‘It’s not like I’m insanely talented’ : An Interview With Lucy Rose

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Lucy Rose has been well known to fans of Bombay Bicycle Club since the release of their second album Flaws, and now she has the release of her own second album on the horizon. Her recent UK tour was sold out across multiple nights, proving her fans are as dedicated as they are supportive. The ever sincere, humble musician Lucy Rose was kind enough to give up some of her time to talk to The Edge about her sophomore album, the development of her sound, and that crazy ‘Our Eyes’ music video!

These are the last three performances left on your UK tour! How’s it been so far for you? Have you enjoyed it?

Yeah it’s been wicked so far. No complaints. I think we just… I think I feel like I’ve got the bug again. As in like the bug of being on the road. Like wanting it not to end again.

So you’re looking to continue touring soon?

I’d love to, but I don’t really know what the next plan is. I keep trying to get us to go to Europe but I guess financially it’s just… We’re trying to work it out. 

How’re you feeling about tonight?

Feeling good about tonight… Hopefully [laughs]

How’s the venue?

Good venue, when I get the sound check done I normally feel a bit better. Got it in about 10 minutes, yeah.

So, your latest single, ‘Our Eyes’, was released recently and there was quite a cool video that was released with it. Quite a lot of people have commented on that, saying it’s cool and different from your usual stuff. 

Awh! Wicked!

So what inspired that for you?

Umm… I guess the inspiration was just to do something really different and unique. Something visually exciting, that people haven’t seen before. And, also, you know, a lot of the ideas… For this song I had ideas, but I guess they weren’t anywhere near as bonkers as this, so we were trying to get like other treatments in from directors and stuff, and I guess this one just definitely stood out. The rest were just like, I guess just more generic. 

How was it wearing a suit covered in meat, or chips?

Yeah, it was good [laughs]. The biscuits did smell a bit. But the whole experience was just really fun. I guess I was just… When we were doing it it was like ‘I really don’t know how this is going to turn out’, even when we were filming it. So, I’m glad it turned out good!

Yeah, it did! It was really good! So, working closely with the dogs, and the seagulls and horses; how was that? For me I would be terrified about the seagulls coming and pecking me.

I really wanted them to come closer! 

They didn’t come very close in the footage of the video…

Yeah, they’re sort of swirling around me, but they didn’t actually come and try and knick a chip or something. It was kind of a bit scary for me, in all my chips. You know, I was sort of like…

A bright yellow beacon! [Laughs] So how have the fans received the new material so far on the tour? 

Yeah! So far so good! It’s weird because different songs are being picked up as different peoples favourites which is a good thing as well, and so far we’re playing 9 new songs and everyone has been really positive!

That’s really good! So The Half Earth are supporting you on this tour; how did that come about?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’re really good friends! He is a cousin of one of my good friends so I just wanted to help him out!

So, even after a couple years away from making music, and having anything being released, your fans still seem committed having sold out London dates and quite a lot of other dates on the UK tour. How does that feel for you?

It means an awful lot. I feel like I should stop talking so much about my feelings, because I’m always, every night, like just can’t believe that all these people have come to a gig when nothing was really going on, no music was being released. And it’s all so genuine, but worry that some people find my loving a bit sickening sometimes. Like ‘I love you guys! Thanks for coming’ and they’re just like ‘Play some music, get on with it’ [laughs].

So what can you tell us about the next album? It’s called Work It Out? 

Yeah, so out July 13th, Work It Out. The deluxe one is quite long I think, there’s 17 songs on it… 18 songs. And they’re all songs that I really love! I couldn’t recommend more buying the deluxe one, just because it was really… had no idea what songs to put on, and a lot of the songs we are playing and a lot of the songs that are going down really well are from the deluxe. So, I am really pleased with it, I just hope that people get it. 

Is it along the same lines as ‘Our Eyes’?

Some of it is. All the songs are quite varied…

Like your first album, I suppose?

Yeah, yeah. I think even more varied because the whole first album was written on the acoustic guitar, whereas this is really written on tons of different stuff, like the piano and bass riffs and guitar beats and the piano and everything like that. So it is really varied. 

What inspired you? Any particular artists, working with anyone? 

Ummm… What inspired me? I guess everything, I guess everything that I’m listening to or festivals that I’m going to, watching other bands and touring with Bombay and stuff like that. I guess that’s all inspiration to what I’m writing about. But really whatever it is it’s come really natural to me and I haven’t really like overthought it. When I say naturally, I still find it really hard to write music. I don’t want anyone to think ‘Totally natural, song writing’, it is really tough.

