Interview with Lord’s Andrew Dowling

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By: Joshua Pettit

Over the years many heavy metal bands from our own backyard have shown the world that Australia is home to some fantastic talent, performing on stages with the big guns of metal and helping our metal scene grow stronger!

I met and spoke with a member of one of those bands, Andrew Dowling; bassist and backing vocalist from Australia’s heavy metal band Lord, at their Espy show last month. Originating from Broken Hill, Lord are one of the leading bands in Australia’s heavy metal scene and have performed with such popular metal bands as Iced Earth and Nightwish.

Andy and I stood beside the Esplanade and beer in hand, he answered a few questions for me:
 

How’s the tour?

“Yeah good, this’ll be our ninth show of the tour, we just did New Zealand last week so we’re about nine shows in out of about twenty-four, twenty-five shows, so, so far so good. We’ve done mostly New South Wales, this is our first interstate show, and it just keeps going until the end of the year”.

“We’ve got this weekend, Ballarat tomorrow night (14/10), and then in two weeks time we’ll be back on October 27th, the 26th in Bendigo, and then the 28th in Geelong, so yeah, all over the shop”.

 

What’s it like on the road with the others?

“Yeah it’s good, we’re tired, we had an interesting trip in New Zealand where we had flights booked at 6am when we were finishing gigs at 3am, so we had no sleep last weekend, so we’re still recovering from that, but it’s typical for us; there’s very little sleep and we just keep trudging along. But it’s good, the crowds have been really good so far and for some places, especially Melbourne, this is the first show we’ve done in almost two years which is our own headline show, we were here in April for Iced Earth, but this is our first proper headline show in about two years, so we’re keen to come back and see whether people still remember us”.

 

Ever performed in St Kilda before?

“We have, we’ve played here a few times actually; at the Espy, probably about four or five times over the last six years, so it’s good to come back. It’s probably one of the better venues in Melbourne, and I think there’s a lot of venues that are closing down now as well”.

 

Yeah, there’s a lot of people complaining about the noise so they’re trying to make St Kilda into a Cultural Zone, meaning that people can’t complain about the noise anymore. What are your thoughts on that?

“I think that’s awesome, and I think that should be implemented in every state in the country because Sydney’s had a horrible time with venues; where some classic venues that have been around for years have had to shut down because people have built apartments around the area and then the residents have complained and then the venues get shut down. So, yeah, I reckon it’s an awesome thing and in the end if you choose to live in those areas you need to know the pro’s and con’s of living in that area”.

 

How’s your new album ‘Digital Lies’ coming along? Any release dates planned?

“It would have been good if it was out a couple of months ago but we’re still working on that. We’re just about to go to press for it, [but] as far as when it’s going to be released we’re sort of dictated by Europe at the moment, so when Europe’s got a release date then we’ll go and release it around that time. Hopefully in the next month we should have an idea of a release date, it’s just Europe’s the big fish in the sea and we wanna have the album released there, and we’ve known in the past that if we release it anywhere else first then Europe doesn’t really care about the album anymore, so we’re sort of dictated by them, unfortunately. But I guess the good thing for people that want to see us is that once the album comes out we’re going to have to have to come back through and do all these shows all over again so people will get another chance to see us. So this [Digital Lies tour] is to build up the hype for it and then we’ll come back out with the product aswell, and once people are familiar with the songs we’ll come out and play those songs aswell”.

 

How would you describe the new album?

“It’s a hard one to describe; in a nutshell if you like ‘Set in Stone’ you’re going to like the new one, and we’re known for having a diverse sound on the album so there’ll be different elements on each song. A good and a bad thing for us is that we bring in a lot of different fans but you’ll find that a typical fan, a casual fan, will like certain songs on the album and probably hate other songs on the album, so it’s a catch twenty-two with us, but [there’s] a similar kind of approach with the new one (Digital Lies) where we’ve got a lot of different elements, it all sounds like Lord in the end, but we’ve got really heavy stuff, we’ve got some rock on there aswell, and some classic sort of Iron Maiden, Queens of Rock stuff which we’re known for, but overall there’s a slight tinge of a dark vibe throughout the album, we’ve included a few more synth elements into it, nothing too crazy or out-there but it’s sort of a running thing throughout the album, and it ties in with the art work aswell, so a very dark sort of album for the most part”.

