By Keith Sharp
Most motorists driving from Southern Ontario to Western Canada find that stretch of the Trans Canada Highway between Sault Ste Marie and Thunder Bay to be the most monotonous and deathly boring part of the trip – but not Australian rock band, The Lazys.
“No we love this,” enthused the band’s lead guitarist, Matt Morris, as their van circled its way around Lake Superior en route to Thunder Bay where the following night (Tuesday December 1st) they will perform at Black Beard’s Pub with opening act One Bad Son as they enter the Western half of their Black Rebel Tour. “Canada is like our second home and we are getting such a great response from Canadians, we love it here.”
Since arriving on these shores two years ago, to perform at the Canadian Music Week showcase events in Toronto, The Lazys have indeed found a home away from home. Unheralded at that time, The Lazys performed three shows in the space of 23 hours and their high energy rock pyrotechnics won them key industry admirers like Larry Wanagas, (who immediately snapped them up for world management outside of Australia), Union Agency Canadian president Ralph James, (who signed them for exclusive concert performances), ace producer Ggarth Richardson, (who was blown away by their Bovine Club set) and even Billy Talent guitarist/songwriter Ian D’Sa who was also impressed by the band’s electrifying performance and agreed to write two songs with them.
“All the excitement around the band has stemmed from that initial appearance at the CMW,” noted Morris. “It’s been a wild ride ever since. The CMW was such a fantastic experience, it just encouraged us to work harder and to realize we had a future in this country.”
Check out the D’Sa co-written “Black Rebel” track or other songs off their self-titled CD record, initially released last October and it’s easy to sense why the band is so compelling live with their AC/DC, Led Zeppelin influences and a stage presence grafted through many nights playing to demanding Aussie fans on the national pub and club circuit. Fans that are notorious for bottling poseurs but are quick to acknowledge genuine talent.
It was this environment that The Lazys were launched out of Sydney in 2007. With a name that is obviously a pisstake on the band’s real energetic image, they built up a national following touring with the likes of Gyroscope, The Losing End and Grinspoon before hitting the spotlight in November 2008 when they won the prestigious Jack Daniels Set national talent contest. This led to a publishing deal with Sony ATV and their first indie album release, `Prison Earth’.
The band, which now comprises of Morris (lead guitar), Leon Harrison, vocals, Liam Shearer (guitar), Glen Williams (bass) and Jay Braslin (drums) continued to develop in their homeland but got to the point that they realized they had to follow in the footsteps of AC/DC, Midnight Oil, Crowded House, Men At Work and Silverchair and make that big leap across the Pacific Ocean to North America. At the same time, CMW president Neill Dixon had been promoting his conference in Australia and invited Aussie bands to attend his Toronto festival. The Lazys were one such band who accepted his invitation.
The Lazys arrived in Canada just as a wave of new rock bands were hitting their stride and Morris for one was impressed by this country’s burgeoning rock scene. “There is so much more going on here than in Australia,” he noted. “There’s some great bands, great venues and radio seems to be getting behind the new bands. We are very encouraged by what we have seen over here.”
Subsequently, The Lazys have made two more trips over to Canada, playing again at the 2015 CMW showcase and developing a relationship with D’Sa which has seen him write two songs with the band; “Shake It Like You Mean It” which was the lead off single off their self titled album released last October, and recorded for the most part in New York with Gus Van Go and Werner F (Monster Truck, The Trews). D’Sa also co-wrote the band’s latest single, “Black Rebel” which is providing the spark for their current tour.
“Writing with Ian was the first time the band had co-written with anyone outside of the band,” explained Morris. “We have learned so much about the writing process from Ian.. He has shown us how to be better writers.”
The Lazys also wrote another track, “Hard Luck” with the Trews’ tandem of John Angus and Colin MacDonald, also featured on their latest release, and as the band picks up momentum as they tour across Canada they have a major decision to face.
“We are getting so many offers for work over here, we have to make some hard decisions fairly soon,” concluded Morris. “It might make sense to relocate over here for awhile. It’s a decision we are going to have to face sooner or later.”
For further information on The Lazy’s current Black Rebel Tour – link to www.thelazysmusic.com