Lion The Weak

by Tom Elliott

Tom Elliott catches up with Lion The Weak frontman Jack Shepherd to chat about big noises, blown up amps, and the PearShaped Exeter launch party.

Lion The Weak’s transition from being a solo bedroom project to one of Exeter’s most promising live bands happened pretty smoothly last year. Their infectious indie guitar riffs and addictive choruses could be heard all over Exeter. Shows in Camden and Cornwall saw the band venture out of the city and add to their fast-growing fanbase.

Tell us a bit about yourself, how did the band start out?
It all started in my bedroom a few years ago! I bought some cheap recording equipment and started to write songs in the style of artists I admired. After uploading a few to the internet and having a really positive response from some friends I was convinced it was time to get out and play live. I tried playing a few songs acoustically at shows but after a while I realised that the songs really belong to the band setting. A few drunken conversations with my friends and the band was formed.

Last year was pretty successful for you, winning Exeter’s Got Talent and playing some pretty sweet gigs in Camden and Newquay… what were the highlights?
One of the highlights was definitely Camden. We called every person we knew in London before the gig, trying to get as many people as possible and it turned out really well. The whole thing was a bit of an adventure, just getting out of Exeter and playing to the rest of the world. Probably our best gig in Ex was at the Enchanted Garden Ball where we played with the backdrop of a lake and to an awesome crowd.

How was Beach Break Live?
Beach Break was interesting. It wasn’t quite what we expected as the whole thing had been moved to Newquay, but it was still a good gig. The night before we went parading around the campsite with wristbands and CD’s telling people to come check us out the next day and, surprisingly, a load of people actually came to the gig and it went quite well, even though my amp blew up half way through the set.

What would you say are your biggest influences?
Probably bands like Foals and Wild Beasts but at the moment I’m really into Nile Rodgers. There’s not really any one major influence, we’re just a melting pot of ideas.

How have you found gigging in Exeter? Do you like the local scene?
Exeter has been really good for us so far, we’ve played loads of cool gigs around, it’s a shame Exeter doesn’t get the big names in. We go to see a lot of bands in Bristol, but hardly any in Exeter. Lot’s of the other bands doing the Exeter circuit are great but there don’t seem to be the big opportunities here that there are in the bigger cities where there are thriving indie scenes. Exeter’s more for acoustic guitar bands and we’re more into rocking out.

What can people expect from your slot at the PearShaped launch party?
Big noises and a new bassist.

What’s next for you guys?
We’re playing quite a few gigs in September including a slot at Ringmaster festival and have just put out an EP that is going to take over the world.