The release of Johnny Lloyd’s debut EP ‘Dreamland’ has sent an uproar of excitement through the interweb. After months of teasing singles in its lead up, the EP provides four fully realised tracks, each boasting a patchwork of influences that exhibit a confident and inspiring young artist.
On the weekend of its release, we decided it was about time to grab a few minutes with the man himself. We chatted at length about new beginnings, his live band and headline tours.
I was listening back to the second Tribes album the other day and it caught my ear. To me, the sound of that record feels like it led to where we find you today with your solo material, like a natural transition. The rockier elements are still prevalent but there is a softer touch to the songwriting, in some ways it’s more solemn and vulnerable, basically it’s human. Would you agree?
“Yeah I think I would. Although, I do think the second Tribes record is a different sound altogether. It almost feels self contained to me as most of the writing was done in California and very much had that sound. With my solo stuff now, I’m just trying to make music I enjoy, that’s my only rule.”
What fed into your decision to go solo? Did it just feel like it was the right time?
“It felt over to me and whether I was right or wrong it felt like time to do something else.”
2016 so far has seen you and the band playing some huge shows with The Maccabees, Band of Skulls and Mystery Jets to name a few. They are good supports to get early on, and fit well with what your doing, did you find you picked up a few fans from those shows?
“Yeah it has been an amazing year on the road, I love touring and I think more than ever to exist in music you have to be on tour almost all of the time.”
From watching your live set, you and the band seem very comfortable together as a unit, how did go about recruiting the musicians that make up your touring band?
“It’s a very harmonious unit made up of friends really. It’s been very easy on the road. I think sonically they all bring their own things to the songs which is great.”
Your live shows have become quite celebrated, the music seems to connect on a deeper level and I think at the end of the night, we all leave feeling alive. How does it feel from your side?
“It’s hard to answer. I get off on it, if the crowd do…I think musically, I’ve always written with an element of nostalgia which connects with people, if they want it to. My favourite shows are the ones where I feel like myself and the band have done something new.”
You brought in Hugo White from The Maccabees on production duties of your debut EP, with a little assistance from Jamie T also. Because they are musicians themselves, do you feel that it strengthened what they brought to the project?
“Yeah it has. Jamie and Hugo have very different producing styles but both got the best out of the songs. It was amazing working with them. Both had come off number one albums and it was a confidence boost in terms of my solo stuff. Both being musicians it was a lot about performance and trying stuff out. It was an amazing recording experience, probably my favourite in my career.”
Can you tell us more about the EP. Is there a deeper meaning that connects all the tracks?
“The EP for me is very much about moving on and reflecting on what has been. It’s a realisation I think of where I’m at in life.”
What have been your main lyrical inspirations when writing the new songs?
“It’s hard to say, I think we take in so much in our daily lives these days it’s hard to pinpoint what’s really having an influence over you. I look for an emotion when I’m writing and the lyric just reflects that.”
You’ve said yourself there has been many stops and starts, ups and downs to get where you are today. You’ve never wavered, and the support and love from your fans hasn’t either. How important has it been for you to receive that outpouring of support from the fans since you dropped your initial demo’s EP?
“It has been amazing and it’s always a shock how many people come to the shows or are into the music. It has been tough at times [over] the last few years and I’m so happy the EP is finally out and people are digging it!”
It’s an obvious question but when is the headline tour happening?
“Goes on sale Monday.”
Johnny Lloyd’s debut EP ‘Dreamland’ is available now via Xtra Mile Recordings. Purchase on iTunes here.