You could have been reading this magazine for years and not many stories will hit you with the weight of what Lock & Key frontman Richard Lardner has been through in recent times.
With his previous band Odessa making minor waves, Richard’s world was flipped upside down when he was diagnosed with chronic inflammatory bowel disease, a more extreme version of the Crohn’s Disease that has plagued Glassjaw’s Daryl Palumbo over the years. After four months of living with the disease and having to take up to 30 tablets per day to treat the condition, he was admitted to hospital for emergency open surgery as his status had worsened to the point that keyhole surgery was not possible and his life hung in the balance. Left in hospital for months on end, Richard lost his job, his band disassembled and his life took the most extreme of downward trajectories.
“I had to spend my birthday in intensive care!” Richard exclaims in an unexpectedly chirpy tone, albeit one that foretells a happy ending. “If you hit the bottom, there’s only one way to go and that’s up. You can’t stay there.”
When life forces you to look at a blank canvas, you have two options. One is to look at the blank canvas, at the stark nothingness that life has left you with and crumble. The other is to see it as an opportunity to start afresh. For Richard Lardner, Lock & Key has filled that canvas.
“I didn’t ever think it would be the end,” reflects Richard. “As soon as I was healthy again,I decided I didn’t want music to pass me by and we got Lock & Key together pretty quickly.”
Formed while Richard was still in recovery, the mosh-ready hardcore of their first EP The Divide has seen them hit the stage with Stick To Your Guns and Deez Nuts among others, while also blasting faces at London’s Facedown fest. What it may lack in originality, the ferocious emotional outpouring on So Alone and marauding aggression of Burning Rope more than makes up for it in pure heart and soul.
“It has elements of the hardcore you think of by bands like Down To Nothing,” says Richard. “It’s just good to be playing again and feels like where I’m supposed to be. I can’t wait to do more things with this band.”
The Divide is out now via Small Town Records