 

Lord is a big contributor to the metal scene in Australia, so where do you see it going in the future? Do you think it’s going to keep growing?

“It could be a half hour later after I finish talking [about this], but, it’s a hard thing at the moment because there’s so many other elements out there that are making it hard for people to come out, well not hard for people to come out but there’s distractions now; you’ve got DJ’s, you’ve got [the] pokies, people have got consoles, they’ve got cable TV, they’ve got the internet – the internet’s the worst thing in the world as far as trying to push people back from coming out of their house. So, yeah, the metal scene’s probably been the best it’s been for a while, in certain places it’s probably been the worst it’s been in a while; like Sydney’s been horrible at the moment for live gigs because there’s an inconsistency with venues. But there’s some amazing bands out there who are working really hard at the moment and it’s (the Australian metal scene) probably the best as far as quality of bands, it’s probably been the best group of bands in the country in a long time. And it’s good now because, and you’ll probably notice, in probably the last three years a lot of bands have been releasing video clips, and you can tell it’s a lot more cost effective to do them now people have got the equipment to be able to handle it themselves as a DIY sort of thing but still produce a really quality clip, a lot of bands are doing that. So I think the general public, who probably perceived the Australian metal scene as being a bit sort of amateurish, are starting to see that we can be world class. But I think it’s going to come down to all the bands challenging each other and continuing to raise the bar, and once that bar continues getting raised the crowds will end up coming because they’ll realise that some of the best bands in the world will be here in Australia, in our own backyard”.

 

The song ‘On a Night Like This’ by Kylie Minogue, what made you guys want to cover that?

“Long story short: we did a show with Nightwish, it would be four years ago now, when they last came out, and on the way home Tim was in the car and heard the original, well, the Kylie original on the radio and he sort of just had a joke and said it’d be kind of funny to cover, then it might have been a few months later that we got a midi file and we were sort of tracking it and just had a listen and he just did some really dodgy vocals and whatnot so we sort of demoed it up. It was always going to be a joke; we thought it’d just be something that we might just throw in at the end of the album and not even list on the album, just be like a silent track at the end and then suddenly it’d start playing, but the more we started listening to it we realised that we could probably pull off a half decent cover of it. So that’s how it came about, but originally it was meant to be just on an EP and just sort of get pushed to the side, but then we got a really good reaction from just the song itself, and I think it might’ve been, it was probably about eighteen months later that we did the video for it and figured we’d try and do the song justice because a lot of people just didn’t get it aswell, they thought; why are you doing this, this is gay, but once they saw the video they realised that we were just having a laugh and having a good time. But it’s still a song that people request and people keep asking us about it, and it’s brought in a whole new group of fans aswell and that’s probably the best part of that song, and probably for a lot of other bands that have got covers is that normally someone who is your casual fan probably would never even take the time out to go and listen to a song let alone like thirty seconds of the song or a full album, so that song itself, and especially the video, was an opening for a lot of people and it gave them an excuse to go and check out more of our stuff so we pulled in a lot of new fans because of it. So we’re happy we made that decision”.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to say to your fans?

“Thanks for supporting us and, you know, we wouldn’t be here doing the shows if it wasn’t for people actually taking interest and coming to the shows and buying our merchandise and talking about us online, word of mouth is the biggest tool out there, and obviously people who are getting us stuff published aswell, the media, the very few people in the media that are helping us, it all helps and without that we wouldn’t be where we are now, we’d be sitting at home probably sitting on the internet saying how crap everyone else’s band is so it’s fantastic, we appreciate it”.

I thanked Andy for his time and we parted ways as he wandered back in to the Espy to prepare for the nights show.

Be sure to keep a look out for upcoming shows by Lord when they release their new album ‘Digital Lies’!

Information on the band and tour dates can be found at their website: www.lord.net.au

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