The dynamic duo – both Irishmen – toured together and “were just mates” when they were a part of two different bands: The Basement and 747s. When the end of the road came for their previous bands, Oisin Leech and Mark McCausland started to make music demos together “just for fun”.
Before they became music brothers, they were The Weirdos, then The Weird Pear. Oisin explains how the two would get together to collaborate and create success when they were in two very diverse cities: “I was down in London; Mark would get the bus down and I’d get the train back up to Liverpool. We made these little demos and someone heard them.”
That someone was the late Alan Wills at Deltasonic – a great influence to music in Liverpool.
Wills suggested that the pair (pear) went to Portland, Oregan, to make an album, which they did.
Shortly after that album – created by The Weird Pear – “a mate of [Oisin and Mark] dreamt that he woke up and had written “The Lost Brothers” on a piece of paper in charcoal. He rang us up and said ‘I’ve got your band name.’ And thus The Losties were born. That’s seven years ago this month.”
Fate brought them back to Liverpool where they began their journey jamming in the hot spots of the Liverpool music scene. In fact, the day that we spoke – 17th November – was the day that they ended the first studio session. Oisin promises they didn’t plan it as they’re “not that organised”.
The Losties were in the Scouse city to play an intimate gig at Studio 2 Parr Street where they completed their latest album New Songs of Dawn and Dust in just seven days.
Yes, you read right. Seven days.
The preliminary preparation was a little different to their usual set up. “We wrote the songs over three years, which is different for us. Usually, we spend a year writing.”
The Losties sent each other cassettes with “about a hundred ideas”, says Oisin. “Then we would meet up for a few weeks on the road and write it; write songs, get [the] ideas down to thirty songs. And then we sent thirty songs to Bill and he picked fifteen. So that was the life of the song choice. And Nick Parry had a big hand in the helping [of the] songs. He sent us ‘Hotel Loneliness’. That’s his song.”
Their super organization meant that they recorded the bulk of the album in four days. Oisin says, “that’s how prepared we were. We started having a party in the studio ’cause we were ahead of time.”
The album name, New Songs of Dawn and Dust, came about during their stay at the Adelphi Hotel.
Oisin explains how it came about:
“We were leaving the hotel on the last day of the studio and we just turned to each other and said ‘these songs are like dust and dawn’. There was a weird dust on the recordings because of the hiss of the tape and there was a little bit of magic that happened in the studio [too]. Magic dust.
“Every morning before the studio, our room at the Adelphi would fill with this golden light because Liverpool will fill the sky and it’s full of sunshine. We woke up to this magical dawn every morning.
“[Because of] the dust on the songs, we had to say of dust and dawn but dust and dawn sounds like a wrestler: Dustin Dawn.
“We switched it and stuck a ‘new’ on the front of it because it’s a start of a new trilogy so the songs felt extra new.”
Billy Ryder Jones – former front man of The Coral – recorded with The Lost Brothers to make the latest album. Oisin claims “it was amazing” and adds “Nick Power came in and played on it too [which was] great.
Bill and Nick are both great writers. As musicians, we hold them in high regard as friends and artists.”
Oisin believes that The Coral are “one of the great bands of the last thirty years.” Of course then, they have influenced the music of The Lost Brothers without a doubt. He goes on to say, “I’ve always been a massive fan and I’ve always said they’re one of the best bands in the world. Bill’s solo records as well, I hold them in just as high regard too.”
It seems like The Lost Brothers are always on tour, and never stop in one city for too long. With the
space of five weeks late last year, they visited over fifteen places. So their favourite thing about touring? “Meeting people.”
They enjoy meeting people who like certain things or songs and hear things that they don’t hear.
Another highlight of touring?
“Every night you try to reach a certain point of magic in a room. Sometimes, it doesn’t happen, but when it does happen, it makes all the train journeys, late nights and hangovers all worthwhile.” Although, they’re more tea drinkers than beer drinkers it seems. Oisin says he’d walk down the Mersey and have a cuppa tea for the after party in Liverpool.
They love their fans and like to go out and meet them face to face: “getting fans the old way and gigging – not [by] sitting at home on Facebook.” It’s a better outlook to have than sitting behind a computer – or iPad screen – and commenting ‘Thank you’ instead of seeing the fans faces light up in a room.
However, social media isn’t all that bad. Oisin says, “it’s great when people get connected and when people find music [as there are] other ways that people don’t have access. You can find some rare stuff on YouTube. It’s fantastic.
“It’s a wave and it’s heading that way. You gotta roll with the wave but not get eaten up by it.”
Wise words spoken by a wise man.
Interview with Oisin Leech.