Interview Codeine Velvet Club – Jon Lawler 03/11/09

Posted by Sophie Stratford | Posted in Independent Music Finds, Other, Rock, Sophie Stratford | Posted on 10-11-2009


Sophie Stratford talks to Jon Lawler, front man of Codeine Velvet Club and The Fratelli’s.

Codeine Velvet Club are the sensational new band featuring chief Fratelli Jon Lawler and Glasgow chanteuse Lou Hickey. The musical collaboration celebrates Jon and Lou’s shared love of ’60s girl-boy duets, dramatic orchestral pop, and dark post-war Hollywood romanticism.  Their debut single “Vanity Kills” will be released on the 23rd November and their eponymously titled album will be released on the 28th December.

Coedine Velvet Club

What are the main things that influenced you for the new single, Vanity Kills?

Just basic elements of my life, it’s nothing new. If you listen to quite a lot of material you pick and choose different aspects. This single follows onto the album and it’s just another part of my record collection.

How could you describe the band’s sound to someone that has never heard of you before?

I just hope it’s exciting enough.

What can we expect from Codeine Velvet Club compared to The Fratelli’s?

To me it’s totally different. We’re somewhat what others will be. Codeine Velvet Club are a bit smarter dressed I suppose, but there’s got to be more than that. The band has definitely taken on a life of its own that I didn’t expect. When we played our first show in Glasgow I got a bit of a shock at how different the live show panned out from what I’d imagined it would be. I can’t think of anyone coming to see us and being underwhelmed, we could see the confusion in people’s faces the first night we played and I guess nobody was sure what to expect. At the end when you see that difference is what makes it all worthwhile.

What’s the best thing about being in a band?

It’s great, you just play guitar with your friends and drink tea all day long. It’s the best job in the world for somebody who thinks about music all the time. There is nothing better, nothing can even come close to this, and it’s not even about the money. You’re just in control of everything.

Has this new band opened up new musical doors for you?

Nope not at all it’s just as I said another part of my record collection. Putting a band together from scratch isn’t always the easiest thing to do, the personalities are really important and I’ve definitely learnt that.

What are you looking forward to most about the tour?

I just can’t wait to get out there and play. Tours are great when you’re releasing a new record because there is normally hype over the radio or press but you don’t really have control over that, but when playing live you do. Playing live is the most important because you’re in control and it’s your part.

What do you want people to gain out of listening to your music?

If people are looking for something that’s not your usual sweaty bunch of guys on the stage playing guitars then that’s us. We’re alternative.

What’s the best thing about being on tour?

It’s just like being a 12 year old. It’s a ridiculous way to live your life, just travelling around on a bus with your friends and all you have to do is a play a show at night. Not a day goes by when I haven’t laughed about it, whether I’m having good days or bad days. At least once a day I just like to stop and think it’s pretty hilarious, especially on tour.

What artists would you love to perform with?

God plenty but I’m really lucky that since The Fratelli’s I’ve had a chance to play with loads of people, even heroes of my dad. I always watch us performing on YouTube it still makes me laugh that we did those things. I remember when we supported The Police, when they did the tour of the States, these things always come up again if you wait around long enough for them.

What can we expect next from Codeine Velvet Club?

If I’m still working and we’re still out there playing for people I know it’s going okay. I don’t even really know what to expect from it. It makes it a bit more exciting.

Interview by Sophie Stratford

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