When you think of your Dad, and go "ugh, so embarrassing - put those dance moves & oversized jeans away", I want you to instead think of what it is they are actually dancing to. It may in fact sound a little like Lachlan X. Morris, the self-proclaimed 'dad' of Newcastle's rock scene, who is back with the new single, 'Turpentine', off of his sophomore album Premeditations - which will be releasing soon.
'Turpentine', unlike Morris' previous work on Ouija Board Heartbreak Tambourine, shifts gears and flips the whole 'dad rock' trope on its head. The track is conceptually brilliant, as it navigates modern romance, it's relationship with technology and the corruption of the mind - it's music that comes across as chaotically as the themes it explores, like a 3D movie that asks you to put glasses on in order to see the clear picture that's right in front of your face.
Morris is gearing people up for tracks that get to the point and talk about the 'taboo' topics without the attached B.S. Premeditations will still feature the 'dad rock' we are accustomed to, but with some mature touch ups and compositions that demonstrate great craftsmanship & team effort.
However, as many independent and unsigned artists will know, the cost of getting any project off the ground is pretty damn high. Musicians love what they do and can often have a lot of pride - so asking for help without sounding like a dick is a fine line few artists want to cross. Morris has crossed the line with a crowdfunding page in hopes to get his new baby on wax, but he is also adding a fun twist for his supporters too.
Depending on how much you pledge to put forward, you get the opportunity to be as much a part of Premeditations future as Morris, and also get awarded plus points for helping restore faith into the community and people that make up Newcastle's music scene. If you're interested in checking out the page, you can find the link here. The page only has a limited amount of days left, so be sure to make your pledge soon!
Following the release of 'Turpentine' and starting up the crowdfunding page, we spoke to Lachlan X. Morris to pick his brain about the new album to come, what to expect next and why music needs peoples support. Keep scrolling for the full interview...
So, to kick things off - you’ve just released your first single off of your sophomore album Premeditations, ‘Turpentine’. Why did you choose this song to become the single that’d get people geared for Premeditations?
I don’t know if it’s because 'Turpentine' was the last song added to the album, so I was the least sick of that song? That’s very likely...
But I also just think it’s the least self-indulgent of the tracks *laughs*. I knew this album was going to be light years different to the first album and I wanted to make that known from the first sound that everyone heard.
From just listening to ‘Turpentine’ I sense a different vibe and sound to your debut album, Ouija Board Heartbreak Tambourine, what would you say will be different about Premeditations?
his album is predominantly just Fraser (Fraser Marshall) and I. He plays drums/vocals in my band and is one hell of a recording engineer/co-producer. We discovered a total musical bond and our working chemistry is so productive and focused that recording another album was the easiest way to spend my time after touring.
We are both really into vintage pop, big 70’s hooks and chaotic harmonies. More synth on this one for sure and I feel like it’s more conceptual. But easily more air-tight compositions on this record.
What is the message you are trying to get across through Premeditations? Cause I feel like it’s set up to be some life altering ‘Dr. Frankenstein realises he is the true monster’ sort of stuff.
The strong identity of Premeditations is all toxic things I see in the world right now. Over-consumption, greed, technology, etc... 'Turpentine' touches on romance and mental health in the digital age. And then there’s a song on the album that’s flat out called ‘1st World Bros’. I didn’t want to tip-toe around these things that I feel strongly about and think about a lot.
Why do you think it’s important to talk about these sort of topics & why through music?
For me, music is a direct way for a lot of people to hear what I think.
We are at this bizarre point in Newcastle music at the moment. Like, it’s really safe. Or at least that’s how it feels. Everyone loves everyone else’s music but no one comes to shows? Constructive criticism seems to be a taboo phrase now, people are afraid to dislike an album for a valid reason and reviews sound like your mother wrote it for you.
Say something bold. And yeah, you can make the song sound nice 'n' pretty but what are you singing about?
Are we going to be hearing any epic collaborations on this album, like with your single Every time it Rains with Grace Turner?
This album is essentially just Fraser and I. I got Boots Porter on for some melodica, Nick Cox for some synth and Carter Smyth for keys/piano but that’s as far as it goes. We tried to limit too many external players so we could see what noises we could make ourselves.
Speaking of collaborations, you’ve actually got a crowd funder campaign running at the moment for Premeditations - tell us a bit about that & what inspired you to put the campaign together.
I’m super thrilled about the campaign. It’s essentially a vinyl pre-order, but with some exciting perks. For instance, you can name my backing band or pick the colour of the vinyl pressing!
After Ouija Board Heartbreak Tambourine I noticed a lot of people at shows asking if I had vinyl done for the album, enough people mentioned it that I thought it was definitely worthwhile making it happen this time round.
Funny thing is, I planned on having vinyl for the first album but in true Lachlan X. Morris fashion, I just kept adding songs to the album until it was too big to fit! So I’ve been very conscious not to overshoot this time!
As an unsigned and independent artist, what are the biggest struggles you face? Obviously, money is probably the big one - right?
Yeah, just working hard to get my name out there without going broke. Trying harder to not get bogged down in the finances and just realise that this is my career and I need to put everything I have into it.
Being a solo artist at this level also makes the money thing hard. Whereas ‘bands’ can split up vinyl cost, PR cost, etc, that initial production cost is all coming out of my pocket.
With this campaign, the big goal is to get your baby on wax. Why do you personally want your music on vinyl & not just digital? (Mind you, I’m Pro-Vinyl all the way - there’s nothing better)
If I can be honest, I still don’t even have my own Spotify account! *laughs* So I can’t listen to my own stuff which is funny.
The reason I did streaming this time is to get my name to as many people as possible. And vinyl has always been the end goal, once someone owns that they aren’t just going to listen once and throw it away, it’s not disposable music. It’s taking up precious real estate on your shelf now. It’s living with you. It also helps people realise how serious I am, that I want my music to sound the best it can.
If you meet your target goal (which we hope you do) - what’s the next big step for you?
Tour the fuck out of it. Get people to hear it. Play some amazing shows with my ripper band. Keep recording (the next release, a doomsday pop EP, is done shhhh).