Glasswerk resident rock journo Iqra Choudhry caught up with Lacey vocalist Graham Turner on their recent tour dates to talk about playing shows with pop-punk behemoths Bowling For Soup, and the band’s brand-new EP 'I Don't Owe The World A Thing' which is out now.
I heard you guys met playing five-a-side. How did this come about?
Well, a couple of us live together, me and Pete and Josh have been friends for years, been playing in bands for years, we played five-a-side and a friend of ours brought a friend from work – that was Dave. Obviously, we were terrible at football. But we got talking, turns out we all played instruments and thought we’d leave the football thing and try and start a band. And that’s how Lacey was formed.
You’re currently touring with Bowling For Soup. How has that been so far?
It’s only day 2! But it’s been fantastic. Last night was crazy, I’m hoping tonight is going to be equally, if not more, insane.
It will be! Newcastle crowds are something else!
I know, I’ve heard. We’ve played a few times, it’s always been fantastic.
So, you released a record called ‘Under The Brightest Lights’ last summer, and have your EP out now. How excited are you for people to hear it? And are you playing shows to support the EP release?
I’m really excited. We coincided the EP release with this tour, just to capitalise on the exposure, and we’re doing a few dates in the summer to sort of do things our way, and support that once the EP’s been out for a few months. So, yeah – it’s all about this tour, getting the EP out there. I’m so excited about it.
What’s the response been like to the EP, so far?
Brilliant! We’ve released two tracks from it, and if I’m honest with you, I was kind of shocked at how well they’d been received. It’s very pleasing; it’s why we do it, at the end of the day, but some of the reviews we got…I had to read them twice! We’ve poured everything, our hearts and souls into this EP, and it’s definitely the truest representation of Lacey to date – it’s what we wanna write, it’s who we wanna be, and to have that kind of positive reaction is definitely reassuring.
What would you say is the song you’re proudest of having written?
That is a very difficult question. It could be anything off that EP. Purely because of the conscious effort that went into these songs; the attention to detail. We wouldn’t take anything less than perfect on this EP.
Do you feel like it might have taken you guys a little while to find your sound and hone it?
I guess so. It’s funny you should say that, because this EP almost seemed to…click. And gel. And the songs just came out. There was no – everyone just seemed to be on the same wavelength. It could have just taken that time to really sort of lock in. But it was really enjoyable. We were all buying into it, feeding off each other and whatnot, and that’s for the entire five tracks. I don’t think there’s any track on there that anyone of us aren’t happy with. So, I think you’re absolutely right. I think maybe it’s just taken that little bit of time for everything to click. The planets aligned.
What was the first show that you guys played as a band?
Ohhhh. We played in this place in Leicester called the – actually, I better not shout it out – a place in Leicester and it smelt like piss, the stage was soggy, there was about three people there, but we had the best time ever. I don’t care where we play; a gig’s a gig at the end of the day. But to go from that to places like tonight makes it seem worthwhile.
Was that also the first show you guys got paid for as a band?
Oh, I don’t think we got paid.
Do you remember the first show you got paid for?
No, I feel like I should. I feel like it would’ve been a big deal.
What would you say was the worst show you’ve ever played?
We played a show in Derby where nothing worked. None of the monitors worked, and the sound engineer wasn’t bothered, wasn’t helping anything, wasn’t changing anything. So we just had to carry on. The show must go on! You can’t really lose it, you just crack on. Play music, whether it’s in a shithole or in an arena.
Do you think there’s been a really memorable show that sticks out in your mind?
So many. Last time we were here, it was brilliant. It’s a city we couldn’t miss off, everyone’s just so welcoming.
**Graham had to leave at this point for soundcheck, so we resumed the interview after the show**
So - how was tonight's show for you guys? How does Newcastle compare to last night?
It was absolutely incredible! Honestly one of my favourite places to play!! Such a warm welcome and we can't wait to come back!
Glad you guys loved the show! So, what are you listening to at the moment? Are there any bands you'd recommend?
So we're really into the British scene right now, Lower than Atlantis, Don Broco etc. But we'll always have a bit of time for our roots; Taking Back Sunday, Jimmy Eat World and Brand New. Bands to recommend...I definitely recommend Lacey!!!
I think I would too, after tonight's show! What was the last song you heard and wished you'd written?
Excellent question!! One that's always difficult to answer! The last song I listened to was ‘Kick It’ by The Xcerts, a great song, one which I would've been happy to written. To be honest, for me song writing is such personal thing, there's no particular song I wish I'd written as it would be from a completely different perspective from the writer and their intentions. I'm 100% happy with everything we've written on the EP, to me it's such an honest account. Hopefully that will come across!
Got to love a bit of The Xcerts! (Also; that's a brill answer, I never thought of it that way). Do you have places that you're aiming to tour? Places you've yet to go?
We want to tour the UK as much as possible, we've had so much support and such an awesome time here. I guess the next step would be to go International, maybe Europe! I think the big dream would be the states! Fingers crossed!
I think it's difficult to say anyone's extensively toured the UK, because there are just too many awesome venues to hit on one tour. But fingers crossed for you guys going international! Do you play any pranks on tour?
We don't play any pranks in particular but we do know how to push each other's buttons. Luckily we know the line and rarely cross it.
That's pretty good – I know some pranks tend to get way out of hand. Last question: do you have any advice for bands who are just starting out?
My best advice would be do what you want to do! Make sure your music is a representation or reflection of who you are! Work extremely hard, stay hungry but most importantly, enjoy yourself! It's a blessing to be able to play music to people so make it count!
Listen to the new EP in full here:
HEADLINE TOUR DATES:
4th June Rock City Nottingham
5th June Think Tank Newcastle
6th June Sound Control Manchester
7th June The Surya London