Lost Like Lions fights back in new EP ‘Fear of Letting Go’

If you’re like me, you’ve given up on trying to go through life with any kind of grace. I’ve moved through my existence kicking and screaming at every turn at the various forces set upon me, fueled only by a ridiculously bass-boosted playlist, caffeine, and spite. I’m not saying it’s the right way to go through life, but I am saying it has given me a good taste in music.

A strong playlist is essential, it’s like coming up for air before going back into battle. Only music that fuels the fight will do, and nobody else seems to understand the up and down cycle of struggle more than Lost Like Lions in their latest EP Fear of Letting Go. It is equal parts deep breath, ice cold water splashed on the face, and battle call. It may not fix the eternal struggle with the universe, but it sure makes the weapons we fight life with just a little lighter.

Hailing from Buffalo, New York, Lost Like Lions is a pop-punk, alt-rock, well-kept secret. Thriving in their local circuit, the band holds a special place in many hearts around Buffalo due to their quality showmanship and lyrical vulnerability. A staple in the area, Lost Like Lions proved that time away during 2020 only gave them the time to come back invigorated, and more confident than ever before.

Home to their recent single “Back to Life“, Fear of Letting Go is poignant and raw. Long awaited since their last EP The Devil That You Know released in 2020, Lost Like Lion’s new EP is wide-reaching and experimental with an early 2000’s pop-punk feel that’s instantly recognizable. Their sound is a siren’s call to anyone who loves Sum 41, Yellowcard, Blink-182.

All The Alt Things sat down with lead vocalist/guitarist Derrik Schiersing of Lost Like Lions to discuss the release, their change in process, and the confidence that comes with growing up.

I listened to this EP so many times, just for my own pleasure. I loved it. There are only 5 songs, but it goes through some really big ideas. You go through life and love and loss and there’s this common theme of a lack of control. Was that meant to be the focal point of this entire album?

SCHIERSING: Kind of. The funny thing is that “Fear of Letting Go” was actually the last song that was written out of that batch. It ties everything together.  It’s like, “Oh I should let go of that relationship or that situation, but there’s always that fear of starting fresh and wiping the slate clean.” We really wanted to end the EP with that. It’s hard because we would love to do a full-length album and really focus on an idea, but doing an EP is just where it’s at lately.

Yeah, I definitely have a lot of respect for artists who are still putting out full-length albums. It just seems like EPs are the trend right now.

Yeah, so we [batch record]. I’ve been recording with my buddy since I was sixteen years old. He lives up in New York City, so I work with the band to jam [the tracks] out and then I take them up to him to start the recording process. We do guitars first with a fake drum track to keep the tempo, then he’ll send them back to me so the band and I can do the rest at home. So, when I go we do three to five songs. We work on those and then write a new one, and we try to release every year. 

I see your last EP came out around the time the pandemic took place. How did that timing affect your process? It was such a difficult period for musicians.

We started that EP in 2019. We were supposed to add a fourth song to it but we couldn’t [get it done]. We weren’t practicing, the four of us couldn’t even get in a room together, so we had to scratch that one. That was in February, so that was weird. We were so grateful to finally be able to start playing shows again last year—and to go to shows again! We aren’t a touring band, we just play around locally, so that period of time really made us appreciate the opportunity for creativity. It was frustrating. You need to be able to go to shows, you need the connection. It’s great that tours are coming back around again.

Did your process change between The Devil That You Know and now? How have you guys continuously evolved?

It seems like we seem to get more comfortable as a band with every EP. I think being able to jam together after being apart for so long changed a lot. All of the songs were already there in my head. During the first practice we got together, I was like, “And this is where the drums come in,” and so on. It was different because the ideas for the EP had been set and I’d been [alone with] my acoustic guitar. It was boring, but it was so great finally getting together and making it come back to life.

We are so much more comfortable writing songs together now. “Fear of Letting Go” had us experimenting a bit, but “Conversation” doesn’t stray too far. It’s a good pop-rock song and we’re getting more comfortable with who we are. We want to try something new with every EP [without going] too far. Maybe next time we’ll add some electronica, or a fast song, or a slow song. But whatever we do to play and progress, our sound will still persist.

I am trying to learn guitar more classically. There are songs that I wanted to sound different, but I couldn’t work out what I wanted. So that’s something I’ll definitely be working toward in the future to really stretch this idea of what our sound is.

Yeah, you guys definitely have developed a signature sound over the last three or four years. Your releases are fresh and dynamic but you have a style that’s recognizable and confident. How did you develop this Lost Like Lions essence? 

Obviously, I grew up with Blink-182. They’re the whole reason I picked up a guitar—they made it look so cool. Right off the top of my head, my top five [bands] were Blink-182, Third Eye Blind, Death Cab for Cutie, Oasis, and probably Jimmy Eat World. Now, all that nostalgic stuff is coming back. It’s fun. I saw Hawthorne Heights a few months ago and their vocalist, J.T. Woodruff, said, “You guys thought we were cool in middle school and then you grew up and you didn’t need us anymore. Now you’re older and your life sucks again and we’re still here for ya.” It was so funny how he played that off.

Listen, he’s not wrong.

So there we were, all these kids who listened to them in middle school, all together again. It’s so cool. You get to an age and you’re trying to be cool like, “Oh I don’t listen to them anymore.” But eventually you just want to listen to what you want. That’s where we’re at. We know what lane we’re in, we know what music we like and what kind of music we want to create—it’s the music that we enjoy. 

I heard “Back to Life” in March and it was just so great. It was like sunshine on my face, I absolutely fell in love with it. Then, I got to experience that again with this EP. It starts with “Back to Life,” which feels like a greeting. Then there’s “Medicate,” which breaks down these difficult topics of breakups and medicating. And finally “Fear of Letting Go” closes out like the record’s thesis statement. It felt like I was listening to a series of letters—they’re just all so personal. Was that intentional or are you just that good?

Again, “Fear of Letting Go” was the last song written. But just before that, [we’d written] “Back To Life.” It was funny, I was playing “Back to Life” and I was like, “This is the intro track.” I wanted it to be a quick, nice little intro to the EP. So, when we were talking about releasing the songs I said we had to put it first. It made so much sense. Then, I knew “Fear of Letting Go” had to be the least track. I wanted to wrap up the EP with something everyone goes through. It’s incredibly relatable and it’s scary because we always want to go for what’s familiar. 

So what’s next after this?

We’re going to press these songs onto a CD. It’s wild, but it’s so cool to have a physical copy. Then we have some local shows through the rest of the year and we’ve talked about going down the west coast. We’re already writing new songs. We want to take a trip just to get away and work on songs in new surroundings. We just want to put out more music, and reaching new followers is always nice. We’ve got a wonderful base of consistent fans who are so kind to us, and they really keep us going.


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