Manchester’s Lyerr have certainly proved themselves to be a band to watch in 2018. Since the Autumn 2017 release of EP In Principo, the band have continued to hone their bank of catchy, energetic tunes that are bursting with northern swagger.
After playing 2018 shows with Hockey Dad, The Blinders, and Strangebones they have been confirmed to appear at this year’s Blackthorn Festival alongside Pete Doherty, Sugar Hill Gang and Peter Hook. Not taking their foot off the gas, the quartet of Ryan Johnson (vocals/guitar), Samuel Greene (guitar), Rory Magner (bass) and James Kershaw (drums) have released new single Taking Over.
So how does a band with a busy live schedule find time to get in the studio and hammer out releases? Rory from the band explains “We often encourage ourselves to be slightly more prolific in our writing if we have shows coming up. Performing live is always a good way to test out new material and I think as musicians we find it interesting to try and debut new songs into our set whenever we can, it can act as a good gauge for what works and what needs improving or changing.
With Taking Over we went into the studio with the version we were playing live but didn’t think a 5 minute single would be appealing for some people so we looked at how we could improve on certain parts of the songs to shorten it whilst we were recording it. We’re often all up for experimenting with the tools we have available to us in the studio to add more layers to the song with ideas we didn’t necessarily have before we went into record. Our debut EP ended up having keys in most songs and with our new single we decided to add a synth pedal to the outro solo which we were really pleased with.”
Turning to the rich musical heritage of Manchester, the shadow of history must cast long over any home grown act. Rory continues “It’s hard to ignore the influence it has on you growing up, whether you know it or not at the time. From the football grounds you go to or the clubs you visit, or even simply the art on the streets, there’s often a homage to the music which has come before you. So from that sense there’s definitely an influence on ours or the city in general’s sound, without directly feeling like we’re trying to copy what’s come before.”
With a growing renaissance of guitar bands emerging in the UK, are disposapop’s days numbered? “I suppose the major radio stations need to be a bit more diverse in the things they play at times. A lot of them often play it safe with their playlists and often repeat a lot of the songs in a cycle that most would consider never ending. It’s all well and good playing a new band at 4am when no-one is really listening but if they really want to engage more people they should try giving more opportunities to newer artists whether guitar based or another genre.”
With the punishing live schedules a band has to endure to break the US market, even in the internet age, we asked if the band harbored any dreams about playing an iconic US venue “It’s probably a cliché answer but I’m sure it’s cool to play Madison Square Garden at some point in your life, being the pinnacle of New York entertainment for a night. The Webster Hall is NY has always looked cool too. For now I think we’ll settle with any venue that can hold at least 20 people for us at the moment.”
So after a busy start to 2018, we asked if the guys would be easing up anytime soon. That however seems unlikely. “I don’t think we’ve earned any proper rest time yet! We’ll be playing Blackthorn festival this summer which we’re all looking forwarded to as we’ve grown up listening to some of the acts playing there like Pete Doherty, Twisted Wheel & Findlay so it’s nice to see your name amongst theirs. We’ll definitely be looking into sorting our next Manchester headline show after the past one sold out so quick before hopefully heading back into the studio at some point.I think we’d ideally like to tick off certain bucket list achievements like playing festivals we’ve been to growing up such as Glastonbury or Leeds. We’d all love to play Manchester Ritz as well so I guess we will be striving towards achieving that one day, though why stop there?