Lauds’ debut full-length Imitation Life is a lush, aural tapestry of blissed-out guitars against a backdrop of rhythmic tension woven by the five-piece, Wilmington, NC-based band. The lyrics of the 10 tracks ping-pong between anxious introspection and the search for fleeting bits of contentment in life, like the best empathetic, reflective autumnal rock of the second Brit invasion era. On songs like Wasted Hours, 24 and Rust, the elegantly anguished vocals wash over the listener like the waters of Cape Fear and the Atlantic Ocean that dominate the Wilmington landscape, evoking the “post-surf stupor” that songwriters J. Holt Evans lll and Mckay Glasgow feel after a day riding its waves. We caught up with the band to ask them about what inspires them and how they formed: 

How did the band form and what does the band name mean? 

MK: We had become friends when another band I play with recorded an album at Holt III and Boyce’s dad’s home studio.  Holt II (their dad) had told me that Holt III would be interested in some of the new demos we were making.  I met up with him and found out he had some demos as well and I really liked them.  Then we got together with our friend Rett Nabell and started writing.  Within the first months we released a single and started playing shows, even got an opening spot for Futurebirds on their tour.  Since then, the lineup has changed some and currently it’s the original three and our good friend Gavin Campbell playing bass.  As far as the name, I had always liked religious words as band names.  We wanted it to be one word and sonically interesting.  We landed on Lauds which is the name of an early morning prayer service in the Anglican Church.  The echoey cathedral-like associations seemed cool to us and our style of music and applied with some of the kind of Southern gothic artwork and literature that we like. 

JHEIII:   I also really like bands with one syllable names: Sleep, DIIV, Mourn, Wire, Blur etc. 

Previous musical projects? How'd you first get into music? 

The boys had the advantage of growing up with a very musical father who played in numerous rock bands and steeped them, and subsequently me, in shoegaze and British indie bands like Suede, Ride and My Bloody Valentine.  We’ve all been in other bands but all agree that this is closest to the music we want to make.  We are drawn to hooky, loud guitar music. 

First concert that you ever went to? 

JHE III: I think the first show that I bought tickets for and went to myself was maybe seeing the Love Language (legendary North Carolina band) at this place called the Soapbox in Wilmington when I was in high school. Was an amazing bar that put on all ages shows and you could do your laundry on the first floor. Wilmington hasn't ever really recovered from it shutting down. They turned it into a waffle house. 

MK: One of the first local to Wilmington shows I went to was seeing He is Legend when I was maybe 14.  We still like their music a lot and have gotten to know some of the guys.  First big National show I went to was probably seeing Bloc Party and Minus the Bear in Winston Salem. 

What's your writing process like? 

MK: Holt and I are the primary songwriters but everyone contributes ideas. We have been pretty reflective over the last couple years figuring out life and where we are going.  We talk a lot about our lives and relationships as friends.  Our lyrics have been pretty introspective up to this point but there is collaboration on all instrumentation, lyrics and artwork in our band. 

What other artists or songs inspire your music? 

JHE III: Figured I would take this one as the resident nerd 

1.  92 degrees-Siouxsie and the Banshees: Tinderbox is really the record that got me into this band. My parents didn’t listen to Siouxsie very much so I kind of discovered them on my own and was blown away. The production is just incredible and the guitars really sparkle on this song. The way the guitar melodies underpin her vocals throughout the song was really inspiring to me when writing lead parts for songs like ‘24’ and ‘Somehow’ on the record. 

2. Here's Where the Story Ends- The Sundays: I adore the Sundays and this record in particular is one of my favorites. Completely guilty of trying to ape the 12 string strummed acoustic sound from this song on our song "Rust". 

3. Slowdive-Slowdive: This is such a beautiful song. Rachel Goswell and Neil Halstead's vocals really evoke a sense of yearning and McKay and I feel like we try to channel similar feelings in the songs that we write for Lauds. I also love it when bands are self referential, and I guess in this case they are also referencing the Banshees. 

4. Hide- Secret Shame: Secret Shame are an incredible band from Asheville. This track with its bassline and vocal hook is a real ear-worm. A buddy of mine and I went to see them earlier this year at Ruby Deluxe in Raleigh and we were completely blown away by their energy and just how good the songs were. Lena, their vocalist is incredible and absolutely belts it live. I love their new record and and while not an explicit influence on our music I feel as though we operate in similar spheres sonically so I wanted to shout them out. 

5. The Disillusionist- The Church: Menacing song. Not expressedly political but seems to gain poignancy with each passing year. Marty Wilson-Piper and Peter Koppes guitar-interplay is definitely an influence on our sound. Priest = Aura is such a great record. 

6. In Blur- Deafheaven: This was probably my favorite track of 2021. I love that it’s a bit of an homage to Vapor Trail by Ride. I’m a huge Deafheaven (and Ride) fan and the more post rock oriented bits of their songs are definitely an influence on us. I still probably listen to ‘Sunbather’ all the way through once a week. 

7. Return of the Roughnecks- The Chameleons: Riff after riff after riff after riff. Profound and powerful lyrics. An all time moment for us as a band was opening up a solo acoustic show for Mark Burgess this summer. Lovely guy and a dream come true for us. 

8. When I turn 50- Dulce Hombre: Dulce Hombre is our friend Jeff Corkery’s solo project. We wrote the song Distant Images together and he is one of the best musicians and guitar players I know. His first EP as Dulce Hombre is incredible. Mix of dancehall, Costello type power pop, surf rock. Sounds like drinking mojitos all day by the pool with your friends. 

9. Burnt Almonds- Mute Swan: James, the boss of our label Fort Lowell, showed me this band who I believe are from Tucson. Guitars, bass, drums, all locked to kind of make one big mega-riff. Super hypnotic. The record this song is on ‘Only Ever’ is unreal in the car. Would love for Lauds to play with them some day. 

What's the live experience like and your philosophy on playing live? Do you think the music live should be identical to the recorded version or should it be it's own thing? 

As a band you are always working to make the live show better.  I feel like we have found the right pieces to do that.  We don’t have a lot of theatrics.  We put a lot of effort into just getting through all the parts as cleanly as we can while also trying to put feeling into the vocals.  We are really working on recreating some of the background vocals from recordings being featured more in live shows.  We are also trying to connect more with the crowd.  It used to feel like we were just trying to survive shows because there was a lot of moving parts with pedals and riffs that were 10 percent above our abilities at the time.  Now we have gotten better and it feels like we can have fun.  It’s also cool to see people singing out there.  That means a lot to us. 

Has the band tour? What has the touring experience been, best shows? worst shows? 

MK: We haven’t really toured but we have played shows in the Triangle and are getting more traction in Winston Salem and western NC.  Best show is definitely getting to open for Mark Burgess of the Chameleons at Monstercade in Winston Salem.  We haven’t had any terrible shows from a crowd or venue standpoint.  But I do remember feeling the most stressed out about playing a show in the triangle the Sunday after thanksgiving. It was rainy and we left some gear and we’re all feeling stressed about whether we had done enough to promote it.  It actually turned out fine and we all agreed we needed to be better prepared if we were going to be going on the road.  We’ve had opportunities to get on the road more but we’ve been learning from weekend trips and waiting to put out an album til now. 

What's up next for the band? 

MK: We’ve already been recording new stuff and we will either have a new batch of EPs or album within the next year.  It took us a long time to get our self titled EP out but I feel like we have been cooking since then and feeling more certain about the type of songs we want to write.  We are also working more on visuals for our music.  We’ve known that it is important but haven’t taken the time u til recently to work with some of our visual artist friends.  Be on the look out for those! 




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