This is Part 1 of a truly inspiring and moving journal about a band "Attitude" who have dropped everything, packed their bags and insrtuments and travelled to London to bring thier energetic rock ad Roll to the massess.
Before we start, here’s what you need to know. A prologue of some sort.
About the guys
That’s me, Andrew. The vocals and rhythm guitar of the band. I’ll be trying to fill you in with our story. What could I say about me? Well, actually I feel kinda weird talking about myself in this fashion, this is new to me, but then again most of the things I do nowadays are, so here goes. I formed the band together with Laurence when we were fourteen. Only back then I wasn’t singing, I was smashing the drums and Laurence sliced guitar solos. But as I remember, every time when I was brainwashing myself with AC/DC as a kid, I always imagined myself screaming at the mic the way Bon Scott did, not being the rhythm machine that Phil Rudd was. I loved the drums, but I always felt that it was not my rightful place. I wanted to sing and play guitar. But there was one problem. Laurence and me were so into our only drum-guitar, no-vocals project, that I just couldn’t bring myself to tell him this. I knew it would devastate him, after all I knew the guy since age 4. And that’s the exact reason why he also felt that something was changing.
Laurence. The feeling has to be perfect. That’s what he would say. If a note doesn’t feel right he would never allow it to be in a song. Back when Laurence was just a kid discovering Metallica for the first time, he bought his first Cort guitar which he named The Black Widow and started embracing the sounds of Randy RhoadsDimebag Darrell, Kirk Hammet and many others. Young L kept rocking his guitar relentlessly, developing his own style. Back home you could hear his Laney amp screaming from miles away. A neighbor from hell, you could say. After a while, when we were busy gigging with our first version of ATTITUDE, a shitload of stuff piled up in his personal life. Meanwhile, my drumming became different and I started mentioning my guitar playing and singing more and more. That didn’t help, at all. The foundation of his life was cracking and he couldn’t even trust the band anymore. It was a complicated time for us back then. Laurence needed some time away from the band.
Ricky. The cook. Not only can this guy cook up some tasty bass tracks, but he is literally a cook and is a godsend on tours. The dude joined up with ATTITUDE completely by accident, when one day he sat down next to me during a school fieldtrip. Back then Rick had just started brushing the strings of his acoustic guitar and never had any ideas about playing bass, but ATTITUDE happened to be looking for a bassist at the time and I convinced him to give it a shot. As it turns out his dad also played bass when he was in high school. Within a week Ricky bought his first bass and started jamming with us. Two weeks later he had his first gig. Meanwhile, I had some acoustic songs I had been working on. After Laurence quit the band, Ricky joined me to create a side project called ATTITUDE ACOUSTIC, where I was the singer and guitarist and Ricky played bass.
Bruce. The last piece of the puzzle. Laurence and I first met Bruce while playing a gig, back when he had just started playing drums with his own band. He didn’t leave a good first impression, but when we saw him a while later, it was a completely different story. Since the last time we heard him, Bruce spent days and nights mastering his drumming; and I’m not only talking about his technique. The way he listened to and felt the instrument was different. Being a very neat person by nature, he transferred this trait into his playing style. Every single stroke is equally important and has to be perfect. Always finding ways to perfect his playing, to this day he is never fully happy with his results. That’s what the missing ingredient in the band’s formula was. When he was invited to audition for the band, I was quite sceptical. But after the first hit on the drums something just clicked. The vibe was right. He was the drummer. Only back then he auditioned for ATTITUDE ACOUSTIC.
Ok, so let’s begin.
THE PART WITH ALL THE FATE AND STUFF
It all began when Laurence left. Trying to cope with the loss of the band, I devoted all of my time to the ATTITUDE ACOUSTIC project together with Ricky. Well, in a way I got the thing I wanted. It felt right being the singer and guitarist in the band, but it just wasn’t the same without Laurence. Anyway, it was time to move on and start again. We needed a drummer. That’s when Bruce entered the picture. The guy was the first and last one to audition. While the newly formed band was working on new material and preparing my garage for rehearsals, after talking a few times with Laurence, it was completely clear, that he wanted to get back in the band and I wanted him there as well. One day we all went camping with a few other friends, and after having a few drinks, we talked everything over and the soloist was in his rightful place once again. Everything turned out perfectly. The sound was right and the feeling was there. Everything was in place.
A NEW BAND IN LITHUANIA
We had our first gig on the 23rd of January 2011. ATTITUDE appeared out of nowhere in the Lithuanian underground rock-scene and raised a bunch of questions. At first people thought that we‘re some sort of a Beatles-ish band, because the only publicity that we had were the pictures taken by Dainius Sciuka. We enjoyed this fact so much! The element of surprise. After the first year we made ourselves heard and recorded our first demo tapes at our friends studio in Kaunas. Everything was smooth, but then came the gig that changed everything. We met a Lithuanian rap-core band called PART TIME PORN. To this day they‘re one of my all-time favourite bands. Even though, we got completely destroyed by them in our first battle of the bands in Vilnius, instead of bringing us down, that was probably the most inspiring concert we‘ve ever been in. The energy bursting out of their performance was unbelievable. I saw so much of myself in their act. From that point on everything changed, something just clicked. First rule of chess, you can only get smarter by playing a smarter opponent. Our band changed, we changed. We became more of ourselves, because that was what we saw in their performance. Being yourself and not giving a shit about what anybody else thinks. Afterwards, things just came naturally, we started winning competitions and played some sick gigs, saving up everything that we earned for a better record. At the beginning of the summer of 2012 we rushed to Riga‘s Sound Division Studios to record our first demo album - “a suited MENACE.” We booked the studio for 14 days and even though we slept 5 hours a day and on the ground it’s still the most fun two weeks of my life. Actually, the whole summer was completely amazing. Along with the recording session, we also played most of the biggest festivals in Lithuania. But then the summer ended and Lithuania just didn’t seem enough. We believed in and loved the band so much that we decided to offer this year to the GODS OF ROCK’N’ROLL.
