INTERVIEW WITH... THE LAZYS
PHOTO CREDITS: JON THEOBALD
“Is the swearing thing ok?” asks Leon Harrison, lead singer of Australia’s latest hard-rocking export, THE LAZYS, as we sit down to chat with him and guitarist Matty Morris after a triumphant opening set at RAMBLIN’ MAN FAIR. I assure him we’re fine with it, but not before clarifying that we at DTFM are clearly sensitive fucking guys…
“It’s called a snag,” laughs Leon, “a Sensitive New Age Guy…” Isn’t snag what Australian’s call sausages? I ask, getting right to the nitty gritty of the rock and roll lifestyle.
“Yeah exactly, but you know what? That’s what we miss in Canada, a good sausage. A proper sausage. Something where something has really fucking died.” Leon laughs. “I used to prank call butchers shop, I’m having a barbecue and some of those vaygans are coming…”
It’s pretty easy to tell this isn’t going to be your conventional kind of interview. But then THE LAZYS aren’t your conventional type of band. Having cut their teeth in the bars of Australia they decided to up sticks and move to Toronto, a move which has seen their profile rise exponentially to the point that they are opening the RAMBLIN’ MAN FAIR festival. Which, as it turns out,was their first UK festival appearance. So how was it?
“Couldn’t be better mate,” says Leon, “we got here and we were intimidated by the stage and the rain was coming down, and we’ve got to open. Were we going to play to three people and a cow paddock? But people got into it.”
“We had the time of our lives,” interjects Matty, “and we still are.”
Leon nods in agreement and then says “to play on a stage like that, it’s what you dream about.”
So why did they relocate from Australia to Canada?
“Well essentially,” says Leon, “Australia’s rock scene sucked dick. We were playing for seven years and we’d put everything into our show but there wasn’t the support there. So we got a tip off that Toronto was housing some great talent like Monster Truck, The Trews and Billy Talent. So we went over for a conference called Canadian Music Week and literally we went over and all of a sudden it was ‘who’s this fucking band?’ People took notice.”
“We literally took out bank loans to pay for that,” says Matty, “I’m still paying that back.”
“But it was a path that had to happen.” Says Leon, “It taught us the importance of songs, the importance of connecting with a crowd.”
“But going back to the question, why did we leave Australia?” asks Matty, “because we had to.”
Leon agrees, “INXS left, AC/DC left.”
“It’s not just Australia,” Matty points out. “If you want something you’ve got to go for it. It’s true.”
From an English perspective it might seem like there’s an endless stream of Aussie bands coming over, but for THE LAZYS it didn’t seem that way.
“Seven years ago, we were playing to nobody. But it’s starting to happen, that people see a band and ‘woah they put on a show.’ There was a period there when there was all these fucking DJs and everyone was fooled by it. But now people are craving what our parent’s got. Fucking live music.”
“But that’s why we write songs,” says Matty.
“Exactly,” agrees Leon, “back in Australia there were DJs just pressing a button and it was shit. And people were like ‘don’t be a hater…’ Fuck you, I’ll hate what I want!”
“We’re very passionate about this subject,” says Matty. And so they should be because it translates to them being a fantastic live band.
“The thing is,” says Leon, “the best bands we’ve ever known are starting to get a bit older, and I’m not being disrespectful, but they are. And people are going ‘we need to keep this going’ so we’re happy to be on that frontier.”
And they’re clearly a band going places. I mention their first ever gig on UK soil last year at The Black Heart in Camden, “It’s crazy,” says Matty, “a year ago we were playing to 20 people in London and now it’s 2000 here. Sometimes we miss those elements. It really is crazy.”
“But when we came off stage here,” interjects Leon, “I said to Matty, we just played a pub show to a festival crowd. And that’s what we want to always do.”
And they’ve got a hell of an opportunity to do it. After RAMBLIN’ MAN they’re touring Europe with Black Stone Cherry, playing WACKEN OPEN AIR, and then coming back to the UK for BLOODSTOCK.
After that, they’re working on a new record which they think will come out next year. And in all honesty if they keep on blowing audiences away with their live gigs and keep on attracting new fans, then you might want to get in now with their first album “Tropical Hazards” because the next one might just launch them in to the stratosphere.
Let’s just hope when they get there they can get a decent sausage.