Interview: Mike Lewis, LostProphets

With the upcoming tour and album LostProphets fans have a lot to be excited about. I got guitarist Mike Lewis on the phone to grill him about all the juicy details.

Check out M&B’s pre-release review of The Betrayed

ND:     The new album is out pretty soon what’s the release date?

ML:     The release date is Monday, January 18th.

ND:     I know the album has been a long, long time in the making. What do you feel about the final result?

ML:     I love it. I love it, it’s my favourite record by us. I can’t wait to get it out and I’m just really, really excited to hear it and see what people think after us spending so much time on it and putting everything we had into it. I can’t wait for it to come out and I can’t wait to get out on tour and start playing.

ND:     I heard that you had written an album, completely scrapped it then started anew…?

ML:     Yeah, well we finished a record and weren’t a hundred percent happy with it. So we scrapped a few of the songs, we kept some of the songs and recorded them, produced ourselves and just took it on and did the record ourselves.

ND:     What do you think makes this album (Betrayed) different from your previous ones?

ML:     I dunno, just I think it’s a lot darker. Lyrically, musically, the tone is a lot darker. I think Ian’s lyrics are a lot more introspective and a lot more cutting. There’s a different mood and tone to them than our previous albums. This one is just as I said a lot more introspective and a lot more personal.

ND:     Do you think the mood change and the change in lyrics will help you reach a wider audience?

ML:     Possibly I’m not really sure. Maybe, It’s like doing three albums full of these kind of uplifting anthems to get people going. It’s almost like enough had been said on that so this was like a natural progression. Like what do I write about now? Write about myself and write about what’s happened. I don’t think it was a conscious decision it was just the natural way to go.

ND:     Your music has clearly progressed since you formed, is there any bands that have influenced your song writing throughout?

ML:     Yeah definitely. 10 years ago it was a lot of [bands] like At The Drive In and GlassJaw and bands like that were influencing us pretty heavily. Since then, me personally, I’m influenced by bands like Joy Division, the Clash and The Jam and stuff like that. You know maybe our sounds don’t sound like that but listening to these amazing song writers like Joe Strummer and Paul Weller it’s pretty inspirational when you’re writing songs yourself.

ND:     Is there anything different you’ve done to promote the album this year?

ML:     We’re doing some stuff, like next week we’re playing our old high school. Like a return to the South Wales Valley. Not only to promote the album but to promote to kids in schools in South Wales and stuff like that and to try and get them into music and try to encourage them to try and do something, also to kind of revitalise the valleys. We definitely have some things planned coming up. We’re going to do some cool stuff with twitter and Myspace. Like the first person to respond to this gets two tickets to tonight’s show or can come and hang out with us in sound check. All kinds of cool stuff we’re going to be doing while on tour, just to get kids involved.

ND:     You said a lot about revitalising the Valleys, is it important to give back to the community that you came from?

ML:     Definitely. It’s always been very important to us, where we’re from and stuff like that. So it’s always been important to give something back all across; to play at the school and even just helping out our friend’s bands and to promote them and take them on tour.  To give them a step up like bands gave us a step up back in the day.

ND:     When is the start date for the tour and where are you playing?

ML:     The start date is February 4th in Leicester and then we’re covering the whole country. Well as much as possible. We’re going up as far as Edinburgh and Glasgow down to Southampton, Bristol, Wales, London, Manchester and Hull. All over, we’re spending like a month on tour so it’s one of the most extensive tours we’ve ever done. So all bases will be covered.

ND:     Is there any venue that you’re looking forward to playing most?

ML:     I always look forward to places like ten years on we haven’t played before. We’ve never played Cambridge, we’ve never played Preston. We haven’t played Southampton for a long time. Places like that are always fun, if you’ve never played there then kids are always excited. Wales is always awesome to play, London is always awesome to play and Glasgow is always awesome to play. We always have fun in those cities.

ND:     You’ve played a lot of big festivals in the past couple of years, do you prefer playing big festivals or smaller, more intimate gigs?

ML:     I prefer, to be honest I like everything. It’s awesome to play 200 capacity clubs with people in your face and just like the intimacy and the energy. But then playing a field with 50,000 people all going nuts is pretty epic. Everything has its good points.

ND:     What would you say is the best place you’ve ever played?

ML:     Pontypridd maybe. Being our hometown, we did like a huge homecoming festival there to about 20,000 people in the park right next to where I grew up. It was pretty cool to go back there and have the whole town come out and play on the field where I used to play football when I was about ten.

ND:     On your 2007 The Blackout supported you, what band is playing alongside you this year?

ML:     We are taking out another Welsh band, Kids In Glass Houses. We’re splitting the other half of the tour, I think, with a band called Hexes and maybe the other half is going to be Sharks but we haven’t quite sorted it out yet.

ND:     That’s just about the end of our interview, anything else you’d like to say?

ML:     I think that’s about it. Just buy the album, come see us on tour. Hit up the websites, Myspace and Twitter for all the cool stuff we’ve got going on and get involved in any way possible.

Check out Moon & Back’s pre-release review of The Betrayed

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