We had a chat with Mike Duce, lead singer of Lower Than Atlantis, about pop music, Nando’s and supermarket zombies.
The Bubble: Hello! I’m Ashleigh and I’m with Carys and we’re going to ask you some questions for The Bubble! How are things going with you?
Mike: Yeah good, just rehearsing, having a drink of water.
The Bubble: So, from your new album “Safe In Sound”, which song is your favourite, or the one you’re most looking forward to fans hearing, or playing live?
Mike: You know what, my favourite Lower Than Atlantis song ever is on our new album, a song called “Had Enough”. Just because its got everything that I want in a rock song, its got a big hooky chorus, interesting verse melodies, interesting mid-eight, its got riffs – that’s probably my favourite song. But everyone’s kind of heard that so like, probably… I would go with that but also I really love a song on the album “Could Be Worse”, which I think has a really positive message, I should probably be doing more of that, considering there’s young kids that look up to us and stuff. Yeah so a positive message and the intro guitar riff, the main riff of the song, I wrote about three or four years ago and I’ve been trying to put it in a song ever since and I’ve done it. And I think the song’s great. It kind of sounds like, a theme tune to like a 90s sitcom or something.
Well in the rock world, a good rock song is usually a pop song with fucking guitars and stuff.
The Bubble: I’m really looking forward to hearing it actually! The fact that you just mentioned “Had Enough”, similar to the sentiment in “Had Enough”, you tweeted earlier about how people annoy you! Do you have any other pet hates? Apart from people evidently!
Mike: I absolutely hate the supermarket. With a fucking, passion. People become zombies when they’re in supermarkets, they just aimlessly glide along, being led by their trolley, bashing into people. They bump into something and they sort of just change direction. And you know what above the aisles it says what the aisle contains, like pasta, rice, chicken soup. But no-one ever looks at them, people just aimlessly roll around. I don’t know, I have a shopping list every time as well, I’m quite an efficient human. So yeah, supermarkets annoy me.
The Bubble: Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. So, what are you most looking forward to about the upcoming tour?
Mike: They’re the biggest venues we’ve ever headlined. We’re headlining Brixton Academy, which is just, fucking, bonkers, its blowing my mind every day. We’ve played it before a couple of times but we’ve been like the opening band or whatever, just a couple of people in the room. So, to walk out onto those stages, to those rooms full of people to see our band…
Also, we’ve been rehearsing for a while, and we’re just gonna be… GREAT, we’re gonna play really well. For me, I’ve played a couple of shows since but like, I’m completely sober now, I think me personally I’m gonna be performing to the best of my ability, the best that I ever have so, really excited to walk out on stage and play some of the best shows that I’ve ever played.
I absolutely hate the supermarket. With a fucking, passion. People become zombies when they’re in supermarkets, they just aimlessly glide along, being led by their trolley, bashing into people.
The Bubble: Yeah that’s good to have that kind of confidence… do you think it’ll be quite a different vibe then, since it’s bigger venues and you’re headlining?
Mike: I used to get pretty anxious and stressed, and I’d spend every day of tour on my own, just walking around, being a weirdo, I never used to really look forward to playing, but THESE shows, I can’t fucking wait to get out. I reckon the whole thing’s just gonna be really positive for our band as well, and we’re bringing friends’ bands on tour.
The Bubble: Yeah, I’m a big fan of Young Guns so I’m looking forward to them being on the tour as well!
Mike: Yeah we’ve known those guys pretty much as long as we’ve been in this band. So it’s gonna be just a lot of fun I think. How it used to be!
The Bubble: Yeah! So you’ve been together as a band for 10 years now, are you planning anything special to celebrate that?
Mike: We talked about this today! We’re quite fucking, boring now. We’re gonna be in Manchester for that, and we were like “oh what should we do, shall we go for a meal?” which is quite boring obviously, but I’m on a strict diet with my training so I was like “oh well I can’t really eat anything that’s not plain, boring” like chicken and rice, so we were like “oh okay well maybe we’ll just go to Nando’s then” So I think Nando’s is where we’re going, then we’ll probably have an early night!
The Bubble: Nando’s is always a safe bet! So, for you personally, what music do you tend to listen to and what has inspired you to make music?
Mike: Oh, well I’m constantly listening to music obviously but I wouldn’t say there’s any sort of artist or band I draw inspiration from directly, I guess I’m always listening to music and then what I write is a product of the stuff I’ve been listening to in general. I’ve never really listened to something and gone “Yeah, I’d like to sound like that!”
The Bubble: What about anything you’ve listened to recently that you’ve liked and you’d recommend for fans to have a listen to?
Mike: New-ish bands… the Code Orange album is probably the heaviest as fuck album I’ve ever heard in my life, that’s really good. I really love an instrumental band, it’s kind of like jazz-y, they’re called Chon. Who else… I listen to a lot of chart pop music, and they’re written by some of the best writers and sung by some of the best singers in the world so they’re gonna be good, do you know what I mean?
The Bubble: Yeah, I guess people can be kind of scornful about pop music can’t they?
Mike: Well in the rock world, a good rock song is usually a pop song with fucking guitars and stuff.
The Bubble: Very true! So, last question… going back to your album which is coming out next week, what would you say is different about “Safe in Sound” compared to the other albums that you’ve made?
Mike: It’s sort of a “best of” Lower Than Atlantis, we’ve mixed in songs like the ones that worked best of our last album, and a couple more electronic ones, and we’ve looked back to the fan favourite album of ours which is an album called “World Record”, which is similar to songs [on our new album] like “Could be Worse” and “I Would” to get a kind of reminiscent of “World Record”. So it’s kind of just, the best bits of everything we do on one album. And its just ten bangers as well – no bullshit! Ten good pop songs… well, rock songs, whatever you want to call them.
The Bubble: Thank you so much for giving up your time to speak to us, we can’t wait for the tour!
Mike: No problem, see you later!