A Lion Named Roar

26 Mar

“We compliment one another well and this whole thing doesn’t function unless it operates in that format.

A Lion Named Roar has had many opportunities to prove to everyone just how talented that are. With recognition from some of the most well known people in the industry, including Nigel Lythgoe, these five men have showed the world their true artistry. A Lion Named Roar have many people rooting for their success, and with a persistent manager by their side, this band actually has a great chance at becoming well-known. Their new EP, that has yet to be released, is on many peoples wishlists, and many can’t wait to get their hands on it. I had the privilage of listening to a few of the new songs and loved every second of them. Get to know the young men of A Lion Named Roar in my interview with members Tyler Anderson and Andy Meyers.

Q. A lot of your success is credited toward you being signed after your manager heard you live. Do you think it’s essential for bands to play live shows no matter how big or small the crowd is?

A. Tyler: Playing live shows are absolutely crucial for this band, and I think our opinion for other bands would be to practice and play out as much as possible. We actually aren’t signed at this time, but when and if that day comes we hope it’s accredited to us being able to perform well as a band. 

Q. Louisville isn’t really known as a music city. Do you guys find it difficult to get your name out there, or do you use the advantage of being close to a music city like Nashville?

A. Tyler: We’re pretty proud of our local fans and their reaction to the music. The best publicist and marketing gurus are the ones that are excited about the music they are pushing. No one is more excited about our music than we are, so it goes a long way when we decide to promote a local show. It’s tough to promote shows, regardless of what part of the country you are in. We’re fortunate that our fans support us by coming to shows.

Q. What was it like being selected out of 6,000 entries on America’s Next Greatest Band?

A. Tyler: Exciting. That was a while back, before we re-named and started new music – but it was very humbling to be selected. Looking back, we’re very happy we didn’t “win”. We’ve grown a lot as musicians, and our material is stronger because of that. It’s just a part of the story now.

Q. Your website bio describes you as being “bluegrass locals,” but your Facebook has you listed as Pop/Folk/Indie/Rock. How would you describe your sound? Would you compare yourselves to anybody?

A. Tyler: Kentucky is known as “The Bluegrass State”. Don’t take that too literally, as it’s just a very unique shade of green. That being said, I think that we are the worst judge of our own sound. It’s mysterious to us how we may be interpreted as songwriters and musicians. We’ve always gravitated toward vocal harmonies and we’re trying to exploit that in these songs. We grew up listening to Queen, The Eagles, and James Taylor, so naturally we want to pick up from there in some fashion. I don’t think we sound anything like those artists, and we tip our hats to our producer, Neil Degraide, for helping us hone our sound. 

Q. Each of your songs on Said & Done has a slightly different sound. What is the one thing that you think helps keep the album cohesive?
A. Andy: That’s a great observation. I was involved in the recording process for several songs on “Said and Done”, and remember thinking the same thing. And to be honest with you, I don’t think there is any real “common theme” that ties everything together, but that’s also why I think it’s a good first album. With “Said and Done”, you’re getting a snapshot of a band developing its sound. You hear some country guitar influence with Tyler, some excellent vocals (a little soul, a little folk) from Chris, but it’s all wrapped into a good pop/rock structure.
Q. When and what can we expect your next album?
A. Andy: The new EP should be properly released in the next month or 2. It will (most likely) have 6 songs. I think you’re going to hear a much more cohesive sound. We’ve really focused on certain aspects of songwriting that we feel are important to our sound (Melody, harmonies, thoughtful instrumentation). Lyrically, you will see a mixture of universal-themes told from a unique perspective, as well as some personal experience. There’s a lot more electric guitar, the drums are bigger, and you’re going to hear a lot of voices singing together. 

Q. With the addition of three new members, do you find the song writing dynamic the same, or have they brought new things to the table, writing and sound wise?

A. Tyler: I think our writing style is unorthodox in the sense there is limited consistency. We benefit from having guys in the band where strengths in melodies, lyrics or guitar parts differ from others. I’d go to Andy for his take on a vocal melody before I’d go to Billy, but on the other side, I’d run a guitar line past Bill before I showed Andy. We compliment one another well and this whole thing doesn’t function unless it operates in that format.  

Q. Have any of you ventured out on your own in the past or present as a solo act? If so, how different is it than performing with your band?

A. Tyler: A Lion Named Roar is our sole focus. I think we all have individual aspirations like that, but as a unit we’re focused on taking this band as far as we can. Chris will one day be a solo songwriter, and perhaps Andy & I will be writing neo-traditional country music, but for now, ALNR is enough.

Q. What is the best advice you’ve received regarding making music and what advice would you pass on to those bands who are currently trying to make a name for themselves?
A. Andy: Take ownership over your music. Far too often, bands fall into the “fairy tale” that movies have presented to us. We all hear those 1 of 1000 tales where a record exec happened to be at a band’s first show and signed them that day. We, as musicians, have to take ownership over our music/band not only from an artistic standpoint but also from a business standpoint. Don’t wait for a label/etc. to swoop in and “make your dreams come true”. Develop an understanding of what your goal is for your music/band. Where do you want to take it? Who is listening to your music? How do you get it to them in a simple way where they can share it with others? I could talk for an hour about how bands need to change their mindset when it comes to the business-side of things.

Q. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring one of your songs to listen to, which would it be and why?

A. Tyler: Are we talking one song I own, or a song that this band has written? I’d choose ‘Message In a Bottle’ by Sting, for no other reason than irony. If I had to pick one of our own songs, I wouldn’t. I couldn’t justify the headlines reading ‘Stuck on an island, and himself’. 

Here is their first single, Desert Wind, off of their new EP. If you love it (which I think you will) download it on Noisetrade for free.


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