Interviews : “We thought if we’re going to do it, it would be a good window now” – An Interview With Andy Dowling (LORD)
Andy Dowling – LORD
LORD is one of those bands that I have heard of so many times, but never actually listened to. Andy Dowling (bass/backing vocals) was kind enough to send me their new EP in the mail. It features a 25 minute long monster track that entitled, “What Tomorrow Brings”. I was so blown away by it, so when I was offered to interview Andy I was needless to say I was super stoked.
We started with a lengthy discussion about said song. Earlier in the day I had read the accompanying blog post that Lord Tim posted on the LORD website. It was quite an amazing experience. I asked Andy if the process of making this song was any different to when making an entire album.
“It is definitely a different approach,” he started. “Tim has got a funny way of approaching song writing in general. He will have multiple songs written, but they’re all in his head. For me, if I don’t quickly record a riff or write it out, it is gone within ten minutes. But yeah, he had this concept for a while and he mentioned it a couple of times. I just brushed it off to begin with, it just felt like too much of a big concept. He eventually pitched it to us, and we thought that if we’re going to do it, it would be a good window now before we start looking at the new album next year.”
It struck me when I talked to Andy that LORD is a band that never seem to be resting – be it re-releasing old material or EPs, making videos or touring. They always seem to be up to something.
“Tim started putting together the demo. He really had to break it right down, and you can see that in the lyrics and the blog post you referenced as well. The chapters in the song and whatnot. He sort of recorded it in sections and sent bits and pieces through. We heard the demos. It sounded really cool but it was hard to get a good understanding of where everything was going. I get lost with demo stuff when there’s no vocals. So it wasn’t until we started laying out some demo vocals that we sort of went ‘oh, wow! We can really understand where the song is going now’. And then we just added little pieces that highlighted these great sections more and more as it went. It was quite a surprising process how we handled it, how we watched it grow. When we put the whole release together we were pretty happy with it. The reaction from the fans has been fantastic and we’re just blown away. We’re even finding new people that are liking it which is great!”
There are eight different voice actors on this epic track. I told Andy that I think that they add another dimension to the music and that they assist you in understanding the story even if you don’t catch all the lyrics.
“Yeah, I’m speaking on behalf of Tim here, the song is kind of his brain child. But we’re big fans of concept albums, like ‘Operation: Mindcrime’ by Queensrÿche. And that’s got a lot dialogue in there with voice actors. It’s not heavy but it just adds a couple of words, it reins the listener back in a little bit and keeps them on track and accents important parts.”
With a concept like this, which almost feels film-like, I always had to ask about the possibility of LORD making this song into a short film.
[laughs] “I’m sure Tim has got it all mapped out in his head. I think it would be fantastic to do. We haven’t really actively talked about it. Tim has got his own video production company, but it would still be a big cost for us. It might get to a point somewhere down the track where we might do something with it.”
I shifted the conversation briefly towards the ‘Dungeon Era’ set that was released last year. I really like it when bands take proper care of their older material, be it re-releasing it, or playing it live. As long as it is highlighted in some way, I’m a happy fan. I think LORD is doing this in a brilliant way through the release of this box set and I wish that more bands would do something similar.
“The Dungeon Era box set is limited to 500 copies. We re-recorded the Dungeon albums, so it’s on the same level as our stuff. The other reason was also to get the legal rights for that music back to us. We’ve still got a few copies left and once they’re gone we’ll eventually release each of those albums individually with new artwork as well.”
I then wanted to ask Andy a question that in hindsight I guess could have been a bit uncomfortable to answer. I was curious about if the band is happy with the level of success they have achieved, or if they would like to take it further than they already have.
“Yeah, it’s interesting because we’re a bit at a crossroads at the moment. We’re getting older. Tim’s had a kid, Mark and I are slightly sinking into domesticated life, and we’re all going down that path. If you had asked that same question five years prior you’d get a very different response from us. From our point of view, any opportunity for success is always going to be welcomed. But I think our outlook at the moment is that we’re pretty proud over what we’ve achieved. We’ve done a lot of touring, even if it’s just across the country. We’ve been to Japan, Asia, Europe, and we still want to tick the US off our list, that’s something that will hopefully happen over the coming years. We’re pretty damned proud of what we’ve achieved!”
The first thing that greets you when you go onto LORD’s website is the following:
LORD. No, not the teenage pop singer from New Zealand. And no, not the band that dresses up as monsters from Finland. There may be no extra “e” or “i” in the name, but LORD is certainly not lacking anything where it counts the most.
So, of course, my last question to Mr. Dowling had to be something related to this. I told him of this scenario where Lorde and Lordi are about to cover a LORD song each, and I was interested in which songs he would pick for this glorious event.
[laughs] “Well, for Lorde with an ‘E’, I would go with ‘Rain’ so I can get song writing credits, ha! And as for Lordi, I would probably go with ‘Steelheart.’”
Purchase your copy of ‘What Tomorrow Brings’ now via LORD’s official website!