Few bands can say they have shared the stage with the likes of Royal Blood, The Kooks and The Bluetones however The Lanes lay claim to that and more. One of Brighton’s most powerful bands with a sound and live show to match, they are truly a band which is hard to top.

We caught up with Graham (G), Joe (J) and Chris (C) from the band to chat about the here and now.

What’s it like gigging for you now? Do you get your core supports along each time?
C.The bigger the venue, the more people we get down there.
G.Nothing against our core supports but we like playing against an out-of-town crowd, a crowd that don’t know us and going ‘oh yeah, your great etc.’ It’s better when your playing to a strange room.
Tell us about how you write songs.
G. I tend to write songs for the band, then bring them into the room and then we start thrashing them about then work out the structures. We’re pretty prolific – if you stop writing you get complacent and that’s it – your dead as a band and I know so many bands that have done that. They’ve just sat on 7 songs for about 5 years and that’s it –  they give up all hope and they give up being able to write. If you want to be a songwriter you’ve got to keep writing constantly.

The band are my biggest judges when it comes to writing. I just write them at home, bring them to the guys, play them through then we all just jump in

Where and how do you record.
G. Our current release was done at Metway studios [The Levellers studios] and whilst we’ve met them all before [The Levellers] when we were there they came back from their gig at the Dome and that was great as they got off their massive tour bus and it was like ‘yeah, that’s coming for us in the future’ and Jake [their Engineer] was telling them how quickly we thrashed through these six songs and laid them down really quick. We did each track in two takes, mostly down of the first with the second as a backup and they we’re impressed and took a CD at the end of it.

Tell us about the live show.
G.We’re happy to take over, book a night and play up to two hours of original material, maybe sometimes I’ll hang off the stage and do the whole rock thing, we’re trying to bring it back really, bring back that whole rock-and-roll ethic. There’s a lot of cover bands out there. I know a lot of my friends have dropped out for the easy pay packet and I just think, maybe I’m just one of those people whose in it for the long haul and I haven’t run out of ideas yet.

The Lanes won the Absolute battle of the bands once – what was that about.
G. Yep – a few years back at Concord2. It went from a few thousand who entered down to the final 15 or so bands playing in front of the panel so instead of your friend clapping like a clap-o-meter it’s just a panel. We had a clean sweep all the way through the rounds and we were there to enjoy ourselves and have fun and then it’s like we’re in the final three, then they called our name out at which point we just ran and dived on the stage and Joe just got naked. He didn’t want to let us down and he’d said if we win this – I’m going to do the final song naked so he did until he got told to put his pants back on.

I just got to a point where I just want to do what I want to do which is playing live, going for it and literally blowing people out of their seats and that’s what happens, when you let go a bit then things just happen. We want more – you’ve got to see out live act to know how good we are. It’s had not to be arrogant about what we do as a band but we are that good. I want everyone we know and everyone we don’t know to come and see us

Does the power of the Album and selling tracks matter any more or is it just getting out there and gigging?
G. If there a musician out there who says they’re not doing it for the money – they’re just doing it for the music they’re lying. At the end of the day, money would be nice but for me being able to play your guitar and earn some good money out of it, make people happy and have a lot of fun, it’s the dream.

The money is now from playing live – we’ve noticed where venues wouldn’t sign you to play unless you did covers and would pull the wires if you sneaked your own stuff in there, nowadays it’s like here x amount of money and we want you to play your own stuff and it’s starting to happen and a lot more bands are getting there.

Anything you work at – I think you should not give away for free, it’s not a greed thing. People still like physical products, they like a CD in their hands. It’s not old school, it’s just part of it.

I Agree, as a punter I like walking away with something I’ve brought. I like going to the back of the room and seeing what’s on the desk. As well as everything else it reminds you the next morning what you did the night before.

G. You can download the tracks, lose them on your phone but if you’ve got that CD with the artwork and the explanation of where it came from it makes such a difference.

Catch The Lanes next on Friday 29th January 2016 at The Railway Inn, Portslade


The Lanes Interviewed by Pete Jones