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Music / Lostprophets

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But we sing, if we're going nowhere
Yeah, we sing, if it's not enough
And we sing, sing without a reason
To ever fall in love
— "Last Train Home"

Lostprophets was an Alternative Rock band from Wales. Musically, they combined Emo, Alternative Metal, Post-Hardcore, Hard Rock, and Pop Punk.

Formed in 1997 by lead singer Ian Watkins, bassist Mike Lewis (who later switched to guitar), guitarist Lee Gaze and drummer Mike Chiplin (departed in 2005), they quickly gained attention via touring, signing their first deal in 1999.

The band was found by two members of hardcore band Public Disturbance, guitarist Mike Lewis and drummer Ian Watkins. Original line-up consisted of Watkins on vocals, Lewis on bass, Lee Gaze on lead guitar and Mike Chiplin on drums. Although Watkins and Lewis originally had Lostprophets (then stylized as Lozt Prophetz) as a side project, both eventually left Public Disturbance to focus on their new band.

Within their first three years of existence, they expanded to six-piece with addition of bassist Stuart Richardson (while Lewis switched to rhythm gutiar) and turntablist DJ Stepzak. They released their first album, Thefakesoundofprogress, in 2000 (by then they already wrote their name as Lostprophets). Stepzak was subsequently replaced by keyboardist / metal screamer Jamie Oliver. The line-up then remained the same, aside from drummer position.

The band's popularity arrived with their second album, Start Something, particularly with the single "Last Train Home". Following the tour for this album, Mike Chiplin left the band. Most of the drumming on their next album, Liberation Transmission was done by session drummer Josh Freese, although their new official drummer Ilan Rubin played on two songs. Liberation Transmission and its leading single "Rooftops" were also fairly successful, altough some older fans were not pleased with the album's Lighter and Softer direction.

Rubin left the band in 2009, although not before he completed drums on all songs on their fourth album, The Betrayed. He subsequently went to play with Nine Inch Nails, Paramore and Angels & Airwaves and was replaced by Luke Johnson. Despite a style that is more typically likened to bands from the U.S.A. (or perhaps because of it), they were much more popular in the U.K. than in the U.S., leading them to not release their 4th album in North America. However, they signed a new deal, leading to their 5th album, Weapons, having a June 2012 U.S. release.

In October 2013, the group publicly announced that they could no longer continue to make or perform music as Lostprophets in light of the serious and disturbing criminal charges involving child pornography and molestation brought against Watkins the prior year, which he has since pleaded guilty to. Subsequently, all the band members except Watkins recruited new singer Geoff Rickly, and regrouped under the name No Devotion. Their website can be found here.

Their discography:

  • Thefakesoundofprogress (2000)
  • Start Something (2004)
  • Liberation Transmission (2006)
  • The Betrayed (2010)
  • Weapons (2012)

This band provides examples of:

