The Lulu Raes are making their mark on the festival and music scene and are set to return to FOTSUN this year, armed with a new EP and perhaps a few new sneaky tracks for fans to enjoy. Focus caught up with Marcus, who shared a little about what the band’s been up to and where they’re headed …
Hi Marcus. How did you guys all meet and come together as a band?
Well, Taras was kind of mates with everyone’s siblings. He was mates with Tom’s sister, my older brother and his brother were friends with Eddie from school, then Angus came along when we were recording the EP. So that’s how we all know each other. Taras and I met around Bondi Beach; we were down there every day and then one day he was like, “I’ve got some demos I’ve been doing with Eddie, do you want to hear it?” and I was like, “Yeah, sweet”. Then I joined, Tom was in, and we had a band. We played a little gig at the Marley Bar in Newtown, and now here we are.
Explain the story behind the name …
Lulu Rae is a girl we know, and when we were coming up with names, Eddie was like, “Something La-La, something the Lalas Ra … and then this girl said, “Lulu Rae; that’s my name. Why don’t you name the band after me?”
How would you describe your style as a band, and what influences have you adopted?
I’d say that we are kind of constantly battling … We love pop music so much, but we don’t want to be too intense with pop. You kinda wanna put it through a blender and make it a little bit more palatable. We all like the Beatles, the Strokes, Oasis and stuff, so Eddie and I are more Strokes, Taras is more hyper-pop like Katy Perry and stuff, and it kind of just blends through that. There are a lot of diverse tastes when we are making the tunes … It can be quite tumultuous at times, but we get through it.
You’ve had great success with your last lot of singles. What was it like the first time you guys got picked up by the radio? Tell us about that experience.
We were pretty surprised. The first song we put out, we put on to triple j Unearthed, and then we hooked up with a manager who was keen to get us on the radio – and we didn’t think much of it. And then we did get picked up and thought, “This is pretty cool”. We didn’t get a lot of radio play until we put out Burnout, and that was full on high rotation on triple j, FBi and some community radio stations. It’s very gratifying.
With the recent release of your new EP, All Our Parents Are Divorced, how has this been received so far?
Pretty positively. It’s all been pretty good; my mates like it, our parents like it. It was pretty funny writing the title; I ran it past my dad and he was like, “It’s an OK title, I guess. Is it true?” and I said, “Yeah, all of them”.
When it comes to writing, who or what inspires you?
Taras spends most of the time in the studio polishing s**t, and a lot of the early songs came from him. So the EP is very Taras heavy. Now that we are writing for an album, everyone is bringing songs forward. In the early days when someone would bring a song in, we would play it and it would go around in circles.
We figured now to not bring in anything less than a chorus, so if you bring in a riff, that’s fine, but if it’s not working in the room, you gotta take it home and develop it more so it’s a little bit more presentable.
On the FOTSUN bill this year, what are you looking forward to?
We played at last year’s on the little side stage; we played just after Skeggs. We had heaps of fun; we enjoyed the band area and catching up with everyone. We are on the big stage this year, so hopefully we will have a better production and a better sound; who knows, it may even be better received.
Do you prefer playing gigs like this, or are you more of the intimate gig types?
I like festivals. I think they’re more fun, less pressure, you don’t have to bring your whole back line and stress; you kind of just rock up with a bunch of guitars and hang out for the weekend.
You mentioned you’re working on an album. Can you give us a sneak peek into when we may be hearing that?
I can’t say. I think we currently have five new songs, but we want to have around 50 and then wittle it down from there. Everyone is bringing in demos and unfinished songs and stuff, and when we finish this tour we are going to go away to this house in Goulbo, spend the week away from our families and girlfriends, and see what we can do.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Umm … please buy tickets to our tour.
Don’t miss Lulu Raes at this year’s FOTSUN.
Tickets on sale September 1st.