INTERVIEW: Lisbon | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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It’s been a long time in the making, but after numerous single releases and some extensive touring, indie-pop four piece Lisbon are finally releasing their debut EP Life Is Good. A celebration of all the things that make our time on this planet just that bit more amazing, it contains some of the band’s best and most catchy work to date – a just reward for a band who have focused on honing their craft and not settled for second best.

Ahead of the launch at the Tynemouth Surf Café, we talked to band about the EP, why they’re unveiling the EP in such an intimate venues and Games of Thrones.

Congratulations on the release of Life Is Good! Are you excited for releasing your debut EP?

Of course we’re excited! We’ve been waiting over a year to put this out, developing our tunes and growing as writers. I think it’s important for us, and important to our fans that we’ve produced a body of work, a collection of songs that mean a great deal to us. Life Is Good pretty much tells the story of Lisbon so far.

What are the inspirations behind Life Is Good?

The EP was built round the ideology that life is actually rather good – if you put your faith into something you love the rewards can be endless. The first two songs on the EP – I Don’t Know and Natïve – are very much about the band’s personal journey so far, journeying out of our comfort zone into the unknown in order to find success and happiness; they’re songs that can relate to anyone about taking risks and stabs in the dark in order to reach fulfil your ambitions.

Khaleesi of course takes all its influence from popular culture. George R. R. Martin’s book series A Song Of Ice And Fire and of course HBO’s Game Of Thrones should be thanked for inspiring this song. Lastly there’s Good 2 Me, which is an ode to my own personal love-life, it’s all about my love being phenomenal and me being a fuck-up basically. Each song takes a different inspiration but they’re all about the trials and wonders of youth, each song a different ingredient which, if used together, could make life fantastically good.

Why has it taken so long to release an EP considering you’ve been around for a while and have released a few massive singles?

People are often surprised about how much time it takes to create a song, and how much money it takes to pay for one! If we had the resources at our disposal this could have been our third EP. Khaleesi is our fifth single, and our fifth single on Radio 1; it takes a certain amount of detail and expense to keep that track record going. If we’d put out Life Is Good last May like we’d intended, the quality of the content would have been massively diluted. In truth I’m glad we’ve waited this long – overlapping with our first headline tour I think this release represents a really exciting time for us.

Why are you launching the EP at the Tynemouth Surf Cafe? 

We’ve never actually played an intimate show before. The Surf Cafe is certainly the coolest venue down on the coast where we’re from, and we thought we’d try something different.

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“Our hometown shows are always a nice reminder about how beautiful the north east is”

The launch gig itself has sold out extremely quickly – are you ever surprised by how popular you are in the region?

Yes of course, but it’s brilliant to see. Our hometown shows are always a nice reminder about how beautiful the north east is. We spend time on the road and time in the studio and then we announce a show, the reception we get and the ticket response is the reason being in a band feels so good. We expected a sell-out simply because we’ve been lucky enough to sell-out our last run of shows in the area, but to do it in a matter of hours was a really special moment for us.

You’ve been on a big UK tour recently; is your popularity in the region replicated across the country?

I’m happy to say yes. We thought it was the right time to do our first headline tour but we didn’t know what to expect to be honest. We were really nicely surprised actually; King Tuts was one of our best and busiest shows and we’ve never played Glasgow before. Stoke, Nottingham, Boro – all really good turnouts. We ended at The Barfly as well in Camden which was probably the best show of the tour, the place was rocking.

There’s a lot of Game of Thrones fans who wouldn’t like me if I didn’t ask this: is Khaleesi your favourite GoT character?

No she isn’t actually; if I had to pick just one it might have to be Jorah Mormont, the disgraced knight who falls hopefully in love with Khaleesi – that’s what the songs about, not my love for Khaleesi but his. I always love the villains as well, Joffrey was a brilliant character, Ramsay Bolton was my favourite for a long time but I think he’s gone a bit overboard this season!

Why did you write a song kind of based on Khaleesi?

Like many people I’m sure, I’ve completely immersed myself in the world of Game of Thrones. I think it was a pure love for the show and books that channelled the inspiration to write a song about Khaleesi. Oh and Game of Thrones sells.

What’s next for Lisbon after the launch of Life Is Good?

We’ll be finishing off our last handful of festivals, then we’ll start digging our teeth into the next EP. We have a basic plan and an idea of the tracklist so it’s just a matter getting our head down now. We’ll hopefully be back out on the road in the Autumn as well with a few support dates.

Lisbon launch Life Is Good at Tynemouth’s Surf Café on Friday 7th August.

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