We sat down for a coffee with Lyon Estates guitarist John Wace recently for a chat about their new EP, the good and bad sides of the UK pop-punk scene and who would star in Lyon Estates: The Movie…
Hey John! How’re you doing?
Excellent, thank you!
For anyone that doesn’t know about Lyon Estates, what’s it all about?
We’re kinda pop-punk energy. We started our band in 2011 building a fanbase in York, steadily. We came out of that Blink 182, New Found Glory feel. Our roots are definitely there. We try to bring plenty of energy and good fun to the show.
You’ve got a new EP about to come out. What can people expect from that?
It’s out on iTunes, Spotify and everything on 16th June. It’s a little bit different to our last two EPs, mainly because we’ve lost a member since we did our last one. Mark was one of our main songwriters so we had a bit of a lineup change and Alex who used to just sing is a very good guitarist. We were thinking about getting another member for a while but we ended up just saying that Alex would just pick up the guitar and take on vocals and guitar. Alex and I have written most of the new EP. There are a few songs that still have an influence from Mark on there because we started writing them before he left the band, so there’s still of that old sound on there but it’s a little bit different as well, which I think is good. It keeps evolving and changing. We really enjoyed writing it.
You’re heading out on tour in support of the EP release. Where are you heading?
We’re off to Sheffield, London, Nottingham, Manchester, York, Newcastle, another Sheffield show and then finishing in Leeds. It’s going to be a busy week.
When you’re on tour like that, and playing shows around York as well, you’ll get to see a lot of great underground bands that we might not know about. Who should we be checking out?
All of the bands on this tour are awesome. No Insight from London are awesome, really excited to play with those guys. Homesick from Nottingham. They’ve got a mixed line-up of girls and boys, which is good. I don’t think we’ve ever actually played with a female fronted band before. Northern Horizon from Newcastle, they’re like easycore. Storm Harbour from Manchester as well. We’re playing with Chief State and Calling All Captains from Canada as well, they’re coming over for a UK tour.
Cool. So after the EP release and tour, what’s the plan for the rest of the year?
Well, Rich is a farmer so towards the end of July he has to take some time of for harvest, so at that point we usually take the time to write new songs. We’ve got some other stuff going on before then. We’re supporting Safeguard on 7th July with On The Ropes and One Way Street. That’s going to be interesting because Alex can’t do that show, so we’ve got the vocalists from the other bands choosing some songs that they want to sing with us. We should be well practiced after the tour so it shouldn’t take too much to get those guys along to a practice for a run through. It will have a real family feel to it I think. Jonny from On The Ropes has already requested some songs. We’ve got Straw Fest on 15th July too. Again, with Rich being a farmer he’s got a lot of big sheds that they use to store grain in, so before they fill them they put a big stage up in there and we have a mini festival. I think it’s 11 or 12 years ago we started that. It’s always a last hurrah for Rich before harvest. I think that’s it for now. We’ll definitely be doing a Christmas show, we always do. Rich dresses up as Santa and dyes his beard.
One observation about the pop-punk scene, specifically in the UK, there’s a lot of bitchiness towards certain bands, particularly Neck Deep who are one of if not the biggest UK pop-punk band, and also up and coming bands such as Roam. What’s your take on that?
Well I’m a fan of both of those bands. I am very aware that it is there. For me, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I don’t know whether, particularly with Neck Deep, it’s because they’re a big band. I don’t know whether people think they’ve come up through the scene too fast, maybe. I know a lot of people have a problem with the over Amercanisation of the sound, particularly with the vocals, but for me I’ve always been a massive fan of that sound. Growing up I was into Blink, New Found Glory, Good Charlotte. That’s the sound I wanted to make when I was about 15/16, so I guess they’re just doing the same thing. I’d love to be playing massive shows like they are though, so I’m not going to bitch about them at all. But yeah, I think the problem that a lot of people have with them is that they feel like they haven’t paid their dues. There’s a lot of stuff about Ben’s Dad having a record label. I’m sure it can’t hurt if your Dad has a record label, there’s got to have been a lot of experience that they could have got from it. I say good luck to them.
Silly question time. Hollywood calls, they’re making Lyon Estates: The Movie. You’re in charge of casting. Who is in the band?
Rich would be Jack Black. I can’t picture anyone in Hollywood who looks like Chris, so I’m going to focus on the hair. Lindsay Lohan! Alex would be the guy who played Mini-Me in Austin Powers, and I’d be Bradley Cooper because I think we have the same good looks and classic style.
Excellent! Finally, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Come to a show! We’re hitting all the big cities in the UK and hoping to see some new faces. We’re always working towards our next EP as well, we’re written new stuff already. This year has been the most active we’ve ever been and we’re hoping to push that through into next year as well. People will be seeing a lot more of us, and we’re excited!