By Jennifer Lynn
It’s been a mammoth year for Lawson, the British boy band originally hailed as successors to JLS and The Wanted’s pop crowns, but who have proven they can more than hold their own with the big boys… and girls.
“We love The Wanted, we’re good friends with them and we toured with them,” says lead guitarist Joel Peat. “But we’re more like One Republic or The Script, bands with lots of guitars in.”
“I’d actually say we’re more like Taylor Swift,” says lead singer Andy Brown. “If you put Taylor Swift’s voice on our song, it’d sound like a Taylor Swift song.” A strange comparison perhaps, but not entirely impossible to see- Lawson’s debut album Chapman Square is filled with tales of love and heartbreak, which Ms. Swift is certainly no stranger to. “She’s definitely who I model myself on,” laughs bassist Ryan Fletcher. Comparisons aside, Lawson sit down to lunch and spill the beans on heartbreak, home comforts and hotel visitors…
Congratulations guys, your new single Standing In The Dark has just charted at number six! How does it feel to have your third top ten single?
Joel: Thanks very much! We’ve got amazing fans, so we always knew that we had a good backing, but we never thought we’d be able to get three top ten singles in a year. It’s amazing.
You’re all from different parts of England, how did Lawson come together to start off with?
Andy: Adam’s the one who usually answers this question, but he’s still in Nando’s! Adam sent me a message on MySpace, because I had acoustic videos on there, and he said if I
ever wanted a drummer to let him know. I’d never had an email like that before; I’d always been in bands and Adam looked like a cool guy, he had videos of him playing and he was an awesome drummer, so I was like what’s the worst that could happen? Then I reached out to Ryan, he was a bass player playing with a few different bands, and I said, “Do you fancy having a jam with me and this drummer, see if it works out?” The three of us got together and it just sounded great. Then Ryan brought Joel along…
Ryan: We’re from quite close together in our hometowns and our old bands used to gig together a lot. I was like, “Aw mate, I’m in this new band and we need a guitarist if you want to come down.”
Andy: …so Ryan is the reason that Joel’s in this band.
Joel: So I owe Ryan everything basically!
You’re taking off on your Hometowns tour this month; what’s the best part about performing in your respective hometowns?
Ryan: It’s gonna be amazing; it’s our first tour with an actual tour bus, with beds and Playstations and living rooms. It’s going to be mental!
Sorry, I’m laughing because I thought you said “birds” there, not “beds”!
Ryan: Them too! [laughs] I’m sure there will be at some point. Wouldn’t be a tour without them!
Joel: We love touring, but we’ve not been home for ages, so it’ll be nice to see our families and get them altogether. I think I speak for all of us when I say we’re looking forward to playing the venues where we went to see gigs when we were young. I grew up going to the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham, and now, to be headlining it- [Adam enters]
Hi Adam, how’s your Nando’s?
Adam: I’ve only had one burger so far, I’ve got the rice and another piece of chicken left to go. So far, fantastic!
Joel: We’re just saying about the Hometowns tour and the best bit about going to your hometown to gig.
Adam: Mostly for me it’s the venues that you’ve grown up going to-
Joel: That’s what I was saying!
Your debut album Chapman Square is out now, and it was named after the area where Andy used to live, where you wrote all your songs. What’s the craziest thing that ever happened at Chapman Square?
Andy: [laughs] Good question! We had a big party one night and sent Ryan to get the beers…
Ryan: I will never live this down, ever. Can I just say, before we start this, that this was before we had any money. We were so skint.
Adam: Which is why we all chipped in, we gave Ryan a fiver each to sort us out…
Andy: He came back with three crates of Becks. On the side it said alcohol-free! He’d bought THREE CRATES of alcohol-free beer!
Joel: With our only money!
Andy: I remember all four of us woke up in my bed that night, it was a one bed flat.
Joel: We used to all sleep in that bed. We don’t mind a snuggle!
A lot of the songs on your album were written about your ex-girlfriend [The Saturdays’ Mollie King], Andy. What was it about heartache that made you want to write songs instead of just going down the pub?
Andy: I think for a creative purpose, if you’ve ever been through any sort of sad time in your life, whether it be like a family member dying or a break-up or whatever, for me personally it just tends to lead to a good song.
Adam: And also there’s something special about being on stage singing a song with so much meaning, and a crowd singing it back with the same meaning, because it relates to their life as well.
Now that you’re in the band I’m sure none of you are short of female admirers, and we’ve talked about birds on buses… would any of you ever consider dating a fan?
Joel: If you’re with a girl and she’s not a fan of the band it’s kind of a little bit awkward isn’t it?
Andy: I mean it depends if the girl was like a proper fan who waits outside the hotels and stuff…
Like a fangirl?
Ryan: If Jessica Alba was a fangirl…
Andy: Yeah, but she wouldn’t be waiting outside your hotel!
Ryan: Yeah but if she was…
Adam: There are a lot of variables, but there’s nothing more unattractive than a girl who hates your band.
You guys are pretty much tied up for the rest of the year between the album promo and the tour, what’s coming up in 2013 for you?
Ryan: We’ve got another tour in February and March, when we’ll be back up in Scotland.
Adam: We’re going over to America as well in January, and to South East Asia. We’ve never been there before, but our album is currently number three in Singapore, four in Thailand and five in Malaysia!
Joel: The fact that it’s gone over there and none of us have ever been is pretty amazing. Thank you world!
Lawson By Lunch Products!
*We witnessed Ryan trying salmon nigiri for the first time. His verdict? “Mmm… good.”
*Andy loves Naked Juice’s Green Machine. “Three and a half apples, one banana, third of a kiwi, third of a mango and a pineapple in there,” he says. “That’s health in a bottle!”
*Adam’s Nando’s order is a double chicken burger with spicy rice. “I’m boring though,” he says. “I have plain spice and no salad or mayo on the burger.”
*They’re all massive Whole Foods fans, but Andy’s taken a shine to one product in particular. “It’s all about the hummus with the red pesto in,” he says.
*Ryan is the biggest cheese eater in the band. “I walked in on him eating a block of cheese the other day,” says Joel. “He’s like a rat.”
Lawson’s debut album Chapman Square is out now