2012 was a big year for Lurch & Chief – they played the incredible Harvest Festival, started writing a new EP and set up for one of their biggest tours yet. We managed to get a hold of bassist Josh Lane in amongst a hectic schedule, to see how the Lurch & Chief train has been doing.
Can you start by giving us a little description of Lurch & Chief’s sound?
We don’t really have one “sound” just yet. We write in a lot of different styles, which is quite apparent in our live show and is something that we’re all kind of happy with. I suppose as an umbrella term, something along the lines of indie/garage/stoner/ambient/psychedelic rock would just about cover most of it, but it really does change song to song.
Your Unearthed profile maintains that your sound is like one living musician and two dead. Are there any names to go with these musicians or is it better left ambiguous?
I think it’s best to leave that ambiguous. We deliberately steered clear of listing any particular artists there because we find it difficult to write in a consistent, clear-cut style. We didn’t want to name-drop a bunch of acts and then have a song up there and have people be like, “this sounds absolutely nothing like what they mentioned”.
As a six-piece how does your sound differ from other, smaller bands in your genre?
I’m not to sure how it would differ to specific other bands, but I think we have a unique situation in that all six of us are writers and have just about equal input to the songs. We also listen to a lot of different music in our own time, so the most noted difference would probably be that we have independent ideas coming from six different directions, rather than, say, three or four.
How did you guys come together originally?
Hayden (vocals) and Alex (guitar) originally had the idea for Lurch & Chief back in high school, so we’re looking at maybe five years ago. A recording they did in year 11 or 12 actually ended up opening our first EP. However, it just wasn’t the right time for them to start this band then. They ended up in another project together, which I also joined later on. As that other band was coming to an end, Alex and Hayden started jamming some ideas for Lurch & Chief with Joel (drums) around late 2011. I came in after they had about two or three songs down.
Then after a few weeks we tried out a jam with Lil on vocals as well. She nailed it instantly. The next week I invited Brendan along. He had this huge pedal board that really impressed everybody so we got him in as well and started to kick things up a notch.
Did the supportive music scene in Melbourne help get you on your feet?
Definitely. Our first real show was thrown at a mates Warehouse in South Yarra. We hired the PA, had friends mix the sound and work the door and everything like that and just through a huge party. We also had an art exhibition up stairs where Alex and some of his artist friends could exhibit and sell their works and had support sets from a great Melbourne band called The Pretty Littles and a really cool rapper named Remi that Lil’s friends with. It was really cool, because due to that really supportive creative network, we got to play our first proper show to about 300 people, which I suppose is somewhat of a rarity.
How about FReeZA? How have they assisted you guys?
Like a lot of other people, my first ever gig was at a FReeZA show, when I was 14 or something, and they it was a really great introduction into live music for me. As far as Lurch & Chief go, Push Over is actually the first time that we’ve dealt with FReeZA. However they’ve been an absolute pleasure to work with every step of the way and have been incredibly accommodating and have really gone the extra mile to help us out and put on what looks to be a really amazing festival. Hopefully we’ll be able to work with them some more in the future.
You guys played Harvest in 2012 on the same bill as Beck. How was it playing one of the most beautifully constructed festivals of the year?
It was amazing. To be playing on a lineup with so many bands that have inspired us was a really cool buzz. Seeing these huge stars like Mike Patton and Beck walking around backstage was pretty crazy too. Most of the guys also got to meet The Black Angels, which was pretty cool.
Your new single, “On Your Own”, is set to come out soon, with a tour in support of it. What can we expect from the EP?
The EP will be a logical step forward from our two singles “It’s Easy” and “I’ll Meet You On Planet Z”, but a fair departure from our first release, “Paranoia”. Five tracks that are all kind of different yet are still definitely the same band. The closing track is this huge jam that just keeps building and looks like it’ll go for about 6 or 7 minutes, so that should be really cool to mess around with in the studio.
And the live show? How is a typical Lurch & Chief live show?
The set that we’ll be playing over the next couple of months will have a bunch of different jams and musical links to songs thrown in there to stop it from being just a plain old “song, stop, song, stop, song” type of gig. We all get freaked out when we go and see bands that just stand still on stage, so we also try to avoid that, and we’ll be playing a fair mixture of styles in the songs. Everything from Doors-like stoner jams to almost aggressive garage rock, but again, something where you can still tell that it’s the same band throughout the whole show.
Where can we catch you in coming months?
The “On Your Own” tour kicks off March 9 2012 in Canberra. We’ll be making our way through Canberra, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and regional Victoria. Full dates and details can be found at www.lurchandchief.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lurchandchief
And lastly, which album can you not stop playing at the moment?
Personally, I’m re-entering my Jeff Buckley phase and can’t get enough of “Grace” right now.
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