Sydney's The Lazy Eyes are the latest kids on the psyche-rock block to release a debut album, and they've done so with the oft-thrilling Songbook. Comparisons are lazy, but for the sake of introductions, you can file this excellent record next to favourite Aussie contemporaries like POND and King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard. As Lauren Laverne appropriately stated during her BBC 6 Music show earlier this year: “Who doesn’t have room in their record collection for a band like this?” Vocalist, guitarist and piano-player, Harvey Karate takes on a little Q&A for us from the back of the tour van.
Waxx Lyrical: Congrats on the release of Songbook, what's the vibe within the camp right now?
Harvey Karate: Thanks very much! The vibe is epicness! Feels great to finally have the record out after, like, seven years. Very relieving.
WL: What was the mission heading into your first full length album?
HK: At the very beginning, the mission was just to try record a song or two. Once we learnt how to record, we started recording more and more songs. It came to a point where we realised all these songs belonged together on an album. That album is now SongBook!
WL: You produced the album yourself - what's something they don't tell you about recording your own full length album? .
HK: They sort of don’t tell you anything! <laughs> But if you go looking for it you can find answers. For example, with more and more artists doing the DIY recording approach these days we thought ‘oh easy we’ll have this song recorded in a day!’ Yeah, that did not happen. Turns out you usually have to do a lot more than just record an instrument to make it sound good and blend with all the other instruments. So our expectation was way too high but once we put in the time and effort to learn how to produce a record, that was the most validating feeling knowing that we can make many more records on our own!
WL: What were you listening to before you headed into the studio?
HK: Back when we first started recording the first few tracks in high school (2015), we were inspired by artists who recorded their records themselves. We thought it gave those records a really unique sonic flavour. These were artists like Air, Grandaddy, Mac DeMarco and Tame Impala. Nowadays our influences have drifted far away from the early influences but I guess that’s something we’ll hear on the next album seven years later!
WL: If we were to play The Lazy Eyes to a new listener for the first time, where would you recommend we start?
HK: 'Fuzz Jam' got the biggest reaction so maybe that one? Maybe also 'Imaginary Girl' to show our softer side. Actually just scrap your plans and listen to the whole album :)
WL: What's your favourite "moment" on the record that may elude the average listener - something personal...
HK: The outro of 'Cheesy Love Song' has a pretty eluding guitar tone. You may not even realise its a guitar. It sounds like a forever rising motorbike.
WL: What's the main ingredient in what I would describe as your amazing live set?
HK: A well crafted live setlist is something we think is pretty important. It has to flow from one song to the other but also have enough breathing room for the audience to chill. It’s a hard one to get right!
WL: You were set to break out big time during what ended up being spent in lockdown, what's the plan to conquer the world now?
HK: We are headed to the UK next week which will be our first international trip as a band! After that, we are playing Splendour in the Grass and supporting The Strokes in Australia. After all that is done, our plan for world domination will be complete.
WL: Is vinyl important to you? Have you all got your own collections?
HK: Leon is the only one in the band with his own personal vinyl collection. I know he would definitely pull out a few Animal Collective records as his highlights ;)
THE LAZY EYES' DEBUT ALBUM SONGBOOK IS OUT NOW