Discover The Undiscovered: A House For Lions
By Staff on May 6, 2011
We’re proud to introduce our new Discover The Undiscovered band, A House For Lions. The band’s debut EP, I Want Us To Be Remembered, is the kind of indie folk rock that can make even the coldest heart melt.
Daniel Norman, now songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist of A House For Lions, moved to Los Angeles four years ago to pursue the Hollywood dream that is all too familiar. Finding acting less artistically satisfying than he’d hoped, Daniel spent some time in Berlin with friends to escape the LA scene and clear his head. While walking through a park, the melody for the first track on the record, “Let Back,” stuck in his head and it never left. That is when the first inkling of A House For Lions was born.
In the summer of 2009, Norman had begun writing his first songs and began to seek out kindred spirits to flesh out the sound of his bare-bones experiments. In March 2010 he found guitarist Mike Nissen, who in turn introduced his friend Eric McCann to the project, adding upright bass and keys. They clicked instantly. They developed a sound informed by Daniel’s roots in North Carolina and the progressive sounds of Los Angeles and the indie rock scene, fusing an art-rock sensibility with elements of alt-country.
Once solidified, A House For Lions started playing in local indie venues and within six months had recorded their first EP with LA indie producer Raymond Richards (Local Natives). The EP features instruments as eclectic as the Marxophone and pedal steel guitar alongside the basic rock standards. They had also attracted the attention of producer Garret “Jacknife” Lee (U2, Snow Patrol, Weezer), who invited them to open for his project Tired Pony (featuring Gary Lightbody and Peter Buck) at the prestigious El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. Since then, A House For Lions has been gathering swift momentum.
Download "Come On Let's Go" and watch their video debut, below.
Who are your main influences?
I don't know where exactly the sound comes from. Some people hear the 90's, some people hear alt-country -- and I think those are valid responses to the music. When it comes to writing the songs I'm influenced by people that I think have a vision. While my music doesn't sound anything like, Animal Collective or Radiohead or Springsteen or Beck, those are people that inspire me to keep writing music; to me those are people that have found their unique voice and keep me searching for my own.
How did you meet?
I met Mike on Craigslist. I'd written some songs and knew I wanted to try and start a band. I'd booked a couple of shows but was terrified to play them alone, so I got the idea to find a guitar player and start there. Met a few guys but no one quite understood what I was trying to do. I ended up playing that first show alone but I found Mike a couple of weeks before the second one, and that's when we started working on the arrangements that would end up becoming our EP. Mike knew Eric from another project and when it was time to fill out our line up, Mike brought him in. Rest is history.
What is your biggest achievement as a band to date?
I think our biggest achievement is being here. We're doing it. This whole thing started with me sitting alone with a guitar in my bedroom thinking that I could write good songs and get people to listen to them. That we'd play shows, that blogs and magazines would talk about us. I'd never been in a band, I'd never written a song but its happening. That's amazing. That's what pushes me through to the next day, the next step, whatever that might be...
Where did the band name originate?
The band name comes from a poem I'd scribbled quickly in a random notebook about a place I used to live. They were strangers to me but became my very best friends. Those people really taught me how to live or at least got me really thinking about the way I want to live.
The poem starts: I want us to be remembered: a house for lions - which became the name of the EP and the name of the band. These first songs were written in that house and so its a little dedication to the people that helped me see what I could maybe accomplish. Plus it sounds cool.
Right now? OFWGKTA, Wye Oak, Sufjan, Phosphorescent, Prince, Tears for Fears, Mark Hollis, Andrew Cedermark, Microphones, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Dept. of Eagles, Cymbals Eat Guitars - probably more. I like a good song.
Plans to Tour?
Right now we're trying to expand regionally - so we'll be playing around California and up in the Pacific Northwest through the summer. At least that's the plan. Those things tend to build on themselves so we'll probably end up doing more. Stay tuned.
Plans for next release?
I don't know when our next release is gonna be or what form its gonna come in. Right now we're focused on playing shows and finding our fans, so that whatever our next release is there are people that want to hear it. There are a bunch of new songs in various stages of completion and I'm pretty excited about them, but it'll probably be late summer before we figure the best way to get them out in the world.