Q&A with Lee Jones – The Solicitors


Melbourne based four piece The Solicitors are purveyors of fast paced, laconic New Wave pop. With the launch of their debut long-player ‘Blank Check’ the bands singer/songwriter Lee Jones took time out to answer a few questions for Life Music Media.

:: What track changed your life ::

‘Road To Nowhere’ by Talking Heads. I remember hearing it on the radio in the car when I lived in Newcastle, England, and my then manager saying “Talking Heads should be the band every band aspires to, take note” and I’d never heard of them before, after that I just listened to them non-stop. My manager was right.

:: What is your favourite Album ::

‘My Aim Is True’ by Elvis Costello

:: Name a band or artist we should checkout ::

The Naysayers

:: Favourite Quote ::

“If you never lie you don’t have to remember anything” Mark Twain

:: When on tour, you can’t live without ::

An itinerary. Organisation pleases me.

:: When you think of Australia, you think ::

Laid back. As an Englishman it took me a while to adjust to how nice & chilled everyone is here. At first I thought everyone must be after something or up to no good, but my natural sense of cynicism does lessen day by day.

:: Worst thing to happen to music is ::

Myspace. Right at the time I felt that was the beginning of the end. It basically took away all the hierarchy in music and made A&R a nightmare; there was such a deluge of crap that people stopped using their ears and just looked at ‘stats’ – that’s when artists with perceived popularity began getting signed over talent. Unfortunately that has become the status quo, and the record industry is falling apart because it’s so focused on the quick-fix option.

:: Best thing about the current music industry ::

That’s a hard question to answer because the ‘industry’ as we know it seems on it’s last legs. I guess the positive to take from it is that it’s always darkest before dawn. If history has taught us anything it’s that when something dies, something new and exciting often comes to the fore.

:: Biggest influence ::

I think my biggest influence as a writer is a sum of parts through my life. I have, at different times, obsessed over Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Kurt Cobain, Stevie Wonder, Talking Heads, Radiohead and Elvis Costello. Mix all that up and you get The Solicitors I reckon.

:: Childhood hero ::

I never really had any hero-worship thing, I idolised my friends and family for dealing with whatever crap happened upon them, and I still feel like that to this day. And Batman.

:: When you were younger you wanted to be ::

Secure. I didn’t have any grand aspirations to be an astronaut or anything, I just wanted to be able to provide for the people I love, that’s how I grew up. I still feel like that, and being a musician these days it just means I have to work extra extra hard to make that happen, but I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t believe it was achievable.

:: Last album bought ::

I bought a Teenage Fanclub record because people kept telling me we sounded like them, yet I’d never really heard them before. I don’t think we do sound too much alike but there is a similar vibe. They’re great and a cool band to be likened to.

:: First album you ever bought ::

The first album I ever bought with my own money was ‘Replenish’ by an English band called Reef, they had a song called ‘Naked’ that was on a Sony Minidisc advert and blew up. The band lasted about the same amount of time as the Minidisc.

:: First concert you went to ::

Placebo at the Newcastle Mayfair. I was about 14 and the support was one of my favourite bands of all time- Deus.

:: Last concert you went to ::

The last concert I bought tickets for and went as a fan was David Byrne and St. Vincent. That was amazing. I love that guy and it was a great introduction to her, her new album is really cool.

:: Favourite current band ::

It’s a tough one because there aren’t many new bands making the kind of Rock n Roll music I like. I think there’s never been a better time for electronic artists though, I’m a big fan of stuff like Aeroplane, Boys Noize, Riton, Gesaffelstein.

:: Favourite drink ::

La Chouffe. It’s a Belgian beer, it’s really strong but so tasty. Sitting outside a bar in Ghent drinking a La Chouffe on a sunny afternoon with friends is just my idea of heaven.

:: Favourite book ::

‘Amsterdam’ by Ian McEwan. I have read everything he’s ever written, he is by far my favourite author and he has a new book coming out anytime now so I’m quite excited.

:: Favourite actor ::

Harvey Kietel never disappoints.

:: Favourite website ::

Probably my most visited site is the guardian

:: The best boredom buster is ::

I always keep myself real busy so being bored would be a bit of a luxury. If I ever am at a loss for something to do generally I just go for a long walk, and in doing that I usually get inspired to do something creative with my time.

:: The best film you ever saw was ::

‘Charade’ an early 60’s film with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. I bought it on DVD from ‘Poundland’ in England (everything is a pound- similar to the $2 shops here) it was an impulse buy when I had an afternoon free. Definitely worth the money.

:: Your ultimate snack is ::

I have a real sweet tooth so chocolate is never far from my thoughts. I don’t know when to stop though so I try and avoid starting. Watermelon is my healthier alternative of choice.

:: The first thing you do when you wake up is ::

Tell myself today is going to be a good day.

:: Best piece of advice you’ve received ::

Don’t worry about the problem, worry about the solution.

:: Your biggest aspirations ::

To write a hit record for someone like Katy Perry, so I can keep writing the music I want to play with the band, without worrying about whether we make enough money to sustain it.

:: Best gift you’ve ever given/received ::

For Valentines day just before I moved to Australia my better half put a $50 note in a card. It was the first time I had seen Australian currency and I’ll never forget the excitement I felt at starting a new life.


The Solicitors will launch their album launch on Saturday October 25th, 2014 at The Gasometer Hotel – Collingwood, Victoria, Australia