When I meet Lachie from The Mischief for a mid morning snack I get quite a shock. His onstage personality is like a bearded freight train, coming at you non-stop with violent thrusts and soaring solos, but tucking into his muesli and sipping on his soy decaf latte w/ two brown sugars, he looks far more peaceful.
We’re on a tight schedule; so there is no awkward small talk or unnecessary pleasantries. I want to know how The Mischief came to be, and I want to know now.
“Matt and James were friends with my sister. I was playing in a high school band writing a lot of songs, and James the other writer in the band, came up one day to my bedroom, picked up the guitar and started playing Green Day songs.”
I’m aghast that Billy Joe provided the inspiration, but I choose not to pursue the conversation. Between sweet sips of soy, Lachie continues, “Then we all started writing songs together at his house on Crown St. The first song we wrote together was Gentlemen, and after that I thought we might be on to something.”
They were onto something alright, the Darlinghurst Boiz, a geographical reference, not a gang name, packed away for nine months, then shocked the world at their first gig. Well, not the world, but over 200 people.
“We wanted to make the first gig tight and really big. We ended up landing Spectrum on a Wednesday night, and we set a record, there were over 200 people there.”
That was the first legendary show in The Mischief’s short history, but it wasn’t the last. The band has played over eighty shows, and in that precious swag of memories there are a few that shine like diamonds.
“World Bar on Halloween, everyone was pissed, we were packed into the corner. Musically we’ve never done a worse show. I broke the bass, you couldn’t hear the vocals, Matt kicked a beer glass into the crowd, but people loved it.”
No argument here, I was in attendance and I know it must’ve been awesome because I can barely remember anything from the night, except a suspicious tattoo that reads ‘Forever Yours, Geoff.’ Anyway, next best gig?
“Next up would be Peats Ridge. It was awesome, best four days of my life. We played at 11:15 in the morning, which worried us because we thought everyone would be asleep. But it was so fucking hot you just couldn’t stay in the tent. So people were awake.”
Climate change does something good for once and as people peeled themselves out of their tents, The Mischief rocked out to an appreciative, albeit sitting down, crowd.
“We were on the third biggest stage, it was covered so it wasn’t too hot, people kinda sought refuge from the heat there. Everyone was sitting down which changed the vibe, the tent was nearly full.”
The band already had quite the reputation around Sydney town, but it wasn’t until a last minute entry into MTV Kickstart that The Mischief started to appear on everyone’s lips. Mr. McQueen was moonlighting as a pizza deliveryman when he heard the splendid news.
“Matt called me to tell me we’d been selected in a band comp. I was like ‘oh great another comp,’ but when he said it was MTV, it was sweet. We’d been chosen out of 1000 bands nationally, to play in a state final at Oxford Arts” says Lachie, smiling proudly. I take it from his childish grin that it was quite a good night?
“Each band got to play two songs, we came on third and rocked out. Ruby Rose was emceeing and when she announced we’d won, I actually fell over, just amazed. Next half hour was just pure unadulterated joy. It was getting validation from an industry that is all to keen to kick you down.”
The victory at Oxford Arts meant The Mischief were headed to the final where they got some free shit.
“We got free water, which impressed us. But seriously, weirdest day of my life, it was like the door to the big time opened up a crack and we got to peak inside.”
Lachie tells me the band was required to “turn it on straight away.” One song, one chance to impress, and despite a rollicking performance The Mischief left MTV Kickstart without the winners medal, AKA money and recording gear.
Despite the loss, Mr. McQueen insists the competition did wonders for the band’s profile, and he isn’t wrong. We here at MusicFeeds gave the band a great CD review.
“Mate it was a big boost. Supported Rocket Science at the Annandale, we did our own headline shows, supported Little Red at Manning, played with Cloud Control, went on national TV, it kicked us along.”
The waitress arrives and asks Lachie if she can get him anything.
“A record deal, booking agent and manager, Thanks” he quips. We both laugh and she leaves probably thinking we’re wankers. Lachie admits that not having those things is holding the band back from making a follow up to the Sixpenny Scrapbook EP.
“Yeah we’re at a bit of a crossroads. Despite the success of last year we still haven’t cracked through to the next level. We’d love to do an album, but it comes down to money.”
I hope the band can fulfill all their hopes and dreams! Because despite his shit taste in coffee and the bit of muesli stuck to his chin, Lachie hails from one of the most exciting bands around, and don’t we all love that?
Check out http://www.myspace.com/themischiefmusic