The Lottery Winners are a British indie pop band from Leigh, Greater Manchester, England. The band was formed in 2008 by Thom Rylance (vocals/guitar), Robert Lally (guitar/vocals), Katie Lloyd (bass/vocals), and Joe Singleton (drums).
Formed in 2008, original drummer Alex Langford-Taylor was subsequently replaced by long-time friend Joe Singleton, otherwise the line-up has stayed constant since then. The band recorded their debut album The Art of Communication in 2011
The Lottery Winners signed to Modern Sky UK in 2019. They released their first single, “Hawaii”, with the label in September 2019.
Their self-titled studio album reached number 23 on the UK Albums Chart in March 2020 mwhich was followed by a covers album called Sounds of Isolation which featured versions of tracks made famous by Rick Astley, Oasis, Joy Division, the Smiths and the Housemartins.
In 2021, the Lottery Winners announced their Start Again EP, which would feature Frank Turner on the title track and Sleeper on “Bad Things” (an R&B-laced indie-pop track, which features vocals from that band’s singer Louise Wener).
On 10 December 2021, the band charted on the Official Albums Chart Top 100 at number 11 with their third album Something to Leave the House For,
JANET – Firstly thanks for finding time in what I’m sure is a hectic schedule to answer these questions, and I hope that Thom s recovering from his recent injury. We heard it happened on stage during a performance, but that you carried on and finished the set, what happened?
THOM – Yep, that’s true. And a lot of people are calling me a hero and legend about it, but don’t believe those rumours, as true as they may be. I was showing off like I always do, but a bit too much and ending up crashing into our guitarist Rob, and dislocating and fracturing my knee. The absolute best place to fall over and badly hurt yourself is in a room full of people that specifically looking directly at you.
JANET – How s the tour going? Selling out the Albert hall date within days, you must be pleased, were you expecting that kind of reaction?
THOM – Days!? Hours mate! No, that was a pretty overwhelming day. And it’s happening everywhere too, we’ve just played loads of places I’d never even heard of and sold them out. It’s really weird and amazing. I’m not taking a second of it for granted.
JANET – What can we expect from a Lottery Winners gig? What do we get when we come to see you, for those who haven’t been.
THOM – I suppose that’s not for me to say, really. I promise we always put on a show though, we really try to make everyone feel like a part of it, and we never take ourselves too seriously.
JANET – And you’ll be playing at the Neighbourhood Weekender festival in Warrington, which is very close to Leigh where you guys are from, what does this mean to you, it’s almost like a home town festival date.
THOM – Yeah! Truly excited for this one. It’s a festival we’ve always wanted to do and this year’s line-up is particularly fruitful! Pulp, man! It doesn’t get much better from that.
JANET – So being from Leigh, in the north west of the UK, What was it like starting up a band, and tell us about the music scene locally.
THOM – I have a theory about this. There isn’t really a music scene, like in London or Manchester or whatever, but… LOADS of my mates are fucking incredible musicians. Like seriously bewilderingly good. I think because the schools, certainly when I was growing up, lacked in many areas, it pushed people to express themselves through creative ventures, like guitars and drums, rather than focusing on academic exploits. We’re all total idiots though.
JANET – your lyrics can be very witty and observational, has growing up in a northwestern town had any influence on your sound, themes etc?
THOM – Thank you! I think growing up where I did influenced everything about who I am, and does for most people. A product of our environments. As for the sound, I think that’s just what happens naturally when I pick up an instrument.
JANET – How do you describe your sound and musical genre…what are the lottery winners?
THOM – Dunno. Mediocre indie pop?
JANET – Who or what are your biggest inspirations?
THOM – I’m inspired by everything! Films, books, music, theatre, conversations, my friends, my enemies, bad times, good times, heartbreak, love. Finding The Smiths as a pre-teen was the first time, I really understood the power of the song, and the words. So, I have been divinely inspired by that moment ever since.
JANET – What’s the creative process when song writing etc?
THOM – It completely various to be honest. Mostly a song just presents itself to you, and you’re really nothing more than a medium in a seance. Sometimes it can be laborious. Sometimes a line can hang around for years. Sometimes a melody comes first. It’s never the same.
JANET – Your well known for your covers, which you really do make your own (my personal favourite is Psycho Killer, Talking Heads) How do you decide which songs to cover, and how do you put that Lottery Winner stamp on them?
THOM – Thanks! I dunno really! I just love recording and every time I’ve ever recorded a cover it’s like picking a song apart and putting it back together again. Having a look at its insides and its cogs and guts. Finding out what makes it tick. I think that’s a very useful exercise for any songwriter.
JANET – how did the ‘sea shanty’ Nickelback cover idea come about? Can you tell us about the collaboration with Nickelback that came from it?
THOM – Oh god. I’m still not sure that’s even real. It was meant to just be us messing about on tik-tok, which we know absolutely nothing about. All kinds of postmen were doing sea shanties, so I thought ‘we can have a bit of this’. I just so happened to be cleaning my house to a cleaning playlist and Nickelback’s Rockstar was playing at the time, so I suggested it to Rob. We made it in about eight minutes. Put it online and it had like a million views overnight. Then Nickelback messaged the next day, and the rest is history; forever stuck at the top of our Spotify.
JANET – You’ve collaborated with some pretty big and influential musicians etc now, which have been your favourites and why
THOM – Oh man, getting to work with any of my heroes is always just completely dreamy. I still can’t believe any of them said yes. The ones on the next record are HUGE.
JANET – it’s been a difficult few years with the pandemic, obviously you did the covers from covid and released an album from that, but how did you get through the lockdown, and was it important to stay creative?
THOM – Without being constantly creative, I’d have completely caved. I made something every day to dull the pain of it all. Kept busy and distracted. It was very difficult, but I’ve learned to appreciate everything more because of it. There’s nothing sweet without the bitter things.
JANET – How was that first live performance after the music industry returned to some kind of normality?
THOM – Emotional.
JANET – What do you get from performing live?
THOM – Everything. I feel like an alien all of the time in my life, in everything I do, except when I’m on stage. Weird that isn’t it
JANET – what are your most random gig experiences, as performers or a crowd members?
THOM – Ha-ha, we do something weird and random every night on tour. It’s never the same, that’s what I love about it. There’s been so many fucked up and funny things that I can’t even recall a single event.
JANET – What’s next for the lottery winners after the tour ends?
THOM – Total world domination. Either that or another mildly successful album and more touring.
JANET – What’s the most surreal experience on your journey so far?
THOM – All of it is surreal. Being stopping in the street. Having my tunes sang back at me. Working with my heroes. Selling out gigs. Meaning something to people. Doing what I love. Being who I always wanted to be. Surreal.
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My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i’m blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.