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Interviewing Lambs Become Lions

Joel Barnhart
July 04, 2011

Photo by: LBL

So a few months back I wrote an article about the band Lambs Become Lions, a relatively new band out of St. Catharines. While covering S.C.E.N.E., I had the opportunity to see them play at L3. Later on that evening, I had a chance to hold an interview with the band members Eric Conlon, Justin "JJ" Jennings, Rob Paulin, Jesse Ingelevics and Brandon Deline.

GP: Ok, so first off, thanks for doing the interview. Saw your show today,
it was great. So when did you guys start?

ERIC: JJ and I started jamming about a year ago, right after JJ left
Waterbodies and Journey to Aspen broke up. Started jamming, had a few
really good jams, we were enjoying it, started piecing it together then I
met Brandon at Mansion House, he was playing with a friend of mine. I
messaged him, he messaged me a couple days later, and that's kinda where
it all started. We played a show, and then Jesse was out, and ran into
Timur, and he was like "yeah, they're looking for a new drummer.

JESSE: Yeah, I was pretty drunk with some Australian friends, and, I'm not
gonna lie, I was pretty drunk. I was hanging out with Timur, and he told
me that this band needs a drummer and that I should be drumming, and he
misses seeing me drum. I was kinda like "Ok, that'd be cool", then on my
own time, a week or so later, I checked these guys out, and I really
really liked it. It's got some great lead guitars and some great vocals,
and I got in touch and said "can we jam", and went from there.

GP: How long have you guys known each other?

ERIC: JJ and I actually lived in the same house for a couple months on
different levels, and like, we'd known each other before, because
some of the guys from my old band new him, I mean JJ has
played in Manic Ghost, The Story Teller, like, big bands around this
scene, so a lot of the guys that I played music with knew him from that.

JJ: And Rob too, Rob was in Storyteller

ROB: Yeah, my room mate at the time when we lived on Katherine, invited
Eric to live in our place, technically we had three rooms, so we split it up
that way, and we were also in Journey to Aspen at the time, so everything
kinda spun off that way as well.

GP: Who are some of your influences?

ERIC: How long can this thing record? (they laugh) Personally I grew up
listening to Barenaked Ladies, really liked Jimmy Eat World, bands like
Danger Summer. Bands that are like, doing their own thing, but make it
good. Like, people get into it.

JESSE: JJ and I love Hopesfall (they laugh) That's all I'm gonna say.

BRANDON: I think we all can agree that Dallas Green has been a huge
influence on everything. No but like, a lot of people have said Mayday
Parade with Eric's vocals, and personally with Piano Cartel and stuff.
There's been a lot of bands like, a couple of years ago that were
really hitting it, and now it seems like that kind of style is coming

ERIC: I had someone say Incubus tonight.

BRANDON: Yeah, I've heard that as well!

JJ: I have not heard that.

ROB: I personally take Incubus as a solid source, but maybe that's just me.

BRANDON: I take Incubus as a strong compliment on the vocals, like the
incubus vocals, live, studio, it's always been dead on. The majority of
the compliments I've heard it's on Eric, on his vocals, just how clean he
is in the studio. Our studio visits have just been ridiculous. With Eric
it's just one or two takes and it's knocked out of the park.

JJ: Getting back to our influences (they laugh), We all have different
varieties and influences, and when you mash them all together, it kinda
makes a sound. Obviously we're more of a popper rock band, but our
influences kind of come in. Like, for me you've got At the Drive In,
you've got Hopesfall, you've got Glass Jaw. These are all bands that by
all means are not even comparable to this band, but in my playing, you can
kinda hear it.

ERIC: Honestly, as far as writing goes, I listen to a lot of country. So
like, country structures, like storytelling.

GP: Where did the name Lambs Become Lions come from?

ERIC: It's from the Robin Hood movie with uh, what's his name?

JESSE: Russel Crowe

ERIC: There's this scene where some guy's dying and he hands him this
sword that like, has this emblazoned on the handle, I thought it was a
really cool idea. People try to go from nothing to something,
Like how much that mirrors the battles of a band, liken how we're trying
to go from what we're doing right now to playing the mainstage at every
festival every summer, you know?

GP: Who do you think would win a fight? Bugs Bunny or Yakko from the

JESSE: Yakko Wakko and…Dot? Were the Animaniacs? Yakko was the older one,

BRANDON: He's going all analytical (they laugh)

JESSE: So it was Yakko or Bugs Bunny? Bugs Bunny's just been around for
too long, He'd know what to do.

ROB: I think just for the longevity.

ERIC: If you ever watch a Bugs Bunny cartoon, he his cunning as s**t. He's
like the Muhammed Ali of cartoons.

GP: You guys mentioned that you were doing some studio work, do you have
an album coming out soon?

ERIC: Yeah.

BRANDON: Oh yeah

JESSE: Yes we do.

ERIC: We're releasing it early August, we just finished the last recording
session this Friday, and basically, I don't think we're gonna end up
mastering it, but it's fully mixed and should be pressed and ready
for August.

GP: So for the album, are you guys gonna have a CD release party, or a tour
to support it?

ROB: We have a little mini tour right now, we got three dates, we got St.Catharines, Hamilton, um..

JJ: Well basically the way we're doing it, like all of us, we've all been
in bands where you tour out there and it's like, "let's f**king do it" and
sometimes you lose money, so we're gonna start with the smaller areas and
work our way up, so we can really capitalize on fanbase and money. Make it
as structured as possible, rather than going out on a limb and losing
money, cuz we're all older gentlemen, and y'know, we like money, so.

ERIC: Well the thing of it is we're a group of guys who have like,
mortgages and kids, and stuff? You can't be out on the road and not making

JESSE: I'd like to note that we like money, but we like making music more
than money. Money just keeps you living.

JJ: It's gas in the tank.

ROB: Our experience is that when you start losing money in a band, that's
when things start going downhill, so that's what we're trying to avoid,
that whole financial spiral that a lot of bands go through that ends in

ERIC: This is a good time to mention that we do all of our shows through
Indoor Shoes. It's run by Timur Inceoglu and he helps us out a lot, and
he's very generous to his bands and that's really helped us. We haven't
had to pay out of pocket for our CD, because he's been so good at paying
us adequately.

BRANDON: When Eric first approached me about joining the band, he was
talking about a 6 month goal of packing out a venue like the Mansion
House, and like, with Indoor Shoes and Timur, we were able to do that in
two months. And that was really surprising for me.

ROB: To go back to the whole money thing, it's not that we're looking to
make a crazy amount of money, it's not that, it's that we're looking to
support the band. Do we want a f**king Porsche? no.

ERIC: Do we want a burger tonight? Yes.

JJ: Do I want a nice little Ford Focus like Jesse's got? and like Rob's
got? I would love a Ford Focus like Jesse and Rob, and I would love to be
on the road playing all the time. Y'know, I don't want a fancy car or a
big house, I just wanna play music and live comfortably.

So there you have it. Check out their Facebook page below!

- Joel Barnhart -