The Laurels – Inner adventures and realisations

Written by Jason Strange on 12th July, 2010

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The Laurels have been playing their brand of Psychedelic rock across Sydney’s finest venues for the past three years. Gaining a reputation for their amazing live sound, the band are about to finish up their first EP. Co-headlining with Zeahorse at MUM World Bar on July 16th, we caught up with group to get the low down.

MF: What’s been going on in The Laurel’s camp recently?

Luke: Conor’s been overseas for the last two months working on his PHD for Uni, He went to China first and then to the States and the last I heard he was going down to LA to catch up with Dan from the Dolly Rocker Movement before he left. I don’t think they’re going to let him on the plane to come back for the show… The rest of us have been going on our own personal inner adventures and realisations back at home, some of which have been quite profound, and are now very excited to get back into playing shows, learning new songs and recording more!

MF: How’s the EP coming along? Gives us a run down on it so far?

Luke: Well it started out as an EP, then it became an album, and now it’s going to be an EP again but with a mix of the two sessions. One session is from around 2007 when we were doing the Sydney Uni Band Comp; I think the other would have been late 2008 to 2009? I can’t even remember anymore… The main thing is it has six songs, will be coming out really soon and is just as long as ‘Rubber Soul’ by The Beatles. You won’t be subjected to looking at all our faces on the record cover though.. It’ll just be a picture of Conor.

MF: Fans have been waiting a while for this, what’s been holding up the process?

Luke: I think there’s a misconception about how long we actually worked on the EP. We did start it in 2007 with Jon Hunter (The Holy Soul) and Liam Judson (Belles Will Ring), but because we all had jobs, played in other bands and had turbulent personal lives, it ended up becoming a very patchy and sporadic process. By the end of it we were in Jon’s bedroom, after his studio had closed down, mixing one to two nights of every second week after work and until late and then getting up at 7am the next day to do it again. Ideally, when we record the next album we’d just like to go in for a couple of weeks and knock it all out in one go; and then do the same thing a couple of months later; and then again.. We have a lot we wanna tell you about. Hopefully we’ll be able to do so.

MF: What’s it been like trying to establish yourself in the Sydney scene as a psychedelic/shoegaze band?

Luke: I don’t think the style or genre of music should matter when you’re trying to get your music out there. Some bands rely on it to get higher up the feeding chain, which is why a lot of radio is full of so much shit these days. But the bands we love and are friends with cover so many different styles that are fresh to this city and have gained similar followings. There’s a mutual respect between these bands and the rest of the music community who have witnessed it, mainly for the conviction and honesty that everyone puts into their music. I know some bands are just in it for the hedonism, and you can see quite a lot of that around here, but I think most people can spot the difference. It’s sad to waste an opportunity to spread a meaningful message to just present a “vibe”. Gross…

MF: How important is social networking for bands these days? (Myspace/Facebook/JJJ Unearthed)

Luke: Haha, I just deleted my Facebook a few months ago! It was the best decision I ever made… Piers never even had one! He’s a pretty clever boy… Anyways, for bands and music though, I think it’s been extremely important; especially our MySpace page. It’s always been our website and was how we made connections with a lot of bands that we’re friends with now. It’s definitely a great platform to get your music out there to people. We used to put all our demos up for free download, but eventually MySpace disabled that function, which is a big load of shit. We are planning to eventually make a site where you’ll be able to download all those demos for free though! I’m sure there are lots floating around on the Internet somewhere…

MF: You are known for owning a fine collection of guitar pedals, how many do you actually have?

Luke:
Twenty-three. We buy one to represent each year of our life.

MF: What’s a surprising fact about the band we may not know about?

Luke: Piers and I aren’t in a relationship. I have to explain this to Trent from The Holy Soul constantly. He also seems to think that all our songs just sound like a big “swoosh” noise and are all about the sun, but I’ve never heard him write a song without an E minor in it that doesn’t mention codeine, so he can bite me. I think he’s jealous because we share the same drummer and Kate likes us better. He has been somewhat of a father to me since I moved to Sydney; he helped show me how bleak the world actually is. Thanks Dad!

MF: You guys are about to play MUM at World Bar w/Zeahorse, why should we head out to the gig?

Luke: Well, we’re all really nice dudes who are pretty down to earth but can be a bit shy… This is sometimes misinterpreted as rudeness, but we’re probably just stoned and wanting to crawl into our respective shells. Then we get on stage and let out all the anger and awkwardness that we’ve built up inside us over the last few weeks, which is quite funny to watch if you’re in the crowd! We’ll come off stage and smoke on the balcony and talk to anybody who will listen. But if you do talk to us, you’ll probably have to repeat yourself a lot as we’re pretty deaf. Sound enticing?

MF: You’ve played a few gigs with Zeahorse, what is it about them that makes you enjoy playing with them?

Luke: They’re extremely lovely guys, very talented musicians and write really awesome songs. I think baritone guitars sound fucking sick, especially the way they use them! They gave us a copy of their EP when we played with them in Brisbane and we really loved it, I’m pretty excited to play with them again!

MF: What would be the first song you’d put on a mix tape?

Luke: MC Hammer’s “This Is What We Do” from the first Ninja Turtles film soundtrack. When you put that CD on and that rhythm pumps out, you’re gonna lose control!!


The Laurels headline Mum @ World bar this Friday night 16th July Click here for more details.

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