With a new single (out today) to plug, expect to hear LestWeForget mention “Zero Won” a few times…
How did you meet?
Harry (lead guitarist) and JH (lead vocalist/bassist) met at school. Dec (drummer) had played in a few bands around Oxford and was heavily involved in the local scene before he joined the band in 2016 following our original drummer’s departure, and Paul (guitarist) joined us in December 2018 – we put up an advert online, he answered, and since then it’s felt like he’s always been in the band.
How long have you been playing as a band?
LestWeForget existed as a band from as far back as 2010, but we were kids back then and didn’t get much further than playing a few local shows – we started in earnest in 2016 when Dec joined, and from 2019 onwards we’ll be touring all over the place.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
It’s a phrase usually associated with Remembrance Day, and ultimately, as is the case with most band names, we chose it because it sounded good.
What are your influences?
It’s a cliche, but all four of us bring a huge diversity of influence when performing and writing. Recently, we’ve particularly enjoyed the work of big names in the progressive scene such as TesseracT, Between the Buried and Me, Dream Theater and Haken, but we’re still partial to a bit of Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet for My Valentine from time to time.
But when you consider things like the fact that JH has classical training as a choral singer, while Paul and Dec both attended music college, the influences that you can hear in the band’s sound become even more disparate. In short, we listen to anything from Puccini, to Radiohead, to Architects – and we’re always happy to try new things.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We’d say that the major thing that comes across in our sound is a dialogue between different parts. Whether it’s one of Harry’s soaring lead riffs, or Dec’s fierce drum lines, every individual part has its emphasis in the song’s structure, and our music often ebbs and flows between different instruments – basically, everyone has their chance to shine.
Another aspect of our style that we feel particularly strongly about is bridging the gap between progressive metal and more traditional styles. We’re more of a hybrid of the two rather than an out-and-out prog band, and we aim to incorporate as many facets of both as we can. Above all, though, we love a catchy, stadium-filling chorus that you can belt out at the top of your lungs.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
All of our songs tell a story.
“Zero Won”, the new single, comes as the first single from an EP (TBA) that’ll focus on the fictional narrative of the last two humans alive after man’s dependence on technology leads to their downfall. The unique element is that this lust for technological advancement devastated humanity’s ability to emotionally communicate with one another. So the story follows these two characters as they struggle to communicate and understand each other.
“Zero Won”, lyrically, is a scene-setter for this wider story.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
For 2019, we’ll have a brand new live show that focuses on making our sound as huge and venue-filling as possible. In practice, this means that we have orchestral elements in our set, and that we play a coherent show rather than a collection of songs.
We’ve always enjoyed watching incredibly tight bands play live – acts like TesseracT and Biffy Clyro that leave you standing there with your mouth open in complete and utter awe – and we want people to leave the show with that same feeling, turning to their mates and saying ‘wow, those guys could really play’.
Don’t get us wrong, we love a good mosh pit, but it’s just as satisfying to see someone really enjoying a particularly technical passage, or a tight cut before a faultless re-entry.
As far as numbers are concerned, we’ve been playing for a fair few years now, so we’d say we’ve performed upwards of a hundred gigs.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
We’ve seen a few gigs that had their moments. F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo joining Parkway Drive on stage in Brixton and Bollywood dancers performing with Steven Wilson at The Royal Albert Hall both spring to mind, but undoubtedly one of the most memorable live sets we’ve ever seen was Iron Maiden’s August gig at the O2 Arena – they put on a show like no-one else.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Dec has a Gretsch Catalina Maple six-piece kit, and uses Collision sticks and Meinl breakables.
Paul uses an Orange Dual Terror and 4×12 Cab, with a Vintage Rock Series V6M24VG Ventura Green and Epiphone Les Paul custom as his instruments.
Harry uses Bugera amplification, with a Strandberg Boden Original 8 and Jackson JS32-7Q Dinky as his gigging guitars.
JH uses Ampeg amplification, and plays an Ibanez sr500 bass.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
“Zero Won”. It’s basically all we can think about!
What are your plans for 2019?
We’ll have an EP out in Spring, and between now and then we’ll be gigging up and down the country to promote the single and the record.
We’d love to grab a few festival slots, and join a couple of large bands on tour later in the year, but ultimately, we’re just going to enjoy getting out there and playing to as many people as possible!
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
It would be a dream come true to support a band like Dream Theater, Architects, TesseracT or Haken, but shows like that are some way off yet!
We’re absolutely loving what Brutai are doing at the moment. They’re one of the most original and talented bands in the UK scene, and we’d love to play a show with them one day.
Another band that we’ve played with before and that we’re really enjoying at the moment is Eden in Progress. They released a single and video in November 2018, and we’ve been digging it ever since it came out.
From previous Band of the Day Ruben Hultman: What phase of the creation process do you find most difficult and how do you cope with that?
Often for us, the most difficult part of the creative process is coming up with the starting point for a song. It’s that feeling of staring at a blank page and not knowing how you should go about writing. But once that opening melody or chord sequence is down, the rest flows naturally.
The way we get over that is to listen to a load of different bands to look for inspiration. We’re a self-critical band that sometimes struggles to be satisfied with what we’ve written and we are constantly wrestling with the urge to improve different sections of songs, but there always comes a point where you say ‘that’s enough’ – listening to other bands and the ways in which they went about creating something unique usually helps in this process.
From another BotD, Hollowstar: If you could add one extra member to your band, from all of the musicians in the world (dead or alive), who would it be?
Jordan Rudess or Kevin Moore. As well as being incredible musicians, both are magnificent songwriters, and having keys in our live show would help immeasurably with our attempts to diversify our sound.
And from Oceans: Why?
Because life is boring and music is exciting.