DATE OF INTERVIEW:
24th October 2011
METAL DISCOVERY: I rated ‘Look and Behold’ 8.5 out of 10 in my review, a great debut album – how pleased are you with the final recordings?
LO!: I think we are all really happy with the final outcome. Naturally, there are always things you want to change in the end, but I guess it’s all a learning process to become aware of certain things next time around. If we didn’t have deadlines we probably would have changed this and that, but it’s exciting and terrifying at the same time, when you have to relinquish your ability to change things and see it for what it is.
(Lo! on the postive press for debut album 'Look and Behold')
"We haven’t received one that says we sound like horse cock yet, so we are pretty thrilled."
Interview by Mark Holmes
Official Lo! Website:
Look and Behold (2011)
Thanks to Andy Turner for arranging the interview.
With self-proclaimed influences of Breach, Old Man Gloom, Mastodon, Queens of the Stone Age and Converge, that will give you a rough indication of what to expect from Australian newcomers Lo! who recently unleashed their debut album, 'Look and Behold', on Pelagic Records. Metal Discovery posed a few questions to the four men from Down Under to find out more about their diverse metal blend and proclivity for wearing smart hats...
Lo! - promo shot
Photograph copyright © 2010 [uncredited]
MD: Have the reviews you’ve read thus far been generally favourable and, in your opinion, generally accurate in their descriptions/analyses of your music?
LO!: So far the reviews have been great. We haven’t received one that says we sound like horse cock yet, so we are pretty thrilled. I find it really hard to try and describe our sound, so I know first-hand it’s no easy task. But, generally, most descriptions have been on the money. No matter what you sound like you will be compared to other bands and be pigeon holed into genres you have never heard of, basically because it makes their job easier.
MD: The converse – have you read any constructive criticism that’s made you reflect on any aspect/s you could improve upon?
LO!: In the famous words of Chopper – “even Mozart had his critics”. We’ve only read one ‘bad’ review so far, and it wasn’t even that bad. The reviewer made the comment that we should try being more ‘generic’ and the ambient songs were too boring and pointless, haha. I made the assumption that the reviewer probably didn’t have a very diverse taste in music, and his other outstanding review of the new Blink 182 record confirmed this.
MD: On a very surface level, I guess your music could be described as hardcore but, beneath the surface, and throughout, there are so many other musical divergences – does this reflect various influences of each of the band members or do you all have collectively eclectic tastes?
LO!: We all listen to and are inspired by vast genres of music, some of us more than others, but I think you would honestly be shocked if you heard some of the crap we listen to. I think our different backgrounds translates more live; you can see how we all perform differently, yet it’s all locked into one unit.
MD: You mention Breach, Old Man Gloom, Converge etc on your Facebook page as influences but I can also hear elements of Burst and Snapcase - are these two bands that have also provided inspiration for your songwriting in any way?
LO!: To be honest, not at all, haha. I do like both those bands but don’t really listen to them a great deal so we never really had them in our minds when writing. I’ve also had people mention the Burst comparison before. It’s always interesting to hear what people compare you too. Sometimes I’ve actually discovered new bands from it! I guess at the end of the day music is music, and you take a little bit of everything you listen to subconsciously when writing.
MD: I love the couple of atmospheric instrumental interludes on the album, particularly ‘Doth’. They hint towards the album perhaps being a conceptual piece in its entirety, particularly as tracks also either segue into one another or there’s no gap between them – is there a central concept that binds all the songs together?
LO!: I’ve always loved the idea of albums that flow perfectly from start to finish to take you on a journey, so that was always the intention for our debut. The ambient tracks are used to tie the heavier songs together, give the listener something interesting to listen to and to also show that we can do more than just downtuned riffs. The music was always intended to be quite dark, so we wanted the lyrics and even artwork to reflect this. Lyrically, the central theme of the whole album is the end of the world.
MD: The album’s released on Pelagic Records which is, of course, a label owned by Robin from The Ocean – how did the deal arise and did you already know Robin from the scene?
LO!: Basically, we sent out our EP to a bunch of different places, and one of those places happened to be Pelagic Records. None of us knew Robin personally, it was really just a wildcard entry. We are all big fans of The Ocean and Robin’s work with Pelagic; when he got back to us saying that he loved Lo! we were all honestly gob smacked.
MD: I’ve read that Pelagic will “be pushing hard to bring this fine outfit to Europe very soon” – how are plans progressing for you to tour outside of Australia?
LO!: At this stage the prospect of hitting Europe is becoming more of a reality as the days go by. The album is being pushed all over the world, all we can hope for is that our fan base continues to grow and we keep getting support from people on an international level.
MD: I remember hearing from an Australian band once that there are initiatives available in your country for assisting in the promotion of Australian arts overseas where bands can apply for grants to help them tour abroad – is this an avenue Lo! have considered?
LO!: It sure is! We are actually gathering things together now to submit for a grant in November. We won’t find out till Feb next year if we get it so fingers crossed!!
MD: I checked out some of your video clips and there’s a smart looking Stetson that appears in each – are you looking to be the band that popularises the Stetson hat in extreme metal?
LO!: HA! Yeah, why not. I guess you could say we are bringing sexy back.
MD: Apart from a Stetson hat, what can people generally expect from a Lo! live show?
LO!: Waistcoats, Hats, Vests and Man-ginas.
LO!: Yeah, we were cleaning burn marks off Mum’s lounge for a week after! No, disappointingly, it’s all Photoshop. Our guitarist is a graphic designer so we actually managed to kick that out in half a day. We’re no Rammstein that’s for sure.
MD: Finally, if you had to summarise Lo! in five words, what would they be?
LO!: A blender kissing Barbra Streisand.
MD: There’s a crazy photo on your Facebook page where you’re all fire-breathing – is that Photoshop at play there or do you actually have pyromaniac tendencies?!