They may be approaching a decade together as a band but Black Country-hailing rockers Liberty Lies are only just getting started.
Lead vocalist Shaun Richards, guitarists Josh Pritchett and Liam Billings and drummer Adam Stevens have just been joined by a new bassist, who they believe is the catalyst to bigger and better things for the band.
We spoke to Adam and Shaun this week and they told us: “We have just gone through the process of finding a new permanent bass player, which took up a month of our time. We are keeping gigs to a minimum while we write new material for a new EP later in the year. We have been writing the follow up to Fracture (EP released in 2015) for quite some time and been really picky with ourselves.
“We always want to top what we have previously released. Bands like us can’t afford a duff release; it sets us back too far. We want to release something that is going to get people talking about Liberty Lies. Are You Listening? was a sign of our intent. Our new bass player is going to bring another new dimension to the band which we are excited to unveil in the future.”
The band, who’ve played alongside Shinedown and Halestorm in Europe, as well as Alien Ant Farm, Max Raptor and Press to Meco on home soil, tell us their musical tastes have developed over the last few years to older bands like Deftones, Rage Against The Machine, Alice In Chains and Tool, which perhaps gives us a glimpse into where they’re headed with their new material.
Latest single Are You Listening? is certainly on the heavier side, beginning with a bit of guitar noise, a big scream and a big smash of guitar. Lighter guitar supports Shaun’s big vocals through the verse then launches into a big singalong chorus and verges on melodic hardcore with big screamed vocals and heavy guitar riffs throughout. Check it out in the video below:
The band talk openly about their dislike of being pigeonholed into certain genres, especially as they do naturally span so many. When asked about it they tell us: “Melodic. Alternative. Shit-Hot, hahaha. I think people have struggled with this lately. Some people consider us a metal band, some a rock band, some think that we have a classic rock sound. To be honest, we don’t really care.
“It is a shame that we have to be categorised, but we understand we have to fit into search engines and iTunes need to have a place to put you. We like writing anthems, big choruses, we like to make people think with our music and our lyrics. We write music that we as people want to listen to and try and make it original.”
And when it comes to what they write about, it’s equally diverse. In their words: “There has never been one specific theme with us. We have never written about booze, drugs and sex. It’s not our style and there are plenty of people talking about it. We haven’t really touched politics either, as bands like Architects and Enter Shikari do it so much better than we could.
“We try and mix it up between our own experiences and made up stories and topics. For instance, The Difference Between Hope and Faith (on Reflections album, 2013) is about our experiences with cancer and the clichés that people spew at you to make you feel better in grief. Our latest single Are You Listening? is us screaming at the media to take notice and almost a tongue-in-cheek ‘you won’t ever play this.’ Ironically it is our first single to be playlisted on national radio! We like to make our songs thought-provoking, we don’t throw words in to fit a melody, we want the listener to pick lines out that mean something to them.”
As mentioned, the band will be celebrating ten years together next year, and we asked them about their best experiences over the last decade. They told us: “Actually, it is only just dawning on us that next year marks the ten-year anniversary! We started this band as 16/17 year olds that loved Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry, Guns’n’Roses, Whitesnake and Thin Lizzy. We played covers in pubs to make money and used it to fund recordings and gigs outside of the Midlands. Shaun, Adam and Josh founded the band with two other members. We went to school together and I think out of all those school bands that exist and just do it for a laugh, we all really wanted to take it serious and make something of ourselves.
“Obviously, we were miles from the finished article and in hindsight, maybe we’d have rebranded the band under a different name rather than keep that past attached to us. But we achieved a lot of really great things early on. We supported Heaven’s Basement on their first UK tour, we toured with Magnum around the UK and we won the first Highway 2 Hell in Glasgow. We had our own lock up and we tried to spend as much time in there as possible and write constantly. We wrote some naff things, but it helped us get to where we are today and upped our quality control.”
They’ve worked with rock producer Romesh Dodangoda, of Funeral For A Friend and Bring Me The Horizon fame, on whom they told us: “Romesh was like the third or fourth producer we had been to, but we really wanted to step it up and create something that didn’t sound like an unsigned band. We went to him for our debut album, having never met him before, so it was definitely a scary leap into the unknown. The five of us lived in an apartment for three weeks and just smashed it out every day and we loved it.
“We have been back to him since to record an EP and a single, so it definitely worked well. You want a producer with a track record, so when they’re advising you, you know that it is coming from a place of knowledge and experience. You put a lot of trust in your producer, but we knew from the moment we tracked the drums we’d made the right choice. He is great to work with and Cardiff is such a great place to spend our time out of the studio.”
You can see Liberty Lies alongside He Is Legend in Birmingham on 11 May and another band we’ve previously introduced you to The Fallen State in Bideford on 9 June.
They tell us: “Other than that, it may be a few months until we are back out. We are going to super strict on ourselves and make sure this is the best release it can be. Just keep supporting live music and never underestimate the importance of buying bands merchandise and sharing their music on social media. It can really make a huge difference!”