Lo! are rising.
By the time this Sydney quartet came to public awareness they had already honed a professional sound and style that is as slick as it is stimulating.
They are a group of experienced and likeminded musicians who have focussed their combined powers into a fearsome musical alliance.
The band hit the ground running and wasted no time in developing a reputation for making confronting, compelling and challenging music. In a relatively short span they toured with some heavy-music heavy-hitters and earned themselves a deal with a well-regarded European record label.
They stand out in a saturated genre by being a complete package musically and aesthetically with a salient visual and aural presence that demands attention.
Guitarist and go-getter Carl Whitbread made time in his schedule to answer a few questions and here are the results for your reading pleasure:
Ben: How did Lo! first come to be?
Carl: First began back in late 2006. It was basically myself writing and demoing songs in my bedroom for about a year after my previous band (Omerata) had disbanded. Once about 5 or 6 songs were finished I decided to recruit some like minded individuals. After many rehearsals and a handful of line-up changes, Lo! was ready and we played our first show in 2010.
B: Which of the following best describes the band’s creative process and why:
Socialism, democracy, dictatorship, or anarchy?
C: We’re definitely a democracy. Even though I write most of the songs and take care of the visual side, everyone has equal input and it’s majority rules. Plus disagreements are normally settled with a jousting match.
B: How did your association with Pelagic Records come about?
C: Once we had recorded our first EP (which went on to make up most of Look and Behold) I send them out of a bunch of different record labels including Pelagic… Not really with the intention of getting signed, but just to get our music out there. Once Robin had heard it, he contacted us and was keen to have us on board.
B: Has being associated with an internationally renowned label like Pelagic been of benefit?
C: Absolutely. Even though it’s easy these days to get your music out there to a wider international audience, it’s still hard to get it in front of the right people. Being associated with a label full of unique bands and having Robin push our music has really helped us get recognised and listened to.
B: How has the reaction to the release of Monstrorum Historia been?
C: Extremely positive! It’s always hard approaching the second album, but I feel we’ve definitely grown as a band and our songs reflect that, without straying too far off course.
B: How do you balance the demands of being in the band with the demands and responsibilities of “real life”?
C: We don’t find it too hard. To be honest the band doesn’t take up massive amounts of time unless it’s a tour or something… although in Australia that’s usually only 4 or 5 shows. Plus we all work as freelancers so we can all drop work anytime when we need to focus on the band. At the end of the day it’s something we love doing and are passionate about so we will always manage to make time.
B: You guys have a dark and quite defined visual theme running through your merch, album packaging and web presence. Who is responsible for creating and handling that visual side of the band ?
C: That would be me. I’m a graphic designer so I take care of all the band visuals. I think it’s very important to have a solid visual theme that accompanies the bands sound.
B: Do any shows from over the years stand out for any particular reasons good or bad?
C: Touring Europe with our 2 favourite bands, Cult of Luna and The Ocean is pretty hard to top.
B: Touring together must bring to light idiosyncrasies of band members that you weren’t previously aware of, do you care to dob in any band mates for any unusual on-the-road behaviors?
C: Nothing too unusual to be honest. Even though we share a common musical taste, things can get very different on the old car stereo depending on who is driving.
B: Who would be some of your dream bands (past or present) to tour with?
C: I would love to have seen Breach live. I was even tempted to fly to Stockholm in 2007 for their reunion show but unfortunately I couldn’t afford it.
B: Do you have any interests or hobbies outside of the band that people may find surprising?
C: Adrian enjoys collecting Fabergé eggs.
B: My final question is my standard closer – if you could choose how you were to die what would you choose?
C: Like Chris Farley.
Lo!’s New album ‘Monstorum Historia’ out now. Heaps more info here: http://site.lookandbehold.net/
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