Lawrence Rothman has been flying a bit under the radar the past few years — and partly that may be by design. In the mid-2000s he was the pseudonymous lead singer of Living Things, the re-emerged in L.A. a few years back under his given name, appearing in a new character and aesthetic in each new high-production video.
The Book of Law is his long-gestating debut album, out October 13 via Downtown/Interscope. The lead track, “Wolves Still Cry,” was untouchable slow-dancey new wave. The latest, “Ain’t Afraid of Dying,” is a boldly downtrodden country song featuring Marissa Nadler. The video was directed by the legendary Floria Sigismondi, who’s doing all of Rothman’s videos for this album (and also did Alice Glass’s comeback).
“I wrote the seed of ‘Aint Afraid of Dying’ when a friend of mine was sick with rare disease,” Rothman told The FADER. “He had said, ‘I might be off on my timing, but I ain’t afraid of dying.’ That line stuck with me deep for years.” He recorded it more recently as the final song to be added to his new LP, which was no easy matter: “It ended with a full fist fight and black eyes between two of the musicians who played on the track and getting basically kicked out of the studio. The fight you can kind of hear in the recording as they were arguing the whole time during the live take.”
So listen close. The probably listen again.