All or nothing. No X-FACTORS or other bullshit, just plain Rock’N’Roll.
We packed our bags and moved to London.
LONDON, STAYING AT MANTAS‘
When we got of the overcrowded van that drove us to London, our amazing friend Mantas offered us to stay at his studio flat in Hampton. The five of us slept on one mattress, had to spend from 4 to 5 hours a day on the bus to get to work and still he was always super supportive and smiling. What a guy. Immediately we started rehearsing, trying to get in shape as fast as possible. But as we figured out life's not as simple as it looks in the movies and keeping the band's spirit up costs a lot, especially because beer isn't as cheap here as it is back home. After three weeks we had our first gig at the 12 bar. Even though there weren't many people there, it still was amazing and we had a great time. We remembered why we moved here, because after awhile of only eating microwave pizza's, busking in the cold London streets and working three double shifts in a row while spending your 'sleeping time' on the bus it gets quite easy to forget it. During the 12 bar gig we met this incredibly cool Australian woman Lisa Fitzgibbon. She was a complete godsend. We sat down, she bought us some beers and we discussed the opportunity of having more gigs in Oxford. The night was great, but then a new problem appeared, we had to move out of Mantas' place, we had no money, neither did he, so once more we packed our bags and moved to a squat in Stratford called The Sugar House.
THE SUGAR HOUSE
To get home you had to climb over a fence, go past the DANGER and DEMOLITION SITE signs and enter your loft. Yep, The Sugar House, what a place. Well, the loft itself was great and there were some interesting people there, because we lived with the Occupy London Movement folk, but the rest of them, well, were not as interesting. Let's leave it at that. We lived on the second floor, when it rained outside; it rained inside too, had some fun with random screams from the fire-alarm. But still it was really cool that we could have a place that we could call our own and have loads of space in it. We drew on the walls, played our guitars as much as we wanted and it would've been perfect. Ah, but one day our neighbors decided to host a Rave outside with 3000 people in it. The day after that, all the other squatters were gone. Together with the electricity and water. It was time to pack our bags on move on.
We divided in two groups of two. Ricky and myself moved to Manor House (to Bruce's place) and Laurence with Paul (our friend) moved to Woolwich. This week was kinda calm, I spent loads of time busking and met some interesting people, Ricky continued working his part-time job, Bruce found a job, Laurence flew to Lithuania for doctor and girlfriend reasons. But then the week past and problems struck once again. Ricky lost his job and we also had already overstayed at Bruce's and had to move on. We had to separate even more. I moved to my classmate's Peter's place in King's Cross and Ricky moved back to Mantas' in Richmond. Everything continued normally, Laurence got back, we had some cool rehearsals, even started working on some new material, Peter was totally cool with me staying at his place. We finally had another gig in Oxford at the Bullingdon, thanks to Lisa.
A GIG IN OXFORD
The gig itself was cool and promised more opportunities to rock, we had some drinks, had some fun, it was cool. The only problem was that when I got on the Oxford tube back to London my ticket magically disappeared. I told the guys to get on the bus, because their tickets were already torn and I truly believed that I had just dropped the ticket outside. So the bus drove off and of course I didn't find my ticket. Well fuck. So here I am stuck in Oxford in the middle of the night, with no money, still quite drunk, wearing my rock-suit and holding my golden guitar. Shit. I started asking people around if they could help me out, but there simply weren't enough of them around. While walking around the University I met these two guys sitting on the pavement and smoking cigarettes. Tim and Sam. I asked the guys for one and we started talking. I told them my story.
"Come on, man, crash at Tim's place, but you have to help me get him there, cause he‘s hammered". That's what Sam said.
"Nobody could carry a guitar like that and be a bad guy" He added.
So we got to Tim's place, played his guitar, listened to some music, talked about art and I actually had a blast. The next morning I woke up super hungover, but still somehow managed to collect the money I needed and got back to Peter's place. The week was cool, we got another gig at the Cargo in Shoreditch, everything was chill. But the next week Peter got in a fight with his neighbors and I felt that me staying there could complicate his situation, so once more I packed my bags and moved. To Mantas' once more.
So here I am writing this story with Ricky and Mantas sitting nearby, listening to Kerrang! radio, wondering how long I'll be able to stay here. So that's our almost three months here. Right now everything seems to be stable, I'm working on new material, the band's morale is really good, we're rehearsing and searching for places to rock at, cause that's why we came here and that's what we intend to do.
I'll let you know what happens,
Peace, rock'n'roll and all,
You can catch ATTITUDE live at our gig on Fri 15th Feb at The Star of Kings