A Life Once Lost are slowly gaining recognition. After recently appearing on the 'Sounds Of The Underground' tour in the States with the likes of Lamb Of God and Clutch, they showed they could stand alongside the big boys of American hardcore and still be a force to be reckoned with. Room Thirteen meets vocalist Robert Meadows; on stage his anger and passion come across quite fiercely, yet sat on the tour bus explaining about the band's new record, he is calm and quite shy and it is hard to believe he is actually the same person.

R13:So who are A Life Once Lost?
RM:I'm Robert Meadows, I'm the vocalist. Justin Graves is the drummer, Doug Sabolick is the guitar player, Robert Carpenter is the other guitar player and Nick Frasca is our bass player.
R13:What sort of music do you play?
RM:We're a metal band. Just heavy. There's been comparisons to Meshuggah, Pantera and Black Sabbath and stuff so we're happy. Down to earth kinda guys, nothing more.

R13:How did you get signed to Ferret?
RM:I've known Carl [Severson] for a really long time, like eight years and I booked Nora [Severson's band] a bunch of times in the States. We've toured with them and our bands have just built a bond of some sort. We only had a single record contract with Deathwish and after that Carl started showing more and more interest, so it just came about from him offering us a pretty good deal.
R13:Has it been a massive change moving to a bigger record label?
RM:It's a huge change. This is more of a business...well more like work, an enjoyable job. I get to travel and see things that people wouldn't normally get a chance to see.
R13:Has it been a struggle to get to where you are then?
RM:It's taken a while. I mean it takes anybody a while to break into the touring circuit. Just being in the States, not being able to get your guarantees or make ends meet and you're losing thousands of dollars whether it's with merch, gas or food. We went through six vans, just real cheap shitty vans, lit 'em up and go. That's all we ever did, it's all we've ever done and that's the only way we know how to do it. So now being on Ferret and the money's there, they treat us a little better and it's becoming more and more enjoyable and a little less stressful.

R13:Was the 'Sounds of The Underground' tour a good experience?
RM:It was huge. It was the biggest crowds we've ever played in front of ever.
R13:The reviews you received were just as good as the headliners, were you surprised?
RM:I think that was what was amazing. We were the second band that played that day and the crowd was just unreal.
R13:Who was your favourite band playing that tour?
RM:I don't know, just everybody. Clutch, those dudes were amazing, I hung out with those guys a lot. Lamb Of God, Unearth, Every Time I Die, Norma Jean, Devil Driver...
R13:Did you make some good contacts?
RM:I wouldn't call them contacts. I think we made more friendships than anything. It's going to be a lot of good times to look forward to. A lot of the bands we really look up to especially Randy [Blythe, vocals for Lamb Of God] and it's nice to have a kind of role model, I don't want to be like Randy, but just have an idea of where you want to be and how you want to perform. Good times.

R13:The new album 'Hunter' was released last month. Roadrunner described it 'as possibly one of the most metal albums on Ferret ever', would you agree?
RM:Yeah, I'd say it's pretty damn metal.
R13:How did you get Randy Blythe to appear on your album?
RM:I booked Lamb of God a couple of times and got to know Chris Adler [drums]. On one show they left Randy home and I filled in for him. They came back through Philadelphia again on another tour and they pulled me aside and asked about doing the album. Since that point he's just been so nice and always wants to talk to me which is really weird. The guy's like a big rock star and I'm just hanging out with him.

R13:The music video to 'Vulture' is out, who came up with the idea for the shoot?
RM:Darren Doane came up with the whole concept of it. We didn't have much to work with budget wise but what we had he made it look like a million dollar video with the helicopter chase scene. But everything was his concept and ideas of how he interpreted the song. That's not necessarily what I'm singing about, like helicopters, government experiments and chase scenes and stuff, it's not my kinda thing. But the video, it only being our second, is pretty freakin' amazing.

R13:Paul Romano is in pretty big demand at the moment, how did you get him to do the artwork for your album?
RM:It was kind of by chance. We were tossing about ideas of who to choose to do the artwork and saw the layout for Mastodon's 'Leviathan', it was just amazing. His artwork is just incredible and it's usually all done by hand. We were on tour with The Red Chord in the States and our last show was in Philadelphia. Paul Romano had come out to see The Red Chord play, we started talking, shootin' the shit and got along really well. He watched us downstairs and was really blown away by our live performance. He really wanted to step in and take care of the artwork.

R13:Your first album isn't available in the UK...
RM:'A Great Artist', it's being repressed by Ferret, I think December/January and Paul Romano's going to do new artwork for it but I'm not sure if it's going to be released here.
R13:Have you been surprised by the crowd's reaction to your early stuff?
RM:Yeah, I mean the kids know the early stuff, but they seem more familiar with the new stuff. They're coming up to us after the show and asking us to sign their CD's. It's really flattering, we've never been in a situation like this.

R13:Who would you recommend to go see live?
RM:I don't know, it depends what you're into.
R13:Who did you last go and see?
RM:Actually I haven't been to a show in a really long time. The festival tour, the days are so long and so hot. Every night Clutch were just freakin' rockin'. Lamb Of God were fucking amazing. The first show in Massachusetts, the reaction they had from the crowd was sick. I had never seen that from them, from when they started in front of five people to now selling hundreds of thousands of records, it's really amazing.
R13:So you've seen them grow?
RM:Yeah and Every Time I Die, I booked them before when no one gave two shits about them. I saw Thursday play in front of twenty kids in a punk warehouse and no one giving a fuck, then them suddenly blowing up and becoming a big thing.
R13:Have you learnt things from watching these bands progress?
RM:Yeah, I don't want to say mistakes they've made but I see how they act and the way they carry themselves and either I like it or I don't like it.

R13:What would most surprise people about you, have you any hidden secrets?
RM:I'm really quiet, I'm not really loud and keep myself to myself. It's different playing live, it's like a different beast on stage, a way of releasing anger and aggression instead of fighting people.
R13:So you don't get into fights?
RM:No, I'm really very chilled. I smoke too much pot, so I'm not much of a fighter, more of a lover, but not a very good one either...so I'm just a dude just chillin, hangin' out and smoking a lot.

'Hunter', A Life Once Lost's stunning new album is out in the shops now. To read R13's review click here.