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:: Spotlight :: Lazy Susan interview

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

Lazy Susan earned a loyal following in the Australian music scene in the early part of this century. The Sydney band's debut album, Long Lost, released in 2001, gained much praise from Australia's music press and punters alike. Lazy Susan's songs (including Bobby Fischer, Canada and Clumsy), embedded themselves in the playlists of Australian music fans gaining national television and radio exposure, while the band cemented their reputation as a fine live act. Long Lost’s follow up, Never Better was released in 2004, featuring singles (Sometimes and Looking Backwards) and then the third album Every Night - produced by J Walker from Machine Translations – was released in 2006. All this said, they were a very underrated band. Perhaps they didn't tour outside New South Wales enough, but, as it turned out, they went into hiding until now.

The new album is called ‘Places That Made Us’, and it has included a free download and quite a deal of interest online. It is a very good standard, with short sharp pop melodies - fourteen in about forty minutes. Can they get back to previous heights and re-establish their position as one of Australia's fine pop acts? I recently spoke to lead singer Paul Andrews to get his thoughts.

Q. Where has Lazy Susan been over the past few years?

A. We've been having families. I have two children including a three-month old. There are now only two original members of the band remaining. In terms of work ethic, we've been a bit lazy, not by choice. After two-three years we just thought it was about time to make another record. It takes us a long process to get our act together. I'm not a songwriting machine. I hadn't written for about six months at one point.

Q. Did you consider going out solo?

A. You do think about it for a little while but the whole band contributes to the music and I love playing the songs with the other guys. I just loving them in the band with me.

Q. Are there things you would have done differently?

A. Yes, there are things we might have done differently along the way. We're our own worst enemies. We could have chosen a different record company or avoided legal hassles. We also probably didn't tour enough, mainly away from Sydney.

Q. How did this new album come together?

A. There were songs that we'd forgotten about that were resurrected. We had a big pool of songs to choose from. Probably a third of the tracks go back ten years, while the other two thirds were written over the past two years. We got together with our producer Michael Carpenter. He's worked with a lot of bands and he is very respected and easy to work with - a real legend in the business. He gets the best out of everyone and is very enthusiastic. He also has a great collection of equipment. We've used him before and he just lives down the road from me, so it worked out well.

Q. Since the band's “spell”, much advancement has come through online digital delivery of music. What are your observations about how it can assist the band?

A. I've only really learned in the last twelve months of the benefits and importance of digital online music for us. We provided a free track and some extras on iTunes. There is more interaction with fans.

Q. What does the future hold for Lazy Susan?

A. I don't really know what the future holds. It's interesting to note the number of farewell shows in recent years. I've never been a fan of announcing the fact that a break-up is to occur. Farewell tours do nothing. You can simply take time (like we did) and, who knows, in a couple of years things can change. I still enjoy writing songs and would be happy to contribute to other artists as well.

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