The Lottery Winners

Arriving to meet Thom Rylance from The Lottery Winners, I carried donuts from Hideout Coffee in my arms because I wanted the band to know we have great independent food here in Portsmouth, only to realise that they absolutely love this city as much as I do and know all the cool hangouts already! This is mainly due to Tristan Ivemy their manager coming from the island city and always vouching for this cultural place.

I just missed out on seeing the band before Christmas due to train strikes and illness, it just wasn't meant to happen. When I knew the band were supporting Frank Turner at the Guildhall, I thought it was a great opportunity to chat with the lead singer and songwriter Thom about his upcoming album with the band, his journey and what he likes to eat when stepping off tour!

The Lottery Winners are a 4 piece indie pop band from Leigh, Greater Manchester. Made up of Thom Rylance, frontman, Rob Lally as guitarist, drummer Joe Singleton and bassist Kate Lloyd they have become as famous for their constant touring, and their collaborations with musical artists in the industry as they have for the vibe and energy they produce on stage! They have a new album coming out in April called 'Anxiety Replacement Therapy' and has already caused a storm with the release of two songs, Worry and Money (featuring Shaun Ryder). This well-anticipated album is set to race to the top of the charts just like the last album in 2021 reaching number 11, but with the fan base they now have they are hoping for an even higher position. Excited to promote the release of the album, they head out on a UK tour in the Spring and have already sold a huge amount of tickets but you can still purchase for Southampton, Brighton and London here if you are quick.

Hi Thom, thanks for taking the time ahead of your performance supporting Frank Turner.

How do you come up with the visual ideas you have for the album covers and campaigns around promoting the band? I love the new album cover and how distinctive it looks. 

No one specifically comes up with an artistic campaign or idea, it is all the band that bounces ideas off each other as to what will work. We do collaborate with our long-term friend sometimes and he is very creative and helps us to create what we do. I have ADHD and so my attention to detail just makes me want to get the image and the style just right but in a positive way, so there is no it's my way or the high way although I do spend a lot of time focusing on achieving the best outcome. We have loved coming up with Anxiety Replacement Therapy as the title and how it has an acronym of ART which we thought was a genius idea and have loved that we can use it.

Talk to me about the new album cover for ART or Anxiety Replacement Therapy. What was your thought process on that? 

I went to a wedding recently, there was a photo booth with the daisy sunglasses there as a prop and I thought they looked really cool. You could only get them in multi-packs so I now have pineapple ones at home that I don't need lol. I knew exactly what I wanted the album cover to look like and it was fun pulling it all together.

Now that physical versions of albums like LPs and cassettes are having a resurgence due to how much they add to record sales, do you feel it is important for people to really engage with going out and buying a record like back in the old days? 

It is important to me when I think of an album as a whole to make sure that everything flows, from the artistic point of view to how it feels and sounds. These days, music is so disposable and it is great because there is so much new music out there but an album used to be something precious that you bought and loved. I still listen to music in the old way and I hope other people do too. I put a record on my record player and I listen to the whole album, track by track. I think the fact people are going out and buying physical copies of albums again brings the way a record was designed to be presented really cool. An album is a long-form piece of art and needs to be appreciated.

Do you think your signatory style in music stems from the fabulous collaborations you do with different artists? 

Yes, I guess so. I was confused as it was such a big thing in Pop and in Hip Hop to have featured artists on records and never saw it break into the indie world and I couldn't understand why. It is such a good way of working with someone that you admire and then getting in a room with these talented artists, I think is an exciting thing to do. We came up with this big idea to ask a few of our heroes and never thought that a collaboration would happen but thankfully each artist we asked said yes! I am really proud of the songs we produced and hope the fans appreciate the collaborations on this album!

What do you want to get out of going on tour? 

I love going on tour and we tour relentlessly. I love going out on stage and knowing what we do is worth it. When we look out at the crowd and see people smiling and enjoying themselves it makes all the hard work worthwhile.

We want to achieve as much as we can in the music industry but if we suddenly stopped doing what we do right now then I can say I am proud of our achievements. We have toured around America, met some incredible people, and played Glastonbury so there are some real-life achievements ticked off there that I can tell my grandkids about. I am so grateful and I don't take a second of it for granted.

When you have been on tour and you get home what is your favourite meal you like to enjoy? 

Spag Bol always! I had that today actually as our band manager Tristan's dad made us all a meal which was lovely!

How do you feel about the fact that northern bands have been doing so well recently? Do you think there is a wave of indie bands creating a storm in the industry? 

Yes, I think it is amazing. People relate to what speaks to them and says something about their life and I think a lot of indie bands around at the moment offer how the public feels about current times. It's that working-class vibe of wanting to be understood and sharing our feelings so we can all relate to each other in some way.

Is there a favourite song you love on the new album? 

From a songwriting perspective, the last track on the album is called Anxiety Replacement Therapy and it very cleverly sums up every other song on the album so it ties it all together. My other favourite track is the one with Boy George as he was an incredible artist to work with.

You went through a tricky time last year with your mental health while writing the album. How did you feel? 

The album was written last year at a time when I was going through such a hard time. The songs on the album were written chronologically from a dark place to me feeling a lot better and brighter about life. You can see this where I felt at that time with the first track Worry and then further down the line, I got my diagnosis of ADHD and some medication. The last track Anxiety Replacement Therapy at the end of the album offers a much lighter note and the feeling of happier times which reflects my mood throughout the whole songwriting process.

Without being able to get my emotions out in songwriting and being able to express my creativity, I don't know what I would do. I really feel that my music helps me massively. I can feel the weight lift off my shoulders if I can put down everything that I am feeling into a song. I then say to myself that is out there in the universe now and I can let those emotions go.

I felt for a long time that I didn't understand myself and wondered why I felt the way I did. Being at school was tough for me and I didn't have the best time there. Constantly being knocked and blamed for things when actually I didn't get the support I needed was hard on me. Music really gave me an outlet and showed me the talents I have which means I now use that to be as creative as I can. I have been on a journey and learnt so much over the last year about ADHD, how lots of musicians have it and it isn't something to be ashamed of. I feel I have gained amazing things from having ADHD like being able to multitask on stage and have my brain work super fast which helps with my performance but then the negatives of losing my keys and being messy sometimes catch up with me. I feel it would be nice to maybe raise awareness about this disorder and share the positives that come with this but then offer support to people that might be struggling.

You can listen to 2 songs on the new album so far, with Worry being my favourite. I said to Thom I thought it was a super clever song as it has a light melody and you sing along but then you listen to the words and it makes you go back and listen to the song again and realise what the lyrics are saying. Anxiety Replacement Therapy comes out on the 28th of April and is available to pre-order now. You could pop to Pie and Vinyl to grab yourself a physical copy and check out the dates for the album tour in the socials below.

Featured Image – Matchbox Productions