Lazzy Lung - Strange Places [Review and Interview]
Band: Lazzy Lung
Author: Nermin Habib - 2012-08-01
The one thing that first attracted me to listen to Lazzy Lung, were the geographical implications of what a band that sprouted from retirement-central, Canada (with a stable economy based largely upon maple syrup and routine tit implants) and uprooted to the notoriously unstable region of Lebanon (with an economy based upon funeral preparations and routine tit implants) would sound like. “Strange Places”, the bands first studio album is what MTV would call “an instant success”. As much as I hate contradicting the all holy MTV, there are some small, minute even, musical contentions that I believe will make this band a phenomenal addition to the rapidly growing indie scene (i.e. The All-American Rejects) but burning fodder for those with more complex musical tastes. From what I've heard, Lazzy Lung seems more aware than I could possibly denounce of the path that they are taking, and, if for no other reason, this seems to be the one element that could propel them onto the steps of a major record label. But I digress.
Lazzy Lung is a four suite band consisting of vocalist, and judging by the guitar strapped across his shoulder, rhythm guitarist, Allan Chaaraoui, lead guitarist Patrick Hanna (replaced by Anthony), bassist Imad Jawad and drummer, Hadi Oueini (now credited as Alain Najm). The album in question is the musical equivalent of getting your cherry-popped: somewhat confusing, unsatisfying and leaves you mulling over what all the hype was about. Chaaraoui's voice can only be described as fitting. Fitting for the genre Lazzy Lung involved itself with and for crooning to half-naked chicks dancing with their pink energy drinks held over their heads. It wouldn't surprise me to find a track from this album on a TopTen List somewhere, musically, it incorporates pop repetitiveness, purified punk riffs and Y-generation lyrics (i.e. those who are financially and educationally able to get as fucked-up as possible but still wake up with food in the fridge and a charged iPod).
I contacted Lazzy Lung for a few statements (partially for those reading, mostly for restraining personal opinion) about their album, recording process and a general overview of the band's future ambitions.
JZ: Why did the band pick a detailed plot-line for the album rather than follow a specific theme?
LL: Essentially the detailed plot line is a theme and theme is a not so much detailed plot line but rather a story… (haha) In other words the albums wasn’t contrived based on a plot and built accordingly....I would write songs based my personal experiences back home in Canada and or in Lebanon and after laying out all the material down…a pretty neat story came out it. We sort of mixed and matched things into order based on feel and groove (all the while taking the story into consideration as well) and thus “Strange Places” came to life. I could break it down for you, but what would be the fun in that?
JZ: How was the recording process like for the band? What were the difficulties or simplicities of recording an album in the Middle East?
LL: Recording was interesting to say the least and it’s a pretty big commitment when it comes to putting this to record. Everything is so final and definite so you really have to comfortable with the facilities and staff and equipments you are using. I was lucky to have met Karim Sinno from Mixdown Studios through the social networks around in Lebanon and it was long before we clicked.
He appreciated my knowledge and fascination with music production being a recording engineer myself it wasn’t long until we were on the same frequency. There were only so many places in Lebanon with right equipment and willing to take old school approach of recording (no digital drum tracks/tracking and mic’ing real amps/using natural room ambience [sic] and doing as little adjustments as possible.)...There are only a select few in Lebanon who know how to properly do this and Mix down studios was by far the best option for us. It’s one thing to play music live and it’s something completely different when it comes to laying down tracks on record. Everything is studied and debated (guitar & bass lines/vocals/drum fills ) and more or else manipulated in some way to make it thicker or just different. We tried to stay as true to the original sound as possible with as little addition effects as possible…It was certainly challenging and made us more mature as musicians...Our Bassist Imad was the super star in the studio a pretty much finished the whole freakin album in two three days tops...we faced a major delays after Hadi burned his arm in a tragic roadside car incident which made his arm looked like Boiled Sharwarma [sic]. You can’t ever plan for this kind of shit so you have to deal with what you can and to be honest , we owe it all to Karim for being so patient and working so goddamn hard on this record with us and making it into what it is today.
JZ: What tracks on the album can be considered as special to Lazzy Lung? Are there any specific songs that you think readers will relate more to?
LL: Lazzy Lung and our fans connect with a lot of the songs all the same, I think. Basically “Strange Places” is based on just about everything anyone ever experiences…people...all eventually get jobs [sic] and feel like they can’t wait to get off work and go home and have sex with something (“8 Hours to Get Home”), certainly a strong common ground there. “Hangover Daze”/ “On standby”/ “Moving On” are other example of songs that everyone can relate to…and if you don’t know what I mean…then you haven’t heard the songs.
JZ: What do you perceive as the future for Lazzy Lung and what message do you want to leave the readers with?
LL: Lazzy Lung wants to play in your city! Help spread the word to everyone that you know or think may enjoy our music! Our one year anniversary is coming up on the 23rd of October and we are hosting a huge concert for free with multiple bands of different genres and styles covering 1 of the 11 tracks on Strange places along with the release of our 1st official music video for “On Standby”. We have introduced new band members: guitarist, Anthony Sahyoun and drummer, Alain Najm to Lazzy Lung and have been working on new material for our second and third albums. We have plans to our second record in Dubai sometime at the beginning of 2012 (one of our rewards for winning the Rolling Stone Battle of the Bands) and hopefully we will have it ready just in time for the summer. We still aren’t a signed band and we have been priding ourselves about that for some time now, but I think it’s time we try and wise up to the new opportunities that may be presented to us during our trip to visit with Capitol Records and EMI in Los Angeles. We’d Like to finally thank everyone who ever listened/voted/came to a show/had sex to a song/sang along in the car/remixed a song/ or just plain ol’ “liked us” on Facebook. Thank you.
So there you have it. If you're interested in the ins-and-outs of relationship BS and in need of a soundtrack to your regular, ironically chaotic life then Lazzy Lung is the one band to look out for. As the winners of the TripleW competition, catch them (hopefully) on the American tour (a solid country built upon the dream of freedom...And tit implants).
Recommended Tracks: “21 Below”, “Burning Up” and “Hangover Daze”