Lurch & Chief Breathe Under Pressure

lurch chief

Annastasia Robertson talks touring, comfort zones and the creation of a new record with Hayden of psych-rock outfit Lurch & Chief:

Hey Lurch & Chief! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us here at Something You Said. Where did the name Lurch & Chief come from?
It was from a line in this movie Alex and I were watching after we wrote ‘Diago’, our first song as a duo. We were watching this teen movie where a police chief was arresting Lurch from the Addams family and we rolled with it.

A lot of people describe your sound as psychedelic. How do YOU describe your sound?
It’s a mixture of all the tastes of the six different musical influences in the band. It sounds like we all jammed our early teens CDs into a blender and put it on high for ten years. Put it on high.

Your latest EP is titled ‘Breathe’, but listening to it, I have trouble breathing! How would you describe the ideas that formed the EP?
I was extremely anxious during the writing and recording process. There was a lot of pressure to produce music in such a short amount of time, a time constraint we placed on ourselves. We wanted to see what it was like to perform under pressure. That’s where the intensity comes from. It was beautiful and a treat hanging out with mates, but stressful.

A bit of digging around online tells me that you recorded this EP in approximately ten days – two weeks?! Why so quickly?
I suppose I touched on this point above. We allocated time away to get together as a group. It was a super anxious time, but we produced our favourite work.

You guys won the Triple J Unearthed Harvest Festival competition in 2012. How have you progressed as a band/group since then?
People have become more comfortable with being in a band and handling all that the lifestyle entails. It’s demanding. I think around that time, Harvest 2012, we all cottoned on to the idea that this could actually be a profession. We are working towards cementing this ‘thing’ our profession. The upcoming album will be telling as to where we are at.

How does ‘Breathe’ differ to your previous sounds and previous album ‘Wiped Out’?
It’s a step in the right direction for the band. Wiped Out was pulled together over a few months with not much thought or time behind it. We didn’t really think about what we were doing, just acted and were still living half-lives. With Breathe we stepped out of our comfort zone and talked about what we wanted to achieve, separated ourselves as a group and created music together.

You’re about to kick off a tour around Australia – how are you preparing for that?
We want to do the songs justice, for ourselves and for the people that come to our shows. We have been going through each tracks and working out how to appropriate each song to a live performance. It’s at times tedious but there is always a pay off. I’m also looping up all loose ends in my personal life, cause I’m about to be off the map for six weeks.

What are you looking forward to most and least on tour?
Having to put up with music / argue about what music we listen to while six people drive in the same large vehicle most of the way. I’m fairy opinionated and picky and if I’m already hung over, I can’t think of anything worse than terrible terrible offensive music blasting into my brain.

There are six members in your collective, which is above average for most bands. Do you ever run into any creative clashes? If so, how do you manage the different ideas?
We run into many many many many many creative clashes and solve them through a series of heated arguments and often weird and bizarre attempts at justification that severely lack logic. But we get there in the end cause we all love each other and dig writing and performing music.

Who do you turn to for inspiration for your songs and sound?
This question always stumps me. Everyday things. I’ve had this weird vibe recently where people being / acting like victims, people letting others do things and then complaining about those actions, that really pissed me off. That can be a song. Or I was out with Alex driving around the other day, and we were having a ball just chatting and listening to music and talking shit, that can be song. I think I draw inspiration from mundane and everyday things.

What’s your favourite song to play, and why?
‘Breathe’, because it’s extremely important to Lil, the story behind the song. I want to make her appreciate the performance by singing it well.

What’s the ultimate dream for Lurch & Chief?
For Alex to own a guitar amp. Our m8 Alex.



Interview by Annastasia Robertson.