I got a chance to throw some questions at Matt from London’s The Lakeside Is For Killers. These guys write songs like a cinema script, and have an amazing live shows. And they are super sweet dudes. Love em to death.
1- Let’s begin with basics, who are you, and what is your role in The Lakeside Is For Killers?
-I’m Matt, I’m the vocalist in the Lakeside Is For Killers.
2- Who are the rest of the folks in your band?
-There’s Brett and Bob, they both play guitar, Bob also provides some passionate yells here and there, as well as some cleans to play off whatever I’m doing. Lee provides the lows, and the newest member Justin pounds the skins.
3- How did TLIFK come together as a band?
-Back in 2008, when I was a young, lost 19 year old, I was finishing up a mostly terrible year at university. Brett was there with me. We had both kind of rushed into the university system out of high school, and hated almost every second of it. Just wasn’t where we wanted to be. No creative fuel there, no real light at the end of the tunnel. We both made the decision to not continue on with our second year at that point.
Brett and I have always written music together. We’ve known each other since grade 2 and have been best buds ever since. We decided at that point that it was time to get a little more serious about it. We talked to Bob and our old bass player Ryan, who were just graduating from high school at the time and decided it was time to put together some tunes.
At that point we recruited our former drummer Nich, who we knew from the local music scene and whom we had occasionally jammed with in the past, and locked ourselves in Bob’s basement for 6 months, perfecting the first couple songs we wrote, which are all on our first album Dead In The West.
4- Can you explain the origin of your band name?
-I really wish I had some cool story to tell you here. I don’t. We were racking our brains for a band name at the time, and we were all super picky about it. I presented the name to Brett as a joke one time, in reference to all the serial killers and crazy shit that seems to go on around lakes and big bodies of water, and he actually liked it. So did the other guys when it was presented to them and at that point we just wanted some sort of identity so we could get ourselves out there. So it stuck.
5-Up to this point in your career, what has been the most satisfying show you have played?
-Hard to narrow it to one. There’s been some real noteworthy shows. The first time we got on a bill with some big signed bands was really cool. It was our third show I believe, and we got put on a bill with Blessed By A Broken Heart and LoveHateHero, and that felt like a really big accomplishment. That show was also the first time we played Call The Office, which is where Radiohead played in London when they had only released Pablo Honey. The fact that I was playing on a stage that Thom Yorke and company had graced years earlier was a little mind-blowing. and blink-182 played there too, after Dude Ranch. That was crazy to me, that little corner stage, so much history.
Warped Tour was also insane. That was just something we didn’t expect to be doing and it was a really humbling thing to have done, we’ll all always remember that day.
I can’t leave out our comeback show. The amount of people that came out and supported and knew all the words and jumped on stage with us… I don’t think we were expecting that after being dead for a year and a half. We don’t have a ton of fans but the ones we do have are so supportive and amazing… I think that show stands out for me the most.
6- Just as Anu Beginning was heading into the London scene, you guys decided to call it quits (back in 2010 I think), why did you guys decide to call the band quits back then?
-We were in the middle of recording our first album, spirits were at an all time high, we were picking up some steam, and during all of this, Ryan told us he was leaving the band. It was a serious blow to all of us, something we had not seen coming. Ryan had always meshed so well with what we were doing, and was an amazing friend on top of it. This happened in summer 2009 and we managed to keep going for a while, with Ryan agreeing to play shows until we found a suitable replacement so that we could get the album out to people.
We played what was supposed to be Ryan’s last show in November 09 on a bill with Kingdoms and The Jettison Commitment and after that show we tried to piece things back together, but we slowly realized the passion and fun had kind of diminished and we weren’t really in any shape to continue on at that point. We all had other things that we wanted to do, in music and outside of it, so we decided to throw in the towel. That Kingdoms show ended up being our last (until recently anyways).
7- Respectively, what made you come back together in 2011?
-Frankly, there was a huge void in my life after Lakeside quit. I missed the camaraderie of the scene, I missed the friends in all the other bands, and of course I missed getting on stage with the best people in the world to do what we do best. I went to Southern Ontario Metal Festival last summer in Port Burwell, where Bob’s other band The Divine Right of Kings was playing and the whole weekend just brought me back. Hanging out with all the other bands Lakeside used to play with, seeing the love that everyone has for each other, I missed it so hard. I jumped on stage with the DROK boys for a song, and it was kind of like having a drug relapse or something. I realized I needed to be back on stage with a band, preferably the band that I had already spent so much time with. The stage is the best drug there is, after all.
Shortly thereafter I moved to Toronto and began getting a bit involved in that scene with my friends there, and it was just too much to take. I began chatting with Lee, who was our replacement for Ryan before we decided to disband, and he was fully ready to jump in and give it a shot. I was stoked to find out that the other dudes were also missing it just as much as I was, so it seemed pretty obvious what we had to do from there.
