Aussie rock band The Lazys dropped their first major release, Tropical Hazards, last month. The album brings everything you loved about 80’s rock to 2018. Through ten fun and catchy tracks, Tropical Hazards covers everything from pirates (“Half Mast Blues”) to partying (“One’s Too Many”) to the rights of indigenous women (“Somebody’s Daughter”), an issue the band holds close, all while keeping the listener singing along. Co-written and produced by Billy Talent’s Ian D’sa as well as Canadian producer Erik Ratz, the album delivers beautifully produced, riff-heavy music that is sure to make you glad these dudes packed up their sofa beds and made the hike from Australia to Canada. PureGrainAudio got to sit down with the band’s vocalist Leon Harrison and guitarist Matt Morris pre-teppanyaki celebration on the day of the release.
Tropical Hazards is your first major release. Tell us a little bit about the album. What do we need to know?
Leon Harrison: It took a long time. We took our time with it. We really wanted to write something that would take us to the next level. Something that when people push play, they can’t do anything other than enjoy it. We want people to turn it on and be inspired and fucking love it.
You guys gave us a taste of the album about a month back when you released the single “Nothing But Trouble” which is already on its way to becoming a Top 15 Hit on Canadian radio. What has the response from that release been like?
Matt Morris: The response has been great. It’s good to know that people enjoy the music you create. It’s an amazing feeling. It’s good to be on the frontier of being that band that’s creating great music.
Harrison: It’s so fickle but I’ll say it…on YouTube there is not one “thumbs down” and I challenge the smartass out there who wants to be the first thumbs down.
If you dare to thumbs down the video, or just want to check out Leon causing carnage through Toronto’s Graffiti alley by smashing a wine bottle and stealing a french baguette, here’s a link to the video.
Tropical Hazards was co-written and beautifully produced by Billy Talent’s Ian D’sa. What has it been like working with such a Canadian legend?
Harrison: He’s a hard task master. There’s no boozing.
Morris: He’s like the school principal.-
Harrison: -With the best intentions. He always said in the studio that the hard work pays off. There’s no second chances.
Morris: And that the end of the day this will be out when I die, when he dies-
Harrison: -I’m never dying.
Tropical Hazards was also produced by Canadian producer Erik Ratz. What was that like?
Harrison: Working with him was amazing. He’s very talented and very casual to work with. He’s the complete opposite to Ian and both compliment each other so well.
Tell us a little bit about your inspiration for this album.
Harrison: Every song has inspiration. It basically boils down to wanting to write the best songs that we could. All the songs have different meanings. Some of them are rock and roll, some are about breakups, some are about issues of Indigenous women going missing.
Obviously a big move from Australia to Canada. What has your experience been like so far in the Canadian Music Scene?
Harrison: There’s been so much positivity, it’s a really established scene here in Toronto. There’s great radio throughout Canada. I love it. We’ve made some great friends and we’ve also gained international contacts from coming to Canada and meeting all the people we’ve met. We hold a lot of gratitude towards Canada, we owe a lot. That’s why we’re here and we want to give back. Toronto is a great city and Canada is a great country. You guys are really nice, you guys apologize for lots of stuff. I think Canada and Australia are a good fit.
What are your favourite Canadian venues to play?
Morris: The Horseshoe, Better Than Fred’s, The Exchange in Regina and Oshawa Music Hall.
What have you guys learned in the last nine months?
Morris: Rock and roll is still alive and I think on the new record it proves that.
Harrison: Drinking less creates less anxiety. Have a good time, write good music, be good to people, be kind to your fellow human.
The band will soon be touring with Kelowna, B.C.’s rock band The Wild!. Listen to our interview with The Lazys during which we discuss moving to Canada, Canadian radio, issues of indigenous women, frog hunting, upcoming tours and more about their first major release: Tropical Hazards.
You’ve read our interview. You’ve learned about the dudes. Now hear some “Howling Woman”.