Born Lion Interview: “High energy and debauchery”

Born Lion

Born Lion’s new album Celebrate The Lie is out now via ABC Music.

Australian noise/rock/punk quartet Born Lion recently released their stellar new album Celebrate The Lie. Visceral and urgent, the set recalls a time when rock bands were both lushly aggressive and inherently melodic. Combining hard rock riffs, the frenetic pace of hardcore, and insistent pop choruses, the group have created a sound that is both explosive and immediate.

We caught up with the band to talk favouring pop hooks, 90s grunge, and inspiration.

Overblown: The first song I heard by you was ‘Slowly Sinking’ and I absolutely love it. For me, the song is like if Tom Morello joined Fugazi on guitar. I love it. What inspired the song?

Born Lion: Thank you! What an excellent comparison! We put the majority of this one together one night when the lead guitarist and bass player couldn’t make rehearsal. It was just the one guitar and drums. We came up with the main verse sections that night and the RATM style riff came later.

Overblown: I think it is excellent that you are not afraid of including catchy pop hooks in your songs. I think that many modern rock bands are more concerned with being cool than hooky. What do you think?

Born Lion: We do love a good hook. More so on this new record. I was definitely trying to get some more melodies into the songs and seeing what was possible to achieve with my voice.

Born Lion
‘Celebrate The Lie’ artwork by Celeste Potter.

Overblown: The artwork for Celebrate The Lie is pretty unusual. Who created it? What is the concept behind it?

Born Lion: It’s by a Melbourne based artist Celeste Potter. She has a pretty unique style. It basically represents the quaint family home but with sinister elements happening below.

Overblown: I would love to see you guys live. Any plans to come to Europe?

Born Lion: We’d love to come to Europe. No plans at the moment but you never know!

Overblown: John has said, “We really tried to forget any kind of label that had been put on us. We just wanted to make something we enjoyed without being concerned as to what musical category that placed us in.” Were you worried that if, for instance, you thought of yourselves as simply a ‘punk’ band or a ‘rock’ band or whatever, that your music would become one dimensional?

Born Lion: We are into a really broad range of music. We don’t feel like we fit neatly into a particular scene. We just write music that gets us excited.

Overblown: I love the whole record, but another track that stuck for me was ‘Evil K’. For me, it has a big soaring Stone Temple Pilots like chorus. Are you a fan of that type of 90s alt-rock?

Born Lion: For sure. Was crazy into Nirvana and Pearl Jam (Vitalogy is incredible). There’s also a range of amazing Aussie bands from that period like You Am I and Shihad that had a massive impact on my writing.

Overblown: Your live shows seem to be super energetic and powerful. What can people expect at a Born Lion show?

Born Lion: High energy and debauchery. We put everything we have into our shows and leave nothing behind. No One could ever accuse us of phoning it in!

Overblown: Will Born Lion take over the world?

Born Lion: I’m going to say… Yes 😉

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