DERBY rock band LostAlone are back with a new album which frontman Steven Battelle says is the ‘most accomplished record’ the trio have made.
Shapes of Screams is LostAlone’s third album and a follow up to the three-piece’s popular and critically acclaimed second outing I’m a UFO In This City.
The album release will be backed by a spring headline tour that includes a date at Nottingham’s Rock City.
Steven is proud of the new album, which he hopes will be the foundation for a landmark year for the band, but admits that he’s feeling both ‘anxiety and excitement’ in the run up to the April 7 release. “It is a strange time as there are a lot of different emotions around it,” he says.
But after being signed to a major label and the protracted problems that led to the long wait for the second album, Steven is happy that things have gone much more smoothly for this release.
“It’s the quickest we have ever gone from recording to release in our history,” he says. “The last album took two years to get out. This one, we gave to the label in September and the mechanics started happening. So it’s scheduled nicely for a change. I wrote these songs this time last year so we are definitely ready for them to be heard.
“We have a lot of friends at places like Kerrang, NME and in radio and key people were given the record four weeks ago and the reaction has been overwhelming. We have always had a lot of praise but they are looking at us in a different way as a band now. I have just written a bunch of songs but something has clicked and people are saying we have reached a new level, which is really exciting.
“We have played some of the tracks live already and the response from fans has been equally amazing. Last year, we let a bunch of fans hear a few tracks in the studio in Derby and that was a great experience as you don’t often get the chance to let your fans hear tracks off the record for the first time in front of you and see the reaction. That’s a really good barometer for how good it is and something we will do again.
“The album definitely includes some of my favorite songs I have written. The key thing is that it’s the first time I feel that the songs have managed to get on record just as they appear in my mind. It’s as close as we have got with the vocals, the textures, how I envisage our band being.”
The album was produced by the much sought-after Dan Weller, who was eager to work with LostAlone and was recorded in a 300-year-old former hop kiln in Dorset.
“Dan says it was a rarity that he didn’t have to rearrange any songs like he does with other bands,” says Steven. “He thought the demos were near perfect. He said, ‘what we need to do now is make the best LostAlone record you have ever made’. We were so on the same page with Dan from day one and it feels like the culmination of our career so far.”
LostAlone, who also feature Mark Gibson on drums and Alan Williamson on bass, supported The Darkness on tour before Christmas and started this year touring with The Blackout but now have their own headline tour coming up.
“I love supporting,” says Steven, “but although you do smaller venues on a headline tour it’s the best feeling playing to your own audience.
“We will be playing a lot of the new record. We will include a couple of songs from the first album but that seems so long ago now we don’t feel like the same band. When you do your first tour you wonder how you are going to do an hour’s worth of material even if you play all the songs on the album. But now it’s what we have to leave out. But we rehearse on everything, so if we were about to ruin an audience’s night by missing something out, we can always play it.”
After the tour it will be a summer of festivals and then the band will be heading to Europe.
“It’s really exciting being on the festivals scene,” says Steven. “The European tour follows and is being booked now.”
LostAlone have an ever-growing fanbase across Europe.
“In Germany we are on the TV and radio and are in the magazines there and so we go down really well,” says Steven.
“I always mention Barcelona as the audiences there are absolute lunatics in the best possible way. It’s like nothing you have ever experienced. We got rugby tackled to the ground while Barcelona TV were filming us over there. The passion of the fans there is amazing.
“We also had a great tour in Finland and they know all the words of the songs over there. I love being out in Europe and we are making a real effort to go to Poland this time.”
Back home, Steven is hoping to get enough airplay to help the album reach as wide an audience as possible.
“We haven’t put out the ‘Radio 1’ tracks yet,” he says. “I hate talking in those terms but there are a couple of songs that we think will go down well with Radio 1. With our band we don’t aim for a first week Top 20 position. We have a year plan to make sure everyone hears the record and hopefully buys it. So the song we think will go down well on Radio 1 doesn’t have to come out yet.”
Out already is Scarlet Letter Rhymes, the second single from the album.
“Our manager told us we had to get it out there,” says Steven. “On the last album everyone was telling me to release Do You Get What You Pray For? but I thought it was a throwaway rock track and yet it was single of the week everywhere. I thought the same with Scarlet Letter Rhymes but I went with management this time.”
But Steven hopes fans will view the album in its entirety.
He says: “Our album is a traditional album. It has a start and finish and should be listened to all the way through.”
Shapes of Screams is released on April 7. LostAlone are on tour from April 3 and play Rock City on April 13. Go to www.lostalone.com.