Lions Lions were kind enough to take time of their busy schedule to answer a few questions for us. The group is supporting the band's new album, To Carve Our Name, and are touring extensively on it. Thanks to Joshua and Johnny for the interview.
1. Introduce yourself and your role in the band.
My name is Joshua Herzer and I sing. I'm Johnny Kay, I play bass and sing.
2. You just released your latest record To Carve Our Names on Hollywood Waste Records. Can you take us through the process of writing and recording the album and how it differed from your previous efforts?
Joshua: Sure. We started writing songs for this record shortly after releasing our last EP (The Path We Take) in late 2010. We've gone through quite a few member changes since the last album, so the remaining members, Brandon (Guitar), Johnny (Bass/Vocals), and myself had to step up our game, as far as writing. Recording took place in October 2011, between Carriage House Studios in Stamford, CT and Needledown Studios in Mt. Kisco, NY. The main difference between this album and previous efforts is that everything else we had recorded was with personal friends.
3. What was it like working with Shep Goodman and Aaron Accetta? I can only imagine with their experience they helped the recording process immensely?
Joshua: It was awesome. They understood what we were trying to convey with the songs. It also helped that they embraced our stupid humor, which made for a sexier and more enjoyable time. We primarily benefited from their work with my biggest influence, Aaron Carter.
4. Coming out of this record, what have you learned about yourself and the band?
Joshua: I learned that I have an incurable addiction to Red Bull. I learned that our band collaborates well with fresh ears.
Johnny: I love the feeling of being in the studio creating music, it's a home away from home for me. I feel us as a band can really dig deep in a studio tracking ideas and tweaking them.
5. You guys pride yourselves on being open-minded and accepting anyone. Are there any songs on the record that embody this ethic or other messages of positivity?
Joshua: Absolutely. "Grounded" is kind of our anthem song. Lyrically it's a call for all the people who feel like they've fallen through the cracks. All the songs on the album have a positive spin.
6. You're going to head out with veterans Silverstein. What are your expectations for it?
Joshua: Personally, I'm a big fan of Siverstein. So I'm looking forward to just fan girling out the entire tour. Plus we're really good friends with Such Gold, so I'm really looking forward to it.
7. Out of curiosity, there is a reference in "White Flag" to "receiving end of sirens." Is that an ode to your fellow northeastern rockers?
Johnny: Absolutely. TREOS is a huge inspiration and influence on Lions Lions. We honestly listen to their records daily at home or on the road.
8. In today's music culture, it seems like you're either breakdown-heavy/metalcore or pop-punk with little to no heavy parts. However, you guys mix both influences. Are you ever in an identity crisis trying to relate to fans that may only be looking for one or the other? If so, how do you deal with it?
Joshua: Honestly, we just write music that we like. There's never a discussion of, "There needs to be a heavy part here" or anything like that. It can be hard to find tours that we fit in on, but our solution is to mix it up and do a lot of different tours.
9. What is the plan for releasing new or unreleased material? Any plans for music videos, vinyls, or b-side releases?
Joshua: One of the b-sides "Drifting" is available as a bonus track on iTunes. There's a few more that may see the light of day at some point. We have a couple music videos planned in the next year. And we would love to do a vinyl re-release of "To Carve Our Names" if people want it.
10. Anything else to say?
Joshua: I'm honestly overwhelmed by the response of the new album. The support has been unreal, and I'm extremely appreciative. Stay tuned for more stupid videos and a lot of touring. Thank you.