Have you always wanted to know what pop-punk and melodic rock would sound like if they merged into one? Well, it’s time you met Glasgow-based pop-rock quartet Lost In Stereo. Citing Good Charlotte and All Time Low as key among their influences, their blend of genre-hopping rock is stuffed full with furiously catchy hooks and gleaming pop-inspired choruses which would make Katy Perry proud.
Fresh from a support slot with The Ataris, we catch up with the band to find out more about them and what they have in store for next.
Can you introduce yourselves – where are you from, who does what and what are your roles in the band?
“Hey, we’re Lost in Stereo! We are a four piece pop-punk/rock band from Glasgow, Scotland. At the front we have Ellis playing bass, Jon and Andrew on guitar and Dean is the drummer. Ellis is lead vocals for the most part but we all do our bit.”
How did you guys meet and start making music together?
“Ellis and Andrew started writing songs when they were kids in their home town. Andrew went off to university in Glasgow and met Jon, who was one of his first year flatmates. Ellis joined the boys in Glasgow a couple of years later. Having been through for a few writing sessions, after about a year, a friend introduced us to Dean, a hardened gangster from the east end of the city. We were terrified, we’d never seen a local up close before. We managed to tame him though…”
What were your key influences/inspirations in getting the band together?
“Andrew has wanted to be in a band ever since seeing All Time Low’s hugely energetic shows around six years ago along with their movie – Straight To DVD – where they seem to have the most carefree and fun life you can imagine. Jon and Dean have always wanted a career in music, in any capacity, having been playing their instruments from a young age. Ellis, well he was brought up a classical choir boy, so probably just wanted to rebel a bit but honestly we’ve no idea what goes on in his head.”
You guys have been described by many places as a pop-punk band. How do you feel about that label?
“We don’t see it as a problem or anything. We write pop punk songs and try and add rhythmic and melodic curveballs, while also putting in our influences from other genres and the bands within them. We try not to worry too much about what genre we swing in and out of, as long as we continue to write songs that make us smile and that people care enough to listen to. At that point, we can say ‘we made it’.”
British pop punk is having something of a revival at the moment – how does it feel to be part of that movement?
“It’s awesome! We have seen some of the best bands within our lifetime rise due to trends and popularity. We’ve seen bands like Blink-182 and Good Charlotte make triumphant returns and this is more than inspiring. It’s especially humbling to be recognised as musicians, because we are trying to recreate the feelings that bands like Blink provoked within us through their music. For lack of better words, it’s fucking awesome!”
How would you describe your sound in three words for people who’ve never heard you?
“Nothing Like Madonna.”
What makes you special/different to other bands out there?
“We’re weird, friendly and like cake… nothing different there really! However, musically we try and push the boundaries. As a collective we have a silly amount of energy and creativity when approaching songwriting, due to our band members’ diverse music tastes (from J-pop to jazz). We like to think we have an original sound that everyone can listen to, as well as enjoy, hopefully! That’s our aim at least, so if we get anywhere close to that, we will be over the moon. We also have a fantastic management team who help push us further forward, keeping us ahead of the curve and miles ahead of where we should be for a band only one year old.”
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What’s the story behind new EP, Famous First Words, and how did it come together?
“It sort of just formed itself after we chose our favourite songs we new we wanted on the EP. The songs have a similar story for the most part and are pretty pop-punk thematically as well. We wrote Tear Out The Pages and Superhuman with Stef from The Midnight Beast and we knew they were going to be on the record as soon as we had finished them. The other tracks we wrote ourselves and thought they made the cut. We really wanted an acoustic track as well so we pushed for that instead of just a 4 track EP of full band songs.
Famous First Words sounds like quite a cheeky statement of intent. Was that the intention with this first EP?
“Looking back, it is kind of cheeky, but that was not the intention. We came up with the name pretty quickly and Dean suggested it one night. We had a think about what it could mean and we all loved and still love My Chemical Romance, so first of all it was sort of a tribute to them. We then thought, ‘hey, who knows where this can go?!’ in a sort of, if people like this, it could really be something, kind of way. The ‘First Words’ is because it is our first EP, so we figured it was a pretty good title.”
What were your key influences on the EP, and what drew you to the themes it covers?
“The big pop choruses are probably influenced by more ‘teen’ pop-punk that some of us listen to from time to time, and the other parts like some of the riffs and things are influenced by the heavier pop-punk bands we like. It would be hard to specify an artist we drew inspiration from for particular parts of songs, however we did try for a State Champs – Around The World And Back album – sort of feel, with a touch of A Day To Remember.”
What’s your favourite story/anecdote from recording the EP?
“We had a lot of alcohol-fuelled nights out while writing and recording the EP which blur into one big mess, but we did try and do a ‘story time with Dean’ piece while we were recording, where Dean would tell us an entertaining story from his past. The best one is probably a bit too explicit but it involves his very ‘free-spirited’ friend sort of catfishing someone and putting a part of himself, or two, in a part of someone he met on Tinder in their car… It wasn’t where he thought he was putting it either… Another story he had was about the time he hit Susan Boyle in the head with a packet of crisps at the train station, but that’s not quite as funny.”
What, in your opinion, is the stand-out track on the EP?
“We each have a different preference for our favourite track on the EP but the stand out track would have to be Superhuman. It was a lot of fun to write, is a lot of fun to play and we just love the feel of the song.”
What do you hope people will take away from the EP, and your music in general?
“Hopefully, people like it and want to listen to more from us! Who knows, it may open up some doors up for us to progress with our music, but we will have to wait and see.”
What’s been the highlight of your time in the band so far?
“Getting to write with Stef from The Midnight Beast was an awesome experience. We’d never done anything like that before so we weren’t really sure what to expect, but when he came in we just got on like a house on fire and wrote more or less two full songs in two days. He’s an insanely creative guy so there was never really any point where we got stuck and couldn’t make the song progress. The songs came together really quickly and we were super happy with them, so we can’t wait to do more with him in the future.”
What was it like to support The Ataris?
“That was a really special gig, and probably one of the best we’ve done so far. The whole line-up was great, and when The Ataris came on the whole place went nuts. The venue was absolutely rammed and they were playing banger after banger, and everyone was just having a total blast. We’ll remember that one for a long time for sure and their all great guys who totally love what they do which has inspired us to just go for it and see where it takes us.”
If you could choose, who would you most like to tour with in future?
“State Champs is definitely a big one for all of us. We all had The Finer Things on repeat when the band first started getting together, and it had a pretty big influence on the first songs we were writing. We went to see them live last year and they just blew us away, they were so tight and it sounded so close to their records, and they put on a great show. They made us think that’s the standard we need to aim for when it comes to live shows.”
What are you most looking forward to about the future?
“We’re looking forward to see where we can get to as a band. We want to just keep writing, keep playing live, and develop our sound as much as possible, and hopefully if we keep working at it we’ll get the chance to play some shows with bands that we love and look up to. Touring is another thing we’re all looking forward to, and even though we’ve been warned that our first tour will be an empty-venue, unhygienic affair, we’re just excited about getting out on the road and playing back to back shows.”
What do you have planned for next?
“The EP [came] out at the end of September and we just can’t wait for everyone to hear the tracks. Feels like ages since we finished recording them and we are itching to get in the studio again and record some more new stuff. We have our biggest gig ever supporting Reel Big Fish at the O2 Academy, Glasgow in October which is a venue we’ve all seen some of our favourite bands play and will be much bigger than anything we’ve played to date – super excited for this. We are also playing our first gig in London that month which will be a new experience and hopefully it goes down well.”
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