Backstage with Lisbon

Photograph c/o LISBON Twitter

It was on Wednesday when I met up with Newcastle's finest LISBON at Oporto in Leeds before their headline show to kick off their monstrous UK Spring tour. Despite having broken his hand, frontman, Matty, seemed eager to get on stage and perform in front of a Yorkshire crowd again. I quizzed him on touring, their new single and fighting harassment at gigs. 

Hey, guys! Thanks for letting me interview you tonight before the show. How are you?

We're good thanks - Feeling excited and very fresh ahead of the tour. I've got a broken hand but apart from that, everyone's very fresh [laughs] 

And the tour starts tonight in Leeds - How are you feeling about that?

Good! We had a good warm-up last week in Stockton - It was good to play all of the songs before we play in front of a 'tour' audience, so we feel very prepared, more prepared than in the past, I'd say. 

Good stuff! Do you have any advice for being on tour?

Advice? Step one: Get a van! We've got three cars today and we don't have a van for two more days, so that's the first step. I think also, going on tour with people you like also helps - You should never go on tour with people you don't like - it never ends well!

What can you tell me about your latest single 'Shark'? 

Shark is actually one of our oldest songs we have. We started playing that before we started gigging as a proper band. We re-vamped it to fit our style more now, and lyrically, it's about our struggles within the music industry and how there's a lot of sharks out there trying to get you and trying to keep your head above the water and not get bitten, essentially. 

What can your fans expect from your live shows?

Lots of power, strength, lots of intense performances, big sounds, good lighting. We've also got a lot more percussion now, we're more of a 'Percussive Rock' band now, I think and we've taken that forward and become a bigger presence on stage.

Photograph c/o Boys by Girls

In the past, you've been compared to the likes of Little Comets and Foals. Do you still agree with these sorts of comparisons?

I think the Foals comparison is still very valid because in a sense, they're a very powerful band on stage and we admire that and them as a band and our new focus is being a powerful band as well. As for the Little Comets comparison, I can see, especially in the last few months and in the future, I can see that becoming a lot looser. In terms of melody and that kind of thing, I can see it. But the Foals comparison more so. 

When I first interviewed you, last year, you'd just released your EP 'Life is Good' Would you say your sound has evolved since then?

Definitely. If you imagine then, we were a much cleaner pop band, whereas now, we've started making music that is more rough and that we enjoy more. It's sort of gone from a softer, more polished sound to a heavier rugged sort. 

Right now, there is a big campaign 'Girls Against' which is trying to raise awareness of harassment at gigs. Is this something you're passionate about fighting?

I don't think we've ever come across that at our gigs, personally but at the same time, I suppose you don't know what goes on, especially some of our rowdier gigs. I think everyone should have a good time and shouldn't have to worry about that sort of thing. 

Finally, if you weren't in Lisbon what could you see yourself doing instead?

I write stories, so I'd be two novels deep by now [laughs] and I worked on a farm last week. I think agriculture would be the way, spending the whole time looking out of the window - The quiet life! That was a good question, I like questions like that. 

Thank you very much for the interview, boys! You can catch LISBON live right now (Tour Dates) and you can listen to Shark on YouTube

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