Four days after the release of their debut album, Opus Arise,
and at the start of their first European tour,
Andy Read speaks to Welsh progressive metallers Lost in Thought
It’s certainly been an amazing year for Lost in Thought. Twelve months ago this highly promising progressive metal quintet from Wales had only ever played three gigs together and had just recorded their first demo.
In the past year the ink has dried on a management contact and a record deal and their debut album Opus Arise is getting rave reviews across the world. I join the band in the basement of the regal-looking Assembly in Royal Leamington Spa. They’ve just come offstage from the forth date of a month-long European tour with well-known melodic metallers Delain and Serenity.
The band consists of guitarist and bassist David Grey and Simon Pike, Greg Baker on keyboards, Chris Billingham on drums and vocalist Nate Loosemore. As this is their first ever magazine interview, I invite them to start from the beginning and explain how Lost In Thought began.
We started a band in late 2007 but the line-up changed constantly over a period of about 18 months and we decided to call it a day. A year or so later, a couple of us got together and decided to give it another go. We came across Nath who we’d played with in another former band. Everything’s just kicked off from there and has been going really well.
The band has a wide variety of musical influences, which is incorporated into their music, combining the elements of progressive rock/metal, melodic metal-core and symphonic metal to create their own epic sound. Lost In Thought’s music consists of both heavy and distinct riffs, large orchestrations, melodic guitar and keyboard unisons, high-pitched vocal melodies, variable time signatures and dynamic ballad sections. Many reviewers have given favourable comparisons to the likes of Dream Theater and Seventh Wonder. I ask the band if those two bands are a good summary of what to expect for those who’ve yet to hear the new album
Yes the latest Seventh Wonder has definitely gone down that more melodic, commercial route. I’d say we’re progressive but with a commercial twist on it. It’s definitely based on a more modern metal sound but there’s a lot of progressive metal elements to it at the same time. There some symphonic influences coming in as well. We made a definite, conscious effort to maintain that catchy part of a song with every track.
It was only a year ago that Lost In Thought recorded a demo which attracted the attention of well-known metal managers Intromental. Before the ink had even dried on the management contract, the band started to record their debut album in the Autumn of 2010. “Opus Arise”, was recorded at home in Wales, and sent off to Denmark to be mastered by Jacob Hansen, known for Volbeat, Mercenary and Pretty Maids among many others.
Sweden’s Inner Wound Recordings recognised the talent and potential from the eight songs and signed the band for a spring 2011 release. Already the response from reviewers has been very positive.
Generally it’s been very, very good. We’ve had lots of nine out of tens and even a ten out of ten. One guy said this could be the debut album of the year and we’ve been called ‘rising stars of the genre’. It’s all a bit weird hearing those kinds of things, especially considering we were still playing local clubs a year ago. It is great to hear though and we’ve had comments from as far as South America and Japan. It’s great that people are enjoying our music all over the world.
Whilst some of the eight songs on Opus Arise have been penned in the last year, several tracks can trace their way back to the members’ previous bands. The oldest song is actually the eponymous Lost In Thought.
That song was originally written in 2005. It’s been chopped and changed ever since. I think it started off as a 12 minute song but we got rid of all of the unnecessary bits to make it more manageable. It was a completely different song in a completely different band, but when we got back together we re-looked at the song, worked out new melodies and lyrics, put it all together, recorded it and put it onto the album.
On the day that “Opus Arise” was released, the band embarked on a one-month tour supporting Delain and Serenity at venues across Europe. I wonder how the band managed to land such a prestigious slot.
Well our management asked us if we’d be interested. We instantly said ‘Yes’ because it’s a great opportunity to play with two such established bands. They also offered it to four other bands but we were the ones selected. It’s all just happened so fast. It’s very surreal. After we signed a management contract and reformed the band as it currently is, within a year we’ve signed a record deal, had our debut album recorded and released around the world and landed a full European tour. Everything has happened so fast.
We had only played four gigs with the current line-up before this tour and one of those was our warm-up gig. We were not really encouraged to play live. The first priority from our management team was to get the album ready.
The other three gigs were actually a Battle of the Bands contest to play on the unsigned stage at the UK’s Bloodstock Festival. We got to the final but were not really suited for the type of music they were looking for.
The first four dates of the current tour were on home soil. Following our interview the band was due to pack its bags and head across the Channel with Delain and Serenity for almost a month in Europe. The band reveals that one of its future ambitions is to play the annual ProgPower Europe festival in The Netherlands.
That would be a great thing to do. We’ve heard a lot about it. Sadly progressive music isn’t really a big thing over here but in Europe it seems to be much bigger and I’m sure we’d get a good response. To play something like ProgPower would be a fantastic thing to do and I think we’d suit the audience really well.
However despite the new-found attention to their artistic talents, the five musicians still have to concentrate on their day jobs, something which has involved quite a few sacrifices to get out on tour.
Three of us have had to take paid and unpaid leave from our jobs. It’s been a case of beg and steal some holidays from our companies to get out on tour. But it’s been really worth it. We’ve had a really good response so far. We check our websites after every gig and lots of people have been saying how much they enjoyed us. We’re gaining fans left, right and centre.
Going from playing small clubs to packed theaters in such a short space of time is a steep-learning curve for any band. However Nate appears to be totally at home in his new surroundings.
For me, when I’m on stage I’m in my element. It doesn’t make a difference to me whether I’m playing to 10 people or 10,000 people. You get on stage and have a good time and hopefully everyone in the crowd has a good time watching you as well.
As for the future, when they’ve finished the tour, the aim is to get back to the writing process as soon as possible.
As we previously said, some of the songs on Opus Arise were written way back. We’ve matured more as musicians since then and should be able to represent ourselves even better on album number two.
Interview for DPRP By Andy Read