INTERVIEW: James from Lung Money Talks New Single, Album and More

Hi James, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Never better! Thanks for having me.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Green-Eyed Monster”?

In a nutshell it’s about how jealously can make you say and do dumb shit. The title comes from Shakespeare’s Othello.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Yes actually. It’s kinda personal, but considering I’ve turned it into a song I’m clearly not too fussed if people know the story! In fact, lyrically it’s one of our less cryptic songs.

So. I was having a particularly insecure day, feeling down in the dumps, generally innadequate, and really not in any mood to party that night. Boo hoo. Anyway, my girlfriend and I went out with a group of mates to this shitty club (it actually wasn’t that bad, I was just being a dick about it). We were all dancing the (seemingly never-ending) night away when this handsome newcomer turned up; and you know what it’s like, you get all alpha with fresh meat, before you get to know them properly. He’s the kind of guy that all the ladies, and gents for that matter, laugh at and find charming. Now there’s me, feeling all self-conscious and whatever, and I take an instant disliking to him. He makes his entrance by saying something laugh out loud funny and starts pulling out all his best dance moves. He seems to be keeping my girlfriends attention more than I can. So it all gets too much and I whisper something stupid and malicious in her ear, at which point she gets upset and storms off. Oh shit. I’m a colossal douche. I instantly regret it and see the error of my ways, and spend the whole night (and following day) apologising. So as I said before, it’s about how you become ‘green-eyed’ when you get jealous and start thinking and acting irrationally. Then you regret everything and overcompensate by being annoyingly nice.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

We would love to do videos for all of our songs, we’re always throwing mad ideas around. For “Spornos” we wanna do stop-start animation with Ken Dolls…perhaps a story for another time! We’re talking concepts with a couple of student film makers right now, but the problem is we always have quite extravagant ideas, which of course means they are expensive ideas! In the meantime though we’ve got a lyric video for “Green-Eyed Monster” made by our mate Sam Davies:

The single comes off your new album The Future Is Bright and Moisturized – what’s the story behind the title?

The title is actually a lyric from “Spornos”, which we really consider to be the unofficial single. It’s arguably the least commercial, but it’s a solid favourite among our fans and so fun to play! “Spornos” is about this relatively new breed of men who model themselves on the mainstream media’s current depiction of attractive. They’re kind of an evolved metro-sexual, but even more obsessed with body image. Although the lyrics poke fun a bit, they really highlight how depressing it is that these blokes feel they have to constantly sculpt themselves into statues at the gym in order to be accepted by society, even though most of us couldn’t care less. ‘Spornos’ is a play on the words ‘sport-star’ and ‘porn-star’, basically what a lot of young men strive to look like. I suppose ‘the future is bright and moisturised’ is just sort of saying that greatness today comes at a cost; in order to be accepted we have to have six-packs and use moisturiser, or something, I dunno, haha.

How was the recording and writing process?

It was probably the most stressful period we’ve been through so far, but also the most rewarding. All of us were in our final year of uni at the time, so we had to fit songwriting, practice, and recording around hefty essays and sitting exams. We hardly gigged for that entire year, and morale was pretty low after we graduated. We also had a lineup change amongst all this. Our bassist left after we tracked the EP to continue where he left off with his old band. This slowed everything to a snails pace. Before Connor stepped in on bass, Mat and I discussed becoming a four piece. We’ve always worked well as a trio but for some reason whenever we go into the studio I always end up tracking guitars as if there are two parts! Not exactly sure why, the songs just demand it. So we asked our buddy Damian, who’d done some guest vocals on the EP, if he wanted to join the band proper. Then we were four! We finally released the EP in April just gone, and the positive response gave us all the motivation we needed to go up a gear.

In terms of the actual creative process, which in retrospect is actually your original question haha, the songwriting took several months because, as I said before, we were immensly busy. We tend to start songs with either a rhythmic idea, a phrase of lyrics, or a riff, it kinda varies. My personal preference is writing a riff to a juicy technical drum groove, then developing from there. Ideas come more naturally to me that way. The recording took about a week, it really shouldn’t have, admittedly we were a bit under-rehearsed. To give ourselves some credit though, when the music is so complex everything does take a fair bit longer! My amp also broke just days before we started tracking, which meant I had to use another amp and completely rework my tones on the fly…guitarists reading this will sympathise.

What was it like to work with Andy Rowland and how did that relationship develop?

Andy is an absolute Saint. He was exceptionally laid back which put us all at ease. Dan, our then bassist, had worked with him before so that helped break the ice. Also Andy was very understanding that we were all balls deep in uni work! His studio, Gatehouse, is in Swindon, a bit of a mission from Bristol each day, but totally worth it. Andy was always ready to roll the minute we rocked up (usually late), and was always encouraging. I don’t think he’d recorded anything as complex before! You should have seen the click tracks, they took almost half a day to program in haha. Andy has unrelenting patience, especially when it comes to mixing.

How much did he get to influence the album?

Andy had some great ideas for backing vocals and other more subtle nuances that really helped complete the songs. Things like the reverse kick drum in the middle eight of “Green-Eyed Monster”, and the synth in the “Spornos” choruses.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

We each have different music tastes but with a lot of crossover, and that comes across in the songs in a good way. There’s math rock influences, post hard-core stuff, Biffy Clyro-esqu pop melodies and riffs, and flashes of metal here and there. To summarise it into a genre, we’d probably say ‘melodic tech-rock.’ That kinda implies that it’s complex but catchy; there’s mad riffs but enough hooks to make it memorable.

Lyrically, I like to talk about a combination of personal stuff and bizarre social behaviours that I find amusing. For instance our first single, “Cyberlover”, is about how a lot of people these days look for love online. I’ve got nothing against the idea, it’s just pretty funny to think about. You can check that out here:

Any plans to hit the road?

We’re in the process of booking a UK tour for this October to coincide with our next EP!…

What else is happening next in Lung Money’s world?

Right now we’re pretty quiet on the gig front, but practicing often, and writing material for our next release. We’ve got one new song finished which we’ve already tried out live, people seem to like it! We’ve also been working on a cover of Awolnation’s “Sail”, it’s super heavy and we’ve fucked it up a treat haha. Other than that, we’ve just finished building our official website, it’s work in progress mind, but you can check it out here:

We really appreciate your interest RJ. Thanks for taking the time to chat! Take care.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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