Andy Lawson

My interest in the pop/rock band Lawson has often been noted here on EQ by myself, pretty much since I became hooked into their punchy melodies and won over by the bands likeability factor in an instant during the early days, all prior to them evolving into the bone fide pop band that they are recognised as today.

I actually realised I was a proper Lawson fan when the enormity set-in of how gutted I felt at narrowly missing out seeing the band open up for Will Young’s “Echoes” tour when it rolled into my home town of Ipswich. Nevertheless, as it was, even without the warm-up from Lawson, Will Young on his own provided me with one of my favourite gigs ever.

Following on from my Lawson near miss, I have since sought consolation in designating myself as being the armchair fangirl, (a trip away from where I live is especially troublesome at the best of times). I’ve keenly watched, supported, witnessed Lawson’s career evolve and had the bestest party in my living room when they’ve hooked up an online livestream gig.

When the opportunity was presented to me recently of sharing some Q & A chat-time with Lawson, rather than being enveloped by my usual coyness of getting involved with chatting and putting ACTUAL questions to popstars, as opposed to residing in my comfort zone of critiques. I knew if there was any opportunity I would NOT be willing to pass up, it was this.

So it all happened recently, ACTUAL Lawson frontman, singer/songwriter Andy Brown himself engaged in a short Q & A with me, we of course discussed a little of new single “Roads” as well as the upcoming sophomore album and here it is all laid before you below.

EQ: Hey Andy thanks for joining us here on EQ for a little chat and allowing me to put some questions to you.

So, I’d firstly like to throw open the questions by asking:

EQ: Following the initial success of your debut album “Chapman Square” here in the UK you then re-packaged it and also covered US and Canadian headline tours, how did you find this experience as going from relative newcomers on the UK pop scene to that of practically unknown artists over the pond and getting out there to establish yourselves all within a super quick time span?

AB: It was a great experience. We love nothing more than proving ourselves as a top live band. It’s a lot of hard work as America is such a big place. But we love visiting new cities and playing as many live gigs as possible.

EQ: “Chapman Square” was consistently pop rock orientated and ran of theme of ‘heartbreak’, how is it that you see your sound has evolved on the new album? And is there again a theme running throughout?

AB: The album has a very epic and triumphant feeling throughout. As a song writer I will always write about true life things so the lyrical concepts are very emotive. There’s still the odd song about relationships but mostly about being the best you can be.

EQ: Your new single “Roads” does have quite a feel of an Americana vibe playing upon it, is this purely by coincidence that it turned out to be this way (as I understand that you spent some time in Nashville whilst putting together this new album) and did you consciously see as it of being dual purpose that it might lend itself especially well as a release to the American market maybe?

AB: Being in Nashville definitely inspired us to try new things. Hence the mandolins and banjo. We always try and write songs that people will be able to sing back. Roads is filled with stomps, claps, heys, whoas, it’s my job to write as many hooks as possible.

EQ: Do you have an assertive goal in breaking into the American music scene further this time around?

AB: Absolutely. Although we’ve done tours in America, we’ve not actually released a song. Roads is starting to get airplay over there now which is very exciting. The American market is a very important one to us.

EQ: In going forward into the new album’s recording process, did you write heaps of songs to pick a short-list from prior to going into the studio?

AB: I wrote about 35 songs in total. Which we cut down to around 16 for the album. I’m hoping to get some of the other songs to new artists.

EQ: Are there any collaborations on the album? If you haven’t already done so, who on the current music scene would you like to team-up with?

AB: There are no collaborations this time around. I’m a big of what Rihanna and Kanye did with McCartney. Love that. He’s my hero so would love to do a duet with a Beatle. He inspired me to start playing guitar and writing songs.

EQ: Prior to releasing both of your albums you have participated by doing live concert streams debuting some of your new material, most recently broadcasting your awesome intimate gig at the Scala online. How important to you is it that your fans, the ‘geese’ are able to connect with your new music simultaneously this way?

AB: Very important. Our fans are the reason we do this. And the reason we have a career in the first place! We needed to Road test the new songs to see the reaction. It’s been amazing so far!

EQ: I’m genuinely a Lawson fan actually and was one of those that tuned in for the recent “Scala” livestream. I have say that the energy in your performance literally leapt out from my laptop and I really forgot that I was at home bopping away on my sofa, I totally felt transported into the crowd. Of the new tracks that you showcased I particularly liked “Used To Be Us” can you tell us a bit more about what this track means to you and how it came about.

AB: Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the show! I wrote this song about the joys of being young. When everything was easy. No stress. It’s good to reminisce to the days when we all felt invincible!

EQ: Do nerves kick in before gigs and can you describe to us just what it felt like when you stepped off the stage after showcasing these new tracks.

AB: It felt amazing. You’re always going to be nervous playing new tunes. There’s a certain amount of expectation that goes with it. But the response so far has been overwhelming.

EQ: Continuing on the subject of audio streaming and as a band who are imminently about to release your second album into the changing music landscape where on-demand streaming services like Spotify, Rdio and Google Play are giving their audiences freedom to listen to tracks without making a purchase. What are your feelings regarding this newer expanding platform of content coverage? Do you see it as being assisting of or damaging to the album market?

AB: I must say I’m a big fan of anyone who listens to our music. Whether it be on any platform. I’m a big fan of Spotify and that’s how I listen to most of my favourite artists. As long as our fans get a ticket to watch us live that’s all that matter to us!

EQ: I’m sure you’ll be filling us in with all the information on the album title and tour dates soon and I’m hugely hoping to get to myself down to a Lawson gig this time around – fingers crossed. Tell me of a venue anywhere in the world that you haven’t already performed at that would be your ultimate goal to play.

AB: I think my dream venue would be Madison Square Garden in NYC.

EQ: Who do Lawson listen to when they are on the tour bus?

AB: Anything and everything. Currently listening to The Eagles as I finished watching the documentary on Netflix and it was inspiring.

EQ: Lastly because I just felt like ending our chat on a random note, can you share with us something that is currently on Lawson’s to do list today.

AB: I am currently building an intro to our live set. So I’m sat hear at my keyboard trying to create some moody and pulsating bass line to shake the room before we take to the stage!

Many thanks for your time Andy in amongst your crazy promo schedule I’m sure, I truly appreciate it, and however, unprofessional it might be looked upon, I might just now faint a little!

Lawson’s as yet un-titled sophomore album will be available later in the year, in the meantime single “Roads” is released 24th May, 2015 and is available for pre-order here.