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Born Lion Unleash Album Tour

Born Lion have been mercilessly carving a name for themselves as a domestic rock'n'roll force for years. Their hard work has come to fruition on their spirited debut album “Final Words”. The four Sydneysiders will be hitting the road in support of the album over the next three months including an appearance at Brisbane’s BIGSOUND.

For those who aren’t familiar, how did you, Dave, Nathan, and Red decide to start the hottest new punk rock’n’roll band from Sydney?

Wow thanks for the new description! Well we were originally called “The Watt Riot” which was a real rock’n’roll sound. Red (guitarist) and I had been playing in bands together for some time and we joined forces with Dave (Drums) and started hunting for a bass player. We put out the word and got some hits and misses until Nathan tried out.  But he was in another full time band so we passed on him until the band he was in fell apart and he got back in touch with us and became part of the band. We then decided to change the sound and therefore change our name. So we had a huge re-launch for our new name “Born Lion” a coinciding release of our first EP.

Coming from the Sydney underground scene do you think the scene has shaped you, or have you guys moved on from the Sydney punk rock scene?

We’ve never been part of the Sydney scene, more like an east coast scene with a network of bands that we identify with. There are a few bands in Sydney that we definitely like and play with lots such as Gay Paris who we’ve had a strong connection with for a number of years. But there’s a bunch of bands from Melbourne and Brisbane we like as well…

How do you think Born Lion has changed since D for Danger and Livin’ Tough first got spins on Triple J?

The mission since we’ve put those songs out hasn’t changed that dramatically.  We just try to write songs that are immediate and get to the point quickly and that aren’t overly complicated, and I think that’s what those songs do. Songs like Break the Curse off the album are obviously a little different to those songs and is a slightly different direction but I think it has similar principles to our early releases.

When you were starting out was it a plan to get played on Triple J or just for the love of the music?

Its gotten to the point in our musical career that we’re not incredibly young and we’ve been playing for a long time so I guess we always thought getting on Triple J would be something good for us. But we never expected it, relied upon it, or thought it was ever going to happen. When you do music for a long period of time you learnt to accept that things might not ever happen. We got a lot of traction from our first EP and one of the songs on it won us the unearthed competition, which got us, Unearthed feature artist, and got us to play Soundwave, so we thought we were in their good books! But it’s always incredible hard to get over the line and get recognised by Triple J, so we were all surprised when we got played, I personally couldn’t believe it.

As you said through winning the Unearthed competition you got to play Soundwave 2013. Were you excited or daunted?

There was massive excitement but also it was a logistical nightmare. It was a new thing to play a gig of that magnitude for all of us! We got there really early but we didn’t actually get our stage passes until 3 minutes before we were supposed to play…so we had to run our gear on stage, set the gear up and start playing. So that particular bit wasn’t great but it was an awesome experience.

Did you learn anything, whether it be logistically or entertaining a bigger crowd, from your Soundwave set?

I think we’ve learnt more after that to be honest. It was kind of an isolated experience that we were just trying to get through it. We’ve now had the opportunity to play bigger stages and that where we’ve learnt the most.

Same year as Soundwave you guys also played at Brisbane’s BIGSOUND. You guys are part of this year’s BIGSOUND lineup, will you be approaching this BIGSOUND more relaxed after releasing your first album or do you have something to prove?

There’s nothing really to prove, we just really want to kick ass! The first (BIGSOUND) was more about getting industry connections and having people see the band and looking at our options of what we could do in the future. But I think now we’ve got a lot of that stuff taken care of cause we’ve got a label we love and an awesome booking agent and manager… 

So “Final Words” is the band’s debut album, how have your fans responded to your first LP? Are you happy with the final product?

We’re pretty happy, there are always things you can look to improve on, but on a whole it’s been really positive… I think every review has been really positive and got good ratings.

“Final Words” is really energetic and playfully aggressive. How do you guys recreate this in a live setting?

