Allie Wilson, our Communications Chair for the Spotlight Sounds Committee, interviewed the guys from A Lion Named Roar before their awesome show onstage at TDU this past Wednesday. Here’s a little bit about the band featuring photography by Missa Goodier!
AW: How did you get the name A Lion Named Roar?
ALNR: Well, we wish we had a cool story for how we got our name. In the books of the Broadway show Wicked, there is a lion whose name is Roar, so that’s what we might have to start going with. But actually, we finished our first record and we were sitting in the basement thinking “Ok, we need a name for our band now” and we just started joking on what animals call each other. A lion just says, “roar”, so that’s what we went with. Not much thought was put into it, as you can tell, but we think it’s memorable and it’ll stick in people’s minds… so we kept the name.
AW: How did y’all all come together?
ALNR: The band as an entity has been together since 2009, but this lineup has only been together about 6 months. We’ve had a lot of turnover. Two of us have been writing music for about 8 years now and been in a couple of different bands together, but A Lion Named Roar has only been around for about 2 and a half -3 years. When one person leaves the band, we find new ones to replace them through friends-of-friends or just meeting them from living in Louisville Kentucky. It’s been fun!!
AW: Describe your first show.
ALNR: Our first show with this lineup was Spring Arbor, Michigan. We were opening for Relient K, which had about 3,000 people in attendance, so we were really excited about it! But at this point, we didn’t have a drummer. Only a few of us had known our current drummer now, Zach, and we gave him a week notice of the show! He practiced the songs by himself for a week, but it was funny because none of us really knew who he was, so we were all a little nervous about it. Before the show, though, we practiced for a few hours and ended up giving a great show.
But to answer your question, our first show went really well. It went much better than any of us could have imagined, even though Zach was playing by the seat of his pants. We really enjoyed playing together. Zach was a little sketched out the whole time because he wasn’t sure about any of us yet! He hid all his things to make sure we wouldn’t steal them. It’s funny to look back on it now, but it was a great first show with all of us.
AW: Where do you get your influences?
ALNR: Everywhere! We are pretty broad with the vastness of the artist we’re listening to. Collectively, there are a few artists that we typically gravitate toward. A few of us grew up listening to singer-songwriters, like James Taylor, and Jim Croce, and then branched into bands like Queen and the Eagles. Now, we listen to The Killers, The National, and still song singer-songwriters.
AW: Are you currently working on anything? If not, what are you listening to?
ALNR: Well, we just got done with a music video for our song “Noon”, which we are really excited about! We are going to go back into the studio soon; we want to expand our 6-song EP, Foreign Land, to a full length so we have a few songs that we are trying to record. So we’re doing a lot of college shows and making videos. But aside from our new stuff, we’re killing the new albums from The National, Rye, M83, Justin Timberlake, Brad Paisley; we’re basically all over the place.
AW: What Rocket Power or Hey Arnold character would you be?
ALNR: I think it’s hard to argue against not wanting to be Arnold. He was a pretty sweet kid with his football shaped head. I know there are a few people that I wouldn’t want to be-like Helga. Gerald, the kid with the screwdriver head, was pretty cool. Or Skeeter, but that was from Doug, so I guess that doesn’t answer the question.