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An interview with The Lee Paul band PDF Print E-mail
Written by Connor Mullins   
12 11 2013
Image Backstage at Gateshead's Caedmon Hall, Lee Paul Lamb is running through track Arizona with members of the band. He is strumming his acoustic guitar, which bears the phrase "Rock & Roll Voodoo", in preparation for when the seven-strong outfit step out onstage in front of a sell out crowd.

The Lee Paul Band are here promoting their debut album and showcasing new material, ready to prove that country-rock is here in the UK to stay.

I caught up with members Lee Paul, Brian Boyd, Ali Garner and Alex Young in their dressing room to chat about plans for the future, the demand for country-rock in the UK, and the chemistry within the band.

How's everyone doing?

LP: Excited
AG: Fine, yeah

The album has been out about five months now, how's it doing?

LP: Yeah, it's flown by. As far as we know, it's doing really well.
BB: We don't have actual numbers, but I think it's sold about 8 million.
AG: I bought two new ferrari's last week.
BB: We just haven't seen any money yet, Lee's bought a helicopter and a new Porsche and I'm still cycling to work. I don't want money; my wife will just take it off me anyway. There's no point.
AY: She's not going to hear this is she?
BB: I hope not.

Are you working on a new follow up? Can we expect to hear some new material tonight?

BB: We're debuting three new tracks tonight and we're gonna go in before Christmas and record one at a time instead of five like we used to and make it a bit more slick.
AG: Get one signed off at a time.

Are we looking at a similar style to the last album, or different with the addition of new members to the group?

LP: It's going to have a similar feel, but it's evolving and getting better.
AG: You can tell that it's us, but it's getting better.

Do you have plans for any bigger venues, like the gig at the 02 Academy (Newcastle) in June?

LP: We'd certainly like to.
AG: We've got some top secret plans.

Do you think there's a demand for country-rock in the UK?

LP: It's getting bigger and bigger. When you see events such as Country-to-Country (a line-up of country stars play a two-date festival in London) selling out at the 02 Arena, it's obviously there.

What more do you feel you need to do to get picked up by record labels?

AG: I think it's just about getting out there as much as possible really.
LP: It is yeah, just keep getting better and better. I think we're getting tighter with every performance we do and the more practice we do.
AG: Building our fans, building our sort of music repertoire that we've got of our own songs and getting them out there.
LP: Keep selling out venues like this one tonight.

How would you assess the last 12-18 months in terms of the progress of the band?

BB: It's been very stressful, especially for me. I had a perfect face before I joined the band, now it's like a crisp packet! Luckily I've held onto my hair, which is okay.
AG: I thought it was a toupee, Brian.

Of course, you've added a few extra members to the live show, Mike, who plays guitar and keyboards, and Lauren, backing vocalist, does that give it more of a production feel?

LP: I think the seven-piece has brought a lot more to it.
AG: Fuller sound, isn't it?
LP: Yeah, it's a much bigger sound; we can do so much more.
AG: It's harder to do, but when you do it well, it's good. 

And how's the chemistry within the band?

BB: I don't like Alex or Ali - Lee's alright.
AY: Apparently Ali's now my brother.
AG: We've got on well really, haven't we?
BB: Yeah, we're fine. I could quite easily go on tour with them.
(Various) And take the mick out of Alex all the time.
AY: Even though that happens in rehearsals all the time anyway.
BB: Alex is like our stress cushion. He's like the kid at school you used to go up and punch sometimes when you felt down and stuff and it made you feel happy. Alex is like that for us, to be honest.
AY: Both verbally and physically.
AG He's done his hair for this interview, it looks different; shinier and...
AY: It's straightened.
AG: It's straightened? Aaah...
BB: He's just straightened the mullet, hasn't he?

What would be your dream gig or festival to play?

AG: I think Red Rocks.
AY: That would be awesome.
AG: It's like a big amphitheatre. It's a huge outdoor theatre naturally made in the rocks, but it's where all the big country artists play, isn't it?
BB: Is it in Arizona somewhere?
LP: No, it's what one of my favourite songs, Colder Weather, is all about.
AY: Colorado
AG: Yeah it is.
AY: Everyone from Mumford & Sons to Zac Brown Band have played there, so that would be an awesome show.

You play a few gigs when you go over to Chicago Lee, don't you?

LP: Yeah, our album's being sold in a few coffee shops over there, so it's basically about going round to venues and playing. They seem to really like it - they love the accent, so we're onto a win-win at the minute.
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