Ha! Well we’re pretty intense live! We’ve always had heaps of energy! I’m constantly climbing off the stage cause I just want to be on the floor where everyone else is. We’ve got a sort of loose energy I guess…

Listening to the album your drummer, Dave, doesn’t let up in his fills or blast beats. Is he the hardest working member live or do you all throw yourselves into the set?

I think Dave exerts himself the most, he’s got a pretty mean six-pack happening - he’s a bit of a machine! But saying that every night when we finish a set it’s like I’ve just jumped into a pool. But I think we all put in a good effort!

Violent Soul has less heat than other songs on the album, why did you choose the acoustic guitar in this song in contrast to the rest of the tracks on the album?

The producer we had said it would be good to break up the sounds and tracks of the album a little bit. Violent Soul originally sounded like a real punk tune but sounded real confused due to a lot of key and timing changes, which made it all over the place. So we were going to scratch it as it was but we all thought the lyrics were really strong so I stripped back the song to make it streamlined and linear…

Do you play it live or is it just for the album?

Mostly for the album, we talked about introducing it to our live set but we haven’t rehearsed it. I could be a good thing but on the stage we’re trying to keep everything on a higher level…

“Good Times Jimmy” is my favourite track on the album with it’s “let the good times ROLL!” chorus - and is one of the your oldest songs – Do you still enjoy playing the song or is it just a fan favourite?

It’s probably my favourite song too and I love playing it live, it’s always good live as everyone’s always on board when we play it.

When I first listened to “Good Dogs Stay Dead” I couldn’t help but hear the similarity in your voice to Howlin' Pelle from “The Hives” – are they a major influence to yourself or Born Lion?

I definitely love The Hives and our guitarist, Red, has been a long time fan. We played with them for a one off show in Melbourne and they’re just master showmen, just unbelievable how they had the audience in the palm of their hands. His style of singing I definitely love but I’m not consciously trying to sing the same way. Definitely a subconscious thing…

In the video clip for “Good Times Jimmy” there’s footage you guys live at Brisbane’s own Ric’s Bar. Are you guys a fan of the venue?

Yeah Ric’s is awesome! It’s got a kind of character…the footage is actually when we played BIGSOUND 2013. It can be a bit hectic there as the valley is a bit of an eye opener, our first time there was pretty wild, but it’s a great fun place.

You guys have the handy knack of making ugly chords somehow create powerful rock sounds, what’s your secret?

When I write I put all my fingers in varying positions and I guess it’s just a matter of trial and error until I hit something that sounds good. As a result you get a lot of weird shapes! It’ just kind of stuffing around endlessly until I find something that sounds good or appeals to me.

What Australian or international bands are you guys impressed by and looking up to at the moment?

Royal Blood are pretty good, we played with them in Sydney and it’s phenomenal how they do what they do. We played with Captives (VIC) the other night and they sounded really good. Also like ECCA VANDAL (VIC) I think she’s incredible, and Grenadiers (SA) I really identify with.  

What’s next for Born Lion after the last tour date in October?

I’m not sure but we’ll probably have a short break. I think we’re trying to put together a co-headline tour towards the end of the year…

Can you tell who’ll be co-headlining with you or is it still a secret?

Haha! Yeah I probably shouldn’t say anything because nothing’s locked down yet, but it’ll be a really good band!

Born Lion - The "Final Words" Tour

Friday August 21

The Workers Club, Geelong 

Saturday August 22

 The Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne

Saturday August 29

 Phoenix Bar, Canberra

Friday September 4

 Brighton Up Bar, Sydney

Saturday September 5

Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle

Saturday September 12

The Milk Factory, Brisbane (BIGSOUND)

Friday September 18

Brisbane Hotel, Hobart

Saturday September 19

Club 54, Launceston

Thursday September 24

 Prince of Wales, Bunbury

Friday September 25

 Jimmy's Den, Perth

Friday October 2

The Entrance Leagues Club, The Entrance

Saturday October 3

Captain's At Mariners, Bateman's Bay

Friday October 9

Cherry Bar, Melbourne

Friday October 16

The Loft, Warrnambool

Saturday October 17

Crown & Anchor, Adelaide

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