We Be Lions are an experimental indie band formed by a collaboration of musicians with different musical tastes and backgrounds. Although they’re working hard to complete their latest EP they kindly agreed to complete a feature interview for Song Revelation. Read the interview below to discover how they would describe their signature sound, what they’re hoping to achieve for the rest of 2011 and what its like living and performing in Omaha, Nebraska.
Q: If you could classify your music in a genre or a number of genres what would it be?
We are a mixture of hip-hop, classic rock, funk, and blues, all mixed together. It’s really a combination of all favorite types of music.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
We try to make our music and our live show intense, high energy, and honest. We try to make it something you’re going to remember. In other words it’s off the chain and down the street biting your neighbor!
Q: What is your musical background?
The majority of the group played in another band called Slang 5 for a few years that released two independent records produced by Jim Woodling and Soulman of the Phunk Junkeez with success regionally in the Midwest. Slang 5 toured with Rap Rock pioneers the Phunk Junkeez on two national tours. Slang 5 released an album on Japanese Rapcore label RB records followed by a tour in Japan. Two of the members are also members of an underground hip-hop group by the name of Eye Heart Bullets that has seen some success in Europe.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
Well being a brand new band we spent the better part of the year in the studio writing and recording our first album, which we released on May 27th of this year. After recording we took a few months perfecting those songs for our live show and figuring out how to incorporate a lot of the digital sounds and effects we used on the album into our live show. As soon as we released music it got a great response and started a buzz that led to a sold out crowd at our first show and several shows afterwards!
Q: Who inspires you musically?
Well being from the same hometown as 311, its fair to say that they are pretty big influence. We are big fans of hip-hop and artists like Kanye West and Atmosphere and also the Gorillaz. Personally I’m an absolute freak about Sublime. After touring with the Phunk Junkeez as apart of Slang 5 we learned a lot about how to entertain a live crowd. I still feel to this day that as far as live shows are concerned there are not a lot of bands out there that could match the intensity and energy of their live show. If its ten people or ten thousand they perform the exact same. We loved touring with those guys!
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
We really respect people like Tech 9 and Atmosphere because they are always touring and putting out new music on their own. They have literally built their careers on hard work and it has paid off. We like to believe that if the music is there and you work for it you are bound to be successful someday. Being from Omaha, Nebraska which is like a mecca for independent musicians we have adopted that attitude and love to see people make it! Although we would love a record deal, and believe it will happen we have to work hard on our own to make sure that everything we do makes an impact and is heard by as many people as possible.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
We are huge fans of Danger Mouse. It would be amazing to work with someone with that much creativity! Growing up we always dreamed of going on tour with Sublime, and now that they’re touring again…ha ha
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
Everything from Gorillaz “Plastic Beach”, the Broken Bells, the new Sublime with Rome, the new 311. Always Al Green the album “I’m still in love with you”
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
Previously we’ve always brought ideas to the practice space and wrote all together at once. With We Be Lions we decided to try something new and write songs from scratch in the studio, and we feel it was very beneficial to be able to write that way. Building a song in layers allows for a lot more freedom when it comes to changing things and allows for spontaneous ideas to instantly manifest. We feel it resulted in a very focused project that we are all very proud of.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
We think both. There are some artists like Al Green where it wasn’t so much in the words as it was the soul that came through in the melody and the way he sings it. Then there are people like bob Dylan where the lyrics are in the front seat. Hip Hop being a main part of what we do lyrics are huge! But for me when we write lyrics we try to be as honest as possible and we want the melody to reflect that feeling just as strong.
Q: Where are you based?
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
A lot of people assume that we are all about football and farming. Even though we are huge Husker fans, Omaha actually has an awesome music scene as well as a number of artists and filmmakers. We like living here because virtually every night of the week you can find an awesome show to see. We love being from Nebraska in general. We think it throws people off when you tell them where you’re from and then rock their faces off. Its totally unexpected Ha ha.
Q: What are you currently working on?
We are currently working on shooting another music video and are writing a series of songs we plan to release for free on our website. We plan to call the collection of songs “Stray Cats”. If all goes according to plan we want to work with an artist who will paint of draw a work of art inspired by each song.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
We are about to take part in a festival in our hometown headlined by 311, Sublime, Kid Rock, Journey and George Clinton called Red Sky. It’s going to be amazing to be a part of something like that. Other than that, I’d say that we have never been as proud of something as we are of the album that we just released.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
We hope to release an EP by years end and keep building this buzz!
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
The Red Sky Festival we talked about earlier we played on July 23rd was a big deal for us.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Drink beer and watch Hoarders on A&E! haaaaaaa.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
We love you! Please check us out!
Editor’s Note: At Song Revelation we’re looking forward to We Be Lions next EP and further enjoyable experimental indie rock.
If you’d like to check out more music or contact We Be Lions, just follow the links below:
twitter link: http://www.twitter.com/webelions
facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/webelions
myspace link: http://www.myspace.com/webelions
web page link: http://www.webelions.com
reverbnation link: http://www.reverbnation.com/webelions
Youtube embeds: http://www.youtube.com/webelions
SonicBids EPK: http://www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.aspx?epk_id=311831