Interview: 50 Lions

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 01.08.13 | Issue # 349



“It’s got to a point where there’s not much more that we want to do,” 50 Lions vocalist Oscar McCall reveals. Daniel Cribb finds out why their third record has been sitting on the sidelines for three years.

With the Australian Warped Tour making its revival this year, 50 Lions frontman Oscar McCall recently spent some time comparing it the US event. “I was looking at it and I just remember back in the day that’s what everyone kind of aspired to do, and these days it just seems like a bunch of bands that no one really cares about anymore that still want to tour. It’s not even pop punk or hardcore; it’s just a bunch of b-grade metal bands,” McCall says of the US Warped. His verdict on the Australian lineup is more giving, citing Hatebreed and Parkway Drive as clear winners. Those who know anything about Parkway might notice their frontman shares the same last name as the 50 Lions vocalist – they’re brothers. And McCall is quick to point out that there’s a certain assumption that tends to arise after the initial connection is made.

“I think a lot of people have this misconception that we piggybacked off them and they were the reason we toured and this and that, whereas we kind of took a different path from day one and they gave us a few opportunities which was great, but we kind of did our own thing 99% of the time,” he says. “Over the years we’ve only done four tours with them in total. So bandwise we don’t have that much interaction.”

One of those four tours was in 2010, which was 50 Lions’ busiest year. In-between touring Australia numerous times, they ventured to Europe twice, Japan and New Zealand. But then the touring cycle for 2009’s Where Life Expires came to an end and we haven’t seen much of the band since. It was time to write another album, but living in separate states and not having a permanent drummer made things difficult.

“We’ve all got other stuff going on so [50 Lions] took a bit of a backseat and now we kind of casually do shows when they pop up. If the opportunity is there for us to go to Perth, or go to Asia, this or that, we’re just going to take the opportunity and hangout, catch up and play a show. It is what it is.

“We all kind of work full-time, and you’ve got to kind of make that sacrifice, and I think we made that a few years ago and did a solid year and a half of touring. I think now it’s got to a point where there’s not much more that we want to do. I mean, I don’t really like taking my annual leave to go and sit in the van for 30 days in Europe and have shit weather and not see much – I’d rather have a proper holiday, and I think the other guys feel the same way. We do weekends and kind of short runs here and there, but there’s no real kind of bigger picture.”

Their last release came in the form of a 7” titled Pray For Nothing – material that was plucked from their third, unrecorded record. “We had an album written early 2011. It was just a bunch of files that we sent back and forth and added bits and pieces to, and we didn’t actually plan on recording any songs, but our drummer was like, ‘We’ve got these songs, we should do a 7” or something’, and we kind of had a bit of a practice and recorded them, and they were the more solid songs of those 10 or 12 songs that we wrote in early in 2011. There were a few songs that we recorded and didn’t release because we didn’t think that they were ready. We haven’t really been working on stuff, but that’s not to say that six months down the track we won’t be back in the writing process, you never know.”

WHO: 50 Lions

WHAT: Pray For Nothing (Resist/Six Feet Under)

WHEN & WHERE: Friday 16 August, Prince Of Wales, Bunbury; Saturday 17, Amplifier; Sunday 18, YMCA HQ