Thursday, 4 July 2013

The Lonely H - Q&A + Waiting on a Broken Heart video

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US alt-rock band The Lonely H recently released their new, self-titled album which got a glowing review from us. This week they unveiled their new video 'Waiting on a Broken Heart' via PopMatters. You can check that out below, and also Mark Fredson from the band talks about upping their game, the future of record labels and the possibility of touring the UK.

TSOC: This is your fourth album and you have chosen to go with it being self titled. Pretty sure that this isn't through a lack of finding a name, is it to show that it's some sort of milestone, rebirth etc for where you guys are at the moment?

MF: It's been a while since our last record. We spent so much time writing, re-writing and pouring ourselves into this record that it just seemed like a good fit to go self-titled.

TSOC: How pivotal was the move to Nashville?

MF: The move was pivotal in that it hooked us up with our new guitarist, Zach Setchfield and our producer, Dexter Green. The guitar interplay wouldn't be there and we wouldn't have had the opportunity to record with such a killer producer. Also, being around a city full of such good players can be quite humbling, so we had to step our game up a little bit in order to play with the big kids.

TSOC: Environment so often influences writing, do you perceive that the move to Tennessee had any impact on how the album has turned out?

MF: I think I would have written most of these songs either way but in terms of how they were arranged and how we layered them, the Nashville influence is all over that.

TSOC: It's the home to country music and you have the wonderful Catlin Rose guesting,(among others), but also Nashville has a varied and vibrant scene, the most famous recent addition to the city being Jack White. How was it to make the record in such surroundings?

MF: Nashville is littered with home studios, one of which being Sealab Studios where we recorded. So once you're in the basement of your buddy's house recording, it's easy to forget your surroundings and dive into the record. But when you do realize that it's happening all around, possibly even on the same street, you say to yourself, "well lets at least try to make the best record to come out of Rosebank Drive."

TSOC: Did it help, hinder, inspire?

MF: When you realize how saturated the scene is, the only thing you can do is hone in on the things you think separate you from the rest and hope somebody notices.

TSOC: You've used the Kickstarter scheme to get 'The Lonely H' together. How did you find this experience? Does it enable you to become more integrated with your fans? Given the freedom creatively that it allows you, did you ever worry about "quality control"?

MF: We already had the album mixed and mastered by the time we launched the Kickstarter. So all we needed was a little help getting it off the ground. It was a very positive experience, and we are eternally grateful.

TSOC: Was it liberating to be pretty free from undue commercial restraints?

MF: We fortunately never had any commercial restraints in the past. Our label was too small to regulate that. But it has been liberating knowing that we'll be getting every penny from sales. And I say pennies for a reason.

TSOC: With so many artists turning to Kickstarter, PledgeMusic etc, do you think
that this is the template for bands going forward? If so where does this leave new bands that have yet to acquire that loyal fanbase, and therefore not have the means to fund via fans?

MF: To the new bands without a loyal fanbase, I say go out and play. As often as possible. Then get a buddy with an eight-track to record some demos. Then a year or so in you can start thinking about a proper full length. That might be a good time to pursue a Kickstarter campaign. But if you can fund the record yourself, I highly recomend it. Day jobs suck, but it's a hands on lesson in what you don't want to do for the rest of your life.

TSOC: Is there still a place for labels?

MF: As long as labels are willing to change and morph with the industry, there will be a place for them. But if they stick to the old templates, they'll be history soon enough.

TSOC: I feel that this is your best album and the most cohesive, and you say that it was a longer journey than at first thought. In what respect was it such a struggle? And was it worth it?

MF: I feel it was worth the struggle. I had a couple of low moments along the way, thinking the record would never be finished. We kept setting the bar higher, re-tracking, and writing new songs. It put me in a state of limbo for a few months, I seriously thought we'd never finish it. But we did, and I couldn't be more proud.

TSOC: Do you feel that due to the album's real strength, that it's allowed you a surer footing to move forward? Granted you a real longevity?

MF: I think it has the potential to grant us a real longevity, but it's up to us to see that potential through. Fingers crossed.

TSOC: Are there any bands coming out that you would recommend us to check out?

MF: Our good friends here in Nashville, Buffalo Clover, are one of the best bands around. They've got masterfully arranged tunes with a power house vocalist who makes me jealous. They're like the children of The Band and Bob Dylan.

TSOC: Gotta ask, are you guys going to make it over to the UK at anytime? I know for sure of a few people that would love to catch you live. (And please don't just do London! There's a lovely city called Bristol, and I just so happen to live there....)

MF: We would love to so bad. Got any booking agents who'd be interested in bringing us over?

TSOC: Finally... you guys are headlining a festival. Which five bands, past or present would you like on the bill with you?

Tom Petty, The Band, Thin Lizzy, Billy Joel, Jackson Browne

The Lonely H's website

Buy the album

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