Interview: Lostprophets at the Oxford Union
A couple of weeks back Lostprophets made history by speaking at the Oxford Union.
Following in the footsteps of world-renowned politicians, philosophers, religious and literary figures (and Michael Jackson), the Ponty band journeyed to the hallowed halls of the country's most famous educational establishment to talk about a range of issues pertinent to them and their career.
We caught up with keyboardist Jamie Oliver this week to talk briefly about their appearance.
How did the invitation to appear at the Union come about?
"We were invited a while back to participate in a debate at the Union but due to touring commitments we had to respectfully decline. When we were asked to return to give a talk, we jumped at the chance. The Union has provided a platform for musicians to share their experiences for many years now and some reputable artists have spoken including the late Michael Jackson."
Did you deliberate over whether or not to do it?
"We did think at first 'what experiences did we have to share?' But, the more we discussed it, we felt our 10 year journey in the music industry provided us with a very unique perspective of which we could talk, and the privilege of being asked was something we could not turn down."
Was it a full house?
"I was personally expecting there to only be about 20-40 attendees, but we entered the hall to find there were over 250 people there to listen."
What were the topics covered?
"We discussed a number of topics ranging from the difficulties involved in being forced to choose a career path at the age of 16-17, and recognising crossroads in one's life, and how we followed our hearts to where we are now. We also briefly touched upon industry issues such as downloading and the pledge system."
What was the reception like for you?
"During the nearly two hours we spoke, only one person left and the audience was quiet and respectful and seemingly engaged for the duration. It was an amazing and proud experience."
Did anything surprise you?
"I was a little taken aback by the history of the place, and seeing photos in the halls of the Queen, the Dalai Lama, Winston Churchill and Mother Teresa speaking was quite a shock. In addition to this, I was surprised to meet such forward thinking students and to be asked such intelligent probing questions. All in all, it was a privilege to be asked and a thoroughly pleasurable experience to be part of."