When Lostprophets dissolved last year after their lead singer was convicted of sex crimes, the band’s other five members found their careers in limbo. Enter Geoff Rickly — the former frontman of post-hardcore greats Thursday, current United Nations member (the hardcore band, that is), esteemed Talkhouse writer and owner of the brand new Collect Records label. Rickly’s busy schedule got a lot busier when he agreed not only to sign the ex-LP members’ new project but to be their frontman as well.
Introducing No Devotion — Rickly plus former Lostprophets members Lee Gaze, Mike Lewis, Jamie Oliver, Luke Johnson and Stuart Richardson — pulling their gothic and new wave influences together and casting their personal demons aside. Billboard presents the debut single from the new band, the sleek ‘n icy, beat-driven “Stay,” mixed by famed Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann.
The original plan was for Rickly to make a documentary on the experiences of Lostprophets’ shocked former members and their efforts to start a new band. “Then,” Rickly recalls, “I went to dinner with their manager and she was like ‘No, you should sing for the new band.'”
Rickly was tentative at first, but some instrumental demos of tracks like “Stay” enticed him with a sound he’d never tackled before. “In Thursday we were never known for hooks,” he explains. “But the lyrics are totally one hundred percent autobiographical. I guess that’s the one thing I’ve carried over from Thursday… United Nations is dark humor about politics; this is very sincere and heartfelt.”
The Brooklyn-based frontman had just endured a pack-all-your-things sort of breakup (hence lyrics like, “Leave your glass by the bed, leave your keys on the desk”) when he formed the band and wrote the lyrics. But over time, the song brought him and his girlfriend back together.
The music had a cleansing quality for the remaining Lostprophets members as well. All of them fathers, Rickly says they went through a “self-incrimination period” when they looked back on the tainted music of their defunct band and wondered if they would be able to collaborate again. “Now they can have something to play their kids one day and not be embarrassed of,” the former Thursday singer says.
No Devotion plans to follow “Stay” with another single, before eventually releasing an album. But for all parties involved, the magic has been felt.
“To me, these songs are already wildly successful,” Rickly says.