Interview – ThePRP 2001
Author: Brian Webb
Date: 21st January 2001
PRP: Well, let’s just start with the usual question, how was Lostprophets formed and what changes have come about up to this point? The name change for example.
Lostprophets: We formed late 1997 just as a group of friends, just messing around. All these bands were coming out but we weren’t hearing what we wanted to hear. Some bands had cool bits but there were always crap bits so we thought we would do it ourselves but never took it seriously. We did a demo and naively sent it to Metal Hammer and they gave it a ten out of ten and we were like “right, that us sorted” – sat back and waited for a deal. We didn’t really send it out to any labels, we just did it for our friends and then we did another demo in 1998 which had rappy stuff and singing but we were just messing around and really didn’t know what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go. I was in college so we had other stuff going on, we played here and there. We called ourselves LoztProphetz, we put Z’s in it just for a laugh because we thought it looked cool and we got so much shit for it. A lot of things then we did was over the top, tongue and cheek. Our demo covers were all over the top and we had false names and fake accents. Just having a laugh but it didn’t translate, it went over everyone’s heads and they all took it seriously and a lot of people said, “well the music is good but they think they are from south central.” Then in the summer of 1999 we all came back together, sat down and started writing, we chucked them on a 4 track tape and the only address we had was Visible Noise Records. Because we lived in such a small town in Wales we had no contact with labels. We sent it off and like the next day she said she wanted to work with us and offered to sign us off the strength of the demo, she hadn’t even seen us live. A lot of people were saying we were nuts going with the the first deal but we were ready and if we didn’t sign then all the songs would be scrapped. We knew if we didn’t sign we would have to start gigging in London and kissing ass and these songs would fall by the wayside. Basically we wanted to get our stuff out. What’s happened in the last three months since the album came out has been amazing.
PRP: You mention the fact that you would write new songs and scrap old songs. In hindsight are you still happy with the songs on “fakesoundofprogress”.
Lostprophets: The second album I think will be a lot more consistent, its a mixture of songs that were written within a year, some are more metal, some are more mellow and you can tell what is older.
PRP: Any Particular message behind the album name “fakesoundofprogress”?
Lostprophets: Two things, basically its kind of preemptive in that we knew that when we released it, we would be seen as another nu-metal band. A lot of people say “oh I thought you would be another shitty nu-metal band” and then they have listened to it and they say well you weren’t. The other thing is when we were writing the album, we would be reading Kerrang! and read about a hot new band coming out. We would run out and buy the CD and we would be like this is shit and get so angry we would snap the CD. We just got really pissed off with it, bands thinking they have gone really far, hence “fakesoundofprogress”.
PRP: Why no gaps between the words of song titles?
Lostprophets: That’s Just me being a crap designer. We say it like they are more than one word. Whenever I get e-mails people say it how we wrote it on the album which is cool as they are paying attention I guess. People still spell our name with two words. As one word I think it looks really cool, its meant to be like Snapcase in that you wouldn’t write it “Snap Case”.
PRP: What bands are you influenced by and do the band share similar tastes?
Lostprophets: We all came from the same point but along the way we all branched off into listening to different things. We aren’t scared of looking back. I (Ian) grew up with stuff like Faith No More, The Police, Duran Duran, Megadeth. I would have my walkman on and have Duran Duran on one side and Annihilator on the other. When you are young you don’t see the divide between the genre’s, you just like music as music. Its cool to make music that is timeless, an album that you will listen to in ten years time and still think is cool. At the end of the day I think melody and tune is timeless, it will never go out of fashion. Listen to “Angel Dust” by Faith No More now and it still sounds fresh. A lot of this rap metal stuff in a few years is going to be so lame. If you want to make a quick buck in a short amount of time then its fine but we want to be going for ages. We want a career with music that’s going to last.
PRP: With six members in the band, how do you go about writing songs?
Lostprophets: Basically Lee goes home and churns our riff after riff after riff and he will come to practice and tell us all his ideas and we would jam around that idea.
PRP: Ian, What do you tend to write about in your songs?
Lostprophets: Nothing really in particular, just stuff that’s on my mind. I start writing a song about one thing and half way through I start thinking about something else and by the end of the song I’m singing about something completely different. There’s no real structure to it. They mean stuff to me but they are also kind of ambiguous and people can interpret them in their own way.
PRP: Ian, you maintain the official Lostprophets website, do you like that hands on approach?
Lostprophets: I Love doing it. I work for a web design company as it is. Its cool, I get all these emails and I want to answer them all, but I cant always do that because I’m supposed to be working on all these corporate websites. I do it after work after everyone goes home answering emails and updating news till 11pm. The amount of e-mails I have been receiving has gone from 2/3 a week up to 20 or 30 a day. They are worldwide too.
PRP: So how do you feel about internet promotion?
Lostprophets: Its awesome, big corporations still don’t understand it and its still in the hands of the people in the way that anyone can make a website. If you think about it, without the internet, Marcie (Farmclub A&R who flew in from New York City to see the bands show) wouldn’t be here today. The doors that are opened for a small band in Wales actually getting somewhere in the states is awesome. Fuckin download our stuff from Napster. I don’t care if people steal our music or buy it, as long as they listen to it. Without the internet you would need a massive label to get heard form places so far a field.
PRP: With bands like Linkin Park, Papa Roach and Limp Bizkit getting daytime airplay on Radio 1, is this healthy for the U.K. homegrown scene?
Lostprophets: Definitely, it pisses me off the fact that Radio 1 (Major U.K. Radio Station) play Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit, when there’s U.K. bands that do it just as well. The only reason they are playing them is because they are big in America. It’s still opening metal and alternative music into the more mainstream eyes so it has to be a good thing. Having Linkin Park or Limp Bizkit at number 1 is much better than Steps at number 1.
PRP: Is there a sense of unity amongst U.K. bands? I know that Earthtone9 speak highly of you.
Lostprophets: I think there definitely is. Earthtone9 have been awesome, we owe them quite a lot. We need to stick together, there’s no point being jealous. The U.K. is so small, everybody’s in the same boat. Everyday I read on The PRP about American bands that our recording their major label debuts and just 3 or 4 U.K. bands in this scene on major labels. You can’t say that bands like us, Earthtone9 and Hundred Reasons are not as good as some bands that get signed to majors in the U.S.
PRP: In the shower with the sudden urge to urinate, do you hop out and pee or just go in the shower?
Lostprophets: Shower (all in unison)
PRP: What should fans expect of your live show?
Lostprophets: Energy, emotion, intelligence, aggression and a good laugh. Having a release.
PRP: Any last words?
Lostprophets: Check our album out please, we work hard. lostprophets.com or Napster.