Interview With Alex Marie and Michael Thomas of Lawless Hearts
April 3, 2015 --- We had the chance to chat with guitarist Michael Thomas and singer Alex Marie from the band Lawless Hearts about their new EP, "Lawless Hearts" and a number of other topics. Below is what they had to say to us.
Need406: How did Lawless Hearts come up with their band Name?
Michael: The band name is kind of a funny story that just might end up on VH1 behind the music someday. Mine, and Alex’s parents support the band 150%. So needless to say it was a collective effort to find a fitting band name for the style of music we had created. After months and months and more months of only coming up with silly names that we’d eventually pass on ones we tried using temporarily like “Quest”.. And “Strawberry Creek Revival” (because the creek up the street from us is called that). One Sunday morning, I walked into my parents room to see if my dad was ready to go since we had stuff to do that day, and my mom had fallen asleep in this upright position with her glasses half on, and suddenly rises up, and says “Lawless Hearts” and falls back to sleep. My dad and I looked at each other in silence and just said “OK”… yup! that’s it. True Story! I rushed to the computer because I surely knew there had to be some rock band in the world that had to have that name already and nope! I searched everything, and everywhere, and found nothing but a book and movie called “Lawless Heart” it’s like some romantic story, so I immediately trademarked it. As for the font and logo that font was created for us and is the only one that exists on this planet unless you purchase it from us by our graphic designer “Aaron McCall” he is awesome.
Need406: With all the famous bands that have come from the Jacksonville, FL did the band find it easier or hard to ink a record deal?
Michael: To be brutally honest no one cared in the industry who came from Jacksonville.. I thought they would for the longest time. It was one of the hardest things we have ever tried to do. With the common saying nowadays “record deals do not exists anymore” and you will never get one was the single most thing we have been told all the way up to now. I am not a quitter nor ever will be but after a while I found myself being caught in the murky shark infested waters of the music industry. Corey is my right hand man I love him like a brother we have been through every emotion you could possibly imagine trying to make this thing finally go to the stars. There is not one label in this world that shouldn’t know our name even if it took a moment to remember the calls and the emails. For a year and a half we painstakingly called and emailed each and every company we even got a calling card to call over seas to speak with other companies all of which slammed the door in our face. Believe it or not we even tried changing our sound and showcasing a more poppy version of ourselves and still all the same answers “No”. We went straight to the top of the list; not the head of AnR but the CEO and chairmen! Its quite comical the things we’d say or make up to get their attention like Rob Stringer the chairmen of Columbia Records which is a part of Sony, and his assistant knows us well.. I can still remember her smoky rough NY city accent haha, I’m not going to get into when we tried to voice impersonate being our own manager ha! Or how about"Steve O" AKA Steve Robertson head of ANR at Atlantic Records absolutely everytime after sending him new song after new song and new updates on what we were doing and how we were evolving as a band even this EP! Still a polite NO.. but thats the kind that hurts the most. The truth is the industry has no idea what the next big THING is and thats what scares them the most how can we replicate what we can’t predict? You simply cannot. Songwriters such as the “Matrix” will not create a band like “Led Zeppelin” or "The Who” bands that stand the test of time you can’t manufacture that. Its a natural phenomenon that can’t be controlled. A business grows on the initial risks you take to get it up and running and the cigar chomping gurus who started this business and took chances have been replaced by college math wizards who think writing a hit song is like an algebraic equation. I’d like to shout out to “Pavement” for taking that risk and believing in the creativity and drive of this band and wanting to take us to a whole new level. Boys it’s about to be one HELL of a ride.
Need406: What can you tells us about the band's new EP "Creatures of Habit”?
