Interview with Bryan Laurier & the Lost Acres
- by Chrissy Prisco
The Deli: How did the band start?
We all met in college… Colin had been active with his punk band Wolfie Burns when we were roommates and I got to know the rest of his band (Brendan, Spencer, and Ryan) going to bars and hanging out. I'd been writing with Jeremy here and there, but mainly sharing demos while we were developing as writers. Eventually, at the end of college, I'd written a bunch of demos and shared them sporadically with a few of the guys. Brendan mentioned he'd like to play on the songs and I ended up using their entire band since they had all seemed interested and had previous playing chemistry from Wolfie Burns. Jeremy was up for it and joined us up in Maine. Jonathan Mess, who plays harmonica on the record, was my old high school art teacher and I asked him drop in while we tracked a bit at the barn.
The Deli: Where did the name come from?
The Lost Acres is a spin off of a road name we'd pass by every day to get to the barn for recording. There had been other various names floating around, but this one seemed to be the only one that fit the overall sound and mood of the record.
The Deli: What are your biggest musical influences?
My current obsession is my typewriter and a 4 track cassette recorder I purchased over the summer at a thrift store. Since the artists I look up to sat down with their instruments and wrote tons of songs, I feel an obligation to write as frequently as possible. I've always been told that I can't focus and have a very low attention span, so I've adapted around that instead of being frustrated fighting it. If I can sit down and write a few more songs because I don't need to include modern technology, which tends to be far more distracting, then I can write more often and feel more relaxed in the process..
The Deli: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?
I've been listening to a lot of Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, etc. Colin and Brendan introduced me to Wye Oak, which I've been throwing on in the morning regularly. Jeremy introduced me to the new Tame Impala album, which Iʼve been listening to quite a bit. Iʼve also been listening to a lot of Fleet Foxes, Andrew Bird, Laura Marling… you get the drift.
The Deli: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?
Guster at the State Theatre in Portland, ME 7th grade. It was an easygoing environment and I remember getting all paranoid with my friend that we were gonna be offered drugs or something. The first album I ever bought was Limp Bizkit with some money I'd made raking leaves. I wish I could say a great classic album, but the truth is I was 11 and thought it was cool to say "Nookie". Being a kid is a weird thing.
The Deli: What do you love about New Englands music scene?
I really enjoyed the open mic scene in Portland this past summer. Some nights were a bust, but others would be filled with these talented locals just enjoying themselves and everyone jumping up to play. It's also great to see people get up and play a song they've written and never performed before and they'll intro it by saying "I wrote this for my grandma the other day and she convinced me to play it tonight." They might never perform it again and there's some type of honesty in that moment that you can't always get at a show you paid to see.
The Deli: What would you like to see change in the local music scene?
I know there are lots of ways to improve the industry and there's more potential now than ever. Since I don't have the answer to solving big issues, I'd say that the thing I'd like to see change is people leaving the comfort of their houses one more night a week to go view an open mic or go see a small show. Music has always been about community. So, the more the community gets off Facebook to enjoy a small show, the more the community thrives.
The Deli: What are your plans for the upcoming year?
I'd like to see us playing more shows and small festivals. We're very strong live so I think that's the next push. I've got an EP in the making and I look forward to sharing some new songs on it. I'd like to record a follow up full length at some point in 2013 and I think that's a realistic goal if we can all swing a few days together.
The Deli: What was your most memorable live show?
I think we all look forward to answering this question once we play more live shows as a band. Since I play lots of solo shows, a recent memorable gig was raising money at the Dempsey Challenge, which happens once a year in my hometown and the mood was very unique and intimate.
The Deli: Is there someone who has helped your band grow through support?
We have a lot of people to thank for making "Bought & Sold". We did a Kickstarter and all the people who pledged made that successful… We all have very supportive friends and family and without them the record would not have had the same type of momentum.
The Deli: Is there a piece of equipment you couldn't live without and why?
My first guitar… an acoustic Seagull guitar with a cutaway. It sounds amazing and has years of dents and scratches that somehow keep molding it's sound and look with age. It's the only guitar I write with and I think it's borderline pathetic the amount of hours I've spent with it.
The Deli: Why do you read The Deli?
I check out The Deli because it's got a positive vibe and never let's me down when I'm looking for new artists around New England. I think listening to what is going on in your area is extremely important and The Deli certainly fulfills that need.