Cats, killer whales and horrible c**ts: Lonely the Brave come to Manchester

Lonely the Brave look confused. 

I think I have confused Lonely the Brave.

“I’m sorry, what was the question?” drummer Gavin Edgeley asks.

“Have I lost my mind here?”

The question was: “If you could talk to an animal, and perhaps even coerce it into being a member of the band, which animal would it be and why?”

It wasn’t totally unfounded – the bands video to Victory Line features a protagonist talking to a wolf.

“I think,” the drummer said, having collected his thoughts.

“I think, I would have serious words with my cat when I first got it.

“’Why are you shitting all over my house, mate?’”

Guitarist Ross Smithwick intersects, saying: “If a killer whale could live outside the ocean that would be a great band member.”

Edgeley: “I’ll have my cat doing my job, and I’ll just sell the merch.

“In fact, we’ll just have a band of cats. Cats the musical.”

This, amazingly, wasn’t the only animal based chat I had with the members of the Cambridge band.

The five-piece had been in Ireland the night beforehand, doing the first two shows of their mammoth UK Tour.

“It’s been really good getting out to Ireland and Northern Ireland,” said Edgeley.

“I couldn’t drink any Guinness though, I just turned vegan.

“It’s helping me lose weight though, just not the weight of the world.”

“It’s no life,” added Smithwick.

Lonely the Brave have been busy bees in the past year and a half. They’ve appeared at Glastonbury as well as the main stage at Reading and Leeds, on top of releasing critically acclaimed album The Day’s War.

The band is also in the process of recording a second album, due for release in early 2016.

I asked whether their relentless work ethic  – the band haven’t had a day off in two years – was a case of striking while the iron was hot, or rather a case of them making their own luck.

“It’s not really a case of striking while the iron’s hot. You’ve been given this chance so you really have to take it,” said guitarist Smithwick.

“It’s been a consistent process of writing and touring, and we couldn’t do it any other way, so you definitely get out of it what you put in,” Edgeley added.

“There hasn’t been a massive rise for us like there has been for other bands, though.”

Their authentic rise could be cited as one of the reasons for their success.

Many musicians in the past who have retained their success, such as Biffy Clyro, who the band are relentlessly compared to in the media – something Smithwick rejects – and Frank Turner say avoiding the hipster-panic of being liked because they were suddenly ‘cool’ has helped develop a stead-fast fan base.

The conversation then turned to the bands upcoming album. The tricky second album is a challenge for any band, especially after their first was received so well.

Edgeley said: “People won’t expect how the next album sounds, it’s definitely us, but like, times ten.”

Smithwick added: “But it’s not even the pressure of having a particular sound, we put pressure on ourselves.

“We don’t want to put out any crap, and we’ve really worked hard.

“The pressure is to outdo the first album. You have to keep stepping it up.”

And if the reviews are bad?

“Bad reviews fucking suck. And obviously you hope the album is well received, but if they are bad, I’m still proud of it,” said Edgeley

It seemed a good time to revive the memory of the aforementioned wolf video.

Lonely the Brave have some excellent videos, namely The Blue, The Green, which packs as much emotion as the song itself does.

“We’re not overly hands on with them,” Edgeley said

“Obviously we are involved in making them, just not the creative process. But you want to work with the people who make these videos.

“Just don’t read the comments. There are some fucking horrible cunts out there.

“It’s a dying art though, video making, when you think about what MTV2 used to do and stuff like that.”

Stellar performances have seen them become a regular on the European Festival circuit the past few years.

Their new album will probably have more of a live feel about it, as all tracks were recorded at once, rather than layering the instruments on top of each other. Surprisingly though, live performances never really came into their minds when putting the songs together.

Edgeley said: “The songs aren’t written with that [live performance] in mind, but when you hear the album back you think some songs will be great to play live. Some will just be for the album though.”

So what next for the band?

Smithwick said: “At the moment, it’s all about the next record.

“We probably need just about another week working at it, and then hopefully it’ll be out early next year.”

It remains to be seen whether the new album features killer whales or guest spots from musical cats. 

Image courtesy of BBC Music Introducing, via Youtube, with thanks

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