Photo by Jack Moran

The Lazy Eyes are Psych Rock’s Next Big Thing

The Lazy Eyes have a reputation as Sydney’s up-and-coming psych-rock group.

Forming at Newtown Performing Arts High School, they’ve always been known as the young guns who do it best. Last year they finally dropped their first EP, and just a few days ago, they released the fittingly titled EP2. Their latest release sees a continuation of the band’s signature mix of King Gizz’esque psych tropes, combined with a bubblegum pop sensibility that harks back to the Beach Boys or Beatles. In tandem with the EP’s release, we sat down with the whole band to talk escapism and lockdown.

You’ve been recording over lockdown, right?

Harvey: Yeah, we managed to get a bit done before the tighter restrictions went into place and now we’re doing little bits like mixing in the meantime.

Is that looking towards a new album after the new EP?

Leon: Maybe? It’s called Leon’s World of Wonders.
Harvey: The best song is called ‘Piss on my Bed.’
Leon: I’m not getting into that story …

You’ve got a sexy new bass player named Leon—can you tell us a little about him?

Harvey: He’s a very beautiful boy, he’s very handsome, he’s very skilled on multiple instruments and vocal cords.
Leon: I do possess a set of vocal cords.

On ‘The Island’ you talk about creating a fictional world that listeners can engage with. What’s that about, is it an escapism thing?

Harvey: Spot on. It’s pretty much a thing where you can imagine the world that the song’s about, as opposed to our other stuff; our open-ended love songs. This one’s more about storytelling, I guess.

What’s the appeal of escapism?

Harvey: Interestingly enough these songs were written well before COVID, so I don’t know what that was the result of! I think the chords of the song came and the feeling of those chords reminded us of the seaside.

How are you continuing to feel inspired currently?

Itay: I think a big part of it is that lockdown, the first time around, almost gave us a chance to catch up on things that we’d wanted to do for a while. Like, this new EP we were working on over the first lockdown, and it nearly felt like the whole world was different, and it made us really want to do something good with our time.

I’ve heard that Linfield Studios is pretty central to your working process. Can you tell us a bit about it?

Italy: I think it kinda came about… I live out in the suburbs and all the other boys live in the city where you can’t really bash out and make heaps of noise, so for me, my parents were nice enough to let us use the space downstairs as a music room. Harvey’s actually sitting in there right now. And we just dump all our stuff there and have it set up for live recording and whatnot.

Noah, last time we chatted you said you hate performing live more than anything. Is that still the case?

Noah: Aw, I lied. I like drumming.
Itay: If anything, he loves performing live the most.

What’s the biggest ambition for the band at the moment? I heard you’ve been putting together a mini-festival called Lazyfest.

Harvey: The aim is to keep Lazyfest going as an annual thing—it was really fun this year, being under 18 is kinda shit for live music so we’ve been trying to do it as an all-ages thing. We did it at Mary’s Underground in Circular Quay.

I was pretty impressed with ‘The Island’ music video, how’d that come to be?

Harvey: We worked with some pretty cool people for that, we found that gang through a band called Eunuchs. If you thought our video was good, you’ve gotta check them out. So it was Christo from that band who was helping us direct, and a guy called Enzo from that band made all the masks.
Leon: And he actually made the masks specifically for us, so that they sorta corresponded to our personalities.

That song has a sort of pastel exterior that’s at odds with the grunginess at the end. What’s that about?

Harvey: That song was one that went on a bit of a journey—the sections are very different, so we wanted to sorta match the music video to that. So we wanted a bit of a satanic vibe.

There’s a lot of clear influences, like Tame Impala and the Beatles and what-have-you. I was wondering, what it is that’s new that you’re bringing to the table?

Itay: I don’t know if this is the exact answer you’re after, but I guess we bring our own songs to it; if you’re a young band, it’s hard not to wear your influences on your sleeve, and those first few songs we released we listened back to and were like, ‘Oh wow, you can really tell what we were into’, but I think over time that kinda fades away and you build your own sound identity. Hopefully that’s the case with us. The sonic thing is something that you can work on, but style is something that happens more as a byproduct of your songs, like, they eventually end up doing their own thing, y’know?

The Lazy Eyes’ EP2 is out now via The Orchard. 

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