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What Comes Next? Lice Talk Plans To Make Their First Masterpiece In 2019

Friday, 07 December 2018 Written by Laura Johnson

Photo: Lindsay Melbourne

Over the last year we’ve been fortunate enough to speak with some awesome up and coming bands about some of our favourite albums of the year. But we wanted more. MORE!

So, as the end of 2018 drew ever closer, we decided to find out how they’ve been doing since we initially caught up with them and what they’ve got planned for the year ahead. After checking in with Tali Källström of Estrons, and Goat Girl, courtesy of guitarist Ellie, we spoke with Alastair Shuttleworth of Bristol punks Lice.

I spoke with you earlier in the year about 'It All Worked Out Great' and following that you went on a UK tour with Idles. How was that? Did you learn anything from the experience?

Idles’ identity hadn’t been fully established to the public when we toured ‘Brutalism’ with them in 2017, and the crowds were scattered with the kind of punk fans that go to gigs purely to get wasted and push people over. A year later on the Unity Tour, the crowds knew ‘Brutalism’, knew Idles’ values, and knew what gig they were going to: they were warm, attentive and respectful to each other and us, filling the venue for our set every night.

It was a humbling glimpse into how you could not only form an extraordinary following, but have an immediately perceptible influence on the people that come to see you. When we came away, we were far more ambitious, and thought very hard about where we wanted to go ourselves. Playing with Idles also made us far better live; one tip I picked up from Joe was stopping drinking at shows, which has made me more energetic and focused. Learning aside, it was just a big adventure – we didn’t stop laughing.

What have you been up to since then? Are you working on new material? In our previous interview you said you liked to write so there was "no flab, direct A to B linear narratives" and also used meter, is that still the case?

We’ve started playing in Europe, which has been amazing; our early impression of European crowds is that they’re less inert, and more immediately enthusiastic about songs they haven’t heard. I don’t want to say too much about what we’re currently writing as it’s still coming together, but I will say that my lyrical style has developed in that direction, but is backed by a stronger and more individualistic set of ideas. We’ve all been subjecting our sound, and what we want to do next, to a huge amount of interrogation. It’s taking us somewhere stylistically far beyond ‘It All Worked Out Great Vol.1+2’, and we’re very excited about it.

What have been your best band moments of the year? Please let us know all the lovely details.

The release of ‘It All Worked Out Great Vol.1+2’, in which we purged ourselves of our foundational songs and saw people react to it, was amazing, as was the feeling of our manager Mark handing us a physical copy of our first 12”. The Unity Tour was incredible, highlights of which include going to the UK’s biggest waterpark with our TM Nick Meadows, who charmed the manager into keeping the park open after closing so we could film for the Little John Waynes video on Bruce’s phone.

Driving through the Ardennes blasting Queens of the Stone Age and Ben Stiller’s high-school band [Capital Punishment] on the way to our first European headline; setting fire to a wooden horse for our first self- directed music video; finding out we’d had our first newspaper feature in the Guardian at quarter-to-midnight and running to the petrol station to get their last four copies. It has been a year of transformation, and naïve, sentimental adventure.

What are the band's plans for 2019?

In 2018, we cleared our throat, and released the songs that have defined the band and our shows since 2016. In 2019, we will produce our first masterpiece.

Any resolutions for the new year?

The passage of years is a construct, and bears not upon this ceaseless train. As we continue to crusade and expand, we will build a body of work that galvanizes the masses, shattering their complacency with ambitious, GLORIOUS MATERIAL!

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