Written by Contributor on April 3, 2012
Words: Emily Anstee
On the eve of the release of their 5th studio album, Lostprophets drummer Luke Johnson took time out to speak to Sonar Magazine about Weapons, anthems and the upcoming tour.
How do you feel knowing the world is listening to the new record, Weapons?
“We’re very excited about it; we really tried to encapsulate a lot on this record so there’s always a bit of pre-nerves. You always wonder what people are going to think. I’ve been receiving a lot of tweets and kids seem to love it. This is also the first record I’ve played on; it’s my debut with Lostprophets on tape!”
How are finding being part of such a successful rock band?
“We’ve definitely all got similar backgrounds, with a working class mentality. We all mesh together really well. As far as writing the record, the boys have been doing this for 10 years and they’ve had a string of hits. I’m just trying to fit in without being overbearing and it works really well, everyone’s taken my ideas too and ran with them. “
One of the attractions of Lostprophets is the ability to write and perform anthems (‘Rooftops’, ‘Last Train Home’), are there any tracks on the new album that we’ll be screaming back at you on the tour?
“Yeah, we have a song on the record called Arsenal, right out of the gate it’s got that big sort of whale hook. In recent years, we’ve had a lot of links and ties to sports, the golf and football and rugby; it’s definitely another one of those songs that could easily be picked up by the media. I think it (‘Arsenal’) is a big chorus that people are going to know. That’s going to stick in your head by the second chorus, we’re pretty proud of this one! There’s a bunch [on this record], Ian (Watkins, lead singer) always strives to write the best chorus and that really helps with the anthemic theme of Lostprophets.”
How’s the set list coming along and what can we expect from the shows?
“Well obviously we’re going to play a bunch of new ones, it’s always difficult breaking new songs in when the albums just come out and people are still getting to know it. First album tour I’ve always noticed that you tend to get mixed responses because people don’t know the songs; they already love the old songs. When we were doing ‘The Betrayed’, a lot of songs like ‘Where We Belong’ and ‘The End Of The World’, the kids were sort of into it but not vibing as much as if we played ‘Last Summer’ or ‘Rooftops’.”
Weapons sees a return to the original Lostprophets sounds, what influenced you guys on this record?
“I haven’t been through the writing process with the guys, I came in on the tail end of ‘The Betrayed’ so I know a lot about what went down on that record but I guess, really, the band. After 12 years as a band, it’s obviously going to evolve into sometimes even a different band. You can’t keep writing the same record because then you’ll have no longevity. I feel that with the new record, it’s just trying to please the fans and enticing new people over. There’s an all encapsulated sound on the record of old and new. A little bit of each era of Lostprophets is good as there’ll be something for everyone on there. The kids that like the heavier stuff will love ‘Bring ‘em down’, though there’s also a new Lostprophets sound added in there. I’m pretty proud that we managed to achieve that in just 10-11 songs.”
How did you come up with the title Weapons? Does it resonate with the feeling of the album?
“Well, you’ve got to put your best foot forward and we’ve always felt like the underdogs every time we come back. There are new bands popping up all the time that are really popular so we’ve got to go out with aheavy artillery this time. We have to make a record that goes and goes! Ian has always liked to be that character that says ‘you can’t bring us down!’, that’s the ethos with standing up and fighting and making our existence relevant. There’s a lot of that reflected in the song titles and the lyrics.”
Lostprophets are touring the UK from mid April and hit Southampton Guildhall on May 2nd, and then they jet off around the world for the rest of 2012.