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Music Interview: Lanark

Words By: Laurent Shervington

What was it like recording this one after so long out of the studio?

We approached the writing and recording process for this track quite differently, so it is hard to compare this recent recording experience with any previously released material. Darren, who mainly plays drums in Lanark, had written a chord progression that we all really liked. We therefore just decided to swap instruments to see if we could approach writing from a different angle. I personally think that playing an instrument that is foreign to you can help you write something that is less convoluted and sometimes more poignant. It can allow you to focus on the actual idea in its simplest form. Our previous keys player Tem is left handed and had to channel a bit of Hendrix when writing some guitar riffs on an upside down guitar. Our bassist Mikey also enjoyed working on the drums, as did I (Sandon) working on the bass. I think that this method of writing may reappear in future jam sessions.

When we recorded ‘Anywhere But Here’ with Dave Parkin at Blackbird Studios, we also alternated between instruments again to ensure that the track had the best feel, regardless of who was playing what part.

To me the new track “Anywhere But Here” sounds like it has a strong Ride and Chapterhouse influence, what were you listening around the time it was recorded?

Cheers! Some of us are definitely Ride fans, but we listen to a pretty wide range of music that no doubt indirectly and directly influences how we write. I’d dare say that we were unintentionally channeling a bit of a Lotus Plaza or Real Estate sort of feel of the new track. I have always really enjoyed listening to bands that have serious groove in the bass playing, so I was probably subconsciously trying to channel a bit of Grizzly Bear or Joy Division whilst writing the new bass part.

I understand you were a quintet at the time it was recorded, what’s it been like since Temily-Jaye departed?

It initially felt quite different jamming without Tem, but I think we have all embraced the challenge of working differently/reinterpreting keys parts and adapting them to other instruments. It has also led us to write a couple of new songs that we are excited to play live. It has ultimately led Lanark down another different creative path. I’m sure that we will work with Tem again in the future, as he is our brother and a good egg.

It’s quite interesting seeing a lot of the classic 90s shoegaze/dream-pop bands reform and tour in the last few years, do you have a favourite among them?

I think it’s awesome that a lot of people are rediscovering/discovering some bands that were previously overlooked or faded away before their prime. We all regularly listen to shoe gaze/dream pop bands but I’d dare say that Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine are probably our favorites. With this being said, I know for a fact that Damian is a huge Cure and Jesus and Mary Chain fan. Which has ultimately had a pretty extensive impact on our music over the years. Whilst I (Sandon) am a massive fan of post-rock bands like Explosions in the Sky, Years of Rice and Salt, etc, I really dig bands like The Brian Jonestown Massacre, True Widow, The Horrors, Port St. Willow and Deerhunter that utilise some shoegaze elements in their music.

What do you think about Perth’s current shoegaze scene?

I personally think its pretty exciting to see a few shoegaze bands emerge in the Perth scene, but I think there is still plenty of room for new bands to give it a red hot crack. Regardless of two Lanark members now also playing in HYLA; they are still my favorite Australian shoegaze band. Their new E.P is an absolute banger and still gets spun at home quite regularly.

So “Anywhere But Here” is getting a limited 7″ run, what do you think is the appeal of owning vinyl?

There is something about the tangible nature of records that is quite addictive and simultaneously nostalgic. I have always enjoyed the process of buying/collecting CD’s and Vinyl’s since I was quite young. I have fond memories of walking into Planet Music and just thumbing through C.D’s/records to find a release that I was really keen to get my hands on or walking around aimlessly for hours, just listening to the tunes they were spinning. The thought of being able to cut the Lanark music onto a tangible record is partly a boyhood dream and partly a milestone in the development of the band. I think that many musicians/music lovers can mirror a similar feeling of nostalgia and joy that is coupled with finding and enjoying new music. Hopefully we will continue to release/re-release our music on vinyl in the future.

The Lanark 7 inch’s are now available online here and at the launch this Friday night.

Finally, I hear you’ll be playing at Amplifier this Friday with Childsaint, Ah Trees and Shy Panther to launch the single, what can audiences expect?

Hopefully a cracker of a show! We will be playing a set of mostly new songs and couple from the album. We are really stoked to have Ah Trees, Shy Panther and Childsaint on the bill; three bands that we all thoroughly dig.

FB event for the launch here!