Music Q&A: The Lottery Winners

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Upcoming Lancashire indie quartet the Lottery Winners are touring in celebration of signing a major record deal. They tell Big Issue North that they’re stuck with a band name they hate and butties they don’t like either, but they’re on a winning streak with their live shows.

Tell us a bit about your sound and your influences.
That’s a big question. There was never a conversation between us where we sat down and decided how to sound. I know it sounds very cliche, but our sound found us. The songs are like my diary, so the main influence is how rubbish I am at doing life. A friend of mine once described our music as “smile” music, and I really liked that. So, let’s go with that.

How have you evolved as a band over the years?
When I listen to our first recordings, it makes me want to rub my face off with a brick. We were crud. Now when I listen to us, it makes me feel all proud and nice inside. So I suppose that means we have got better. We work relentlessly on this little band. We have absolutely no social lives, and we rehearse every day for 19 hours. Repetition is the mother of all skill.

Were there any alternative band names before you arrived at this one?
Oh gosh, I wish! The band name is probably the worst decision I ever made. It’s awful! But band names are hard. What even makes a good band name? Once, in a band I was in before this one, our then bass player called my phone and enthusiastically declared that he had come up with the best band name ever – The Cure. Idiot.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
Right now, I’m writing this from the inside of a transit van, heading from Birmingham to Cardiff on our first ever UK headline tour. Amazingly, somehow, we’ve just signed a major record deal with Warner Records. We were signed by the legendary Seymour Stein, who discovered and signed Talking Heads, the Ramones and Madonna. Once we’ve done this little tour, we’ll be recording our debut album. We can’t wait.

How do you stand out from the crowd in a saturated industry?

We have absolutely no interest in being cool. We don’t want to be trendy. We want to keep it real, fam. I think my point is, we’re not even trying to stand out. So if we do, it’s a lovely accident.

What’s on your rider?
At the moment, barely anything! Usually, loads of butties that none of us like. We tend to give them away.

Tell us about your worst live show.
I’m not trying to sound mint, but all of our gigs tend to be pretty good! The only thing that springs to mind is once, at a nightclub in Lancaster, our set was half an hour before they even opened the doors. We just reached our big finale when confused punters strolled in. The only people that heard our set were the two bartenders, and even they were texting.

The Lottery Winners play – 2 Oct, Leeds Oporto – 3 Oct, York Fibbers – 4 Oct, Newcastle Cluny – 6 Oct, Manchester Academy 3.

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