A conversation with The Lonely Together about “Don’t Ask Don’t Get”

Q: Hi! What was the inspiration behind writing “Don’t Ask Don’t Get”?

A: Lockdown life reflection was the main inspiration, I’d say. The new album, ‘Endless Sunset Oblivion’ became an open invitation to look back over life and take stock of the good and bad. 

‘Don’t Ask…’ is based on a true story – an early memory of sizable regret – technically falling into the ‘bad’ category haha… There’s a strange, cathartic beauty though, in putting these experiences to song. You can remember things in different ways and that, in itself, is quite powerful.

Q: How does this song differ from your previous releases?

A: ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Get’ is a lot more direct and immediate than previous releases. It’s pretty honest…!

Q: Can you describe the creative process behind the track?

A: Sometimes songs can take a long time to come together. Sometimes you have to really wait it out, until the right ingredients come along and compliment each other in the right way to make something worthwhile, or better beyond. Other times, a song can just kind of club you around the head and demand such attention that it ends up getting done in a day. The latter is definitely what happened with ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Get’…! Almost as soon as I had the intro/chorus chords, I had the lyrics for that section of the song. The verses just fell into my lap and I knew straight away I had to honour them and stick with the honest, true story. The cool stuff really started to happen when I dug into producing the demo at home – the breakdown and the bells and whistles. It was all intuitive and I went where the song demanded. It’s always a good sign/feeling when a new song gets you dancing around!

Q: What message do you hope listeners take away from “Don’t Ask Don’t Get”?

A: Seize the moment. Live in, and for the present and make it count. It might sound stupid to say that, given I wrote the song about the past but it’s a cautionary tale, in that sense. Leave it all out on the field. You never know how long you have.

Q: How has your sound evolved since the start of your career?

A: I’m still a sucker for big guitars and fancy bits and pieces – a kitchen sink guy, at heart. I used to be really bad for it, though… piling endless guitars onto songs that just weren’t even that good haha. I like to think that the songs have got better, the parts have got smarter and my singing has definitely improved, since the early days. Who knows though? There’s bound to be people I know punching their laptops and laughing/screaming, reading that… It’s always a good idea to be open to improvement and learning new things, as you develop. I’m still developing and probably always will be. 

Q: What has been your biggest challenge as a band so far?

A: A well worded question, as the biggest challenge has been keeping a consistent band around this, from the start. I move around a lot and that has definitely worked to some great advantages over the last few years but ultimately to the detriment of LIVE The Lonely Together. Big plans to change that and drive forwards this year. 

Q: What has been your proudest moment in your music career?

A: There have been some incredible shows/moments in my music career thus far, all of which I am very thankful for but in the spirit of looking forward and not back (taking my own advice finally, see?!) I have to say that my proudest moment has to be completing this new album, ‘Endless Sunset Oblivion’. The songs, their content, the artwork and the broader, positive message that it is leading me to hone in and focus on, with the new Edinburgh Fringe show – a one man play of the same name, is really something to me. I’m hoping that other people will feel the same, on hearing it and seeing it come to life!

Q: How do you see your music and message evolving in the future?

A: Less guitar parts, more gigs. It’s hard to say where I will go next, in terms of message… This new record is pretty big and bold on that front, which makes me very excited for what the future might hold. 

Q: Which artists have influenced your sound the most?

A: Ah! There it is – the toughest question of them all haha. I have always attached myself to bands with depth and texture. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it translates to my sound/production. For example, there might be a specific guitar sound that influences where I go, in the studio with a certain song. In terms of this kind of influence, which you would never detect in my SONGS, necessarily, recent examples might include artists as diverse as Broken Social Scene, The Psychedelic Furs, A Winged Victory For The Sullen and Fountains Of Wayne. There are probably tons more, unconsciously. 

Q: What can fans expect from you? Any gigs or music?