Indietracks interview #3: Lost Pets

Lost Pets 2

Lost Pets formed in and around Nottingham in 2014 following an advert for untalented girls who can’t play their instruments. The band consists of Becky on vocals and guitar, Hannah on trombone, Lisa on drums, and Verity on bass. Their initial desire was simply to learn to play their instruments better and maybe eventually write a song or two. However they liked the shambolic sound of their un-coordination so much that ‘LostPets’ was born, with the resultant noise being a mixture of melancholic folk-pop and upbeat indiepop songs.

Sam Metcalf talked to them ahead of their Indietracks debut.

How did you find out you were playing Indietracks?
Verity: Lisa saw the email first and she told us! Cue lots of ‘eeeeee-ing’.
Lisa: We applied without thinking anything would come of it, and couldn’t believe it when we got an email back saying we were playing. I had to dance around the living room with a gin to celebrate.
Becky: A very excited and completely capitalised message from Lisa asking if we’d checked our emails. We didn’t need to check after that though – it was pretty obvious that the news was Indietracks related as the only other thing Lisa would be so happy about would be getting her own caravan and we all knew that hadn’t happened!

And what does it mean to you to be playing the festival?
Verity: It means a massive amount to me, my first Indietracks was in 2010 and I only knew two people and now nearly all my friends in the world are Indietrackers. It’s the highlight of my year! Everything is rubbish compared with Indietracks. I’ve seen some of my favourite bands there so it’s a real honour to play. And even if we’re shit at least everyone will be polite about it.
Lisa: We are all incredibly excited about it. I’ve been to every Indietracks since it started and it is my absolutely favourite part of the whole year. I know people have been criticised in the past for their biggest band aspiration being to play there, but that’s true of me. We all got together thinking we weren’t any good at playing our instruments, but we just wanted to have fun and learn together, not really sure if anything would come of it. To have the opportunity to play to all our friends, at my favourite festival is a dream come true, I never thought it would happen and that anyone would actually want to listen to our racket!
Becky: This will be my first ever year at Indietracks, which makes going to a festival I’ve heard so many consistently wonderful things about all the more exciting. Seeing how happy it’s made my bandmates is also fantastic.

Tell me how you all got together to form Lost Pets, please.
Verity: Lisa instigated things on facebook asking if anyone wanted to form a band, I said yes please!
Lisa: My secret desire was to play drums, since I was about 16. I never did, though, I felt even at that age that it was too late to learn, and I didn’t have any confidence that I’d be able to do it. Being a musician seemed to be some magical thing that was beyond me. I had it in my mind for years that people who are musicians are born knowing they are musicians, and if you don’t feel like that then you can’t do it. Has that got something to do with confidence and being a woman? I dunno. I suspect so. A couple of years ago when I got to my thirties I realised that was a load of crap and there was nothing stopping me from doing whatever I wanted creatively. I decided that there really was no reason not to try, and I started taking drum lessons. I loved it and almost immediately wanted to start a band to see what would happen. I knew Verity from Indiepop gigs and mutual friends and she replied to a post I made on facebook about starting a band, which I was really pleased about. And completely by surprise my lovely friend from work, Hannah, who plays trombone in a concert band said she’d be interested too. I thought she was joking at first, but I’m so glad she wasn’t, I love the trombone parts in our songs so much. Finding Becky was the hardest challenge, I ended up out of desperation and sheer force of will posting an advert on a joinmyband website looking for untalented girls who can’t play their instruments and thankfully Becky replied. We sent a load of messages to each other about roller derby, space and cats and got on really well. All the other responses I had on there were borderline terrifying or a man giving me grief for looking for people who were ‘untalented’. We’ve had the most fun building our confidence and learning our instruments together. I’m so glad that it turned out that just wanting something to happen bad enough to keep stubbornly going on and trying to make it happen worked out in the end!
Becky: I came along after replying to an advert online. We never really expected very much from each other, which was why we got along so well. Turns out we could actually write music and play our instruments after all! From the day we all met we got along like old friends. I love how we all have such different styles and influences, and they come together so seamlessly.

And what have you been up to since you formed?
Verity: We live all over the Midlands so have been travelling to glamorous locations such as Leicester, Birmingham and Chesterfield for practices and we’ve played with Allo Darlin’ in Nottingham, Helen Love at the Odd Box alldayer in London and Glasgow PopSouth weekender, amongst others.
Lisa: We only really met up for the first time together last June, and we spent a couple of hours doing a couple of covers. I think we were all surprised and delighted that we could actually play together and that the resultant noise did actually sound like music. In August Sam offered us a gig supporting Withered Hand which was six weeks away. We didn’t have any songs finished, had no idea what we were doing, but we did it anyway. It pushed us to get writing and we had a great time. Since then we’ve been incredibly lucky and played with a load of my favourite bands, Allo Darlin’, Martha, Kid Canaveral, Trust Fund and Helen Love amongst loads of others. We’ve also recorded a few songs with the help of Phil Booth at JT Soar in Nottingham (he really is the best person and has helped us so much) and we’re hoping to release some of them in time for Indietracks.
Becky: We’ve been having a wonderful time! The most exciting things have been recording our EP (which should be available soon), and playing some brilliant gigs all across the country. I’ve seen more of the world since Lost Pets was born that I did in the previous 25 years.

Who are your biggest influences, musically – and otherwise?
Verity: Christine from Milky Wimpshake is my bass idol. I even bought a curly guitar lead because she’s got one.
Lisa: Musically mine are Standard Fare, Summer Twins and Hefner. I love really melodic pop music.
Becky: I’m really into music from the 1960s, and also partial to a bit of big band when the mood takes me. I’ve always loved American music, sparkly pop songs, and classic rock. Some of my biggest influences/ favourite artists are Nancy Sinatra, Elvis, Bruce Springsteen, Velvet Underground, Lana Del Rey, and She and Him. Non musically, my biggest influence is Jack Daniels.

What are you looking forward to most from Indietracks?
Verity: Seeing my friends and drinking some excellent real ale in the sunshine. And the Unpop disco!
Lisa: I’m looking forward to seeing all the wonderful people and friends that go each year, many of which I only ever see at Indietracks. It’s such a magical weekend, feels like how life should be all the time. Each year I want to gather everyone up and start some kind of commune so we can do it all the time. This year I am determined I am going to stay up past 10pm and go to the discos for the first time, I’m always really jealous and regretful when I miss the discos. I want to dance on rocks and twist my ankle. (Also quite excited about having the special wristband you get if you are playing – it’s like a dream!)
Becky: There’s little I’ve found about indiepop that isn’t beautiful. I can’t wait to see all the bands, see my band drunk, and hopefully make loads of new friends!

And, finally, a word from Hannah:
I know this sounds really lame, but I have nothing else to add: I’ve never been to Indietracks, I squealed when I knew we were playing, how we got together and what we’ve been up to is covered and honestly no one at Indietracks will want to hear my musical influences! I suppose the thing I’m looking forward to is seeing how nice, polite people party (that and drinking).