Michael: The “Creatures of Habit” EP is our baby; the creation that got us the attention. I remember while hanging in Los Angeles recently telling “Tim Binder” our rep at “New Ocean Media” how the songs came to life and were born. I moved a couple years back with our Dad to Atlanta since we were about to relocate there for his job. The band was a mess NO drummer to say the least everything was everywhere and hanging on by a thread; I was scared that it was coming to an end, and this went on for a year. I found this bike trail called the Silver Commit Trail; which is an old railroad track that goes from Atlanta all the way to the Alabama state line 60 miles I think! I traveled the whole thing not once, not twice, but multiple upon multiple times being that the start of it was only a few miles up the road from our apartments. I needed to completely find myself I needed to find out if I had what it takes to make it, and if this band was “IT”. One of the days I was riding I went down one of the slopes to sit by the river that was down below and about ten minutes had passed and here comes this old black man with a walking stick who greeted me “how are ya doing today?” We talked about it everything from politics, religion, music, and life in general I never told him I was musician when he said to me “In politics it takes something gigantic to make history or to move a century. It simply takes one great song and you’ll be remembered forever” The next part is the best. Since it was getting late we decided to walk back up to the main trail and while walking up we were just shooting the shit he was telling me about the farm he used to live on and where he was from and as I ask him another question I didn’t get a response… Naturally I turned around only to find out he had vanished. "True story” it took me about a week to recover from that and soon after there came “Creatures of Habit” very relatable to today’s society then the cycle continued one after another.
Alex: We actually started writing our 'full length’ to be three EP’s that told a full story, it was supposed to be kind of a sonic trilogy. So, this EP would of been the first in the series. Most if not all of our songs is about not losing hope, and knowing you’re not alone. It’s about understanding the struggles of life; and overcoming them.
Need406: Can we get your take on what each of the four songs off "Creatures of Habit" are about?
Alex: To be honest, most if not all of our songs have the same meaning/message just with different scenarios. I think the world is missing a real connection, and they need to feel safe, secure, and comforted. Creatures of Habit - The Inner Struggle between what’s right, and what’s real, and what being a good person really is. We’re all Creatures of Habit, and some habits are hard to break. If I Have To - Being strong enough to face adversity. Putting others before yourself. Oblivion - Facing your inner demons head on and the fear of losing yourself to. The Fallout - Giving yourself permission to be strong.
Need406: What is your favorite track off of Creatures of Habit to perform live and why”?
Michael: Oh my God! Impossible to answer… But if i had to choose it would be “The Fallout” it just has this epic build inside it.
Alex: This is really hard, because they’re all my babies haha I know it’s cliché, but it’s literally like choosing a favorite child. But, if I HAD to choose, I’d probably say ‘The Fallout’ I think it impacts the audience more and more each time we play it. Especially when the whole band comes in.; It’s a song that hits home you know?
Need406: How did the band decide upon an April 21, 2015 release date for "Creatures of Habit”?
Alex: It was what the label chose, we’ve been pretty impatient trust me hahahaha.
Need406: Is there something that you can tell us about "Creatures of Habit" that you have not yet told anyone on planet Earth?
Alex: How’d you know we could talk to Aliens?! Haha, just kidding! I really hate saying what I think my own song is about because it’s not just for me, it’s for others to absorb, and take what they want from it; To connect to it, and to relate.
Need406: Does Lawless Hearts have any national tour plans lined up yet?
Alex: We are definitely hoping to tour in the next year once everything takes off.
Need406: When does the band plan on working on a full length studio album?
Alex: In the next few months we will be going in the studio, we’ve actually been doing preproduction sporadically.
Need406: What is your musical dream for Lawless Hearts?
Alex: To tour the world, to play where all the greats played, to have a lasting impact.
Need406: If Lawless hearts performed on Halloween night would you dress as a vampire or a zombie and why?
Alex: Definitely a Vampire, because of The Vampire Diaries.
Michael: A vampire, of course.
Need406: Is there anything else you would like to tell us about Lawless Hearts?
Alex: We’re here to take over the world. (Just Kidding) But seriously, we want to show the world, that even in darkness there is light.
Michael: Lawless Hearts is not just a band but a movement and everyone is welcome to take part in it.
Lawless Hearts Is:
Alex Marie - Lead Vocals/Guitar/Piano
Michael Thomas - Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
Justus Sutherland- Rhythm guitar
Rob Joseph - Bass guitar/Backing Vocals
Corey Ahlquist - Drums