deli NE: How did the band start?
Lowman: I (Greg Loughman; vocals, upright and electric bass), have been playing with John Funkhouser (keyboards), Phil Sargent (guitar), and Mike Conners (drums) in various combinations for years, mostly instrumental music with a heavy improvisational bent. I only recently started singing and writing music with lyrics, and as we got these songs together, we realized a new sound was coming together. And so, voila, a new band was formed.
Where did the band name "Lowman" come from?
It’s a play on my last name and the fact that I play bass. It also gives us a chance to make spectacularly unfunny quips: “Lowman is high… on life!”, “Get all the way down to that Lowman sound”, etc.
What are your biggest musical influences?
Well, probably firstly I’m influenced by John, Mike, and Phil. I try to take all the crazy, amazing stuff I know they can play and channel that into the music I write, which is inspired by folks like Elvis Costello, XTC, Morphine,Radiohead, the Black Keys, Spoon, etc. All the jazz and other improvised music I’ve listened to and played over the years, and the prog-rock I played in my basement as a teenager; that stuff creeps in there as well. The result is some kindof prog-pop-rock-experimental-jam-band mash-up.
What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?
Locally, too many to mention without the fear of leaving a few friends out, but I’ve had the privilege to play a few shows with James Rohr & the Blue Ribbons lately, so I’ve been digging his music a lot. Otherwise, I’m not the greatest at staying current with what’s new in the national/international scene, but I’ve been digging Low Anthem, always look forward to whatever Jack White gets up to, and liked Arcade Fire’s last effort a lot.
What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?
I saw Rush in high school, and fell asleep at the wheel on the way home. I woke up to my friend in the passenger seat hitting me in the chest and yelling while I plowed through a bunch of orange cones on the highway… good times…
What do you love about Boston's music scene?
So much incredible music, especially for a city of its size! Boston has a ton of amazing musicians, and there's always someone doing something outrageously good.The other night I went from hearing world-class jazz by Kombucha at the Lily Pad to seeing the amazing Session Americana at the Lizard Lounge, and that was just a random Thursday on my way home. It’s inspiring and not a little daunting to be surrounded by such amazing music.
What would you like to see change in the local music scene?
I’d love it if more people came out to more shows; there is so much great music out there, yet often when I go out, I’m left to wonder, “Why isn’t this place packed?” Also, I feel like Boston is a bit reserved, which can put some distance between musicians and patrons. I’m always happy when people overcome that to come together and form a community, and would love to see more of that.
What are your plans for the upcoming year?
Well, we’re just putting the finishing touches on our EP, which is exciting. And thanks to the Deli, we’ve got a block of recording time at Galaxy Studios, so I’m going to keep writing, and if all goes according to plan by the end of the year we’ll have a full length CD recorded, hopefully to come out in 2012. I have all sorts of wildly ambitious ideas for it; I’d love to include all the great musicians I know as well as the core group of myself, John, Phil, and Mike, so I’m excited to work on that.
What was your most memorable live show?
At a recent live show at Precinct, we had a group of robots from the folks at Donkey Drives a Window start a human-robot dance party, so that was fun. So much fun that I had to jump off stage and join them, in fact.
Is there someone who has helped your band grow through support?
Well, the folks at Sally O’Brien’s gave us our first gig, and they’ve been very supportive of us as we get off the ground. And the musicians I’ve worked with over the years have all been very kind and positive. And of course, family and friends. And most importantly, the significant others of all the band members have been very patient and understanding!
Is there a piece of equipment you couldn't live without and why?
I don’t know what I would do if something happened to my upright bass; it’s about 100 years old, and I had it converted to be left-handed, so it’s utterly unique, and a big part of my sound. I had the neck replaced earlier this year, which took a few months, and I went through severe withdrawal.
Why do you read The Deli?
The Deli is the best source for what’s happening in the New England music scene; if I’m ever at a loss for what to do on a given night/week, I know the Deli will point me in the direction of some incredible music.