INTERVIEW: Rat Face Lewey

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

Very well thank you, busy promoting our new material, we just released the first single ‘Comfortable’ off our upcoming 2nd album ‘The Fall of Man’, which we are immensely proud of.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Comfortable”?

I have never written a song quicker than this one. I played the intro riff and my fingers and brain just figured it out and I had the melodies and structure within 20 minutes. This song is a tribute to the people who put you down to make themselves feel better. They are showy and have everything in life, but deep down they don’t really believe it. We put so many harmonies on the song during the recording process and I love the way it has turned out, it’s simple, catchy and shows the range of different styles we have as a band on the new record.

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

I’m always writing and recording riffs and little bits and pieces so once the melody popped into my head my brain started focusing on some words that fit the phrasing of the melody. I had visions of different people that had pissed me off and so writing the song unclogged them from my mind. Sometimes you need a clean break from certain people or a relationship and you have to find the strength to do it. Once you have it’s an incredible relief and you can fill your mind with other creative or positive things.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

We practice in a studio near Stamford Brook, West London and it’s where we did all the collaboration and fine tuning on the album. We’ve seen every season whilst practicing whether blazing sun or snow and blizzards and we love hanging out there. So why not have the first single be us playing the song there as if we are practicing and messing around? We’ve had so many great times in that room and now we have it captured on film.

The single comes off your new album The Fall of Man – what’s the story behind the title?

Mav, my bro and the bass player came up with the title and wrote the lyrics to this song. The title describes the transition of society from a state of obedience to a state of disobedience. In most cases society had adopted an unconscious innocent obedience. However, after the polarised political events of 2016 humankind has transitioned to a state of guilty disobedience. Living obedience is a plague, stop being a hipster, put down your Nintendo switch, craft beer and wake up. Leave The garden (it is not what it seems) face the “guilt”.

How was the recording and writing process?

I started writing these songs around the end of 2015. I have hundreds of little sound clips on my I phone that I forget about and then sit down and start sifting through them and seeing what works with what. A lot of times it’s like a jigsaw puzzle, I’ll have a chorus or riff and bring it to practice and then someone will come up with a different part and slowly the songs will start piecing themselves together. A song off our album called ‘Replaced’ has a great middle section that came together week after week and different bits were happening whilst we were recording the track. We have a great time collaborating together and kept pushing the songs to be better and better. The lyrics are the last thing I write. For this album I had about 80% of them and finished the rest of them whilst I was in Amsterdam to see Nada Surf play the opening night of their Let Go anniversary tour.

How has Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers influenced your writing?

Kurt Cobain is obviously one of the greatest song writers and I love sitting down at a keyboard and playing along to the melodies of their songs hoping some of the phrasing ideas rub off on me. Also, I went through a huge John Frusciante solo album stage, which made me love and appreciate the Chili Peppers even more. I love the honesty in the song writing, the disguising of lyrics, the melodies and just how incredible everything sounds. They are the best of the best to me.

What role does the East Midlands play in your music?

The name ‘Rat Face Lewey’ exists from the wonder years of childhood. It was the name given to a Den close to where we lived. We would spend countless hours jumping out of trees, lighting fires and re arranging hay bales, completely free and clear. During one of these episodes we were chased by a farmer who came out in his tractor looking for the kids who had re arranged his carefully harvested product. Our older brother Dan shouted head to ‘Rat Face Lewey’. Some of us escaped over the fence to safety, others faced the music. Our first album was called Wonder Before Mess. It describes the conflict and experiences of childhood with the truth and harsh realities of adult life. Similar to themes from the poem, Birches by Robert Frost. The band is a way to escape.

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

There is a song off the new record called ‘Fight My Noose’, which sums everything up. I wrote this album to exorcise my feelings of anxiety, depression, anger and hatred. I walk around London listening to what we recorded and love every micro second of it, forever grateful that I am free to do this with my life.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes! Please check our website for tour dates in September and October.

What else is happening next in Rat Face Lewey’s world?

We are aiming to film a video for every track on the album. Last week we were down in Dungeness filming for our next single ‘The Pirate Song’, it’s an incredibly inspiring and depressingly beautiful part of the UK. I spent the day drinking rum to get in the mood. I can’t wait for people to hear what we have put together. It’s another important step up for us and I hope we can reach as many people as possible.

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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  1. I have followed this band since 2015 and really hope they can play more dates abroad.

  2. I’m looking forward to the new album!

  3. Cannot wait for the new album. I’ve been a fan for many years and have seen them live a few times. Very excited!

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