After 13 long years of absence, the iconic Warped Tour is finally coming back to the United Kingdom, for an installment at London’s Alexandra Palace. And with their latest album release, ‘Weapons’, has any other British band poured as much home grown pop-punk into the UK as much as Pontypridd’s Lostprophets, the show’s headliners?
With the build up to the show, and their current UK tour, we caught up with Lee Gaze from the band.
Hello Lee, where are you today?
In Wales, it’s pouring down with rain and I’m just rehearsing for the tour.
You’re headlining the first UK installment of the Warped Tour, in 13 years, that must be pretty special?
Yeah, I mean it’s nice to be given the chance to do it, you know? Like usually when we do a UK tour we’ll have one of our own dates in London, but to be doing this, especially since it’s been such a long time it’s going to be a huge responsibility for us, but we did five weeks of hard training, doing the Warped Tour in the US, so I’m thinking this should be a breeze for us, really. I mean we spend five weeks trekking all over America and playing on all different stages at different times of the day: but at least with this one we can kind of plan a set in advance. But it should be good, though, I’m looking forward to it.
What can your fans expect from your show?
It’ll be just a typical Lostprophets show, in a way, I guess. There’s a lot more bands playing before us and the only difference is that we’ve got a shorter set time, obviously, because on the Warped Tour we don’t get to play the whole set that we would if we were headlining. So we’ll just try to cram in all of the best songs that we’ve got, really. But part of the whole show is just getting on with it, y’know?
How do you prepare yourselves for such big shows?
It’s kind of weird with the Warped Tour in mind, as we’ve never done it before and like in 15 years of being in a band, we’ve never had the chance to do it so we don’t know what to expect, but the good thing is that it’s a level playing field for everybody, whether you play earlier or later in the day as the set time is only half-an-hour, so you can only prepare so much for it. But the shows are all varied as well, some are bigger than others, I suppose: one day we’d be on the back of a truck-trailer in the blazing hot sun and another day we’d be in the Antarctic playing in front of everybody, so there’s not really any preparation that you can do for that. And you don’t know until 9AM on the day of the show of what time you’ll be playing, so it’s kind of fun really and changes things up, as touring can get a bit much, sometimes, so changing it up everyday is kind of fun.
Are there any bands in particular that you’re looking forward to sharing a stage with or catching their performance?
I can’t remember who’s playing actually, remind me of some bands… I think Bring Me The Horizon are on before us, right? Yeah those guys are cool, and I mean we’ve toured with those guys before and they’re really good guys and always put on a great show. And I think that Funeral For A Friend are playing as well, which will be good, and hopefully a couple of bands that I haven’t seen play, as well. I mean it always depends with shows like that as you’re normally busy, as you look forward to seeing a bunch of bands and then you end up doing press, or something else, and then you miss the bands that you wanted to see.
And you’re just about to set off on a tour of your own, with Pure Love and We Are The Ocean, are you looking forward to it?
Me and the guys are really looking forward to it.
You released your fifth studio album earlier this year, have you been happy with the reaction that it has received?
Yes, I’m happy with it. It’s difficult to judge these days on what you should expect from a record, because you obviously don’t sell as many copies, what with all the downloading and stuff, so I guess that the fact people are still coming to the shows is the best thing we can use to judge what people think. I mean it’s not just about selling singles, for us, it’s about getting out their and playing live and really thinking about being a real band, I suppose. But we’re already looking forward to doing the next one so, you know, that’s got to be a pretty good thing?
Great, so do you have any set in stone plans for the next one?
Not really, this is the first time that we’ve done any writing and we’ve had some ideas for coming back after Christmas and for just another session of writing, and I reckon that within just three to four two-week sessions we could get the record together and just go from there, I guess. But there’s nothing set in stone, though, we’ll work the plans a bit more after Christmas.
What does the rest of 2012 hold for Lostprophets?
We’re just about to start the UK tour, for two weeks, and then we’re heading to Russia and playing St. Petersburg and Moscow, which is going to be awesome, and then we’re going to be going back to Japan, which should be nice too, and we’re playing Yokohama for the first time ever, as we always seem to play Osaka and Tokyo, so Yokohama should be fun. We just got back from Japan, a few months ago, and it was just so hot that you want to die, but when we go back in November it’s going to be a lot cooler and a lot more enjoyable, but after that there’s nothing, as that takes us up to the end of November and then we’ll have a break through December and Christmas, then we’ll just get back together and start writing again in January, I guess. But I’m really looking forward to the UK tour, because we’ll be playing loads of new songs, and it gets a bit boring, as I know people want to hear ‘Shinobi’ and all the rest of it, but we’ve been just playing it non-stop for like thirteen years and we just need to change things around a little bit. And that’s pretty much it, for the rest of the year.