The emergence of the melodic indie band from Wigan with heart-quickening live intensity, near-spiritual positive energy and literary influences has thrilled The Lathums’ growing, all-ages fanbase covering all corners of the UK.
In an 18-month journey from playing in pubs to entering the UK Album Chart with their debut, physical release, The Memories We Make, in July 2020, the breathless pace at which their popularity has escalated is now being captured in upbeat recording sessions for their debut album at Parr Street Studios, Liverpool with producers, James Skelly and Chris Taylor.
Mark Millar caught up with drummer Ryan Durrans to talk about the bands' beginning, new Ghosts EP, upcoming debut album and touring with Paul Weller.
Hi Ryan, how have you been coping during all the lockdown madness?
It's not been too bad. It’s been an excellent opportunity to practice and to get tighter on the setlist which is always good. It’s also given us time to get the album finished, so it has been pretty productive. We are working on the album with James Skelly and Chris Taylor – they have been amazing. We have done about a month in Parr Street studios with both of them. It's cool working with them, and Parr Street is a fantastic studio with loads of history. Before that, during the lockdown, we have been writing and demoing.
How did you guys get together?
Originally we formed in college in Wigan. We had a different bassist at the start called Lewis then he left, and we tried another bassist called Johnny. Then he went and then we got another Johnny who I've known since I was four years old and we have been in bands since we were twelve so we have been a rhythm section for quite a while, so I invited him in, and it blew up from there.
How did you get into drumming?
I'm not sure. When I was a kid, I got told off a lot for tapping on tables, and then I thought I’d give drumming a go one day, and it stuck. I never thought I would be a musical person, but it seems to have happened, I guess.
What were your musical influences growing up?
I was into Nirvana and Led Zeppelin and more rock-based stuff when I was younger which I got from my dad.
I like your latest single 'I See Your Ghosts' what can you tell me about that song?
That one was a bit weird we just did it on the day in the studio. We were trying to figure out what else we needed to put on the album and what would fit—we jammed it a few times before in the practise room a couple of weeks earlier. I don't think we demoed it or anything it still pretty brand new. We just jammed through it there and then in the studio and recorded it that day. It's one of my favourites of the recent work we have done.
What was your songwriting process? Does the band jam it out or does somebody bring ideas or words to the table?
Well, either or. Sometimes that works. A song can just come to you, and you need that instant energy the instant spark from writing it down with the band. But also Alex or Scott will bring in guitar or vocals, or we can go off one of Johnny's basslines or Scott’s riffs or whatever. Mainly Alex will bring us a song in, and we will work around it and build a song from it.
The band is currently recording an album so why did you decide to put the 'Ghosts' EP out at the end of this month?
It sits better with everything that's going on. I think the EP will see us through nicely and give everyone a taste of what's to come next year with the album. It will be a good sneak peek for everyone to get them going.
The band will cut just one 7" copy of your cover of Northern Soul classic, ‘The Snake’, with owning the one-off record being the only chance of ever hearing it. It’s in support of Wigan Athletic. It's a great idea. Who came up with that?
I think it came from either management or Island Records, our label. It's a great idea, and it sounds excellent it’s so cool. I hope I win it (Laughs). It's nice to help out the club. I'm not sure who's idea it was but hats off to them.
The Lathums will play a headline Belfast show at The Limelight 2 next June. Are you looking forward to coming over?
Oh definitely! When we came over with Blossoms everything was just nice, and everything flowed, and it was lovely. The crowds in Belfast are something else as well, just like Scotland. We are buzzing to get back.
The band will also be touring with Paul Weller next year. Are you looking forward to that?
Yeah, it's crazy. He is a legend, isn't he? To see the Modfather himself on stage is one thing but to be playing before him on the same stage is a privilege – it’s a blessing?
What goes through your head when you are about to step on stage?
We don't get nervous. Playing live is our natural state more than anything. It’s why we are in it and it’s what we do. It’s all good vibes and we always feel we are going to smash it and make people happy and everyone is going to love it. If you have a smile on your face, then you’re going to do great.
Out of all the records in your collection who do you have the most albums by?
I think it’s Pink Floyd.
What have you been listening to recently that you could recommend?
I've just been listening to demos of ours, but there's a lot of bands coming out of Wigan Just mates’ bands that we know. Some great bands are coming out of Wigan and Manchester like Garden Party, and there's a band called Afternoon People who are supporting us on our next tour – they are pretty good.
All confirmed headline shows for The Lathums Spring Tour 2021 are as follows:
- Thu 22 Apr Hull, Social – SOLD OUT
- Fri 23 Apr Manchester, O2 Ritz – SOLD OUT
- Sat 24 Apr Stoke, Sugarmill – SOLD OUT
- Thu 29 Apr Glasgow, Garage – SOLD OUT
- Fri 30 April Sheffield, University Foundry – SOLD OUT
- Sat 1 May Newcastle, Riverside – SOLD OUT
- Sun 2 May Liverpool, Sound City
- Tue 4 May Nottingham, Rescue Rooms – SOLD OUT
- Wed 5 May Birmingham, O2 Institute 2 – SOLD OUT
- Fri 7 May Leicester, O2 Academy 2 – SOLD OUT
- Sat 8 May Leeds, Beckett Students Union – SOLD OUT
- Sun 9 May Cardiff, Globe – SOLD OUT
- Tue 11 May Oxford, O2 Academy 2 – SOLD OUT
- Wed 12 May London, Electric Ballroom – SOLD OUT
- Tue 1 June Edinburgh, Liquid Room – SOLD OUT
- Thu 3 June Dunfermline, PJ Molly’s – SOLD OUT
- Fri 4 June Dundee, Fat Sam’s
- Sat 5 June Aberdeen, The Lemon Tree
- Tue 8 June Belfast, Limelight 2
- Thu 10 June Dublin, The Academy
- Fri 11 June Galway, The Róisín Dubh
- Sat 12 June Limerick, Dolan’s Warehouse