A few weeks ago Larsen were supporting Tomorrow Rising at their single launch at a crowded Exeter. Last Sunday, the boys from Larsen and I met up again at a much quieter Exeter, and discussed everything that has been, is and will be future Larsen.
Okay guys, so who are you all?
Steve: I'm Steve and I play bass. Alex: I'm Alex and I play drums. Liam: I'm Liam and I do fuck all hahaha. Nah, I play guitar and do vocals! Sam: I'm Sam and I play guitar.
How would you guys describe your style?
Liam: Grunge. Steve: Alt Rock. Alex: This is the ultimate question within the band, isn't it? I think we really started as a grunge band, wanting to do our best impression of bands like Nirvana, Violent Soho, Foo Fighters, Silverchair and that sorta thing! So really, it's both the alt rock and grunge elements now. Kind of a long winded answer, but that's really what we've evolved to.
Shit, that was a great answer! So how did you all come to meet and form the band?
Liam: Well, Sam and I went to school together. Then Steve was there at the same time but didn't really chat. Sam and Steve are actually cousins though, but Steve came into the band a bit later on.
Sam: Liam and I had been jamming for a while, trying to get a band going, but nothing was really working. We pretty much went though a whole bunch of genre's before settling on the grunge style. Eventually though, we were looking for a drummer, and that's when we found Alex on Musolist. We watched a video of him auditioning at his high school...
Alex: It wasn't an audition, I was the main event! (laughs) but serious, I was playing a solo at my valedictory, and it was the only footage I really had. A few other people messaged me as well because of the ad, none of those things ended up working out though quite like it did with these guys!
Steve: Yeah, so Alex went away to America and that's when I came in! But we were never actually a full band until August 2014 I think? Everyone: Yeah, it took a while for us to finally all play together, but here we are now.
When was the first gig you guys all played together?
Alex: Well, we jammed and wrote a few songs, I think seven? Steve: Yeah, about 30 minutes worth of music. Alex: Eventually we were confident enough to hit the stage, and played our first gig in February of 2015.
Where was that show?
Alex: That was at the Jade Monkey, we shared the bill with a few hardcore bands and a pop/punk band, so it was pretty different to what we do now. Sam: Yeah, for Steve, Liam and I it was our first time performing, so we were pretty nervous! Liam: We actually had on our set list where to talk... Alex kinda pieced it all together. Sam: But for a first gig, we went alright.
How many gigs have you played together now, any idea?
Steve: Well, we've played a show every weekend for the last month. Liam: I think all up its mid-thirties, so it has been a few now. But we've done a few. These guys don't really count like a backyard show, and things like that, the cops were called.
Any highlights from all the gigs you've played so far?
Steve: Fat Controller. Alex: Yeah, we played the Sailor Jerry Party at Fat Controller a few weeks back, it was great! They (Fat Controller) really look after their artists there and it was heaps of fun. Plus we were playing with a few other bands we love. Liam: Our EP launch last year, was pretty great too. At the end of the show, all of the bands playing got on stage together and did a big cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit. It was nuts, passing instruments around among one another and all going a bit mental.
Speaking of Fat Controller, I heard you guys will be playing there again soon, whats the go there?
Alex: Yeah, we're playing there this Friday, supporting the Delta Riggs. It should be a massive show!
Well, if its anything like the Exeter show a few weeks back I'm sure it's gonna be awesome! Have you guys got anything else planned for the near future?
Alex: We've got a show in Sydney coming up, we won't say who we're playing with, but it's looking good. We've also got a few other shows coming up. Oh and we're hoping to get into the studio during July and start recording some new material as well.
Ah, a bit of suspense, will have to keep our ears open! Whilst we're on shows, if you guys could play any show/festival in the world, what would you play?
Steve: Well it has always been a dream, but now it's dead. But, Soundwave, was always something I wanted to play. I guess it's small scale compared to other things these guys might say but yeah. Sam: I'll go next, Soundwave as well. My first gig was Soundwave, I went every year since 2010.
Alex: Locally, probably like Splendour or something, just because it's so massive! Liam: Stole my idea!
Alex: (Lauchgs) Internationally, maybe Glastonbury or something like that.
Liam: Just locally, like no festival, but I'd love to play the Thebby Theatre, it's my favourite Adelaide venue. Alex: Actually, Steve, Liam and I went to the Thebby when Violent Soho were here the other week, it was great. Steve: Yeah, actually the Thebby was also the first place I went for a show, it was great!
When it comes to the Adelaide music scene itself, what are the ups and downs of it all?
Steve: I think one of the best things is that everyone knows everyone, it's a bit like everyone's a big family. I mean genres do splinter off a bit, but mostly they're all pretty friendly. Alex: Yeah, everyone respects each other and it's great. Like, even the bigger bands are the same way. We played a show with Horror My Friend (their fundraiser) and they're just the nicest guys, it was all great! There's no ego's really.
'Everyone looks at Alex'
Okay, except for mine ha! But then the downside is just the same sorta things right through the industry like finding interstate shows can be hard to organise, shows that are right for us.
Liam: Yeah, we played a show in Bendigo the other week and ended up playing to a group of about five people... who were the band playing after us. Alex: But in saying that, it was still great, it proved we could survive being in close quarters with each other for long amounts of time.
Well guys, cheers for the interview, I'm sure this Friday is gonna be a sweet show. Good luck with it all!
You can keep up with everything Larsen over on their social media pages:
July 22nd @ The Crown and Anchor with Jones The Cat
Header image courtesy of Larsen, taken by Dominic Ventra