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RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW NORWICH BAND THE LOWTONES 

Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

(Oliver) From an early age music has been my main passion. 

(Tim) Instinct and the Rock ‘n’ Roll lifestyle.

Introduce us to all to the members and your musical history.

Oliver – Played guitar since around 11 years old. Been in loads of bands over the years in London and Brighton mainly playing guitar and bass. This is my first project as a lead singer. 

Tim – played guitar since I was 9. Been in a few different bands with friends previously that never really got off the ground, more for just fun. Influenced by a lot of 80’s ‘new wave’ artists and various bands within general rock/alternative genres.

Jack – guitarist. Started playing guitar when I was 15… haven’t mastered it yet. Know very little theory. Making it up as I go along and hoping no one notices.

George – played drums for 15 years. Never played in a ‘proper’ band before. Love trying to come up with distinctive drum parts… a frustrated frontman.  

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?

(Oliver) We’re doing the best we can I guess. We have dreams of really doing it, of course, we do, who doesn’t? However, we are realistic with our expectations. Our progress, or lack of, won’t stop us from getting together and writing great music. 

(Tim) Like most industries progression is driven by opinion and opportunity, we have only been a band since 2020 with our first ‘proper’ release in 2021 so I think we are doing okay so far, but there is a lot more to come.

(George) We are doing really well all things considered. Forming at the beginning of the pandemic and not being able to play live for best part of two years, considering all the obstacles, we’ve been super productive. We’re genuinely not in it for the money, it’s all about the experiences and we’ve had some amazing ones so far.

How have your songwriting skills developed over time?

(Oliver) As a group, it is definitely becoming stronger and happening with greater collective confidence. We’ve established ourselves and captured our style. We feel good about it. We’re all involved and we know what we have to do. 

(Tim) Pretty well. Personally I’ve learned to better be able to develop hooks or guitar parts into fully structured songs.

I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?

(Jack) What’s the debate? Women should feel safe at gigs. Some men should stop being scumbags, would definitely help.

As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?

(Oliver) If only we knew the answer to this!

(Tim) It’s really difficult really, we’ve been supported by BBC Introducing East and the local music scene in Norwich somewhat, but we are looking to play mor shows around the UK – no idea how we properly do that though. We went straight from Norwich to New York!

(George) I just mention us to anyone who will listen. Often get us played in bars or restaurants just by telling the bar-staff we’re in a band. Had us on in a tattoo shop in Istanbul last month.

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

(Jack) We are the best band to ever come out of Norwich. We have played more shows in New York than we have in London. Mav is related to Benito Mussolini. 

What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?

(Jack) Like most things in modern society, the music industry is broken. Unfettered Capitalism will eventually destroy all the beauty in the world. The money required to record, release, and promote music vs. what the artist makes from streaming services is disgraceful. Enjoy the arts whilst you can.

(Tim) If we were around 40 years ago we’d be millionaires



Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?

(Jack) The 2022 World Cup was manipulated by FIFA and the Qatari state for Messi to win it.

(Tim) Bush did 9/11

Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?

(Tim) A flat

(George)  

What was the worst experience on stage?

(Tim) None, Lowtones shows are always perfection

(Jack) Nearly getting knocked out by a flying microphone from Mav mid-song. Touch wood, I haven’t had any really negative experiences so far.

Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about.

(Oliver) Played football for Norwich City Academy as a teenager.

(Tim) We all have degrees. That surprises me.

(George) I was on a dating show on Channel 4 a couple of years ago called ‘A Year to Fall in Love’ – it was as bad as it sounds. 

(Jack) I found an unexploded WW2 hand grenade when I was 10, I also burnt down a cornfield when I was 12… it was an eventful couple of years in the village.

What makes you stand out as a band/artist?

(Tim) Songwriting, productivity, and our live performances.

(George) I think we are a bit different, certainly from most bands in Norwich. We have a much cleaner, straighter aesthetic and write short, sharp songs with a bit of edge about them.

(Jack) We don’t belong to any scene. We are sort of outliers in lots of ways and a different vibe to most of the bands around at the minute.  

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.

(Oliver) It’s an A/B side, featuring ‘Radio and ‘From The Start’. Two brand new tracks from us that we are very pleased to share with the world. This is our best work to date.

(Tim) It’s a little more aggressive and direct than our previous releases. Influenced more by the likes of Interpol, early Bloc Party as well as late 70’s/early 80’s post-punk

Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.

(Oliver) ‘Radio’ was actually meant to be an uplifting song, but kind of went the other way in places. Of course, all music or art is going to take on a different meanings for each person. I prefer people to listen to our music and create their own narrative for it – I don’t like to fully disclose exactly what I was thinking or feeling at the time of writing for that reason. ‘From The Start’ was the most spur of the moment song we have done. Jack came into the rehearsal room with a great part, then systematically we all started to grow around it. Structuring came a little later, but it was something that instantly grabbed our attention. We usually write the structure of the songs before entering the rehearsal space, so this was something new for us.

(Tim) Radio – Mav sent over a demo of just the bass & the vocal, I had just picked up a new guitar when it came through so just jammed along to it. The lead guitar line of the song being pretty much the first thing I played on it. We then take the ideas int the rehearsal room and worked through it, building it up, until the masterpiece was created.

From The Start – As I remember it – Jack played the lead line on guitar randomly in between songs in the rehearsal room. George then started playing the heavy drum beat along to it, our bass player Aaron then started playing along and I added the stabby guitar chords on top. Mav found some lyrics he already had written in his little black book. The whole song came together in about 10 mins and was the first time we had written a song spontaneously like that.  

What was the recording process like?

(Jack) We used a new producer/studio to record this track (and a few others) and it was a fantastic experience. Our producer was Tom Joy at Brass Monkey Studios and he was a consummate professional, and a bloody nice bloke too. He immediately understood our sound and what we were trying to achieve and by Jove, I think he’s nailed it!

(George) We were much more prepared to go in this time. Had the songs down and were just more comfortable with the recording process and what was required of us.

(Tim) Brilliant. Tom really made the whole process enjoyable. We recorded the tracks at his studio in North Norfolk over one weekend.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

(Oliver) Don’t get caught up in your head. Not every line will stick, and not every note will rip.

(Tim) These are the first two songs we’ve recorded with 2 guitarists in the band so writing songs with two guitar parts in mind has been a learning for me – it has come fairly naturally to us through

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

(Oliver) Collectively we are really pleased with these recordings. Our overall performance was better than on previous sessions. I think they show just how much we have progressed as individual musicians and as a band.

(Jack) Agreed, I think we were much more prepared to go into the studio than we have been in the past, and more familiar with the recording process in general. 

(Tim) Nope!

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

(Oliver) Switch on your radio!

(Tim) The rest of our back catalog.

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