Moose, wolves and bears, oh my!
The possibility of driving into one of North America’s larger wildlife species rattles Aussie rockers The Lazys.
As the band from Down Under motors across the wide expanse of forest and lake between Barrie, Ont., and Winnipeg, the musicians are keeping a wary eye out for any big mammals that might wander into their path.
“So far, no moose, no bears, thank goodness,” said lead vocalist Leon Harrison.
When it’s pointed out Canadians would consider box jellyfish or the bevy of poisonous creepy-crawlies on his continent to be much more hazardous, Harrison laughs, agreeing the fright value of various species is relative, depending on what creatures you’re used to.
The Lazys might be brand-new to this country, but are making big waves after coming to perform at Canadian Music Week in Toronto, where they played to packed houses.
The Australian band has become a particular favourite of Canadian musicians The Lazys have performed with — including The Trews and One Bad Son (the Aussies will play with the latter band from Saskatoon at the International Beer Haus and Stage in Red Deer on Saturday, Nov. 8).
The Trews’ Colin MacDonald calls the New South Wales natives “the best band I’ve seen in 10 years.”
Musicians from Billy Talent are also high on The Lazys. Bassist Ian D’Sa calls the group “the best new live band” after co-writing the tune Shake It Like You Mean It from The Lazys latest self-titled album.
Harrison appreciates the supportive reception, which he believes is based on his group’s high-energy live shows.
The Lazys’ frenetic stage performances stand in sharp contrast to the band’s lackadaisical name, which harkens to its garage band days “when we were still doing all the things that teenagers do,” said Harrison.
Since the musicians have since adopted a hard-work ethic, The Lazys has become an ironic moniker that’s “so different from what we’re all about, it works.”
The band’s latest full-length album, put out by Pheremone Records in Canada, is a collection of loud, raucous party songs. “We don’t like to get into a lot of melodramatic stuff,” said Harrison. “We like to rock out.”
A couple of ballads were thrown into the mix to show The Lazys have some range.
There’s also an anti-gun song with a message that Harrison believes was reinforced by what happened on Parliament Hill last week, when a Canadian soldier standing at the National War Memorial was shot and killed by a loner with Islamist leanings.
“That was terrible,” said Harrison, who favours tight gun control laws. But that’s about as political as it gets.
The singer met his five fellow band members in 2007 while they were all in their early 20s, playing in the Terrigal, New South Wales, music scene.
The group that includes Matt Morris on lead guitar, Jay Braslin on drums, Glenn Williams on bass and Liam Shearer on guitar won an audience-voted Australian TV station award in Melbourne in 2008, then went on to record debut album Prison Earth in 2010, followed by several well received EPs.
Harrison hears a “different undertone” in Canadian versus Australian rock music, but that’s only because he’s tuned his ear for it. “There’s a bit of a discernible difference, but rock ’n’ roll is largely the same universal language. We’re here to rock out and take our music to the stage so that our fans have a good time. …
“We’d love for people to come out and see us live. They won’t regret it,” said Harrison.
In the band’s long drive westward, the most eye-catching sights Harrison has noticed along the Trans-Canada Hwy are the numerous cobbled together inuksuks that motorists (with too much time on their hands) have erected after stopping to stretch their legs. “There sure are tons of them,” he said, marvelling.
For more information about the show with One Bad Son, call the venue at 403-986-5008.