-released the mixed album, we got the title “boy band”. And our argument was, the songs have been remixed, but just for a different market, why were we now a boy band? It was just peoplemaybe a little bit jealous of you know, we manage to break out of the UK, you know, that our band got where we got. But the only reason our band got anywhere, was because we just toured continuously. Hire a van, and go play shows whether it was for 2 people or 150. And I think it was the fact that we were willing to do that. Not necessarily jealous of the way we wrote, but the fact we were willing to go out there and do it ourselves. We were really selfish like that, going out, and wanting to play continuously. So we used to book shows for ourselves. And that’s where it came from. I think that’s where it all stemmed from.
Rock On Zine: If you had to choose, which boy band member would you be? The mature one, the bad-ass one, the heart-throb, the shy one or the baby?
Mike: uhh probably the mature one. Um, I don’t know, I tend to analyze things a lot and give my opinion and lead people in the right direction and blah blah blah. It’s not always been like that. It’s only been the last year and half. I’ve given up drinking and smoking a year and half ago, and since then, I’ve turned into this reallyI think I’ve just grown up a lot in a year and a half.
Rock On Zine: What about the other members of your band? What would you label them as?
Mike: Ian, the heart-throb. Lee is, uh, heart-throb/misunderstood. Jamie is the psycho. Lewis is the fashionable boy. And Stu is the baby. Oh yes. There you go.
Rock On Zine: Ok, so back to your music. What’s your Last Train Home video about?
Mike: Um, the story behind the song is that it is better to have loved and have experienced the feeling, and that’s what we tried to capture in the video. And basically, you know, playing a live show to a bunch of kids on back of a moving truck, and uh, the little car theme with the girl and the boy in the back. Had they been together? Are they going to be together? You know, that type of vibe.
Rock On Zine: So you’re next single is Make a Moveor is it changed now to Wake Up?
Mike: It’s Called Wake Up (Make a Move)..we actually had to add in…basically whenever we told people our next single was Make A Move, they’d go, “What one’s that?” and we’d go “Wake Up, Wake Up” and they’d go, “Oh yeah that one.” We added that so you knew Make A Move, which song it was.
Rock On Zine: Yeah, I think that was a good move. So how did you guys choose that song? Is it mostly the record company?
Mike: We always have a choice. We work very closely with our management company and with Columbia and with our radio people at Columbia. And everyone’s got favorite songs and songs they’d like to see and everyone brings a different view to the table. Some people bring a business view to the table. Other people bring a bunch of their favorite songs to the table. And then everyone discusses fairly and decides what’s best for the band and what will help us move on. At the end of the day, if we don’t like what they say, we just go with what we want.
Rock On Zine: Out of all of the songs on Start Something what is your favorite song?
Mike: Favorite, uhhHello Again. I love that song, it’s just a, very moody and it’s a great song to play live as well.
Rock On Zine: You’re next music videofor Make A Move you’ve shot it already? What’s it going to be like?
Mike: Uh, it’s based around playing live once again , but this time in a building, it’s quite a dark video. Not a lot of color. It’s got a lot to do with, with people realizing, to, you know, wake up and realize they can actually do something with their life and that’s the best way to be. Don’t listen to other people. You know, if you want to be in a rock band, then you should be in a rock band and work for it.whether it’s to play shows..you know, don’t just sit back and let other people tell you that your dream is not your dream. So we’ve incorporated some shots in there, of, you know, people going on with their everyday lives just because people are telling them to.
Rock On Zine: Where did you guys shoot this video, and how long did it take?
Mike: We shot it in Canada. It was a 2-day shoot. We shot all our stuff in one day, and they shot all the storyboard and then about 3 weeks in post-production.
Rock On Zine: Are you guys working on new material on the road?
Mike: We’ve already started. we started about 2about two months ago we started putting out ideas. Whether any of this material actually makes it out to the next album, is, you know, is anyone’s guess. I think between all six of us, there’s probably around 6 or 7 [songs] floating around. Ideas on all of them. Start with a sample, or vocal line, and we’ll all go in work on it maybe individually and then bring stuff to the table, and that’s how we work.
Rock On Zine: Do you have any plans to record anytime soon or is it basically going to be touring touring touring for a while?
Mike: No, we’re going to tour for the next 12 months. And then we’ll probably go back to the study.
Rock On Zine: How’s life on the road?
Mike: Life on the road is good. We’re only six months into it, so we’re all pretty fresh and know what’s expected of us. Give us another six months and we’ll be ready to head back into the studio. Looking forward to that.
Rock On Zine: So what’s been the most memorable show for you on this tour?
Mike: We played Purdue and about 10,000 kids turned up. And they uh, they were definitely kids who were up for a good night of music and um, the one thing I’ll remember is, lots of groups of kids got together within the crowd with cheerleader moves. They threw up girls up in the air, 20 feet and they were doing sumersaults and stuff when we were playing. And there were dogs coming over the barrier, live dogs. It was a really, really wild experience, but a fun one. Yeah, it was very interesting. Some weird stuff went down.
Rock On Zine: If you weren’t drumming for Lostprophets right now, what would you be doing?
Mike: Hopefully something in music. I would hope I’d be in another band. Probably spending a lot of time with my family though. The one thing I miss doing. I’ve got a very big family that I don’t see a lot anymore.
Rock On Zine: So where are you guys off to next?
Mike: Um, tonight we head up to Chicago and tomorrow morning we fly off to the UK.
Rock On Zine: Do you have any more shows in the States?
Mike: No, no more. Well, we have, but they don’t start until next week. We go over to do two TV shows and then we come back on Monday and then head down the West Coast.