LostAlone: what happens when you've been fed a diet of Queen records your entire life

LostAlone group shot
(Image credit: Jodi Photography)

Despite glowing reviews from media and fans, business and label struggles forced the three best friends in LostAlone to call it quits in 2014. Bassist Alan Williamson became a father, drummer Mark Gibson restored vintage Aston Martins, frontman Steven Battelle threw himself into solo work and co-writing (he’s currently working with McFly). 

Now, they’re back with The Warring Twenties, a hyper-melodic blend of pummelling rock riffs, sugar-bomb vocals and theatrical sparkle – plus lockdown-era inspiration (personal and political), and the sort of Queen DNA that’s served The Darkness and The Struts with similar aplomb. 

As Battelle tells us, it all began in November 2019, aboard the Queen Mary II…

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What were you doing on the Queen Mary II? 

I won a cruise from Southampton to New York. I was the youngest person by, like, five decades. It was amazing. The older people weren’t out late at night, and they definitely weren’t on the open-air top deck, so I had it to myself. You could see galaxies and stars. The captain informed us we’d be sailing over the graveyard of the Titanic, and I had this moment: “Why am I not doing the thing I absolutely love?” I honestly don’t think we’d be talking if it wasn’t for that. 

Does the lyric ‘Ambition’s an affliction, every moment is a mission’ reflect your current mind-set? 

That just sums up my life. And I hope it might resonate with some people. It’s great to be ambitious, but sometimes when I see my friends who’ve got nine-to-five jobs, and really happy lives… I don’t have an unhappy life, but I’m so obsessed with music that it’s 24/7 all the time. All my songs end up being dark, but the chorus has to be like a West End musical. 

Speaking of musicals, there’s a huge sense of theatre on the record. 

I listen to musicals a lot, and I go to see them a lot, especially now I live in London. If you said to me: “What would be the thing you’d like to do the most?” it’d be to have LostAlone play this album on the stage where Frozen is, with all those vocalists, and with our big guitars. I just love loads of people singing at the same time, with big harmonies.

Two of the band’s first gigs in eight years were in stadiums with My Chemical Romance. What was that like? 

They’re the first shows I’ve ever enjoyed in the moment. Because I’m always thinking: “What are we doing next?” But we’ve known about this since 2020, and I’ve been saying to myself: “I need to enjoy this.” The likelihood that LostAlone will play stadiums again is very small. I don’t know if it’s the diet of Queen my entire life, but walking out on that stage felt so easy. 

You’re a massive Queen fan. Do you have some sort of shrine? 

There’s a lot of limited box sets and books. I’ve got first pressings of every vinyl. I’ve got so much rare stuff. My mum got me into Queen, and she’s coming down next week. I was like: “Can you tell me what you want to do this time?” And she said: “I just want to go see where Queen did things.” So I’m planning a Queen tour of London. 

Will we have to wait another eight years before the next album? 

You definitely won’t, because I’ve written most of it, and we’re recording in a few weeks. My aim when we got back together was that I just want LostAlone to go on until I’m no longer here. But the caveat this time was: “It has to be fun.”

The Warring Twenties is out now. Physical copies are available from the LostAlone website (opens in new tab).

Polly Glass
Features Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is features editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine (opens in new tab) and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.