The Lathums: ‘Brandon Flowers made my nipples stiff!’
As The Lathums release their second album From Nothing to a Little Bit More, the Wigan group have opened up on the record’s genesis.
A mere 18 months after releasing their debut, the group have returned with a record which, while full of the debut’s jaunty Housemartins-esque charm, sees them explore new sonic avenues.
This means striking guitar-pop made for bigger rooms (‘Say My Name’), as well as familiar touches of doo-wop and Northern Soul (‘I Know Pt 1’) and even an all-out Harry Nilsson-esque piano ballad (‘Turmoil’).
Speaking to Rolling Stone UK, The Lathums frontman Alex Moore explained how the sound came from a desire for the group to avoid being pigeonholed.
“This album is a sign that we’re not going anywhere,” said Moore.
“We’re gonna be here for a very long time and we want to keep showing that progression, now we’re getting older. We’re getting more experienced on our instruments and more people can see the process that we’re learning more and just being better creators.”
That maturity comes across in some of the record’s deeper moments. On ‘Struggle’, Moore recounts memories of an unhappy experience in his childhood. While reluctant to discuss the specifics, he admits that honesty in songwriting is a big thing for him.
“That’s why I began writing songs. For myself, really, to try to figure out what I was going through. And at the time I wasn’t a happy person. I just wasn’t. So that was just me creating something that everyone can connect with. Because when all this is gone, the band, and when we’re old and all of this doesn’t matter, you’re only really left with your humanity, really.”
This blend of honesty has already brought the band some friends in high places. The group supported The Killers throughout Europe last year and garnered a famous fan in Brandon Flowers. He invited them on stage to duet on album one title track ‘How Beautiful Life Can Be’, before singing their praises on US radio.
“That was a real pinch-me moment,” admitted drummer Ryan Durrans.
“He’s a great example to us too,” added Moore. “He’s very sure of himself, not in an arrogant way, but he understands his job and he does it very, very well. [It’s] professional for somebody like that to kind of take long, I suppose. He said we had good choruses too. That made my nipples go stiff!”
And while The Lathums might not be at the heights of The Killers just yet, a huge show of their own at Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl awaits them this summer.
“When we’re putting on something like that, we discuss how to make this better than any other show that our fans have ever been to. How can we take it up a notch and make the stage look better? We’re getting bigger and so are the shows. We need to do it justice.”
It’s the next big step in their journey from, to quote the band themselves, From Nothing to a Little Bit More.