In Conversation with…THE LOTTERY WINNERS

The Lottery Winners are a four-piece indie pop band from sunny Salford/Manchester. They have been really busy recently, not only did they perform at Hard Rock Calling in London with Bruce Springsteen and many others, but three of The Lottery Winners now host and produce a radio show on Salford City Radio called Peephole. When they are not on the airwaves or gigging, they are in the recording studio, slaving away on producing new material, which will soon be released. 

While this is a very busy period for The Lottery Winners, I was lucky enough to get this one-on-one chat with the band’s frontman, Thomas Rylance. Read on to see what he said.

Hi Thom. Firstly, I’d like to say thanks for this interview. Can you introduce yourself and what role you play in the band?

Well, we’re all going to type our own names for you, hold on…

Thomas Rylance – vocals and guitar. 
Katie Lloyd – bass and vocals. 
Robert Lally – guitar and vocals. 
jow sngilyotin – drmsu

(Joe Singleton, drums, sorry he’s not the brightest).

Describe The Lottery Winners in three words.

Smiley pop music. (But not the rubbish kind, the good kind).

How long did it take you to settle on your band name?

Evidently not long enough. It’s a terrible name, a horrible decision. We get a constant influx of people asking, ‘And have you? How much did you win?

I wish we had a better name. Something cool, like ‘Frozen Distortion’. We’d be a cool band then.

But maybe being uncool makes you cool, these days?

In the lead up to the release of your next single, Learn To Sleep, out 12th August. You are playing a headline gig at Manchester Academy 3 on 10th August. Why should we come? Convince us.

Well, tickets are going fast for that one. Like, proper fast. I’ve heard it’s going to be the gig on the century.

We might also have a very special guest on stage for a song or two. Someone HUGE in the Manchester music scene, so if our pretty little faces weren’t enough for you to part with eight quid, perhaps that will twist your arm?

You recently shot the music video for Learn To Sleep also, with little versions of yourselves. How was that experience for you, seeing little children dressed up as you? Do you enjoy filming music videos?

It was surreal. It wasn’t only children, we also had old people, or should I say ‘mature’ people dressed as us. It was like some kind of strange time warp. Have you ever had to direct a 70 year old and an 8 year old on how to be you? Weird.

I wake up on the morning on music video shooting days like it’s Christmas. We all do (apart from Joe, who is usually hung-over). It’s a lovely feeling that everybody is there because you made it happen, because you wrote a little song and had a little idea. It amazes me, and watching it for the first time is like watching your child take her first steps.

Seeing ‘Elizabeth’, our first single, on the actual telly was probably the proudest moment of our careers and probably our lives so far.

Roughly, how long does it take you to write a song and where does the inspiration come from?

It very much depends on the song, as I’m sure lots of songwriters will tell you. Sometimes a song almost writes it’s self, and takes exactly how long it is to write. Sometimes songs take days, weeks, months to perfect.

I tend to find that the sporadic ones are the best ones. And the ones that take a little longer, though they may be more complex, are the ‘album tracks’. 

Which leads us onto your next question nicely, doesn’t it?

Can we be expecting a début album from The Lottery Winners, any time soon?

Yes, of course. The material is all ready. We’re just waiting for the right time.

You are very active on social media, Twitter and Facebook in particularly. How important is to for you to connect with your fans that way?

Thank you! We like talking about ourselves, so it all kind of ties in nicely.

But seriously, I think that’s one of the fabulous things about the modern music industry, bands and artists are accessible, where as in the past you would have to join fan clubs, and receive post cards and stuff. A tweet is easier than that, isn’t it?

Perhaps though, on the flip-side, with that came the death of the traditional ‘rock star’. The inhuman, untouchable, immortal, god-like creatures that we knew in the past, your Bowies, your Cobains and such, never tweeted what they had for their breakfast. We’ve not had a proper rock star for a long time, have we?

You recently played Hard Rock Calling in London, with the one and only Bruce Springsteen. How was that for you?

Sun burn-y. I spent the next day shivering in bed with sun stroke.

But the actual gig was properly mint. It was just amazing to be a part of an event of such magnitude, with such respected bands and artists. We’re big fans of The Boss, so it was generally a mesmerizing experience.

What is your favourite stand out moment of your career to date?

Christ, there’s been a few, actually. I think every time something happens it’s a stand out moment. It feels like we’re climbing up the (I hate this analogy) ladder, definitely.

Getting on telly, playing on big stages and being played on the radio are really nice, but there’s still no better feeling than somebody singing your own songs back at you.

If you were to sing Karaoke, what would be your song of choice?

Erasure – A Little Respect. I can’t hit the high notes.

Who are your musical influences?

Big question that, one that I don’t really know how to answer. The simple answer I suppose, is most eighties guitar pop bands.

Speaking of musical influences. If you could create your dream line-up for a gig. Who would you choose to be on the bill?

The Smiths.

Joy Division.

The Lottery Winners.


A special thanks to Thomas Rylance from The Lottery Winners for this interview and for more info on the band, check out the following links below.

Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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