It’s the five-piece’s first new full-length track in over 20 years, a thrasher of a song with turbulent vocals and an insistent chorus that will leave you with echoes of ‘Cob’ long after the song has ended.
We got the chance to chat with vocalist Pete Lee about the new song and what’s on the horizon for the band – apart from their anticipated appearance at Download, of course.
Check out the interview below and grab your free copy of ‘I Am Cob’ here.
‘I AM COB’ IS YOUR FIRST NEW FULL-LENGTH SONG IN 22 YEARS. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO FINALLY BE RELEASING NEW MATERIAL?
It feels great actually. We love the song, and it is more song structured than we have previously done. It’s heavy as fuck, and the way you can record [music] these days is much more fun. This was bedroom days revisited, which is how we started as a band – a perfect circle.
The fact that we could also get some mates involved was even better. Chris Billam (Consumed) has been around Lawnmower for as long as I can remember and Martin Curtis-Powell (Cradle of Filth, My Dying Bride, Anathema) is a good mate. The track was crying out for keyboards and I love what it became with the experimentation.
EVEN WITH EXPERIMENTATION, IT’S STILL IN THE SPIRIT OF LAWNMOWER, RIGHT?
It’s still heavy punk, but with a whole new twist of craziness. I don’t think it’s lost any anarchy, but it found some tune. It’s like we grew up and everything. The fact that we can release this through Download Festival is really exciting. Not only can the Lawnmower faithful get easy access to the song, but a whole new breed can suffer it too.
YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN MAKING MUSIC FOR A LONG TIME. WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHANGES YOU’VE WITNESSED AS A BAND?
We’ve coexisted for 30 years. In the late 80s/early 90s we were at the forefront of the British thrash movement, along with Sabbat, Xentrix, Acid Reign and so on. We were also the last to leave! These days for us, no scene, no label, no management, no bollocks and it feels fantastic. We are still the same band we were in 1987. How many bands can you name that after 30 years still have the same line up?
HOW HAS THE MUSIC SCENE ITSELF CHANGED?
Obviously the biggest change is social media. We had social media back then – he was called the postman. We used to write to everyone. We used to sit and sift through sacks of, at times, very disturbing mail. Now it’s so immediate – you can talk to anyone, anywhere, at any point, and it’s a great thing. You have much more interaction with strange people. Also the whole festival scene has developed beyond recognition. There was one show, one stage and five bands. Now there are dozens of festivals, millions of stages, and so much more opportunity for beer, fresh air and chaos.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW BAND?
I’m not sure we’re the sanest people to ask advice of. But I would say – don’t believe your hype, don’t listen to anyone other than yourselves, enjoy it, don’t get hung up on the traditional, and be nice to every stage hand, stage manager and security guy you meet. They do a much better job if they don’t hate you. Smiling and manners cost nothing!
WHO ARE YOUR MUSIC IDOLS?
This is always a great question which is impossible to answer. Music idols are personal and you are talking about a whole band here. For me Mick ‘Whirlwind’ Harris [of Napalm Death], Ritchie Blackmore, Jim Morrison, Freddie Mercury, Frank Sidebottom, Malcolm Young, Tom Araya, [Dave] Grohl, Tom G Warrior, Cronos, Henry Rollins, Ian Mackaye, Scott Ian, Lemmy, and Frank Zappa were all influential. I look to people who can hold a crowd, or change my perception, or just rock my world.
But if you’re wanting to know what makes Lawnmower tick, it’s Motörhead, Motörhead, Motörhead. It’s the one band we are unified on, and we still haven’t come to terms with the hole that is missing.
YOU CALLED DOWNLOAD THE ‘GREATEST FESTIVAL IN THE WORLD.’ HUGE COMPLIMENT! WHAT MAKES DOWNLOAD SO GREAT, IN YOUR OPINION?
We are an event band. We play events rather than tour. We’ve been honoured to have been asked to play many of the UK’s best festivals. We love Bloodstock, we’ve had terrific fun at Damnation, Hard Rock Hell and Hammerfest. But Download… It’s castle Donington! It’s where we started. We were in the crowd, I think, from ‘85/’86 onwards. We lived in Nottingham; we sat and watched every band and it’s what we wanted to do. It galvanised us.
Monsters of Rock was just that – these people were Gods to us. When [Download Promoter] Andy [Copping] asked us to play Download after we’d reformed, we laughed, didn’t believe him and went home. He was good to his word. This year we’re back for a fifth appearance. We love, love, love it. It feels like home.
FIVE TIMES AT DONINGTON IS A BIG ACCOMPLISHMENT. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MEMORY FROM A PAST DOWNLOAD?
It changes every year. I love every visit, even when I’m not playing. I loved last year being in the crowd with my kids for Muse. Watching AC/DC drunk with the Lawnmower boys three or four years ago was great times as friends, but the lingering memory will be watching our guitarist surf race a man dressed as a penguin. He won, but frankly watching 10,000 of the most confused faces of all time was a joy to behold. Confusing people is what we do best.
WE’VE GOT MASSIVELY TALENTED NAMES PLAYING THIS YEAR. WHO ARE YOU MOST EXCITED TO SEE AT DOWNLOAD?
I’m pretty awe-inspired to be playing the same day as Sabbath. To be playing with them on their exit dates is pretty unbelievable. For me personally, it’s Pennywise. I’m going to have to get sprinting shoes on as I want to see Sabs, NOFX and Pennywise. In my head it’s Sabbath, but my heart wants Pennywise. Fuck authority! Unfortunately I’m not there on Sunday, but I would have liked to see Ghost, Napalm Death and Gojira, too.
Read more at http://downloadfestival.co.uk/news/exclusive-lawnmower-deth-interview-free-i-am-cob-download