Lacey are a group of guys with a passion for music. Coming from various bands within the Midlands, they’re kind of like a local super-group. I recently spoke with their drummer, David Pearson. Here’s what he had to say:
How did the band come about?
The short answer is that we were all left band-less by recently split-up bands and got together – I think that’s how a lot of bands our age come about, your first band kind of runs its course and you end up getting drunk with random acquaintances one night before learning that they’re also a musician and do the whole ‘Dude! Lets start a band! Seriously man!’ thing. In our case Graz, Josh and Pete who joined later, all grew up together in Stamford and were in a band together since they were all 15 and long before they moved to Nottingham, and after they split up Graz sort of tried out for my old band through a mutual friend and that just fell apart overnight one night, so after that he asked if I’d be up for having a jam with him and Josh the following week so we did and that was that. We spent a year writing, getting the terrible ‘new band songs’ out of our system, until we were happy with a set we could gig. We just took on Pete as a live guitarist a few months back after our old live guitarist (Big Pete) left to go travel the world, and he’s gotten involved in a lot of writing so he’s now a full-fledged member. So I’m basically just a new drummer in their old band under a different name! That’s not a short answer is it!
Lacey doesn’t conjure up the image of an all male band. Where did the name come from?
Haha, you’re right, and also on first glance we probably don’t even conjure the image of an all male band! It takes a while for people to realize that we’re not four really unattractive girls. We get asked this a lot actually, we usually either say it’s to do with underwear preference or something equally unfunny, but the truth is we’re all huge Brand New fans, we all grew up listening to them, and their lead singer/songwriter is a guy called Jesse Lacey, so it’s a really unsubtle nod to him. Even though we don’t sound like Brand New in any way they’re like a collective influence for all four of us – even if we’re all into entirely different things and influences, which we are, we all share that same fondness for that band and have drawn the same inspirations from them, so we thought it’d be a good name. They’ve influenced our band a lot. Having said that, by that logic we could’ve easily been called ‘Monster Energy Drinks’ or ‘Ryan Giggs’. It’s not without it’s pitfalls though.. we’re forever being tagged as dogs, cats and ugly babies all named ‘Lacey’ on Facebook. We have to do a monthly clean up.
You’ve released an EP, ‘Chapters’. When will the LP be done?
That really depends on what happens in the first part of this year. We’ve definitely got the material to put into a full album and we’d love to spend a good amount of time doing it, but I think it would take a month in the studio to do what we want to do, and in all honesty it all comes down to money, which sucks. We’re looking at a few labels who could help us out with that, but failing that we’ll probably have to fund it ourselves like we have the previous two EP’s – and there’s nothing wrong with that but we’re not one of these lucky bands who’ve got a rich dad behind us who will pay for the whole lot, we’ve all got jobs and we put every spare penny we have, and every penny we make from the band from selling a CD or a t-shirt, straight into the band because we care about it and we want to keep putting our music out there. So the way things are, even with the momentum and support we’ve got at the moment, I’d probably say we’re just looking at another EP unless something changes.
You’ve got a special show at the Old Ritz Cinema in Lincoln coming up, how did that come about?
That’s a funny one – I literally only just found out about that whole Ritz Regeneration project, and it’s been going on for a year hasn’t it? I grew up in Lincoln and lived there until I went off to uni, and my family all still live there so I still consider it to be home even though I live over in Nottingham. I always said that if I came into some money that I’d re-open that place, I remember seeing Jurassic Park there when I was seven and it scaring the shit out of me, and just having so many good memories of the place and it being such an authentic traditional cinema experience with the intermission and pots of ice cream and the old style lobby – and then one day the Odeon just rolled into town and it was gone, almost overnight. I read somewhere that the Lincoln Odeon has the highest ticket prices for any Odeon outside of London, so not only did they shut down a beautiful old cinema, they’re ripping off the people of the City.
When I heard about the Off the Bench campaign I got in touch with them and said ‘Guys if there’s anything I can do to help, let me know – I’m a graphic designer, maybe I can design some posters for you guys or something’ and Pete Genders, the CEO of OTB got straight back to me and said ‘Definitely, we need all the help we can get’. So I did that, and I mentioned I was in a band and he suggested getting us on one night, filming it and selling it as a ‘Live at The Ritz’ DVD, with all of the ticket sales, DVD sales, all of it, going back into the project. Like I said, that place was such a big part of my youth, so it’s a real honour for me personally to be asked to play there. Of all the shows we’ve done before now, I think this one will mean the most to me just because of where it is. The guys are all really into the project too, and they’re excited to play in an old theatre too. It’ll be a great night. I should plug it actually! – April 27th, 7PM, tickets £6adv. Bring everyone you know, it’s for a good cause.
