I’m siting here on the train with 2/4th of Edinburgh’s very own down-tempo hardcore band. We’re on our way back from Wraiths headlining show at shadow sound practise room (Glasgow). Lessons Learned played a fantastic show and really connected with their fans. My interview is going to be with Ryan Gray their vocalist and Martin Knox their bassist, who are both very tired out from their set. Lessons Learned are one of the few Hardcore bands the Edinburgh scene has to offer, however if you make the mistake of calling them beat down there’s every bit of a chance that Cameron their guitarist will drop kick you. Lessons learned have had the delightful opportunity to play with bands such as Backtrack, Breaking Point and Carcer City etc.
Members; Ryan Gray (19, vocals), Martin Knox (22, bass), Jack Valentine (15, drums) and Cameron Bell (20, guitar)
What was school like for each of you?
Martin: It was alright.
Ryan: Aye, it was better than working.
Martin: Aw aye if I could, I would go back and do it all again, but totally different.
Martin: It was always a hassle, with folk, aye just like being different; I got attacked all the time during school. It was actually a constant battle for me.
Ryan: Same man.
What subjects did you take in your 5th and 6th year?
Martin: Music, Graph-com, English, Maths and Woodwork.
Ryan: Music, Chemistry, English, Maths and Art, I think!
How did you do in your exams?
Ryan: I passed one *everyone laughing*
Martin: I was a pretty average student; I could’ve done a lot better.
Ryan: I passed my Standard Grades and messed up my Highers.
Who started the band?
Ryan: I think it was Miko and Matthew.
Martin: Aye two old members of the band.
Ryan: Oh, Connor.
Martin: Yeh, three old members who are no longer in the band.
Who is each of your biggest inspirations in making music?
Ryan: Oooo, that’s a big question. SOUL SEARCH!
Martin: I'm not gonna lie, the bands that originally got me into the heavier side of music were the likes of Slipknot and Korn and stuff. Then it’s all just mutated from there into more of a hardcore genre.
Have you always been interested in music, throughout school etc.?
Ryan: Yep. Through my mum and dad and stuff
Martin: Aw yeah, constantly. Massively.
Ryan: Every kind of music as well.
Martin: Aye like everything you constantly got through at school you’re like "Aw I just wanna sing alternative music” and they’re like “No! You’re going to sing swing!”
Ryan: I just want to hurt people
Martin: “I just want to hurt people with my voice” (Does impression of Ryan) Nope! You’re going to sing Frank Sinatra" *group laughing*
What’s the biggest show you have ever played?
Ryan: Backtrack I’d probably say.
Martin: Aye, when I was part of Bear Witness, we played a show with Demise and Dishonour at Studio24 and that’s probably the biggest show I've played to date.
Ryan: That was a free show as well.
Martin: Yeah that was a free show aye, so the turnout was ridiculous. But right now the band is quite small, we've all played with big names but they haven’t necessarily been big shows.
Ryan: Breaking Point was pretty cool, that was pretty packed.
What got you into the music you listen to now?
Ryan: My Mum, Dad and my Uncle as well. Listening to Slayer, Sound Garden and Cannibal Corpse.
Martin: I’m pretty much the same, my parents introduced me to Iron Maiden and things like that and then my cousin was introducing me to bands like Slipknot, Korn etc. My parents kind of just embraced and it said well "you’re going to be a little different from everybody else but enjoy it".
What’s coming next for the band?
Martin: Generally playing as many shows as possible and trying to build up a name.
Martin: An E.P, and aye merch, we want to write an E.P, write a complete new one to be honest. In regards to an E.P I’d d pretty much like to re-write everything, not re-write what we’ve got but just completely write a new thing as a complete unit.
Okay, back to school questions. Did any of you go to the same school?
Martin: nope, we all went to different school
What school did you two go to?
Ryan: I went to Forries mate (Foresters).
Martin: I went to Holyrood.
Did school play a massive part in your musical career now?
Martin: Yeh I suppose.
Ryan: Kind of because listening to music throughout school, taking music, keeping an interest, playing an instrument and then obviously wanting to be in a band.
Martin: Through music I originally wanted to do vocals and the drums, but I got bumped and they made me do bass, so I wouldn’t be playing bass right now if the school hadn’t made me do it.
Ryan: I played guitar in school, this just sort of happened.
Were any teachers specifically supportive of your musical career path?
Martin: My music teacher (group laughing, genuinely), that’s pretty self-explanatory.
Ryan: My music teacher was like “that’s not music!” (mock Irish accent)
Martin: Aye I’d be walking into maths and then they’re like “get that **** off” I’m like “SOOOUUUNNNDDD; its in headphone beat it!”
What was the first gig you played?
Martin: I'm sure mines was a Verden show with Bear Witness, the guys and me put on a show in Verden with Victim of a Hero and Bury the Betrail, it was a pretty good turn out even though the scene at that time was completely dead and the out of nowhere, “awwh yeh there’s a show” then 150 people in a crammed practise room.
Ryan: My old band got asked to headline in Glasgow but we turned it down because all we did was covers *martin face palms.
What was the best gig you’ve played?
Ryan: I could easily hands down say tonight.
Martin: Either the Bear Witness show with Demise and Dishonour at Studio24 before Decade or tonight, tonight was really good!
What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
Martin: Download 2k12, when I saw Sound Garden and Sabbath one after the other, Sleeping in a Cesspool for 5 days.
Ryan: I’d say Terror two years ago, at Ivory Blacks, that show was perfect!
If you could meet anybody living or dead who would it be?
Martin: Corey Taylor!
Ryan: Scot Vogel, terror.
Martin: Have ye seen that neck! He’s got like a 33” neck, ridiculous.
What songs would you include on the soundtrack to your life?
Ryan’s girlfriend: I hate my life by Theory of a Down *laughing.
Ryan: Terror– Stick tight.
Gwar– Rag Na Rok
Twitching Tongues– Preacher Man
Johnny Cash– Hurt
Have Heart– Armed with a Mind
Martin: Letlive– Muther
Lower than Atlantis– Deadliest Catch
The Elijah- I loved
Turnstile– Heavy Hand
What do you miss most about being a kid?
Ryan’s girlfriend: CITV.
Martin: No responsibility, no bills, being carefree. I don’t really miss being attacked everyday though.
Ryan’s girlfriend: One thing I wouldn’t miss though would have to be your mother dressing you.
Ryan: You looked like an ice gem, I quite like ice gems.
Have you ever gone cow tipping?
Martin: Naw, I haven’t randomly gone over to a cow and went “BAMM”.
Ryan: No but I kind of want to now.
Martin: Do you know how much a cow weighs?
Ryan: Aye but what if we got the whole band *laughing.
Martin: I don’t know, probably a desolated show with his beanie hat *laughing.
When will you learn your lessons?
Martin: HAA THE PUN!. All the time, everyday.
Ryan: Probably never.
By Calra Maley
By Calra Maley