END Q&A: The Lumineers are preparing for another world tour

Three stops in Seattle to come, the band is confident ahead of second world tour

April 7, 2016

The brand new album from The Lumineers, Cleopatra, is finally released, but before hearing a majority of the record Seattle showed some serious Lumineers love. The band announced a stop on their 'Cleopatra World Tour' here and demand led to an entire Lumineers weekend at Marymoor Park with two additional shows added to the one they had already planned. 

For the Denver-based band, it probably seems like a short turnaround for another world tour, but four years after they burst on the scene with 'Ho Hey,' audiences world-wide are clammoring for more. 

With three singles from their new album Cleopatra already racking up the listens and the album just released, the tour is also ramping up and set to kick off officially on April 14 in Bristol. However, between jet-setting across the globe and doing media all around, Wes and Jeremiah had time to sit down in The End studios to answer a few questions.

THE END: You guys have been busy -- three new singles, a new album, a new tour what’s the process been like so far?

WESLEY SCHULTZ: It’s actually just kind of beginning, so this is probably just day four or five of the pre-tour stuff. Tour is almost the easiest part, and the build-up is like a gauntlet.

JEREMIAH FRAITES: Yeah, we just had “Angela,” track three, release. We got the ladies of the record out now. “Ophelia” was first, then “Cleopatra,” now “Angela,” which is really cool because the way Wes and I write these albums we try to write entire albums and it’s kind of hard sometimes to just have a few songs out, so we are really excited about the album coming out.

END: The ‘ladies’ of the album out first! Was that planned, or what’s the method to the madness to releasing the singles?

WES: We should call it the ‘Ladies First Tour.’

JEREMIAH: The ‘Chivalry Tour.’ *laughs* It’s just how it worked out. They seemed like the ones that you would put out first. The word ‘single’ has sort of a weird connotation, but I view it as if you had a record but only had time to show one or two songs, which ones would they be to lure them in to the rest of the record? They just happen to all have ladies’ names so that’s how it worked.

END: Tell me about the transition between the last album and tour and now. Do you notice any changes in how your sound developed or how this album came together?

JEREMIAH: I think the first album we really embraced the way it sounded. I think the second one, if it started to deviate we were ok with that. We didn’t try to strangle it or let it deviate too far. We just let it naturally unfold. I think the second album is a little bit more plugged in. It still sounds like an acoustic guitar but it’s electric, but it’s not too ‘White Stripes,’ it’s more gritty and grimy, heavier drum sounds. It still sounds like a Lumineers record, but it’s definitely palpably different, too.

END: You have announced the album and the tour to some incredible reception including three shows in Seattle. What is your take on how it’s been received so far?

WES: I think if you make people patiently wait, which is what I feel like we were trying to do – to make sure it was fully cooked and ready before bringing it out and having to put it back in the oven – so part of the method to the madness was based around being on the road so continuously and we actually had a really quick turnaround time to put out this record. But the perception is very different than our reality that ‘it took you four years,’ so you put that to the side and say we were just doing what any band would do as far as touring around the world and getting more opportunities, but when it finally wrapped up, it took us six months to write and two months to record.

At the end of that, there is a general fear about making people wait too long about maybe they’ll forget your name, and I think we didn’t have the luxury to care about that. We knew we had to make a record anyway so whatever happens, happens. It has been cool to see people off of one or two songs off a whole album buy all these tickets to our shows so far out in advance. I think it shows people are willing to wait as long as they feel the quality is there. Hopefully they are happy with the record because we are totally thrilled with it!

END: Are you guys approaching your live show any differently this time around?

WES: I think the albums kind of dictate the movement on stage so I think the lighting will play into this album more and the light show itself will play more into this one than in the last one. There was much more of this innocence and exuberance on the first album and this one’s a little more energy to hold. I’m excited to see. We have been doing some rehearsals and it looks really great and it’s a lot different than the first one in that way. And I am excited to see that mixing with the first album’s material. A lot of it is just wait and see, though. We’re always trapped in our own bodies up there so it’s hard to even gauge that. I got to see a video playback and it’s totally different than you feel it on stage.

END: Three shows in Seattle. What do you think has caught on here in the Northwest that people are clawing for tickets to see you guys?

JEREMIAH: Seattle has always been so kind to us even though we’re a Denver band. Seattle has shown us so much love and we didn’t want to jip any fans and make sure we played shows. Once we come and go, sometimes it takes a little bit of time to get back with our tour schedule and routing so I think we really wanted to give Seattle proper love, to make sure all the fans got to see us at Marymoor. That’s a huge honor to do three nights there.

WES: I remember it was our first show in Seattle outside of Neumo’s it was the first time that there was anybody scalping tickets outside of any of our shows…ever. Not that that’s a good thing, we actually frown upon that.

JEREMIAH: But that was the first sign-post that was like ‘Holy s***, we’re a scalping band.”

WES: And the Block Party preceded that and was the biggest crowd we had played by far up until that point. Seattle was always first, even way ahead of our hometown Denver, to get on the bandwagon. It’s nice to try to give that back and you would never want to play just two if there were enough people who want to come to a third. That was our mindset, to start humbly and if people asked for more, leave our dates open and if not, all good.