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Interview with John Bowker from Born Lion

Posted on the 23 May 2019 by Tomatrax @TomatraxAU
Interview with John Bowker from Born Lion

Born Lion dont mind covering certain subjects that others wouldn't touch with the proverbial barge pole! Always looking for an edge, Born Lion's frontman, John Bowker was curious about how you could turn a suicide note into a song and make it upbeat. New single, 'Sunshine' is the result of his experiment.

Tomatrax caught up with John to talk about the band's latest release.

How did the band form?

The guitarist, Red and I have been playing together for good stretch now. We formed in our home town of Wollongong. Red has since moved to Sydney and now the band has members from both Sydney and the Illawarra. We meet up half way to write and rehearse.

Where did the name Born Lion come from?

It was something I came up with. I just thought it sounded cool... I guess the message behind it is that we are born with a potential to do great things but that it can be impacted by the world as we move forward through life. I dunno something like that..

You've already received a fair amount of acclaim, has this made you feel any pressure going forward?

Um.. I mean to a degree.. we have achieved some great things and more than I think we'd ever anticipated. I think our approach to writing music remains the same though. If it makes us feel good and we're having fun with it then that's all that really matters. Our sound has changed and evolved over the years and that's because we are changing as individuals.

Your latest single deals with suicide, what inspired you to take on this issue?

Mainly because I thought it was an interesting concept for a song. I had the music written and it kind of lent itself to a confessional/introspective type of vibe. I then thought I could write the lyrics to read a s a suicide note. It hopefully takes the listener on a bit of a journey. I think the twist is that the person writing the letter is being quite casual and flippant in the letter.. it's not all doom and gloom. I question life and death a lot. The suicide deaths of people like Chris Cornell fascinates me... as much as it saddens me.

Where did the single's cover photo come from?

Cool hey? It's just a stock image I found.. I do all the art for the band and this pic made life a whoile lot easier. I also thought it fit the song title perfectly.

Interview with John Bowker from Born Lion
Are there any plans for another full length album?

Nah.. we are thinking and EP early next year if we can get our act together!

You'll be playing a series of gigs at the Hideaway Bar in July, what can fans expect from your show?

Heaps of NRG, heaps of sweat, sing alongs and lots of super hot rock moves.

What was it like to play support act for the Hives?

Pretty incredible.. we had a about two days notice and had to get to Melbourne to do the show. Pretty much a dream come true as they are collectively one of our most beloved bands. We got to meet the guys after the show.. they were super nice and hilarious!

When writing what comes first, the words or the music?

Pretty much always the music.. I'll tinker and muck around until I hit something cool and then go from there, The tone of the music generally informs the lyrical content.

Do you ever listen to your own music?

Definitely when we've just finished something.. recording your own music is the best thing ever! You see it progress from phone demo to better demo to with band demo and then the finished deal. After while though you move on and it's on to the next thing. It's cool though chucking on an old track years on... you sometimes say to yourself 'That's actually really bloody good!' or 'Wow that sucked...'

What other music do you listen to?

I love The Cure, Wolf Alice, You Am I, The Clash... that's what I've been getting into lately.

What do you have planned after the Hideaway Bar Residency?

Most likely a bunch of writing at this stage. Possible a gig here or there but mainly we want to knuckle down.

Check out Born Lion's website to find out more!

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