Formed in 1999, Lock 13 has spent the last several years slowly making one heck of name for themselves. Starting out as a group of friends pumped full of the archetypal teenage angst, they came together and began using music as their form of release from life’s torments. Starting small and even dropping some tunes on a ghetto four-track recorder, the band persisted onwards and before long found themselves in a professional studio environment. They eventually came to draw attention from producer Michael Raphael and hit up Earthtone sounds in L.A. in order to record their first-ever “professional” disc. Upon emerging from the studio Lock 13 had never sounded better and now possessed a beautifully orchestrated seven track EP. This very disc would eventually catch the attention of SOiL’s bassist Tim King, ultimately blowing the doors of possibility wide open for Lock 13. Now, as the band is getting ready to release their first-ever full-length album, Lock 13 is seemingly just now beginning down the road to a very successful future. Fortunately for me, however, as the band’s schedule only continues to grow increasingly hectic, I was able to get the guys to answer some questions pertaining to their formation, previous recordings, and future plans.
Lock 13 came into existence during the winter of 2001. Give us some details about how exactly the band came to form.
Lock 13: The band has actually been active under the name Lock 13 since 1999. The band was formed out of necessity, the same reason most bands are started. Everyone was friends and full of the typical teenage angst and needed something to do.
Tell us, where did the name Lock 13 come from? Does it stand for anything?
Lock 13: Lock 13 is actually a place that we all used to hang out at in Tuscaloosa, AL (Lock and Dam #13). When it came time to name the band it just seemed like it fit.
What is the hard music scene like in Birmingham, Alabama and did you have a lot of competition or adversities when starting out?
Lock 13: The music scene in Birmingham is a cooperative effort on the surface, but internally extremely competitive.
Your first-ever recording was a self-produced seven song EP. How and where did you produce this album and what was the experience like?
Lock 13: It was produced locally at Shamblin Studios. It was actually an awesome experience! It was the first time we had heard ourselves recorded on something other than a 4-track.
This first release drew a lot of attention including that of producer Michael Raphael. What was it like working with him on your second EP in L.A. at his studio Earthtone Sounds?
Lock 13: We learnt quiet a bit from Michael. It was very eye opening to the fact that we had more to learn than we had ever realized.
Soon thereafter SOiL bassist Tim King got a hold of your EP and contacted you almost immediately. Did you know that Tim had your EP, what did he say when you spoke, and what the heck did it feel like?
Lock 13: We knew he had the EP only a couple of days before he called. We actually never expected him to call, but when he did we were ecstatic! We felt like we had hit a major milestone, but we knew we still had a long road ahead of us.
How long did it take for Tim and Lock 13 to meet up and start collaborating on new music together?
Lock 13: Almost immediately Tim was throwing ideas at us right from the start and he hasn’t stopped since.
In the Spring of 2004 Tim sent Lock 13 to Chicago to work with renowned producer Tadpole at Rat Trax recording studio. How was this recording experience and what was was it like working with Tadpole?
Lock 13: Tadpole was an excellent producer and really helped us realize and shape the style we were going for at the moment. Working with Tadpole was definitely another piece to the puzzle.
While in Chicago you recorded the songs “Tomorrow,” “Make me Hate,” and “What I Could Never Be.” Did you produce any other material and either way how did you feel about these songs and the session overall?
Lock 13: We only focused on these three songs to get the best professional demo we could at the time. We were thoroughly pleased with the final cut and it has done for us exactly what we hoped it would.
After these sessions in Chicago you continued to play shows and began looking for a label. Did you have interest from any specific labels? What else were you doing during this time?
Lock 13: We had interests from a few major labels, but they all said the same thing, “We want to hear more material”. So, we continued to play shows and write new material. We weren’t about to give up now.
In February of 2005 Lock 13 signed a recording contract with Tim King’s label Mortal Music. How exactly did this deal transpire?
Lock 13: The details of the contract were worked out over months by all parties and in the end we were more than happy to put our names on the final contract. This was something that we had all been waiting for our entire lives! At first it didn’t seem real.
Your bassist Ben Herdman left the band and was replaced by Jake Fountain in May of 2005. How has Jake fit in with the band and also with you as friends?
Lock 13: While Ben was still in the band the moral towards the end got very low. And while things were still moving ahead we were all apprehensive and unsettled about what was to come in the future, but when Jake stepped into the picture all of that changed. He has been an enormous boost for us and our drive has increased dramatically. Also, we couldn’t have asked for a better friend and brother on and off of the stage.
Although obviously different, what is the band’s chemistry like now?
Lock 13: Better than ever!!! All of our creative input is closer to the same direction than it has ever been.
How do you feel about your music and the general direction the band’s heading?
Lock 13: We’re always trying to evolve and try new things to separate ourselves from what we’ve done in the past while maintaining the core of what we are. And at the moment we’re exactly where we feel we need to be. [ END ]