Interview: Lawson

Last week, The Verse interviewed Brighton born Adam Pitts, who is the drummer for Lawson. We talked with Adam about the bands aspirations, as well as the phenomenal experiences that the boys have had since the success of last years single Roads, and on a greater scale, since the huge success following the release of Album ‘Chapman Square’ in 2012 which reached an amazing #4 in UK Albums Charts.

lawson_press_shot_2_On March 18th, Lawson released  their new single Money following their world tour, playing to thousands in the UK, USA and Australia- even playing alongside Robbie Williams! Here’s what Adam had to say:

CAT: so you recently got back to Brighton where you’re from right? after touring the UK, Australia and the US, is it good to be home?

ADAM: yeah yeah really nice, I got to spend all of Christmas back home with my family and all my friends, and it was great to have a little bit of time off but it feels good to be back on the road now.

CAT: Yeah of course! You were recently selected to join Robbie Williams on his tour in Australia, as the main support act, to perform with him each night. That must have been incredible right?

ADAM: It was honestly like- the best thing ever, we were- well a lot of us have been fans of Robbie for ever really. Growing up he was just the biggest pop star in the world. SO to be invited on the tour. That was such an amazing thing to do. But then to be invited every single night to perform with him was – it just kinda made it more special. Originally we were just gonna do one song with him, the song called The Road to Mandalay. But at sound check on the first night in Perth he was like “that’s really good”, “do you know back for good as well?”  [laughs] we were like “yeah yeah we know back for good!!” But obviously we knew the song, but had no idea how to play it, and he was like “well ok, if its a good crowd, I might throw that one at you as well”, and we were like “Ok- amazing!” We ran back stage, quickly rehearsed, back for good because we had no idea how to play it, and then we were like “he’s probably not even gonna ask us to do it anyway”. But then that night after Road to Mandalay he kinda turned round, and gave us the look like, “back for good?” And that was the first time we played it, was in front of 20,000 people in Perth, so it was pretty scary!

CAT: Yeah that sounds scary!

ADAM: Yeah but it went pretty well, up until the end. Obviously as a drummer you’ve got to finish the song, and because we hadn’t rehearsed, we had no idea when it was gonna end, so we just kinda kept going over the last chorus a few times, until he kinda turned round like “Is this gonna end at some point ?!”  [laughs] It was great fun!

CAT: Sounds so so awesome

ADAM: yeah it was wicked.

CAT: I think Andy said that you initially wrote the single “Money”, when you were unsigned and going miles and miles for pretty low pay, having just started. But you recently released it this year. Was there any particularly reason that you released it now. Was it a way of showing how far you’d come?

ADAM: Well we never had the song as a whole. We just kinda used to do the “money” chant, like we’d sing it as a joke when we were doing gigs and getting paid about £20 each for like a whole nights show at pubs and clubs around the UK. We’d be like just chanting in the back of the van like saying “wheres the money?!” and thats kind of all we really had, way back then, and then it was last year when we were recording the album, we just started chanting that again, and thought “this could be quite good actually” So we built a song around it. So we added the single Money to it, we did that out in Nashville last year.

CAT: Oh okay, thats cool! So who’s responsible for writing the music? are you all responsible or is it just one individual?

ADAM: Andy will write the majority of the song, and he will write it on either piano or acoustic guitar, and do as much as he can there, and then he will give it to us, and we’ll all add our parts. So i’ll have the Beat, Joel will have the electric guitar, Ryan will have the bass, and we’ll just build it from there.

CAT: So it’s pretty balanced then. You’ve actually been compared to bands like The Wanted, and I know when you first started out, you toured with them. How do you feel about that comparison?

ADAM: I think thats… I mean obviously when you support someone, your career will easily gain that sort of comparison. And at the end of the day, they are a pop band that release pop songs, and we’re the same, we’re a pop band that released pop songs. But obviously the main difference is, we play our own instruments, and write all our own songs as well. But we totally understand the comparison, and I think over here especially: any time there’s a band of guys in their twenties, and they’re boys. You kinda get everyone getting pushed in the same kind of category, but it is a big category thats got a lot of bands within it, so we just take it with a pinch of salt to be honest.

