Sydney psychedelic rock upstarts bring escape jams

At the end of The Lazy Eyes’ first real show, singer / guitarist Harvey Geraghty excitedly told the crowd that they were releasing an EP soon. As it turned out, ‘soon’ meant five years later, in 2020. “Things have taken a lot longer than we thought,” Geraghty said. NME today, Zooming in from his home in Sydney.

In comparison, their second EP (released July 16) is released at breakneck speed. It offers a more confident and expansive take on the psychedelic rock of “Cheesy Love Song” or the hip-shaking groove of “Tangerine”. . Besides a wave of local support, the group has been booked at taste festivals like SXSW in America and The Great Escape in England. “We didn’t feel worthy,” Geraghty says.

It turns out that ‘EP2’ was also written years ago while the band was still in school, and their upcoming but unfinished debut album was also written around the same time. “It’s almost over,” Geraghty smiles – but maybe take it with a pinch of salt. “Personally, something I took away from this band is the way shit always changes,” sounds guitarist Itay Shachar.

“These are all great songs,” says drummer Noah Martin of their decision to keep releasing those early songs, even though they haven’t stopped writing for the next three years. of their diploma. “It makes sense to let them see the light of day. Eventually, we’ll get to what we’re writing now. The jump in quality, they say, comes from the band upgrading their production toolbox from Garageband to Ableton. “We just figured out how to save things. We know how to get what we want on the slopes, ”says Shachar.

“We don’t want songs to fall on deaf ears. Either way, there is no real rush, ”he adds. “We don’t feel like we’re taking our time. We just want to do it right.

Bassist Leon Karagic, drummer Martin as well as guitarists Shachar and Geraghty grew up playing their respective instruments, but their desire to form a band didn’t start until they were attending a performing arts high school. “It was mostly strings and horn players creating sets, so we didn’t really have a choice,” Geraghty smiles.

What started as lunchtime jam sessions quickly turned into boys taking to the streets of Sydney performing Katy Perry covers for change. Their own headlines quickly followed. In 2019 they supported The Temper Trap across Australia and before the COVID-19 hit they performed alongside Earl Sweatshirt and The Chats at the Laneway Festival.

“What I took away from this band is the way shit always changes”

Despite its early days in school, “The Lazy Eyes never felt like it was just a ‘school band’,” according to Geraghty. When the foursome left school in 2018, there was no conversation about packing them up to look for a suitable job. In fact, The Lazy Eyes “felt that pent-up energy. We were determined to give this group the attention it deserved. We knew there were things we always wanted to do but couldn’t because of school ”.

The Lazy Eyes have therefore installed Lindfield Studios in the apartment below Shachar’s parents. A place of practice, writing and recording, it gives the group all the time they need to create their dynamic pieces. Fortunately, after all these years, Shachar’s parents still don’t complain about the noise.

The Lazy Eyes debut EP featured three exciting and evocative psychedelic rock songs – so of course comparisons to other Australian psych titans Tame Impala and King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard came in full force.

“It’s hard not to wear your influences on your sleeve,” Shachar acknowledges. “When we were young, these bands were our heroes, so I get it.”

“We might not even be a band without Tame and Gizz. They paved the way for a lot of young artists, ”says Martin. “There are so many artists who hit the mark in Australia but don’t attract a lot of international followers,” adds Karagic. “It’s inspiring to see them go around the world, drawing huge crowds. Comparisons are nothing to fear.

“I just feel like we’re more than a psychedelic rock band,” says Martin. “Noah doesn’t like being locked up,” Geraghty says.

Their quest to be something more begins with ‘EP2’, which was heavily influenced by ‘Bon Voyage’, the 2018 alt-pop album from Melody’s Echo Chamber, the group led by French musician Melody Prochet. “It’s such a tapestry of layers and textures,” Geraghty continues. “She really didn’t care if something only happened for a moment.” We were really inspired by the insanity of it.

This is why “Where is my brain ??? Mixes Black Sabbath riffs into their psychedelic explorations. Geraghty wrote it hoping it would help punters get loose: “When it was written we were going into heavier music and our live set was really lacking in mosh music.”

Like all their songs, the lyrics extend the mood of the song. ‘Where is my brain ???’ talks about ‘getting lost’ while the nostalgic ‘Nobody Taught Me’ talks about Geraghty’s childhood vacation to visit her grandparents in the English town of Royston. He had made friends, but when he returned the following summer, they had moved.

And when Geraghty hears the tropical epic ‘The Island’ (also a prequel to ‘EP1’ ‘The Seaside’), “I can imagine this utopia vividly. It’s a song for escape. The idea of ​​going elsewhere is a constant in the music of The Lazy Eyes. “It’s just a tool to escape the struggles of life,” Shachar explains. But the band don’t necessarily believe in escaping into the riff – getting lost in complacent wig-outs, as too much psychedelic music tends to do. The Lazy Eyes hope that every moment of their expansive songs has something to say.

“It’s something we think about way too much,” Shachar says. “We like when groups know what they’re doing and they’re not just improvising for fun. Get right to the point, you know? “

Credit: Jack Moran

For a band that refuses to put their music in a box, it’s no surprise that The Lazy Eyes are just as open-minded about what success might look like. They have already planned their first album, as well as the era that will follow. There is talk of making Lazyfest, their festival aimed at those under 18 and which made its first release in March, an annual event. “We know the difficulty of being this age and wanting to see live music, but not being able to do it. This is also when you are most passionate about it, so it’s just plain boring, ”says Geraghty.

Then there’s the little question of finally playing those international festivals next year, if COVID allows. “We’re not going to give it a shot,” Martin said confidently before the rest of the group started teasing him. “Is this really the best hype slogan you can find?” »Geraghty needles. “What does that even mean?” Shachar asks before helping him.

“We take it day to day because being an artist is one of the most hit-and-miss careers of all time. It’s like gambling. You can’t really expect anything, so we just want to do our best and have a good time. Fingers crossed, however; everything is possible.”

The Lazy Eyes EP2 to be released on July 16


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Corina C. Butler

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