Imbued with the unquiet spirit of raw, unhinged rock’n’roll, His Lordship have stripped 21st-century post-rock sophistication back to a rip-snorting, souped-up skeletal chassis that’s part hot rod, part brutal assault.
There’s just the two of them – James Walborne covers guitar and vocals, Kristoffer Sonne supplies the beat – and they’re never more comfortable than when they’re bouncing in the red. They’ve got Jerry Lee snake-oil in their veins, channel Cramps, backwoods rockabilly psychosis and ooze an aura of bourbon-soaked sonic delinquency. But, says James: “We don’t want to be a fucking retro thing. We don’t wanna write about being in a Cadillac. We want to write about now.”
His Lordship, sonics set to ‘stun’, all cranked up and as edgy as an amphetamine breakfast, lean in close with obvious conspiratorial urgency: “To breathe new life into rock’n’roll. That’s our mission.”
All roads lead to Chrissie Hynde
Walborne (Camden) and Sonne (Denmark) met while working with Chrissie Hynde. The former has been the guitarist with The Pretenders since 2008, while the latter was brought in from Brett Anderson’s band to appear on a Hynde solo record.
“We just hit it off,” Walborne says with a shrug, “became good friends, drank together and started rock’n’roll bands together.”
So what did Their Lordships learn under La Hynde’s benign dictatorship?
“She blows your mind every day,” says Sonne. “The music we love? She was there when it was made.”
“She’s full of wisdom,” Walborne continues. “And you’d better listen. Do not interrupt.”
They have an unwritten manifesto that’s short, sharp and to the point
Just as lockdown was about to lock down, His Lordship articulated their defining visceral blurt, All Cranked Up.
“We’ve always been restless, but as the pandemic took hold we rediscovered why the fuck we did this in the first place,” says Walbourne. “We got to the point where we just got fed up with labels. This band comes directly from that feeling of thinking: ‘Fuck this, fuck them, we’re gonna do this. If you like it, great; if you don’t, fuck off.’”
Lockdown has left them all cranked up
“We got together right at the start of the pandemic and have only been able to do four or five gigs so far,” Lordship Walborne moans in a tangible state of abject frustration. “But we’re going out on tour in July, so I’ll be able to tell you how raucous and debauched the road gets then. But, you know, Ipswich on a Tuesday night? How debauched can it get?”
They dress up to mess up
His Lordship wear suits. Cheap suits.
“We wanted something cheap so we went to Topman,” admits Walborne. “We wear them every night now. I quite like putting on the suit, it’s like becoming Superman.”
But cheap suits do come with disadvantages. “I did the splits one night, split my whole trousers. And now Topman’s closed and I can’t get any more.”
They’re not entirely opposed to the concept of the bass player
While there are only two of them, His Lordship claim they’re not on an anti-bass crusade.
“We just work together as a duo really quickly,” Walborne insists, “and I might play bass on our recordings sometimes.”
“It’s not a dogma,” Sonne claims. “We had a bass player but he moved to New Zealand… What does a bass player use for contraception? His personality.”
Hmm, I wonder why he left.
They’re the hardest-working men in show business
“It’s hard work playing rock’n’roll,” Sonne insists. “You have to sweat; you can’t just press a button. You sometimes come off stage thinking: ‘Why am I doing this?’”
“But it’s never gonna get old.” Walborne concludes. “Raw rock’n’roll on stage is something to behold. You don’t see it very often now, it’s not in the zeitgeist any more, but it feels like it might be coming back."
The All Cranked Up EP is out now via Psychonaut Sounds.