You recently shot the video for ‘Let It Go’, what’s the premise behind the song?
It’s our first video, and funnily enough it’s got a very loose cinema theme behind it. Josh, our guitarist, has this old barn back home in Stamford and his step dad has all these rows of old cinema seats in there, I have no idea why, but we thought because it’s a nice big space and with those features it’ll be a cool looking place to shoot a video. The video doesn’t tie in with the song and we didn’t write it with a video in mind, I’m not really sure what kind of narrative we could’ve put to the video for the song. Graz wrote a lot of the lyrics at the studio, he just went off on his own for the day and came back later and they were done – He tends to write about time a lot, the subject of time is something I’ve noticed more and more in his lyrics, that and him being hung up on a girl from years ago (probably).
What are your main inspirations as a band?
That’s a tough one, I tend to take inspiration from seeing bands live more than anything – I know the other guys feel the same – If I see a band playing really well or playing a huge gig then it really inspires me to want to do the same. There’s quite a decent scene of UK bands who are playing our style of music and are making a success out of it – and that really shows you that all the graft and hard work and endless rehearsals can all be worth it. Bands like Canterbury, Deaf Havana, Mallory Knox those kinds of bands who are on the edge of selling out second tier venues, Academies etc, and being able to survive off it, they inspire me personally, and huge bands like You Me At Six who just almost sold out Wembley Arena show that you can go beyond that.
Is the writing of the songs a solo effort or do you all sit down and throw in ideas?
The way we tend to write is that Josh will come in with a chord progression or a riff, and we’ll just build on it from there. I’ll usually try a few different rhythms and time signatures to open it up to other possibilities, and then Graz will work a melody into there and we’ll start adding the parts that finish it off – harmonies and all that stuff. It’s a pretty old fashioned from-the-ground-up approach I guess, but it’s very much a collaborative effort.
Any plans for a full UK tour?
Absolutely! We’re always looking to tour – we’ve got a few irons in the fire on that one actually, we should be touring with a pretty cool American band in April, and we’ve been asked to go on the Pulp tour (the retail chain, not the band!) with The Blackout so that’ll be cool. We try to be a bit more selective about where we play, we’ve all got our touring ‘experience’ stripes from playing in bands where you cram into an old van and travel 200 miles to play to an empty room supporting a thrash metal band and wonder why you were ever on the bill in the first place, and it’s just a huge waste of time and energy, but you get the experience that successful bands always say you need. If there’s one person there who’s into what you’re doing and might tell their friends about you then it’s not a waste of time, but that’s the chance you take. We work really hard on playing as many shows as we can and getting our music heard by as many people as we can, but being a bit older we’ve learned that it’s important to not just say yes to everything. Tours work so much better when you’re travelling with a similar band and you can help each other out. A lot of the harder work goes into planning a tour – finding the right venues, making sure it’s on the best night for local music to coincide with a rock night or a student night, finding the right support bands to play with – that kind of thing. If you get that right it makes touring a hell of a lot easier and you don’t get the deflated feeling of being trapped in a van with four guys without having a single thing to show for it.
Having said that, touring is personally my favourite part of being in a band, it’s weird – you do all of this travelling, never sleeping properly in a really uncomfortable van, trying to wash your entire body in a service station sink, eating really badly – and it’s all for that 35 minutes on stage at the very end of the day. It doesn’t really add up or seem worth it unless you really love being on stage, and we really do.
What bands are you guys listening to at the moment?
I’ve just bought the new Biffy Clyro album so I’ve had that on repeat lately. It got to number one in the album charts, so really that only keeps my hopes alive that credible music isn’t doomed. Biffy are amazing, I bought their single ‘27’ from Sonic Sounds in Lincoln when it came out back in the day and I’ve been into them ever since, and the fact that they’ve never compromised their sound to get where they are and are still throwing in unexpected time signatures, offbeat lyrics and melodies is a testament to them. I know Josh is really into the new Funeral For a Friend album at the moment, he loves that band – any time our stuff sounds remotely heavy it’s safe to say that it’s because Josh has been having a Funeral for a Friend marathon that same week and has heavy riffs on the brain.
What’s Lacey’s plans for the rest of 2013?
We’re hoping to get back into the studio in late April/early May – so we’ve been writing loads lately. Then we’ve hopefully got this UK tour lined up in April, a couple of shows with The Blackout around the UK, the Ritz thing and loads of shows dotted around between now and then. We just got picked up to open the second stage at Glastonbudget in May so that’ll be amazing, and we’re hoping to get on a couple more festivals for the Summer, but beyond that just touring, writing and recording and trying to get people to take notice of us.
For more information on the band and to keep up to date on future gigs, check out one of the below: