Soar from the 'Rooftops' with Jeff Hardy and Lostprophets
In the latest Superstar to Superstar, Jeff Hardy talks to Lostprophets' vocalist Ian Watkins and guitarist Mike Lewis. The band's single, "Rooftops," was recently used in a video montage on SmackDown, highlighting Hardy's high-flying moves. The Welsh rockers' song is off their 2006 album, Liberation Transmission, available on Columbia Records.
Jeff Hardy: Tell me about the song, "Rooftops."
Ian Watkins: We wrote it years and years ago when we were on tour and we just never used it. It always had a good melody and a good vibe, but we never ended up using it for anything. On the last record, we worked with Bob Rock, who worked with Metallica and M"tley Crüe. We were messing around and said, ‘Hey, we've got this song, what do you think?' When we played it, he just loved it. Working with him, we just kind of messed around with it and it came out of an acoustic thing. When we play it live, it's insane. During the chorus, everyone always screams their hearts out. It's really good live.
Hardy: Cool. Are you guys familiar with wrestling? Did you watch as kids?
Watkins: Yeah, but Mike did more than me. I didn't have cable -- I was too poor.
Mike Lewis: I used to watch all the old WrestleManias with Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart. He was always my favorite.
Hardy: Yeah, he was one of mine, too. So why is "Rooftops" a good fit for me and WWE?
Watkins: It's one of those anthem songs. From what I've seen, when we play it live, when we get everyone singing, it's totally a crowd participation song. The chorus is really simple, so anyone can sing it. The song is kind of about releasing frustrations and all that rage inside -- just getting it out. Definitely with you, you're always jumping off of stuff. … We were watching the montage and we were like s*** … it looks amazing!
Hardy: Music plays a big role in WWE programming. What does your partnership with WWE mean to the band and why do you like working with WWE?
Lewis: It's cool because the kids who are into WWE are obviously very passionate about it. For them to get into our music … it's kind of a cool thing, too.
Watkins: A lot of people, especially in the United States, maybe wouldn't really know about us because we're from the United Kingdom, we're big in Europe and Japan, but not so much in the United States. So it's cool to have our song in WWE. Like Mike said, all of the fans are so passionate, and we're just as passionate about our music. … Our songs are very pumped up. When you're passionate about something, it's a really good fit.
Hardy: I hear the band is playing a bunch of music festivals in Europe and Japan this summer, tell me about your upcoming shows.
Watkins: Actually we just headlined our first festival for 80,000 people, which is insane. It was the Download Festival at Donington Park, which held Monsters of Rock. It was three days. KISS did Friday, Offspring did Saturday and we closed on the Sunday, which was insane. It's one of those things, like when you were a kid, you could never imagine doing. Obviously you fantasize about it, you jump around in your bedroom. Also, we used to watch it on TV. We've watched Metallica headline it, we've watched AC/DC headline it, and all those bands. Then for us to do it, it didn't even seem real until halfway through the set.
Hardy: Right. Like me, for Hogan and Warrior to take part in WrestleMania, and now for me to take part in WrestleMania, it's like, "Woah, this is real." It's crazy how it happens.
Watkins: It's so bizarre. When you're playing with bands who were your heroes growing up, and you see them backstage and they're saying hi to you, talking to you on the same level, and you're like, oh my god!
Hardy: Right on. I feel you, totally. What's next for Lostprophets? When is your next album coming out and how different will the record be from Liberation Transmission?
Watkins: We're finishing up the record now with Rob again. I think it'll be out in late January or early February of next year. It'll be much harder. When we first started we were a lot harder. We're still melodic, but with a metal edge. On the last record, we purposely put a lot of pop mentality into it. Whereas on this one, we kept the tunefulness and the anthemic hooks, but we kind of put the metal back, as well.
Hardy: Cool. Do you have any messages for the WWE fans who heard "Rooftops" on SmackDown and became fans of Lostprophets?
Watkins: Thanks for taking the time to listen to us and go out and research it and check us out on the Internet. We don't really care if people download our music for free. All that matters to us is that people are listening to it and kind of support it some way. If you can't afford to buy an album, then yeah, download it for free. Or come to our shows and buy a T-shirt. Spread the word to your friends. As long as people support us in some way, that's what matters to us. Fans of yours can watch your stuff and listen to the song and say, "All right, I like that," and then go check it out.