Lawns formed in Autumn 2020 in Berlin, Germany, shortly after guitarists/vocalists Ben Lubin and Joe Green called time on their previous Berlin-based noise rock band. Wanting to continue working on a new project, the pair, who met at university in London in the mid-00s, conducted a brief but fruitless search for a suitable drummer. After nobody they auditioned hit the mark, they found Tobias Humble (ex-Gang of Four, Ghostpoet, Pleasure Complex), who had moved to the city the year before, through a mutual acquaintance.
For Ben and Joe, Tobias was an instant fit – a drummer with roots in London’s indie rock scene and sensibilities acquired through playing in countless diverse projects. Not only a good fit musically, but also personally. As Ben says, “We all got on super well from the start. Being three Englishmen in Berlin, all of a similar age, we had tons in common regarding what we’re into, whether that was music, books, films, comedy or just our juvenile sense of humour and shared experiences growing up.”
“We started jamming and writing, and it became apparent that we could write a lot of stuff quickly – actually quicker and more easily than any project I’d done before,” continues Ben. After writing several songs, Lawns recorded their debut self-released EP “Fine” with Robbie Moore at Impression Recordings in Berlin before starting to gig and tour in Berlin and Germany in the summer of 2021.
Establishing their sound on their debut EP, the band purposely avoided the typical guitar/bass/drums line-up, with some of their songs employing an abrasive two-guitar/no-bass sound and others seeing Ben or Joe playing baritone guitar. Vocals are shared between both guitarists.
With a style that’s equal parts indebted to classic British post-punk and early-90s American indie rock and post-hardcore but with the influence of something more avant-garde, Lawns’ music and energetic, sweaty live shows in Berlin and further afield were immediately well received. These early shows quickly earned the band the reputation as one of the most exciting new bands in the city, earning them local support and festival shows.
“We’ve always put everything into our gigs. We never wanted to be a band that stands there without moving, just looking cool. We never wanted to be defined by what clothes we wear. I think that goes back to growing up watching videos of Fugazi, Shellac and Jesus Lizard,” says Tobias.
Fast forward a couple of years, and the band returned to the studio in spring 2023 to complete its debut full-length “Be A Better Man”, recorded again at Impression and mixed by renowned Berlin-based engineer Richard Behrens at Big Snuff Studio.
“We developed our songwriting a lot between recording the two records and playing all these gigs,” says Joe. “We worked out how to make our heavy bits heavier, our weirder bits weirder, and our pretty bits prettier, and we’re really pleased with the results.”
Drawing heavily on knotty guitar music like Husker Du, Deerhoof, Shellac and Yo La Tengo, and marrying these influences to the eccentricity of Syd Barrett and Death Grips, Lawns is a band that will appeal to open-minded fans of intelligent, energetic punk-influenced rock. Lyrically speaking, Ben and Joe take an unflinchingly open look at topics like masculinity, friendship, mental illness and (failed) relationships.