As artists like Aqua ("Barbie Girl") and slacker songsmith Afroman
("Because I Got High") can attest, making it in the music industry
takes more than just talent. Timing and a fresh sound also play a big
The Lostprophets, one of only a handful of U.K. bands that more closely resemble their
American rock counterparts than their British brethren's melancholy
outpourings and electronic flare-ups, also know that a kiss from
Lady Luck never hurt an aspiring rock star.
"We were one of the first bands of our generation doing what we're
doing," frontman Ian Watkins said. He cited fellow Wales group Funeral
for a Friend as another group in line with the Lostprophets' melodic,
emotionally fraught rock. "Until we came along, there was a lot of old
rock and metal but not many of our generation doing this.
"But luck is definitely an aspect," he added. "Even some of the coolest
bands in the world never make it because they have bad luck or are in
the wrong place at the wrong time. And then some totally poo-poo bands
Possessing male-model good looks is rarely a detriment, either, unless
it's used against you. The British music press has a longstanding
reputation for hyping bands up just to take them down, and the
Lostprophets have felt their share of backlash. The group has been
unfairly labeled a boy band that can't write its own songs. The band's
members learned to develop a thick skin against these unjust innuendos.
In fact, they're entertained by some of the more far-fetched rumors,
like the one about them being in rehab, despite four of the six guys
"I love reading rumors," Watkins said. "It happens. A band sells a
certain amount of records and gets in the spotlight, and then it's time
to talk crap about them. It's just the way it happens. It's the nature
of the beast."
With a hit single, "Last Train Home," already under their belts, the
Lostprophets aren't worried about justifying their skills or disproving
rumors while on the road with pals Hoobastank and Ima Robot. Having fun
is all that's on the agenda from the tour's start Friday in
Chattanooga, Tennessee, through its finale a month later (see "Hoobastank, Lostprophets To Invade College Campuses").
"Touring with your friends is always cool," Watkins said. "It's going
to be a laugh. It's going to be awesome because we're just going to
mess around and have a lot of fun."
The Lostprophets hope "Make a Move," the next single from their
sophomore album, Start Something, will share the success of "Last
Train Home." On Wednesday, the band filmed a video in Los Angeles for the
track, which blends fluttering drum beats with heavy guitars and a
determined call-to-arms chorus. As with most things pertaining to their
career, the bandmembers took an active role in the creation of the
clip, which was directed by Steven Murashige (Incubus, the Ataris).
"We do our own artwork, our own merch," Watkins said. "If you want
something done properly, you should do it yourself. And I don't want
anybody else trying to tell us what we should be or have an image or a
vision for us. We write the music and we're not going to give
everything else away to other people."
"Unless it's our stylists," programmer Jamie Oliver joked.
"Or our songwriters," added guitarist Lee Gaze.
"And don't forget our choreographers," Watkins followed. "And makeup
artists, personal trainers and yoga instructors."