Mark Trotter, guitarist with Cambridge five-piece Lonely The Brave, is sounding a little shell-shocked when we speaks to him.
Throughout 2013, the band have gone from hard- working unknowns to signing with Hassle Records, playing Hard Rock Calling and becoming new favourites of Download organiser Andy Copping.
“He saw us in London at a little show and then offered us Download straight after,” explains Mark. “Then, about a week later, we got a phone call saying, ‘Do you wanna open for Bruce Springsteen?’ We were like, ‘This just doesn’t happen. It doesn’t make sense!’”
It does, actually. In 2012, Lonely The Brave won the prestigious Songwriter’s Award at industry hoe-down In The City and it’s their knack for penning big, modern rock music that’s got everybody hyperventilating. It’s like when Biffy Clyro finally said, ‘Sod it!’ and made that album of Mountains-esque anthems you’ve always wanted.
“Whenever we’re writing, we think we’re coming up with these really depressing songs,” confides Mark. “Then we listen back to it and it’s not really like that, it’s always got an element of hope to it.”
The first taste, Backroads EP, lands next month and there’s a debut album, The Day’s War, due in January. It’s huge.
But it’s not just the writing: Mark’s ’89 Gibson SG and Sampson- era Matchless DC30 combine for
whopping rhythm tones. He’s a big gear geek, and just as he didn’t give up on the band, if Mark spies a guitar he wants, it will be his.
“I’ve got a Fender Masterbuilt John English Stealth Esquire, which I use live,” he reveals, causing us to nearly fall over (English made Fenders for US presidents and Eric Clapton). “I’m so lucky to have that thing, man. I had to sell everything I own to buy it, but it was worth it!” Lucky? Maybe. Brave? Definitely.
You can catch Lonely The Brave on tour in January.