After two years of relentless touring in support of their debut album, Blue Collar Revolver, Lansdowne — vocalist Jon Ricci, drummer Glenn Mungo, guitarist Josh Waterman, bassist Mike LaRoche, and newest guitarist Joey Ariemma — have released their widely anticipated follow-up, No Home But The Road. Produced by Mike Watts, the six-song EP features five new tracks and a re-recorded version of “One Shot,” from their debut, as the first single.
The autobiographical title represents the band’s hard work and steady ascent to establish themselves on the rock and roll playing field. “Every song on this record reflects everything we’ve gone through over the past three years,” says Glenn Mungo. “It’s a storytelling type of record from beginning to end.”
It’s also a look ahead, as Lansdowne anticipate their to return to the stage. “Touring prepared us to make this record,” says Jon Ricci. “We experienced our fans in a more intimate way — the stories we heard from them, the conversations we had, their frustrations and triumphs — we got a better grasp on the kind of record we wanted to make. We are very focused on making sure we bring the best show we can every night. These new songs were written so they’re at their best live.”
The time spent honing their sound brought Lansdowne back to their traditional rock and roll roots. “We wanted to play from the heart, rather than have people outside of the band tell us, ‘This is what we’re looking for,’” says Mungo. “This time, there were no restrictions. We were able to let out what we’d been holding back for three or four years.”
Formed in Boston, Mass., Lansdowne built their fan base the old-fashioned way: on the road. They performed hundreds of shows across the U.S. and were chosen by Armed Forces Entertainment to perform for two weeks in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Kurdistan, which led to a partnership with the USO to play on American military bases from coast to coast.
After a seemingly endless stretch of tour dates, changes took place: new management, a new booking agent, a new guitarist and a new direction. The band recruited Joey Ariemma, a longtime colleague from Ohio, in time to record No Home But The Road. His contributions, says Mungo, add “different textures and tones to our sound, taking us in the direction we wanted to go.”
Rather than record a full-length album, Lansdowne opted to release an EP. “Rather than one long album cycle, we’ve decided to put out EPs and release music more often,” says Mungo. “With an album, songs that you put your heart and soul into may end up sitting on the shelf. An EP allows us to give all the songs the attention they deserve.”
Completing the equation for Lansdowne was producer Mike Watts, whom Ricci credits with bringing back his soulful, blues-entrenched vocal style. “Mike understood our vision for the music,” he says. “Our previous experiences in the studio were good, and they taught us a lot, but this was the first time I felt I could give100 percent of what I have. Mike embraced my personality from the start, and we couldn’t be happier.”
No Home But The Road is both the culmination of a band finding its true identity and the outcome of that evolution. The result, says Ricci, is a “more confident, comfortable Lansdowne. The first time was trial by fire. This time, we really owned it, and fans will see that. The comment we heard the most on the last record was, ‘Your live show is so much stronger. We wish your record sounded like the live show.’ We took that to heart and that’s why we needed to strip it down, go all out and give people a record they could be excited about.”
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