The quintet from Australia have finished recording and mixing their latest album (with producer Ian D’Sa of Billy Talent) here in Toronto. The two bands have known and worked alongside each other since The Lazys much talked about 3-gig appearance at the Canadian Music Week here in 2014. They split their time between continents with singer Leon Harrison and lead guitarist Matty Morris making Canada home base since last year. Band mates Liam Shearer, rhythm guitar, bassist Willy Williamson and drummer Andy Nielsen arrived just days ago from Sydney.
We met up with the fellas at The Rehearsal Factory in Toronto the day before embarking on the “Summer of Fun” tour across Ontario. After having a good chuckle at the size of my microphone (I reminded them that it isn’t the size, it’s what you do with it), some practicing of the correct pronunciation of “sorry”, we chatted about the new music, the tour and quizzed them on their Canadiana!
ANTIHERO: We’re here with The Lazys! Hey guys!
The Lazys: Helllloooo! (in unison)
ANTIHERO: The Lazys…. a bit of an antonym for the least lazy band out there!
Leon: Onstage for sure but offstage Willy the bass player is so lazy.
Willy: Just tired. Chronic fatigue [from the trip]. Sleeping on the couch.
ANTIHERO: You are here rehearsing for the Summer of Fun tour…
Matty: It’s gonna be a lot of fun! We’re playing 8 shows around Ontario including the Burlington Sound of Music Festival on Saturday!
ANTIHERO: You’ve got an album coming out soon…
Leon: We sure do. Long awaited. It’s great.
ANTIHERO: Describe the recording process for us because Leon and Matty were here in Toronto and Liam, Willy and Andy were in Australia, right?
Matty: We started pre-production way back in September, October with the full band. And then we kind of laid down the backs…drums, bass, rhythm guitars, and then the boys flew home.
Leon: We all flew home!
Matty: (Laughs)We all flew home. For Xmas. That’s right! Sorry!
Leon: We all flew home then Matty and myself flew back here New Year’s Eve. And then we re-wrote, well wrote all the lyrics basically. We kept a lot of stuff but basically started from scratch on every song. It’s been the longest process ever, but one that is going to be so worthwhile. It’s getting mixed at the moment. We’ve gotten a few mixes back and it’s dynamite, the album. It’s just insane. You know I don’t even care, I’m going to tell everyone because It’s fuckin’ awesome. And I just want someone to say it’s shit, because I’ll just be like “You’re a fucking moron!”.
(Insert manic laughter and agreement from all assembled here)
Leon: We put a lot of work in. Ian D’Sa, our producer, Billy Talent guitarist, he pushed us …
Matty: Hard! Very, very hard.
Leon: He pushed us hard. Matt’s solos, he was doing 10 hour days on solos, and bends and working parts out. And truly it comes across. You will hear it. It’s insane.
ANTIHERO: Was recording done in Australia too, with modern technology emailing parts back and forth?
Liam: No, we finished our parts here last year.
Leon: Black Rebel, back in the day, back in 2015 was written on Skype.
Matty: There were times we would send demos over to Ian.
Leon: It was all done here and all done at Billy Talent studios. They’re so gracious and great- really awesome people.
ANTIHERO: Do you have a release date yet?
Leon and Matty: No not yet. Coming soon!
Leon: We’re kind of free agents. We parted ways with our last label, we parted ways with our last management. So we’re basically under Ian’s guidance and promotion deal with him. He’s got a lot of people lined up to hear this record. Once we start figuring out who we’re going to release through and all that sort of stuff then we’ll probably be closer to a first single.
ANTIHERO: You know they talk about how in life you learn the most from your mistakes; what do you think you’d do differently now?
Leon: Hmmm. Probably not get Andy in the band….
(They all cracked up at that!)
Andy: I’m too tall.
Leon: Look at him! He’s been working out. He’s fucking bulked. Look at this guy. Mr. Newtown over here. Tarzan!
Liam: He’s just throwing the balance off!
Andy: I have to stand 2 metres behind everyone in photos to level it out!
Leon: What would we do differently? You know what? It’s kind of a funny question because originally we were supposed to do this entirely differently. We were supposed to record with another producer. And it just didn’t match up. We were supposed to go out to Vancouver to do all this. In the wake of that Ian had worked with us before so he stepped in to the role and we recorded it at the Billy Talent studios. The whole thing would have been done differently. So no, I wouldn’t do anything differently!
ANTIHERO: So, you’ve finished the album, touring, is the design of the cd/album ready too?
Matty: We haven’t gotten to that, not yet.
Leon: Well we have a guy in Sydney who does our art, Sindy, he’s a great guy, who we’re pretty certain we’re gonna go with. He’s awesome at what he does. He’ll listen to the music, talk to us, have him come up with a concept I guess. We’re not that far yet. I kind of like the vibe of it.
ANTIHERO: His designs, on your merch and stuff, is fun.
Leon: It is fun. That’s exactly right! I’m waiting for Andy to get a tattoo! A Sindy tattoo.
Andy: (Who already has a good start on his tattoos) Yeah it’s on its way I reckon. Everyone back home has one. I work at a brewery and he works at an art studio across the street so he always comes in. Most of the people there have a Sindy Sinn designed tattoo.
Willy: You’re just happy to get shit all over your body…
Andy: This is what it’s like to be in this band!
Liam: Glad you came?!
ANTIHERO: Do you have a one you regret getting?
