I leaped at the chance to interview guitarist Joel Peat from Lawson, Britain’s hot new guitar-pop band. They’ve had an amazing year with the success of three top ten singles, and with even more in the pipeline, it’s fair to say that their fan base could soon be bigger than Bieber’s!
We get the lowdown on all of this, including the upcoming tour and what can be expected from the band’s first album, Chapman Square.
So Joel, you have the tour coming up this month?
Yes. It’s our biggest headline tour to date, and it’s the third sold out one we’ve done so far, so we’re really happy. After that we’re going to America in January, and then maybe South East Asia – the album’s been number 3 in Singapore. We’re also looking to venture into Europe a little bit, so really excited about that.
Does it feel like a massive jump to where you are now?
It’s actually been really gradual. We’ve been doing bigger gigs and tours each time. Every time we turn up somewhere there’s essentially more people gathered around to meet us. To some people it might seem like it happened overnight, but to us it’s been building up from the start. When we got signed that really took things to a new level, and the amazing opportunities have come our way since.
Well you were gigging as a band for a while before you were famous. Have you always wanted to be a musician?
Yeah, I think all of us have just wanted to make music. We’ve all been in bands and stuff but right now we’re really into this genre of music and get to play our instruments the way we want to. We’re really lucky!
That’s great! And how exactly did you come up with the name Lawson?
After doing a few gigs we realised we needed to come up with a name – but we wanted one that meant something to us – not something throwaway. We sat down to brainstorm and Andy came out with a belter. When he was 19 he developed a brain tumour which had wrapped itself round the optic nerve and knocked out all the hearing in his right ear. The doctor who saved his life was called Dr David Lawson. The album is also named after Chapman Square, in London, where we spent a lot of time together writing and making YouTube videos.
All of your songs, especially ‘When She Was Mine’ are so catchy! Who writes them?
[Laughs] Thanks, I’m glad you think so. Andy will usually write the melody and lyrics, and then we’ll all go into the studio, put our parts together and work on some demos.
‘When She Was Mine’ is a song about heartbreak. Did this song draw from any personal experiences?
Yeah, mainly Andy’s ex-relationship, but the whole album is about personal experiences. It’s the same way artists like Adele and Ed Sheeran write songs with really meaningful lyrics about things that people can really relate to – we try to write material like that.
With this in mind, who are your influences?
We’re fans of John Mayer and rock bands like Kings of Leon, and love big stadium acts like Coldplay and U2. Maroon 5 are also a big influence. But we each have our own tastes – Ryan likes classic bands like Guns And Roses and Bon Jovi, and I’m into Paramore and the Beatles. We’ve got really big aspirations; we’d love to be as huge as them one day!
You’re heading in the right direction! What venue would you most like to perform at?
Madison Square Garden, or Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado – they’re both venues that we’ve seen our favourite artists play at which we’d like to do the same at.
‘Standing In The Dark’ is your new single. What sort of feedback has it received?
It’s been awesome! ‘Standing In The Dark’ has been a song of ours for a really long time, and we pretty much wrote the album around it. I think it’s quite a fan favourite; they’ve wanted it to be released for some time. It reached number 6, and has been our biggest-selling single so far, which we were delighted with!
And last but not least, what can we expect from the new album?
A lot of sing-along choruses, and I get to play some wicked guitar solos! It’s quite diverse – there’s a song called ‘Make It Happen’ which is quite rocky, whereas ‘Taking Over Me’ is pop. ‘Everywhere You Go’ is like The Script’s sort of sound, so it’s pretty varied.
Can’t wait to have a listen! Thanks Joel.
Lawson’s debut album, Chapman Square is out now. Joel also revealed that the band may be making an appearance in Southampton early next year, so watch this space!