Up a terrifying set of stairs that is 100% not made for anyone over 5ft, Eddy Thrower (Drums) and Ben Sansom (Guitar) of Lower Than Atlantis wait for me in their dressing room. Sun soaked Manchester University grounds linger out of the window behind the lads as we chat about the impending Man Utd vs Chelsea game of which Ben is incredibly confident and I refuse to believe that Chelsea will win (I was very wrong… shut up Ben.)
A sold out tour gents, 10,000 people, that must feel immense?
Eddy – Yeah it’s the first ever sold out tour we’ve done, we came close on the Changing Tune tour, but they were smaller shows. So yeah pretty amazing. We did this venue in 2012 and we were going through bad times and when you can see it’s not sold out it kind of puts a bad vibe on it, so it’s awesome to have it sold out today.
Ben – Manchester is definitely one of my favourite places to play as well.
After the tough times you’ve mentioned, you’re on a sold out tour and a European leg just announced. Does that make you more comfortable as a band or is there a danger in that?
Eddy – I don’t think we’re ever comfortable cause we’re always trying to better ourselves. The whole aim of a tour is to sell it out and with that happening it does make you feel good.
Ben – It’s just nice to not have that pressure, no discussion of ticket sales or anything. It’s nice.
So 5th show of the tour so far, do you look ahead or are you just in the moment thinking about the show today?
Ben – On tour I just think day to day
Eddy – Yeah you can’t really look ahead, there’s all the press and production that goes with it too.
Ben – I think it would be a bit cheeky thinking about tomorrow’s show really.
As a band you’ll have goals and places you want to be, what is making it for you guys?
Ben – The goal for this band is more international, do what we do here in other territories.
Eddy – As well when you’re in a band you can sell out somewhere like Koko and then you’re thinking of the next place, the next step up. It’s hard to be satisfied.
So where abouts in the world haven’t you played that’s on your list to tick off?
Ben – We’ve done most of them really. Australia and Japan we did last year, I want to go back to the States as well.
Is Japan as weird as it looks?
Both – Yeah! Absolutely
We pull off on a tangent about Japanese umbrella stands and how truly nuts Japan can be as a place.
The self-titled album – is that a reinvention?
Eddy – Yeah, we went through a lot of shit before this album so this was us kind of saying “This is it, this is us” we were hoping we would pick up a lot of new fans, at this point in your career and having a self-titled album it allows you to have the fresh start for those new fans.
And it’s reached number 16 in the UK album charts too
Eddy – If you told me when I was 15 that I would have a top 20 record, I would never believe you. It takes someone to pinch you every now and then.
In terms of the musicality of the album and writing who does that begin with?
Eddy – Mike mostly, if Ben was to walk in with something too technical Mike would think “Fuck I’ve got to sing over that.” So Mike will come to us and we’ll work around what he brings.
You recorded this album residentially is that correct?
Eddy – We have a little studio that we built in Watford about 2 years ago, we did most of it down there.
Did you write it while you were there?
Ben – We sort of did a lot of different sessions and it took about a year. It was very split up, a few days with someone then and week maybe and another few days. Which was cool cause it meant we had enough time after the two or three days with the demo to look at what we could change. So that was a really cool way to do it.
OK gents, a gimmicky question now. There’s a musical apocalypse, all the music of the world is wiped out and there are no musicians left. Pick 5 musicians, dead or alive, to recreate the worlds music.
Eddy – Can I have Paul McCartney and Lennon as one?
You can have them as the Beatles I suppose.
Ben – How about someone current
Eddy – Sam Smith?
Ben – Yeah, but can we have his writers as well?
Eddy – Dave Grohl
Approving comments from the room
Eddy – Some like Pharrell
Ben – One left
Eddy – Bob Marley
A pretty eclectic selection from the guys and I think that would be a world with some funky music to boot. A genuine pleasure to talk to these lads who were more than indulging and genuinely a good laugh. The only thing left to do is battle the spiral staircase of death one more time.
Interview – Will Paddison
Photography -Danny Peart