Andy: No, I…wait I do have one!! I have a beer mug, that’s a Sindy Sinn, I don’t regret it, but the story was that my mate and me were supposed to get a $200 bar tab from it, cos the other guy that I got it with worked at the brewery and deal was not allowed for staff members, so I was trying to claim this bar tab and was told “No, sorry mate!”
Liam: Shit, talk about stingy!
Andy: Yeah so, the other guys gotta pay for my laser now (to remove it).
ANTIHERO: So, you have the Ontario tour…are there plans to tour Canada again and the States?
(Resounding, excited “yeses” and “for sures”)
Leon: We’d love to get a lot going down in America. We just have to bide our time and see.
ANTIHERO: Could be challenging to get there with their new President…
Leon: It’s probably a good time for rock n roll. People need it. The angst.
ANTIHERO: What do you think of our Prime Minister?
Willy: I don’t do politics. I’m not politic people.
Leon: You mean political? (Much laughter and mocking!)
Andy: Trudeau! How do you pronounce it? (Lesson given)
Leon: I think Ian D’Sa should be the PM.
ANTIHERO: You guys are really good at social media. You’re active on Facebook and Instagram and just added Snapchat, (promise me there will be no deer or bunny filters!) is it a challenge to balance sharing information and keeping some things a surprise? Are you getting guidance with that?
Leon: If you’re angling towards me sending dick pics….
ANTIHERO: …We’ll you’ll need the panoramic setting (gotta be nice!)
(Much laughter and jokes about telescopic lenses…)
Matty: We plan it a little bit but not with any labels or any spending. Trial and error. We just talk about what’s going on.
Leon: We’re jovial lads!
ANTIHERO: Well you are very approachable, you’re down to earth, you feel like you could just come in and have a beer with you guys!
Willy: You didn’t bring any!
ANTIHERO: We were going to! We couldn’t find parking!
ANTIHERO: So, you’ve all spent quite some time in Canada now and we want to test your Canadian trivia!
ANTIHERO: What is a toque?
Matty and Leon in unison: A beanie!
ANTIHERO: What is a double double?
Matty: It’s shots right?
Leon: Shots or something?
Andy: My favourite burger?
ANTIHERO: Here’s a hint…if you go into Tim Horton’s….
Leon: Oh! It’s 2 milk 2 sugar!
ANTIHERO: What’s a two four?
Matty: Oh! Beer!
Leon: 24-pack of beer
ANTIHERO: You’d have been in trouble if you got that wrong!
Andy: That’s the first thing they learned!
ANTIHERO: Have you tried any Canadian beer?
Matty: I like the Bellwoods Brewery
Leon: Had fish and chips at the Amsterdam brewery the other day.
Matty: Creemore is good
Willy: Andy doesn’t like Canadian Beer
Andy: Well, I had a good one last night, Beau’s
Matty: Great Lakes is good too
ANTIHERO: What are the names of the Toronto sports teams….
Leafs, Blue Jays, Raptors (they all got them!)
ANTIHERO: Bonus points for the “real” football (soccer) team….
Liam: Toronto FC!
Matty: I heard about the rugby team too.
Liam: Really? Actual rugby? (Go Wolfback!)
ANTIHERO: Who said “Take off eh?!” and “Hoser”?
Leon: Yeah, I’ve heard that before!
Matty: What’s a hoser?
Liam: Isn’t that a band?
Matty: Take me to church…
Andy: That’s Hozier!
(Need my thesaurus to describe hysterical laughing as we rehearsed the delivery!)
ANTIHERO: That’s Bob and Doug MacKenzie [ Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas from early Second City days]
Leon: I’ve got one for you. “Get outta Dodge”
Liam: Get outta Dodge?
Andy: Get outta what?
Leon: Have you heard that one?
ANTIHERO: That’s great but it’s American.
Leon: Oh! Is it? I thought it was an Albertan thing
ANTIHERO: Do you know any of the lines of “Oh Canada”?
Matty: Just ‘Oh Canada’ part.
Leon: I don’t even know our own anthem!
ANTIHERO: Where is the best place to get a poutine?
Willy: I don’t like poutine
Leon: I don’t even like poutine
Liam and Andy: Smoke’s Poutinerie
Matty: House of Poutine,
Andy: Someone told me about, what is it, Poutinis?
Leon: I like chips crispy. Poutine takes the element of crisp out, somehow!
ANTIHERO: Well done gentlemen! So as we wrap up is there anything you’d like to add?
Matty: We’re just really excited to hit the road again and get new music out there!
ANTIHERO: Will you be playing any of the new songs on this tour?
Leon: Yeah, we’re going to be playing 3 new songs. I can’t wait, I even bought a brand-new pair of shoes!
ANTIHERO: Do you have any band rituals before you go on stage?
Liam: We give inspirational little speeches
Willy: We scull a beer
Leon: He (points at Willy) used to have one thinking he was a Spartan
Willy: “Spartans! What is your profession?”
Leon: “SHUT THE DOOOOOR” our mate used to say, “SHUT THE DOOOOOR”
Liam: We always pick up on little things that are just like a tour chant and they turn into the thing before we go on.
Leon: (sings) “We’re the boys from the bush and we’re back in town… 2, 3, 4. 1,2,3,4.” We had that one.
Willy: I dunno what we’ll have this year
Andy: This is all for you.
Leon: This is all legitimate!
ANTIHERO: Thanks very much for talking to us fellas!
Catch The Lazys on the Summer Ontario Fun Tour!
Keep a look out for the new album!
Check them out on social media:
Snapchat : the_lazys