CAT: It’s funny you say that actually, because I read that, as a band, you collectively have kinda said that you don’t want to be considered the “teen heartthrob” band. You want to be accessible to all ages, guys and girls. Do you feel that you’re still continuing with that idea, and are able to create music, as a band for a diverse audience.

ADAM: Yes […] we  do have a lot of fans that are young girls. At concerts , it’s nice with the girls screaming, especially when we’re performing at a show. It’s quite a rocky show, there are a lots of guitar solos.  So I think it appeals to the older generation, and guys who are more into rock. If you come to one of our shows, there’s a lot of guitar solos, and we’re gonna rock out a lot.  Yeah we like to think we can kind of appeal to mixed range of people, which is how we think it should be. I don’t think music should be targeted at just one demographic . You need to play music thats open to anyone, I think thats the way to do it.

CAT: No definitely, I agree. Do you think that over the period of writing the single, your music style has changed in any way? like in any exciting ways […] have you been influenced by any other genres for example?

ADAM: Yeah, it’s been such a long time since we released the first album, and with this one now, its gonna be 4 years since the first one, which is a long gap. So obviously we’ve grown up as people, and we’ve kind of moved on a musicians as well, and hopefully got better not worse with our respective instruments [laughs] So the music’s still based around the same things. We still write about the same things, stuff like that, but we’ve definitely changed in terms of, we’ve got more involved in the production side, stuff like that, so we feel like the second album, as a whole kinda sounds better than the first album, and hopefully people agree, but we think its better songs, its kinda more of what we did the first time round , we like to think we’ve stepped up a gear and hopefully people will agree.

CAT: Yeah, no I thought Money was a really good song.

ADAM: Well thank you very much! [laughs]

CAT: You said in an interview that your lives immediately influence your style of writing. Even the name of the band is influenced by an event in your lives. Do you think that with the last single- considering you’ve said you’ve grown up a lot as a band- the group’s style or lyrical content is going to have “matured” in a sense?

ADAM: definitely, definitely. Theres a lot of song in the album that are more mature. Like in the first album, there were a lot of songs about relationships, and stuff like that. And there is still quite a bit of that, and quite a few ballads on the new album, but there’s some other themes on the album that are a bit more uplifting and epic and triumphant in a way, because obviously we’ve had such an amazing time over the last couple of years, but we kinda just don’t wanna just make music that’s quite sad and about relationships. But people doing what they wanna do. It does make you feel pretty epic like that feeling when you’re out there. There’s definitely something about the album, and also because we’ve toured so much with the first album, we’ve learn what kinda works well live, so we’ve tried to put some songs on the album, that we know will be kind of epic, and that we would look at it in that way too.

CAT: Okay, yeah that makes sense. You’ve shot your music videos in some really cool places, like Norway.  So … is there an awesome setting for the music video Money?

ADAM: Basically, when Andy wrote the lyrics, and we were kinda thinking of them and stuff, I mean we talk about St. Tropez and cruise boats and yachts and that, and we were thinking, “wow, this is gonna be, one hell of a video, we’re gonna have a pretty good time, and then the label came back to us, and said “ so instead of doing all these things , we thought we’d take it the opposite way, and kind of go to a run down warehouse”… [laughs] … so we ended up doing it in Shoreditch in East London, three weeks ago, it was about  -2 degrees, and like it was an abandoned warehouse, with no windows. It was SO cold. Could not be further from a yacht in St Tropez. But it was well worth it, because we were really happy with how the video turned out, but it was that initial location we shot in, but to be honest it wasn’t as cold as Norway, so …

CAT: winning really… best of both worlds [laughs] Ok. So if you could do a collaboration with any other artist, like for this year, this album or just in the future, who would it be?

ADAM: Yeah! We’d love to get a female voice on the records so, we’re bigs fans on Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, or anyone like that would be absolutely incredible to do a duet with.

CAT: Yeah thats sounds really cool, definitely something to look out for.

Check out iTunes for Lawson’s new single (or to find of their any other music if you haven’t already downloaded all of the albums… )

Lawson Site Lawson FacebookLawson TwitterLawson Instagram

by Cat van Maanen

The Verse Staff

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