Lions of Dissent

Lions of Dissent band members stand under tunnel arch in front of an old painted sign of lettering

Lions of Dissent are a vision, a way of life. Something that you feel rather than hear.

Having begun life as an abstract art collective, the last 5 years has been a sonic and visual gateway drug to where the group stand today. A new line-up with new vision, armed with new ideas, new conviction, and the best material they have ever written.

Aside from creating righteous and soul searching sonic sounds, the designs of their EP sleeves, badges and clothing are truly works of art. When these are in your possession, it makes you feel special. The detail in the imagery consumes you and makes you feel somehow connected to the process.

Wearing the badge of Lions of Dissent upon your chest gives you a sense of rich pride that drenches you in glory.

They are true outliers in collective communication.The new single Medicate + Alleviate is released via Lion Rebel Recordings on 20 August 2021.

In a world engulfed in turbulent chaos the group found salvation, escapism and focus in making music together. Medicate + Alleviate is the first single to be taken from the group’s forthcoming new EP ‘Second Best Time is Now’. Written and self-produced by the band over the last 12 months via a combination of home recording setups and their studio in Birmingham, Medicate + Alleviate invokes an intensity of emotion, recollection and hope. Medicate + Alleviate, and the whole EP, has been recorded live, with minimal overdubs.

It is described by producer and multi-instrumentalist Simon Weaver as “an attempt to capture an energy and a feeling. It was recorded completely live for that purpose, you can hear the soul of the band like never before and we firmly believe that process has led us to create our best work yet”.Counterfeit Mag caught up with Tim Baker, who leads the creative direction, guitar & vocals of the band.

 

What was the initial thought process for creating Lions of Dissent? 

“I wanted to create something that was more than just a band, something without limits. After being choked by band culture for pretty much my entire adult life it felt really liberating to get off that treadmill, at least in my head anyway.Mindset is so important and when we started I had no plan to even play live or release music in a traditional sense, the initial idea was to use LoD as a vehicle to compose music for film but things developed away from that and it went from a solo project to a 10 piece collective in under 2 years. I would still love to do a film soundtrack.”

 

How important is it as a collective to create DIY? 

“For me it’s essential as it has given me 100% control over every aspect of our creative output. Factory Records has always been a massive influence, not only the amazing music and art but their mindset was so pure, authentic and ambitious. It’s something I aspire to everyday. Any art or artist that makes people think ‘I can do that’ is so important. Last thing culture needs is the creative industries becoming elitist and unobtainable, which is sadly what seems to be happening, things become very sterile that way. Art should be alive and it should push boundaries.”

 

In terms of your musical output, what kind of genres/artists inspires the process?

“I really try and keep an open mind as I think everything should inspire you in some way, even if it’s informing you how not to do something. The first bands I was obsessed with were The Beatles, The Sex Pistols and Oasis which gave me an amazing foot in the door. These days it’s really people like Anton Newcombe, Jason Pierce, New Order, too many to name but anything that is authentic and has soul and originality.

Closer to home there’s a band from Wolves called The Sandkings who released some great music in the late 80s and early 90s. Glenn from the band has become a close ally and we have a lot in common, especially in terms of our attitudes towards making music, I would certainly recommend people check them out.”

Lions of Dissent medicate cd

What would you say is your proudest moment so far? And what is your greatest ambition as a band? 

“We’ve had some great moments, being in touch with Lee Scratch Perry and seeing him in our lion t-shirt and hearing him speak positively about our music is pretty high. Selling out both of our only headline gigs was special, especially in 2 different cities, but the proudest moment for me is still being here and doing it – we’ve had a strange trajectory in many ways, it’s been very stop/start with a lot of challenges to overcome.

We’ve gone from 10 to 5 core members which tells its own story but ultimately it felt too good to leave on the shelf and the new single and EP is the best music we have ever made. The ambition always remains the same, to keep looking forward and believing our best work is still ahead of us.”

 

On hearing the new release, the result feels and sounds dedicated to the cause. How difficult has it been to get to this point? 

“It’s not been easy but we love doing it and the line-up of the group now is amazing, both musically and the people involved. We’ve got each other through the craziness of the last 18 months by making music together, this EP is for us, which is a return to the original LoD ethos.

A couple of years ago I got a bit caught up in it and we maybe played the game a bit more than I was comfortable with. I can safely say now the music is 100% what I want us to sound like. It’s pure, honest and authentic, we recorded it live for that reason and the results were better than any of us could have hoped for.”

 

How important is it the way you portray yourself as a collective visually? 

“Very. We will always be more than just a band and the design is a huge part of that identity. Lindsay has been by my side through all of it and she just gets it every time. The design reflects the music and vice versa. At the end of the day Lions of Dissent is about the people involved, everyone has the freedom to express themselves and we all trust and believe in each other.”

 

What’s next on the horizon for LoD?

“Medicate + Alleviate is out now and we’re really proud of it and just hope people enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed creating it. The new EP is also pretty much finished with a loose release date planned for Autumn this year.

We want to get back to selling out live shows again and getting people excited about us. It’s been a mad few years but we’re still here and that’s half the battle – never give up on what you love.”

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