Q: Hi there! Loving the hard-core rock vibe of “Radio”; Can you walk me through the creative process in making this song?
THE LOWTONES: (Oliver) ‘Radio’ was first written using the bass guitar and vocals. The bass mapped out the sections and gave the strong it’s structure. I find it easier to sing off the bass line with less counter melodies in the early stages of a new song. From there each member of the band added their own parts, which is what creates all of the surrounding melodies, feel and signature Lowtones style.
(Tim) Mav sent over a demo of just the bass & the vocal; I had just picked up a new guitar when it came through so just jammed along to it. The lead guitar line of the song being pretty much the first thing I played on it. We then take the ideas into the rehearsal room and worked through it, building it up, until the masterpiece was created. We wanted a bit of a heavier, more modern sound from this track so adjusted our tones to suit.
Q: I love all components of “Radio”; the jangling guitars, blunt drums, and unique vocals. What was your favorite part of making “Radio”?
THE LOWTONES: (Oliver) All of it. This came together really smoothly compared to some other songs we have. It was something that just naturally clicked for us. This is a very ‘us’ song, which is something we all collectively felt early on in the writing process. If someone asked us to sum up our sound, I would suggest ‘Radio’ as a good place to start.
(Tim) When we got the various parts together for the chorus we were really pleased with how it sounded. The individual components really sync up well.
(George) Call me biased, but the drums are the best bit of this song.
Q: I’m always interested in an artist’s musical journey. Was there a pivotal moment in your life when you decided to follow your path as a musician?
THE LOWTONES: (Oliver) The pivotal moment for the group was really that we all found ourselves in the position to get together and give it a go. I think it had been a long time coming, as we are mostly friends from way back and had often talked about forming a group in the past. Of course, we all have day jobs, so we are musicians as far as the rigors of life will allow. Perhaps ‘Radio’ will change that.
(Tim) Not particularly, but we formed right at the beginning of the COVID lockdown 2020 so a big part of it for me was having the time to try and write some songs together, which turned out to be really good, then realising that life is too short to miss out on doing something that you love.
(George) Me and Jack have always played in little groups together, but it was always just for fun. There was no structure or songwriting going on. The birth of The Lowtones came about when Mav came back to Norwich (from Brighton). Me, Jack and Tim were playing music together already, and he gave us some structure and the band was born.
Q: Oliver, your vocals are so modern and nostalgic at the same time, and Jack and George’s instrumental ties everything together flawlessly. All these combined makes “Radio” a perfect mix of old-school rock with a fresh new take. In your own words, how would you describe the music your band typically creates?
THE LOWTONES: (Oliver) Since the early days, we’ve been honing some signature characteristics within our songwriting. Structure, duration, symmetry, minimalism… these are all things that we are considerate of. Every part of what we do is a conscious decision. However, we never run out of ways to express ourselves whilst maintaining those values. In a way, we follow this theory and ideal to stay in tune with the sound. Those components are ingrained in the DNA of The Lowtones. It doesn’t solely come for the voice, the guitar tone, or the beats.
(Tim) Just good music influenced by good music
Q: If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring three albums, which would they be?
THE LOWTONES: Impossible to say, as we all would pick different personal favourites. As a band I think these records are a big influence on us collectively:
The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights
Depeche Mode – Violator
Q: Do you remember who or what first got you into music? Was your family musical growing up?
THE LOWTONES: (Jack) Mine and George’s parents have always been into music so there always was (and still is when we go back) music played at home and we still go to gigs together very now and then.
(Tim) Likewise, really, my mum and dad just thought guitars were cool.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice about the music industry that you were given and how has it helped you navigate throughout your journey thus far?
THE LOWTONES: (Oliver) We’ve had very little support in all honestly. We support ourselves in all areas of the band: self-funded, self-released, self-reliant, self-deprecating, self-medicating, self-centered, self-loathing. The list goes on.
(Tim) Do it for your own enjoyment, not money or anyone else. It’s unlikely you’ll ever make any money doing something genuine or truly authentic anyway.
(George) Not really had any advice or guidance to be honest. But we all just go for it, try not to worry about what anyone else thinks. The world is full of people who talk a good game, but never actually do anything.
Q: Thanks so much for speaking with me! Tell your fans and everyone what exciting stuff is coming up next for you! Any shows/projects in the works?
THE LOWTONES: (Oliver) We have the next single/b-side recorded which will probably be released April/May time. We have also discussed the possibility of an EP for the latter part of this year. We are in a fortunate position of having a strong archive of unreleased material.
(Jack) We have already recorded the next single/b-side which we will probably release in the spring. We have quite a lot of new material that we will look to get recoded this year – to release as an album/EP. Got shows pencilled in around Norwich, hopefully play a few further a-field this year.
(Tim) More recording and releases this year. We have so much good material waiting to go; it would be a travesty if the world doesn’t hear it.
Photo credits: Cover: Martin Hendry Press Shots: Vera Milena Photography
Interviewed by Melissa Cusano
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