The Laurels are a four-piece that formed in Sydney’s inner west in 2006. Their influences extend from sonic pioneers The Velvet Underground to the pure shoegaze bliss of My Bloody Valentine, the inner city filth of Australian legends The Saints and the trance-like psychedelia of Spacemen 3, all the way back to the lush pop harmonies of The Beatles. We caught up with them before Big Sound…
How would you sum up The Laurels in 3 words?
Loud, pedals, Tarago
You’re about to fly up to Brisbane to play a showcase at the Big Sound Conference. In what ways will the MusicNSW Quick Response funding support you in getting there?
They’re giving us a major cash injection so we don’t have to dip into our own pockets and pull sad faces when all that comes out is a set of keys and a piece of gum. It’s going to cover all our expenses, like a flights, shelter for the night, and a set of wheels. We might even have some money left over for a baguette. What more can you ask for really? It’s a major help no doubt and means we can have a lot more fun now.
Why would you recommend other local Sydney acts apply for the next round of Quick Response funding?
Because all the local Sydney acts we know are just as poor as we are!
You musical journey began with winning the Sydney Uni Band competition in 2007, and now you’re supporting impressive international acts such as A Place to Bury Strangers and The Black Angels. What advice can you give other young aspiring musicians wanting to make it in the Australian music industry?
Keep playing shows! Lots of them! We’ve been doing this for five years now, when we started we played as many gigs as possible. Since we’ve been doing it for a while, I guess that helps build up some sort of reputation where those sort of gig offers start filtering through. I guess it’s quite simple really, the more you do something, the better you get at it.
My Bloody Valentine are obviously a key influence on your drone/shoegaze style. Are there any Sydney artists or bands that inspire you?
Ghosts of Television! I know they’re not together anymore, but that’s our standard response to this question. Other personal favourites would probably include Machete Moon, Sounds Like Sunset and Decoder Ring.
Sydney’s music venue ‘crisis’ is seemingly the talk of the town, reasserted by Tone’s recent announcement of closure. As a band regularly playing around Sydney, how has your band been affected by the venue ‘crisis’? Would you describe it as a crisis or rather simply a temporary transition between the demise of old venues and the rise of a new generation of performance spaces?
It’s definitely a crisis. Hearing about Tone last week was a major bummer, I only went there for the first time 2 weeks ago and was really impressed with the setup. I was so keen to start going regularly and playing more shows there too. Ever since the Hopetoun shut, pretty much all the venues we enjoy playing have started to disappear. It seems all we really have left at the moment are the warehouse venues
floating around the inner west. All the licensed venues that are left kind of scare me…except GoodGod, that place is pretty cool.
What is your favourite venue in Sydney to play in and why?
Probably the Annandale. We haven’t played there for some time, but when we were playing there regularly a year or two ago it was always our favourite place to play. It has an amazing PA, it’s a good size stage, and there are no other venues in Sydney that still have that sort of atmosphere. I hope we get to do our album launch there before they sell it off…