Interview: Andy Dowling from LORD

I love a good band back story and there is none more intriguing in Australia than LORD. Born from metal masters Dungeon, the band LORD came into existence as a Lord Tim Grose solo project. From there it grew to a touring band that has covered Europe, Japan, and will hit the US in 2016. Apart from consistently gigging and selling well in Australia, LORD is the go-to band for touring acts, having supported Saxon, Queensrÿche and Iced Earth. I’m talking to Andy Dowling the bass player from LORD.

Great to meet you Andy, thanks for taking the time. What has been happening recently?

“Well we just completed another EP called ‘What Tomorrow Brings” and have been busy working through a few options for the band. Just working out where we go from here and where we go next.”

And that lead to the impromptu tour?

“That’s right. We were literally organising a gig in Melbourne and thought why not? We might as well tour Australia which is what we are doing now and having a great time doing it. Its tonight in Adelaide and then onto Perth.”

The history of LORD is fascinating. Did it all start in 2005 when Dungeon finished?

“Yes, the last Dungeon gig was in late 2005 and Tim started LORD. I left a band called Sedition where we had been through some really rough times. Joining LORD was great for me and a real change. We have supported a lot of international bands as well as touring Japan and Europe. But, LORD is an awesome band to be in, a lot of fun.”

And probably the best videos of any band!

“Yes! Tim does all of those. He has a video and recording studio and we do a lot of videos. It’s the best way to share our music.”

So how was it touring with Saxon? Fond memories?

“Absolutely, they were so open and friendly. Happy to have a chat and talk about music and what they have done. They were one of my favourite bands growing up and it was amazing to get to spend time with them and support them on the tour. Just a great bunch of guys.”

I stopped listening to Saxon after ‘Crusader’, but the albums before that were amazing. Who else influenced you in the early days?

“Gave up after Crusader! Listened to Saxon and Maiden who were right up there, as well as Queensryche and DIO. Also like a bit of AOR which has been a huge influence on me, like Foreigner and Whitesnake. Definitely AOR has been a huge influence.”

Talking about big names, I see that you supported Helloween recently. I saw them in Adelaide. Great band live!

“Yep! They were a lot of fun and good to watch them play. Marcus (Grosskopf) was talking about it not really being a tour because they have only done Australia, Asia, Iceland and so on. Sounds like a tour to me! But they were totally laid back and nothing really bothered them.”

I heard a rumour that LORD are on the bill for ProgPower in the US. How did you pull that one off?

“Yeah, I had been told that between sets they were playing Dungeon tunes and I thought it was an opportunity. So I jumped on a plane and went and had a chat with the organisers, introduced myself, really didn’t want to push too hard and the band got onto the bill. Really looking forward to it in 2016. We haven’t been to the US as a band yet.”

So it’s a prog rock (or a prog metal) festival, and they have LORD on the bill after Saxon last time. Is it because you play more melodic metal?

“Saxon were on the bill this year and I think that done us some favours. Definitely that we are melodic metal and that’s what appeals but it’s still a prog rock festival. But the festival is growing and starting to attract a lot of attention.”

I heard that Spock’s Beard were announced, and the festival had sold out in about 9 hours?

“Yep Spock’s Beard are there representing the out there prog rock. Day 3 and 4 have been released and they sold out really quickly. We are on the first day and the bands have still to be announced for days 1 and 2. But we will probably see Blind Guardian, Fates Warning and Vanishing Point. So the tickets for the first two days haven’t been released yet.”

I’ll have to get DGM to get me a gig pass! Sounds like plan… spending 4 days in Atlanta!

“Yes, looking forward to it!”

So, you are known for the covers you pull out during shows. Are we going to see any ‘Wasted Years’, or something else tonight? Not the Kylie cover, I hope.

“Nah, unfortunately not. Pretty straight set tonight but a lot of fun doing the Kylie cover and video. Thought the gold shorts were a nice touch!”

Best of luck for the gig tonight, and best of luck at ProgPower. Hope to see you there!!

That night LORD shared the stage with SE BON KI RA, Headbore, and Shadow Realm at the Enigma Adelaide. Unfortunately, no ‘Wasted Years’ was played at this gig.

Interviewer: Craig Grant

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