10 Minutes With... Austin Dickinson

In just two weeks, London quintet As Lions – the band formed from the ashes of Rise To Remain – will play their debut show at Camden’s Barfly. Frontman Austin Dickinson talked to TeamRock about the circumstances which led to his former band’s split and his ambitions for the year…

**WHAT LED TO THE DEMISE OF RISE TO REMAIN, THEN? **“The end was a long time coming. We’d had difficulties with the line-up. Adam [Lewin, drums] left a few days before we had a headline show at Takedown Festival. He left us in a shit position. Ben [Tovey, guitar] was done with music and had a bunch of problems he had to deal with. I don’t want to get into it, because it’s personal but I toured with Ben for years and years and he’s my bro. I’m proud of him for going away and doing what’s best for him. It takes guts to do that, when you’ve got an opportunity like Rise To Remain in front of you and you’ve got the other half of your life that needs to be tended to. So we went our separate ways. After the line-up changes, it didn’t seem feasible or fair to people following the band to keep pumping life into it just to keep it afloat. It was great while it lasted, but I wanted to come back with something even better and obliterate it into the atmosphere.”

**WHAT’S THE SIGNIFICANCE BEHIND THE NEW NAME? **“It was a bit random, actually. I’ve always loved the idea of a banner or a crest. Something that defines the idea of a band, like the cover of [Rise To Remain’s 2010 EP] Bridges Will Burn. We were talking about feeling proud, like three lions – the whole British kind of thing. But we will not be wearing any lion onesies onstage.”

AS LIONS’ DEBUT GIG TAKES PLACE ON FEBRUARY 11. HOW ARE YOU FEELING? “We’re all really excited. It’s going to be a sell-out and a lot of fun. The Barfly holds lots of memories for me from back in the day. So, to do our launch show there is exciting. It’ll be very intimate and very sweaty, I’m sure!”

**HOW’S THE NEW MATERIAL SOUNDING SO FAR? **“Great. We got a lot of parts from [what would have been] Rise’s second album that Conor [O’Keefe, guitar] , Will [Homer, guitar] and I wrote. The all-new material was unstoppable and came to us more naturally to us, because we had a whole new dynamic and more freedom. With Stefan [Whiting, bass] and Dave [Fee, drums], there’s so much free-flowing energy; it feels really great. There’s a genuine honesty and sense of intensity and purpose behind everything.”

**WHAT DO THE NEXT FEW MONTHS HOLD FOR THE BAND? **“We’ve got to keep it quiet, but we’ll be releasing more music and announcing some tours. The coming months are very exciting for us.”

For more information on As Lions, check out their Facebook page. The band will play London’s Barfly on February 11. Support comes from Monument, Stellify and Brutai.

Simon Young

Born in 1976 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Simon Young has been a music journalist for over twenty years. His fanzine, Hit A Guy With Glasses, enjoyed a one-issue run before he secured a job at Kerrang! in 1999. His writing has also appeared in Classic RockMetal HammerProg, and Planet Rock. His first book, So Much For The 30 Year Plan: Therapy? — The Authorised Biography is available via Jawbone Press.