Interview: Lyena

By April 22, 2020 Features, Interviews

In our next band interview, we chat to London rockers, Lyena about new music and inspirations. 

S] How are you today?

All miraculously coping… We’re all getting a bit cabin-fevery but we’re keeping ourselves occupied. At the moment the focus is on putting out some acoustic music (we call them ‘Quarantine Sessions’) from our separate flats. It’s been something different that we don’t usually do, and it’s given us a chance to deconstruct and reconstruct our own songs without having anything to hide behind which has been a cool experience. We also have another single out soon so we’ve got lots of background stuff to work on there.

S] What ideas inspired ‘Headlines’?

Headlines was written last summer. ‘Love Island’ was fucking everywhere, every time you looked at the news, Boris Johnson was doing some sort of political stunt and the royal baby’s face was plastered all over the newspapers. We were just bored with everything and had this real pent-up angst. We went to rehearse one evening and this song just came out of nowhere. The night that it was written, we spent the whole rehearsal session just playing that one song over and over again. It just gelled with us so quickly and we’ve been wanting to release it for ages, so it feels good for it to be out there in the wild.

S] What are the biggest challenges you face as a band right now?

Without a pandemic, we usually have a few challenges. With a pandemic, they’ve just multiplied. Obviously we’re finding it difficult not being able to meet up and write songs together, and of course we can’t play any gigs which sucks. We’re definitely a ‘live’ band, that shit fuels us and we live off that energy. All we say when we call each other is ‘when do you think we’ll be able to play again?’.

Other than that, staying relevant is pretty difficult. As an unsigned band, we’re really fighting to stay front of mind – and we’re having to compete with bands with much bigger marketing budgets than ours. The upside is that people have a lot more time on their hands so they’re a lot more inclined to listen to new music like ours.

S] What motivates you at the moment, outside of music, think specific places and people?

It’s weird but there’s this real sense of togetherness everywhere at the moment. Especially when you live in London, people usually seem so isolated and rigid. Now, it feels like everyone is in this together which is a feeling that was lost for a while. This communal, ‘we can get through this’ feeling is really motivating. All the public support we’re seeing for the NHS and support workers just brings everyone back to a more human level. It’s definitely motivating to see people actually supporting each other and we hope this is something that carries on past the pandemic.

S] How do you define success as artists?

It’s so subjective. Lots of bands want to be headlining the o2 or something. We’re not suited to that environment – we like to be up close and sweaty with people at our gigs. Success for us would be going to a city we’ve never been to before, playing a gig and the whole crowd singing our songs back to us. You know that moment when you’re in the middle of a crowd at a gig and your favourite song starts playing and you just get that weird rush of excitement and blissfulness all at once? We want to be able to give that to people.