MUSIC INTERVIEW: The Lottery Winners

Photo Credit: Jack Delve

We sat down with Thom Rylance and Kate Lloyd from The Lottery Winners after their set at Boardmasters Festival in Newquay, to chat about setting an (unofficial) Glastonbury festival record, what it feels like to have a number one album, being persistent in the music industry and who they would most want to feature on a song. 

Hey guys! Why don’t you introduce yourselves and what you do in the band?

Kate: Hello I’m Kate from The Lottery Winners and I play bass!

Thom: I’m Thom from The Lottery Winners and I do everything else!

How was the set earlier on? It sounded like you were hyping up the crowd nice and early!

K: Yeah, it was brilliant! It was very windy! I ate about nine pieces of my own hair!

T: I had a new fear unlocked on the stage actually because I was looking up and them lights were like swinging, weren’t they? All gig I was very conscious that I might’ve got squashed by a light and I don’t wanna die because I’m too young and beautiful. So, it was pretty difficult but what a great festival Boardmasters is. It always is great, every time we come. To open it a bit, we weren’t the first band on but it was early and people were coming out of the tents and you know, a bit hungover and that. I like to think we set the vibe for the day, we set the energy.

K: Yeah, we tried!

T: We tried. Windy was the energy.

Well you’ve also unlocked a new fear for us with the lights! We’ve got to ask about Glastonbury. How many sets was it you did?

K: We went in with five but we ended up with six.

T: Nah! I did seven!

K: No, no! He says this! Before he starts, he says he did seven sets, he just went in and jammed right at the end.

T: We did six sets but after the sixth set, I was walking around and I saw this tent right? And it just had a bass guitar just in the middle of a tent and no-one else in there. So, I went in and I picked up the bass guitar and then I turned round and there was this guy on drums and I was like “Oh, no way!” We started jamming together and then this guy started playing piano and then we started doing ABBA! Ding ding ding ding, what the tune?

K: Oh yeah!

T: Mamma Mia! Which I could just know without even thinking about it because I’m a genius! Then the tent just filled with loads and loads of people and that was my final Glastonbury gig of the year! So, I did seven which is the most that any person has done. The most that any band’s done is The Lottery Winners with six, but the most that any person has done for the Guinness world record is me, with seven.

K: I’m not even gonna argue with you!

T: [Laughs]

K: Fine!

You released your latest album, Anxiety Replacement Therapy, which went to number one, how did that feel?

T: It did! It felt incredible and it felt very emotional! It was a lot; it was like a difficult time when we were grafting trying to get it out and promoting it and stuff. We were always kind of worried. We kind of promised people that we were going to get a number one album and then we were like “Why have we said that?”

K: We put a lot of pressure on our shoulders but luckily it paid off!

T: We were dead worried that we were going to let everyone down, but we didn’t! We followed through and all cried!

K: Followed through?

T: I followed through and cried!

You also had a couple of features on there! Frank Turner, Boy George. Were they people that you wanted to work with for a while or was it almost a spur of the moment thing?

T: Yeah! Shaun Ryder was also on the record. Well, Frank, we’ve worked with before and he sang on Start Again which was on our previous album and we just love him as a human being as well as an artist! So, to have Frank on there was really special, we look up to him as a songwriter. Boy George is just a legend, isn’t he? An actual, real popstar so to be trusted by him with his legacy was great. He heard the song and he really loved it, and he wanted to do it, same with Shaun.

K: I can’t believe with the whole album; you pulled it off. You said you were gonna get these people and we were just like “How?”

T: You know what, that’s the first time you’ve ever credited me with making that happen but I did, didn’t I? Go on, carry on with that!

K: His persistent mithering actually paid off and just to get those famous people on our album was just crazy.

T: I feel like if there’s something that I want to happen, I’ll just make it happen. I will just annoy people until it does happen!

Who’s your dream feature?

T: Oh, that’s a good question! Living or dead?

Well with the way AI is going, could be either!

T: Oh yeah, that’s true isn’t it! Okay living then, I want Brian May to play guitar on my record! I love Queen and I always have. Dead, it’s gotta be Freddie. Although I don’t think I would want to sing on the same tune as Freddie. How bad would I sound?

K: Yeah! I didn’t want to sing on the Boy George one because there was a point where he’d sung everything and we were there singing over him and we were like “We can’t sing over Boy George, he’s far too good!” But yeah, you’re right with Freddie, I wouldn’t wanna sing with him.