So what kind of process do you go through to song written? 

I guess, I wait for the moment, in a weird way. I’m not someone who can write everyday. I wait until I feel something.

So you must have been interviewed a lot on this tour, and previously. So, what do you think is the most common or most irritating question you get asked?

Hmm… Nothing is irritating, I guess just some are just similar. Then I’m just worried that I’m just going to say the same answers in all the interviews and everyone is just going to be like ‘Oh, she says the same thing’, it’s just because it’s the truth. 

So what is your favourite song to play live? Out of any of your work, or even a cover to play live?

I don’t really play covers, only because I’m not musically good at like playing a tune or a chord, all my chords are in weird tunings and are made up. So I find it even trickier. And… What’s my favourite song to play live? I think ‘Cover Up’ is really fun to play live.

Do you get nervous before you go out on stage anymore?

Yeah, excited and nervous. It depends how I feel. If my voice is feeling good: excited nervous. If my voice is feeling worse for that day I end up feeling more nervous.

You’ve got quite a lot of festivals already announced for this summer: Truck Festival and stuff like that. Are you excited for 2015? You’ve got your album out…

I have no idea yet. I would like it to be a good year but it really depends on whether people like the record or not. So we’ll wait and see.

Are you waiting for that to come out before you feel comfortable and gauge the reaction to it?

I feel comfortable, it’s just I kinda wanted to keep growing, I guess, and keep producing music. Yeah.

So, we are a student magazine, so do you have any advice for student musicians?

Umm, song writing my one true advice and it’s the advice I give myself because I know there are a ton of people who can sing better than me and play guitar better than me and it’s not like I’m insanely talented but the thing I think makes you stand out is if you can write a song that people can connect to. So that’s what I’m aspiring for, the songwriting part, and to be known as a great songwriter. But I’ve still got a long way to go so…

So you’re on Spotify, your old album is on Spotify, and recently there has been a lot of debate about whether it’s helpful or harmful to artists and record labels, so what are your thoughts on it? What do you think of Spotify? 

I don’t know. The only thing I can say is that if you are out there and you love a band and you really want them to continue making records or being able to make records then you have got to buy their record. That’s the only thing I found difficult is that if you don’t sell a certain amount of records you don’t really get the opportunity to make another one easily. You have support bands. I understand why Spotify is great, but at the same time when your label looks at the numbers of how much money you’ve made or if you’ve even recooped and stuff like that, if you haven’t sold enough records then… Bands do get dropped every day and they might be a band that you love, but I guess if you haven’t bought their record….

You haven’t supported them? So who are your current favourite musicians? Have you got any CD’s in the tour van that you’re listening to a lot?

Umm… I really like this rapper called Logic who I went and watched play on Wednesday night, I had a day off in London and I went and watched him play and it was great! I really like Warpaint, I really like Real Estate, I really like The National’s new record.

So, you are Rae Morris are quite close friends, Bombay Bicycle Club and all that. Are there going to be any surprise appearances on the next album? 

There’s little bit of BV’s here and there. Rae’s doing some singing on a song, and my friend Sam Brooks is also doing some singing.

How does it feel to have the support of Bombay Bicycle Club and larger artists like that? Because obviously you kind of came to fame through being on the A Different Kind Of Fix album so… How was that for you?

Yeah it was good. I think the first thing was the album beforehand, Flaws, when I sang on Flaws. That was like the biggest thing because I was touring with them and on the road and supporting them, and I think that sums up what they were like for me for the support. It wasn’t just singing with them, but they let me play before them and let me play my own music and that’s kind of rare to find in a band and yeah, it was obviously a huge introduction to me to a lot of my existing fans I guess.

Yeah, that’s how I found out about you from their record and stuff, that’s very cool! So, one more question. With the new single and the new album on the way, can fans expect a new kind of live show? Obviously before, with more of an acoustic sound… I saw you play in Reading in a church, for example.

Ooh yeah… Yeah, it’s definitely different. Firstly, I’m off my stool, I’m standing, which is news. I’m rocking out. I’m enjoying it a lot more. I guess I’m sort of interacting with the audience on a different scale this time, which wasn’t so timid as it used to be. It’s just different, more confident than I used to be.

Thank you so much!

Thank you too! Are you coming to the gig tonight?

I’ll be there! Good luck!

Lucy Rose’s second album Work It Out will be released July 13th via Columbia Records.

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Head of Events for The Edge magazine. Keen concert goer and angry feminist. Shared recycled oxygen on a 12 hour flight with Foals.

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