  • Age-Progression Song: The music video of "Last Summer" plays with this. The car windshield washer is doing the exact same thing, shown in three different decades.
  • Album Title Drop: Betrayed on "Sunshine". Also Para Todas La Putas Celosas (their demo) on one track, "Bitchez".
  • All Love Is Unrequited: The main focus of "Broken Hearts, Torn Up Letters and the Story of a Lonely Girl".
  • Arc Words: The phrase "make a move" comes up on three songs on Start Something. First it shows up on "Make a Move," then on the album's title track, and then finally on "Sway...". It then shows up in "Rooftops (A Liberation Broadcast)" on the next album.
  • The Band Minus the Face: Ultimately averted; they broke up due to Ian Watkins's criminal charges.
  • Broken Bird: Alluded to in "A Town Called Hypocrisy'':
    Can you take this lonely girl
    I pick her up from off the ground
  • Careful with That Axe: "To Hell We Ride" begins with a Metal Scream, right after the intro riff.
    • Similar screams occupy the same song's chorus, contrasting with Ian Watkins's clean vocals.
    • The vocals in "We are Godzilla, You are Japan" are mostly screams, although cleans are used too.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: "It's Not the End of the World, But I Can See It from Here" is a very upbeat song about, well, the end of the world.
  • Cover Version: Among others, they covered Shoulder to the Wheel, A View to a Kill, Boys Don't Cry, Cry Me a River, Need You Tonight...
  • Darker and Edgier: They promoted The Betrayed as this, in comparison to Liberation Transmission.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: One of the lines in "Last Summer" goes like this:
    The setting sunset, today is through
  • Destructive Romance: One way of interpreting the lyrics to Dirty Little Heart is the guilt and shame that someone in an abusive (mentally or physically, depending on your preference for metaphors) relationship feels for loving their abuser.
    These open wounds you gave me
    These broken bones will take me
    Crawling on through the debris of my
    Dirty little heart
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first EP they put out in 1997, long before they got signed, features Ian rapping and a ska-influenced horn section, among other things.
  • Fading into the Next Song: Mainly on Start Something and Betrayed. Other three albums don't feature it as prominently or at all.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: "4:AM Forever" has this as part of its music video.
  • Hidden Track: "Sway..." fades right into an electronic outro.
  • Long Title: These guys were doing it before emo and metalcore picked up on it. They dropped it on Start Something, but once they went in a more emo-inspired direction, the habit came back.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "Goodbye Tonight".
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Rooftops", big time.
  • Metal Scream: Ian attempted this on Thefakesoundofprogress, but from Start Something on, Jamie provided these much more successfully.
  • Miniscule Rocking: Thefakesoundofprogress had several interludes, most of which didn't even hit one minute in length. When the band re-recorded the album, the interludes got lumped in with the full songs instead of getting their own tracks.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: When Ian Watkins was convicted of his crimes, H from the British pop group Steps was attacked on Facebook and Twitter because his name is also Ian Watkins.
  • Naughty Birdwatching: What the host ("Tender Tim") of the "kids" show does in the music video for "A Town Called Hypocrisy".
  • New Sound Album: Liberation Transmission saw the band move from Alternative Metal to Alternative Rock / Post-Hardcore, had more polished sound, removed scratching and samples and featured only very little screaming. Naturally, some older fans were not pleased. Their subsequent two albums then combined the elements from this one and previous albums.
    • To a lesser extent, Start Something is also this. Jamie took over screaming duties from Ian, creating the familiar Vocal Tag Team of later albums, keyboards made more frequent and integral appearances, and scratching, while still prominent, tended to be placed in specific places on songs rather than being spread out over the entire track. The album also featured more guitar solos from Lee Gaze, heavier and lower-pitched guitar tunings, and the songs were consistently either Alternative Metal or Alternative Rock, rather than the genre-hopping Nu Metal of Thefakesoundofprogress.
  • Non-Appearing Title: Most of the songs on Thefakesoundofprogress (well, pretty much all of it except for its Title Track). They trimmed it back in later albums, although they still did it on occasion.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted with guitarist Mike Lewis and original drummer Mike Chiplin.
  • Police Are Useless: According to the chorus of "For He's a Jolly Good Felon", they are.
  • The Power of Friendship: The major theme of "Shinobi vs. Dragon Ninja". Also "Bring 'Em Down".
  • Protest Song: "Burn, Burn" (mainly in regards to mass media), as well as "Everyday Combat" and "Better Off Dead" (which are both aimed at problems with urban areas).
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Start Something is entirely free of profanity for most of the album. Then a voicemail message comes up as an interlude after "A Million Miles", and the first thing we hear is...
      Hey you fuckin' bitches!
    • "Everyday Combat", the first track of Liberation Transmission, ends with a shouted "Fuck!". The rest of the album is completely profanity-free.
  • Rap Rock: On their first two demos, Here Comes the Party and Para Todas La Putas Celosas. After that, they stopped using rap in their songs (except maybe "Better Off Dead" from Weapons).
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Ian did pretty much all of the vocals on Thefakesoundofprogress, but once Jamie took over backing vocal duties, they mostly stopped doing this.
  • Self-Empowerment Anthem: "Make a Move" and "Start Something" are both this.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Soprano and Gravel: Ian's melodic, more emotional vocals are the soprano, while Jamie's intense screams are the gravel.
  • Step Up to the Mic: Jamie gets a shot at lead vocals on "We are Godzilla, You are Japan".
  • Subverted Kids' Show: "Town Time", from the music video for "A Town Called Hypocrisy". It cuts between a British kids show and a cast party filled with all kinds of debauchery.
  • Title Track: Variously played with. Thefakesoundofprogress has one, although it's spelled with spaces unlike the album's space-less title. Liberation Transmission lends its words to two songs, "Rooftops (A Liberation Broadcast)" and "The New Transmission", Betrayed doesn't have one, but mentions it in a song and Weapons has a bonus track titled "Weapon". The only album that plays it completely straight is Start Something.
  • We Used to Be Friends: The bandmembers' relationship with Ian Watkins was severely tested by his drug abuse, which made him unreliable to the point where the band almost broke up (bassist Stuart Richardson revealed that he once beat Ian up on a tour bus for missing a show). Ian grew distant from his fellow bandmates, staying in Wales while they were in America, so they barely saw him. Following Ian's conviction of appalling sex crimes, the other bandmembers completely washed their hands of him and started No Devotion. Guitarist Lee Gaze even said that because Ian tarnished the band so badly, he can't even be proud of his past accomplishments, never mind listen to their music. They said that had they known about Ian's crimes, they would have killed him on the spot.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Downplayed on Thefakesoundofprogress. While the lyrics clearly have themes, Ian's lyrics got pretty abstract sometimes. One of the main criticisms of Liberation Transmission was how weak Ian's lyrics were at times.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Their original name was "Lozt Prophetz." Thankfully, they changed that.