A lifetime of creation, experimentation, making noise and camaraderie has come to fruition with the Kent band Lotusbliss; literally a band of brothers who are starting to make waves in the indie rock music scene. Seth, Josh and Adam formed their band in 2018 and released the excellent ‘Beautiful Monotone’ as a debut single in 2019. An EP, ‘A Good Death Is A Beautiful Thing’, followed in February 2020, which really cements the band’s ability to create sonic beauty within the parameters of a pop rock arrangement. Lead single ‘Carpet’ was met with much praise and was described as a “stupendously slick cut of music that subtly teases moody, fluttering, psych infused tones (that) isn’t afraid to comfortably switch dynamics to keep it’s listeners thoroughly on its toes”.
This year has begun with a new single ‘Horror’, the first single from a forthcoming EP, ‘Bittersweet’, which was released on January 15th. It seems that now is the time for audiences to sit up and take notice of this exciting young band who manage to marry ambient soundscapes, high octane guitar , raw lyricism and infectious melodies. ‘Horror’ has real power and pace and I was lucky enough to catch up with the guys.
EP: So, it seems that the band was almost formed by accident after a conversation about band names? Are you pleased that you decided to create the band?
LB: Yes that’s right – it wasn’t very intentional. That conversation wasn’t about what we could call a potential band at all, but after that moment the idea was planted in our minds that we could and should form our own. We started exploring ideas, trying out writing together and then recording, and at each step we became more excited about what we were making. We’re really glad we started that journey – we love the music and are real proud of everything we’ve achieved so far.
EP: You guys are all brothers. Does that help creativity or does the fact that you probably have similar experiences growing up mean that finding inspiration is more difficult?
LB: It works both ways for sure – there’s a real commonality, of course, to a lot of our experiences so I think overall it lends to a more unified voice on what we’re creating. At the same time though our stories (whilst in no ways identical) aren’t as varied as some collectives, and that means looking for inspiration outside of ourselves. That balance feels good though – there’s always the risk that if all inspiration comes from within then what you make can become a little sameish
EP: Your EP was met with a lot of positivity. Was that an essential for the band to push on together in the same vein or are you all very single minded about the band’s direction musically?
LB: We were blown away by lots of kind words about our debut EP A Good Death is a Beautiful Thing, and we took a lot of encouragement from that. It definitely wasn’t necessary for us to push forward though – we want to build something we love and create music we’re passionate about, and if you lean too heavily on what others think and their approval in order to validate your work you set yourself up for disappointment. We care deeply about what people (especially fans of ours) think about our music, but that doesn’t define how or whether we make it.
EP: Obviously, lockdown and the pandemic has meant an enforced hiatus for musicians. How have you used the time? Do you think the silver lining of the pandemic might be that it’s given you an opportunity to take stock?
LB: Our timing for launching the band couldn’t have been worse – our debut came out I think 3 weeks before the UK lockdown! But since then we’ve been writing loads, recording when possible and planning for how we’ll move forward. Our new EP Bittersweet was almost entirely written and recorded in that period, and we’ve got stacks more tracks in the pipeline that we wouldn’t have had otherwise – some of which we feel might be the best stuff we’ve written.
EP: This year has seen the single ‘The Horror’ drop. It’s a slight departure from previous music with its pace and hypnotic quality. Was that a decision to slightly change pace? Is this the flavour of your sophomore EP?
LB: There wasn’t so much a decision to change anything, more that AGDIABT (being only four tracks) didn’t give a complete picture of our sound and what we’re doing. The two EPs together feel more representative of us, with a varied sound but also many of our signature elements threaded throughout each track. Ultimately we love making dreamy and slightly otherworldly alt rock music, and enjoy exploring the different ways that could look.
EP: Who do you guys see as musical and personal inspiration?
LB: Artists like Radiohead, Arcade Fire, The National, Bjork, The War on Drugs, HAIM and The Japanese House are all massive influences on our music, we dream of one day being able to end up on other artists inspirations lists with these guys! Being brothers working on this together, family is obviously a key value for us. I remember listening to an interview with Thom Yorke and he was talking about how at points the band would all be touring with their kids in tow, and I think we’d love to grow into one day having that kind of ‘big family on the road’ vibe when we tour!
EP: The harmonic quality of your voices is a big feature of your music. Have you always sung together growing up or was there a sibling rivalry?
LB: Can siblings exist without some level of rivalry?! I mean that’s always there to some extent, but I think the big advantage there is that ultimately we really want things to work well for each other, so are willing to make sacrifices at points to make sure that everyone is happy and excited about what we’re doing. We have sung and played together at different points, though it’s mostly been informally (with the exception of a couple of weddings and youth group events etc) so actually working together on this has been a new experience.
EP: Going forward what are your hopes for 2021 and your music?
LB: I think we’d love to solidify ourselves within the UK music scene this year as a band to watch out for. As well as having just dropped our new EP, we’ll be releasing more tracks this year and hope that these will go further than the our work to date. We’re also really excited about digging into our live shows, because of Covid we’ve not had the chances we’d hoped in the life of this project to establish ourselves as a great live act. We’re planning a tour for October and can’t wait to hit the road.
EP: I live in Kent and it’s got a good live music circuit, what’s been your favourite gig to date?
LB: As lotusbliss we haven’t actually played a home county show yet! We’ve been gigging in London so can’t wait to play one – The Forum in Tunbridge Wells and Elsewhere in Margate are places we’d love to play.
EP: It seems you are not afraid to keep yourself listening audience guessing, are there any music genres that you’d secretly like to tackle? I recently saw Post Malone smashing Country music so anything is possible!
LB: Ha – I (Josh) learnt guitar through classic metal bands like Metallica, so whilst highly unlikely perhaps one day we’ll drop a thrash song!
EP: Can’t wait ( haha), good luck with the new music. I’ll look forward to that!