British blues sensation Laurence Jones has today released his new studio album Bad Luck & The Blues, described by Metal Planet Music as "a modern, fresh-sounding, hard-hitting rocking blues guitar-based album recorded in the classic 70s power-trio style."
On the cusp of all this commotion, Laurence sits down with Townsend Music to answer our questions about the record and we have a signed test pressing of the album to give away, courtesy of the hard-rockin' folks at Marshall Records.
Following his studio album Destination Unknown three-time British Blues Award ‘Young Artist of the Year’ winner Laurence Jones is returning to his blues roots for his eighth album Bad Luck & The Blues. The record was recorded at The Marshall Studio, mixed by Chris Sheldon (Jeff Beck, Foo Fighters, King King) and mastered at the legendary Abbey Road Studios by Christian Wright (Jack Bruce, Robin Trower, Ten Years After).
Refining his sound and returning with a trio featuring long-time bassist Jack Alexander Timmis and new drummer Ash Sheehan (Glenn Hughes, Tony Iommi, The Twang), the new record sees Laurence at his rawest, showcasing his virtuoso guitar talents and remaining faithful to his blues roots.
TM: A glowing review of your new album Bad Luck & The Blues by Metal Planet Music declares that you are “returning to the power trio format of that impressive debut” and describes the record as “as close to an actual Laurence Jones live gig” as you’ve ever released. Was going back to basics and harnessing the raw power of a live show something that you aimed for when recording and writing the LP?
Laurence Jones: That was the sound I was going for, I wanted that raw power, especially with having the power trio – I wanted that live sound to the album. I just love playing live and It’s my favourite aspect of being a musician so I really wanted to get that across. When I was writing the songs I was thinking a lot about the structure and the breakdowns, riffs and hooks. I wrote the whole album around the guitar and I’m really excited about the new format, it feels really natural on stage and it feels like a fresh start for me again. It started as a bit of a New Year's resolution and it happened very quickly, I just decided I wanted to back to the trio and it's been a great decision for this album and my current touring.
TM: 'You're Not Alone', is a single where you use the blues to fight against the everyday struggles of modern life. Can you expand on that? What are the struggles of modern life in your eyes and how can music help to allay those challenges?
LJ: The single ‘You’re Not Alone’ is quite personal, talking about my challenges with my own invisible disease, called Chron’s disease, which affects you and your digestive system, so meals really affect me and I feel pain daily. It’s a day-to-day struggle and I wanted to write a song to anyone out there struggling with health issues or anything like that, to just know that you’re not alone. I wanted that song to have a really positive message, with a powerful guitar riff. I was really happy when I wrote it, it came together quite quickly. Getting up on stage and getting lost in music Is a type of therapy in itself, it takes you to a different place, and I hope that comes across.
TM: Bad Luck & The Blues is to be released on Marshall Records, the recording wing of the world’s most storied guitar amp manufacturer, which seems a serendipitously perfect home for your music. How did the relationship with Marshall come about and how are you finding life on the label?
LJ: It's a real honour to be signed to Marshall Records. You know, the name is legendary, everyone knows Marshall, and you come on board and be part of that family and feel that history. It’s a real honour. I’ve worked with Marshall on the amp side for many years now so the relationship was built naturally through there. I was working with a publicist called Peter Noble, who got a call from the label who said they would love to get in contact with me. After a half an hour's chat it just felt right and I was invited down to their new studio and we discussed everything and we thought it would be a great collaboration. The experience I’ve had in the studio has been fantastic - recording Bad Luck & The Blues and last year’s Destination Unknown there - and I couldn’t wish for a better live sound in a room. They really understood that old school point of view and the way I like to write my music but it has the modern touch. When we started to work together it was Marshall’s 60th anniversary year and my 10th, so it was great to link together for those two big occasions.
"It’s been nothing but a joy to work with Marshall" - Laurence Jones
TM: You appear on Vol.2 of the New Wave Of Classic Rock - NWOCR compilation album. The New Wave Of Classic Rock is more than a genre, it’s a British Rock movement incorporating bands like Massive Wagons Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons, Creeping Jean and Ginger Wildheart. What’s been your experience of being part of this burgeoning and exciting scene?
LJ: It's been great to be involved with the New Wave of Classic Rock compilation album. I really like what they’re doing and I wanted to be a part of it. I think it’s great for anyone out there pushing new bands, with all the support for up-and-coming rock bands and just helping get their names out there under a unifying banner. They have had a lot of success over the past few years and they charted the last compilation. It was built up naturally and homegrown and I’m actually playing at the festival on the 24th of September at KK’s Steel Mill in Wolverhampton and I’m really excited about that. Loads of great bands and it will be a great event, so yeah please do check out the compilation and support it.
TM: Finally, we at Townsend Music are proud advocates for physical formats (including your own Translucent Red Vinyl and Signed CD editions!). Here in 2023, what is your own preferred medium for listening to music?
LJ: I'm still old school I still like to put the CD on and read the notes and open it up and have a look who played on the album and who produced it and read the lyrics. But yeah, I like to play CDs in the car and do tend to sing along and learn some tunes or do a bit of processing in the car. Especially when I'm driving - music helps me drive better! I guess now I I also I also listen to music through Apple Music and YouTube as well. I like to actually see music videos; I'm still a big fan of music videos so I guess there is variety of different ways to listen to music.
Bad Luck & The Blues is out now on Translucent Red Vinyl and Signed Cassette.
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