T: But I wanna do a tune with Jon McClure from Reverend and the Makers. I’ve got the perfect song; he’s tweeted saying he’s waiting for the call. So, I just need to work on that after this festival and send that over to him. Rick Witter from Shed Seven, I love to have him on our record, that would be dead cool! You know what, Mel C.

K: Oh yeah!

T: Mel C from the Spice Girls.

K: I met her recently and she was amazing!

T: She’s amazing, I’ve got the perfect song! I’m gonna slide into Mel C’s DM’s and see if I could get her in on it. Do you know what, I am gonna promise right now, I am gonna make that happen. Mel C on our next record.

K: That would make my eight-year-old self’s dream if that happened!

T: That would make my eleven-year-old self’s dream.

[Both laughing]

You’ve been together for quite a while now, how important is persistence and dedication just to get where you wanna be?

K: Yeah, I think it gets to a certain point where it’s like, do you give in now or do you just keep trying and you get to that point and just keep trying and it pays off in the end.

T: I hope that we’re an example to anybody who is really striving to do something out of the ordinary that they really want to do. If you just carry on working really hard at it, and you really believe in yourself then anything is achievable. We’ve had so many knockbacks along the way haven’t we and there were loads of times where we could’ve just given up but we never did because we’re like best friends and it’s a family. We take the rough with the smooth. The bad times we go through together and the good times we go through together, we’ve always just carried on and I’m so glad and thankful we did and we’ve got each other to experience it with. So yeah, I can’t remember the question but what I’m saying is, never give up.

You had a massive summer festival season and you’re going on tour in November. Do you prefer playing your own shows or playing at festivals like this?

T: We just like showing off so we’ll show off anywhere, but I do like showing off outside in a field in shorts!

K: We’re just really needy so we love both! With festivals it’s like fun! People have paid money already to come and have fun for the weekend so I do like winning over that new audience when they’ve never heard you before and it’s a new audience to be in front of.

T: We’ve had a wild festival season really! We’ve done like thirty-five festivals and every single one of them has popped off. It’s been so good, we’ve had the best summer of our lives, haven’t we?

K: It’s been brilliant. But then I do like our own shows because it feels so humbling when people have bought tickets just solely for you.

T: Yeah.

K: It’s so special when people are there to just appreciate you, It’s such a nice feeling!

T: Yeah, just me!

K: Just you, yeah yeah!

T: Just me in particular! (Laughs)

We’ve never seen a festival tour poster with so many dates on it, You guys really are going off!

T: Yeah, It’s mad isn’t it?

K: Yeah, I didn’t realise until we made that! I was like “Oh yeah, we’re quite busy!”

Who’ve you had on in the tour bus? What new music have you been listening to? Who’s in your rotation?

T: I’ll let you take that; you listen to more new music than me.

K: Thom doesn’t like music other than ours!

T: I don’t like any music!

K: We’re really looking forward to seeing Yard Act in a bit!

T: Yeah, we like Yard Act.

K: Loads of new bands though. There’s too many to name!

T: The Reytons. We listen to The Reytons, they’re playing today.

We heard you give a shout-out to them earlier.

T: They’re our best band friends. That’s actually their kickdrum being sound checked right now, I can tell by the tone of it. Oh, The Hubbards we listen to all the time!

K: They’re on today, in Hull!

T: Clean Cut Kid released a single yesterday which was beautiful.

K: Oh yeah, beautiful!

T: Yeah, there’s loads of great music! It’s like a really great time for guitar music, isn’t it?

K: It’s brill.

T: It is!

Final Question! Other than the tour coming up, what’s next for the band? What can we see in the future?

T: Well after the festival season we’re gonna get our pyjamas on and go to our studio and stay there for a month!

K: Thom’s gonna lock us in!

T: Yeah! I tell you what, we’ll get Mel C, we’ll get Jon McClure and we’ll get Rick Witter and we’ll invite them down in their pyjamas and we’ll…

K: Lock them in!

T: Yeah.

T: If you’re listening, Mel C, or reading, then we’re not going to lock you in!


T: Please do come!

Thank you so much guys.

T: Thank you!

K: Thank you!

Interview By: Jack Delve

The Lottery Winners‘ latest album Anxiety Replacement Therapy is out now, available HERE.