Lower Than Atlantis interview

Lauren Edwards talks to Lower Than Altantis' Declan Hart about their new album Safe in Sound and plays an interesting game of "Would you Rather?"

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Just over a year ago Lower Than Atlantis released their 5th studio album Safe in Sound, which reached number eight on the UK official album charts and was quickly followed by a UK headline tour. Now the Watford-based band have headed out on a three-month long tour travelling across Europe, the UK and Australia (even stopping off at the Lemon Grove on the 11th of April) to support Sleeping with Sirens. I had the opportunity to catch up with bassist, Declan Hart just before they left for their first gig in Germany.

As the phone continues ringing I start to get a little worried that I’ve called at the wrong time until thankfully Hart answers apologetically; “sorry, we’re literally just about to go on tour…the bus has just pulled up outside our studio.” He’s cool and collected and seems enthusiastic about both the tour and the interview as I ask if he’s still got the time “yeah, no, it’s all good, it’s all good”. I quickly throw Hart some would you rather questions, starting with whether he’d rather be the sound technician or light technician and in keen response, he proclaims “sound guy definitely”. As I expected he champions the keyboard as his instrument of choice if he couldn’t play guitar, bass or drums. Even in these brief questions Hart’s interest in music and the passion for what he does begins to shine through. Keen to know more I pressure him a little further: “Piano or Keyboard?” to which he replies “Well, piano then I could play sick keyboard stuff as well”.

Germany’s massive as well it’s like four times the size of England

After our quickfire round we dive right in to talking about what it means for them as a band to be out on the road again, especially in Europe: “its just so sick to go somewhere that’s not our country and have people who care about our band and don’t even speak our language”. Hart follows up that playing anywhere outside the UK is such a treat “even if there’s only 50 people there…the fact that people even come and see you in that country is amazing.” When discussing the places chosen for the tour he reiterates that Germany’s pretty much a no-brainer “for the most part its the main one”, he goes on to laugh whilst saying: “Germany’s massive as well it’s like four times the size of England”.

This time around the boys are hitting up smaller venues both in Europe and the UK, bringing it back to places they haven’t played in years or haven’t played at all. This is something Hart seems particularly excited about: “having loads of people in a small packed out room where you know they had to get tickets quick and are there because they love your band…I’m really looking forward to it”. The limited amount of tickets, in Hart’s eyes, means its all about the loyal fans “you know everyone there genuinely gives a fuck” and at this point, Hart has already started to answer my next question. He goes on to naturally talk about the setlist and the loyalty of the fans which means “a lot of people wanna hear the old songs”. Playing smaller venues means they can cater to the fans who haven’t had a chance to see the old stuff, not to mention the technicalities involved in playing some of older tracks. “The main reason we haven’t played a lot of really old stuff recently is that it doesn’t work in festivals and the bigger gigs we’ve played in the UK”. With all the talk about old singles and their loyal fanbase, I can understand why Hart is super excited for this tour.

Nevertheless, this time around fans should look forward to a mix match of new and the old as the band plans on playing songs from each of the five albums. It’s going to be a night of hits or as Hart suggests “it’s a greatest hit set without any hits”. We chat for a little longer about what fans can expect as picking from five albums cannot be an easy task: “we had like a really long setlist and we were like honestly, this is too long…it’s like a Foo Fighter setlist”. When I ask what he’s looking forward to playing most I’m not surprised he mentions, golden oldie “Far Q” from their first album “we haven’t played that song in years and it felt quite cool to play something old.” A couple of weeks ago LTA released a new video for their song “I would”, featuring a complication of last year’s tour footage, and it’s hard not to feel nostalgic for the band and as Hart expresses: “I was like if I ever have a shit day I’ll just watch the video”. Its humbling to hear Hart get so excited about the video and even with its rough patches he really seems appreciative of what the band does.

it’s a greatest hit set without any hits

Focusing on LTA’s more recent stuff, the band have recorded a brand new record and the upcoming video is set to be released at some point during the tour. The band are in the process of bubbling up some new music behind the scenes but are not ready to release an album this year. Typically, Hart mentions having streaming services like Spotify means we can access full albums easily, but he hones in on the suspense created by releasing an album track by track: “once the record is out it’s out for everyone to have” deliberating with himself he goes on “I don’t know…if you give people songs on their own they can kind of make up their own mind and then we can be like cool people like that and want to see this side of LTA”. Figuring out this new kind of release process isn’t going to be easy, even for a band who’ve had five albums, especially in the year of 2018. Hart remarks that: “I like that people have to go “do I like this?” “Is this shit ?” and they have to listen to it five or ten times then they’re like I get it now, I didn’t get it before but now I get it”. The broad spectrum of songs on Safe in Sound and the ever melancholic lyrics typical of LTA makes me excited for what’s to come and hopefully as Hart says it’ll be “same but different.”

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