8- If you could pick one song out of your catalogue, which would be the one your are most proud of? Lyrically, musically or other.
-That’s a tough one. Honestly, the stuff we’re writing now has got me the most stoked, lyrically musically and everything else. It’s definitely the rawest, most personal stuff we’ve done.
Dead In The West, the whole album in general is kind of set up cinematically, it tells a story almost like a movie from start to finish, so it’s tough to pick one song individually, but I guess my favourite is probably “…And Zombies Will Rule The Playground”. It’s the most different song on the album, I feel, and definitely one of our more dynamic songs live so I think we’ll be playing that for a while.
9- Every band has had that ”night” where things just aren’t right, vibes are wrong, instrument/gear failure etc. Have you guys had one of those nights?
-Absolutely. Sometimes things just don’t go how you planned. Part of the growing pains of being in a band. I remember a show we played with Counterparts and To Cherish. It was great being on a bill with those guys and hanging out with them all night so I have mostly fond memories of the show, but I remember we had technical issues throughout our entire set that really just bummed everyone out afterwards. It happens, but I remember spirits were pretty low that night, in regards to our set.
10- The scene is incredibly tight knit, what bands do you go for advice or feedback?
-It really is a tight-knit scene. I think every band in London stokes us up quite a bit. The band we’re closest with is The Divine Right of Kings. Bob’s in both bands, and me Brett and Bob went to high school with the Mikes (from DROK) so we all share ideas and really support each other, and try to do things together whenever possible. We also of course build off the support of all the amazing local bands that jam at Adelaide and Princess. That gets us where we need to be I think.
11- You guys have done some touring, any terrible van /travel stories?
-We actually haven’t ever toured. It’s something we want to do so badly, but a band van just hasn’t been in the cards monetarily yet. I can tell you I’ve put a lot of miles on my family van, lugging our gear to out of town shows, but a full-fledged tour is yet to be a reality. Anyone wanna buy us a van?
12- Is there any band you didn’t jive with on a bill? As people or musically?
-There’s always going to be people you don’t see eye to eye with, that’s true in all walks of life. I’d say 95% of the people we’ve met and shared the stage with have been great, hence the reason I love the music scene so much. I think it’s usually best to just push past those people that rub you the wrong way and don’t worry about it. Do you, fuck everything else.
13- Being from London, what are some of your favourite hometown bands, broken up or otherwise?
-I think Baptized In Blood sets a really good scene for London. They’re definitely the hometown heavyweight champs, they’re fucking spectacular dudes, and their music puts me in a great place. I don’t think there’s another metal band out there that sounds like them, or brings the party quite like they do. I can’t tell you how many backyard slums I’ve had listening to those guys at full blast with my boys, brews in hand, bowls packed and ready.
Searching for Satellites put together really cool energetic stuff that has a nice mix of melody and heavy, they bridge that gap better than most. Jettison have always been one of my favourites, they kind of mentored us into the scene when we were first coming around, I love those guys.
I got a chance to listen to some secret new Oceanborne tracks, they weren’t finished, but I’ve gotta say they sound gnarly. It’ll floor ya when it comes out. And the Anu Beginning dudes, yourself included sir Aaron, are absolute bros. You guys really fight for the integrity of the scene. I like that a lot. Killer tunes and live show.
And shit, I better not forget Foxfight. I’ve gotta say I’m really happy that they’ve reemerged from the ashes. They’re a band we’ve always meshed with, right from the beginning and they bring the heavy like no other. With Dave from Jettison and Alex from Baptized now a part of the team, they’re going to kick some teeth in.
14- Growing up, I think every musician, myself included, had that one band that they wanted to be. What was yours?
-Growing up, definitely blink-182. It’s a cliche at this point, but blink is really the band that defined my generation. I learned to play guitar by buying a Take Off Your Pants And Jacket guitar book and learning every song. I started playing drums cause of Travis Barker, as did most drummers I know. I still own a Mark Hoppus signature bass. I was obsessed. Those guys started me on music. Well I guess my dad really started me on it, but they’re next in line.
15- As a lyricist, I often get writers block, and can’t write for huge chunks of time. Do you ever fall into this, and likewise, how do you get over it?
-Definitely been a few occasions where lyrics are tough to come by. I’m very picky about the words I put down on a page, because those words are indirectly representing me, so I don’t wanna fake anything, or misrepresent myself or the band. I think on Dead In The West, I came up with a sort of starting concept for the album, and the lyrics became easier and easier as we went through the writing process. The story took shape really quickly and everything flowed into that finished product.
Recently, I’ve been channeling a lot more of my own experiences into my lyrics. It’s a lot more personal, and therefore more therapeutic. There’s been things in my life that have recently kind of made me open my eyes, things that haven’t necessarily gone the way I would have liked them to, and I think those things have ultimately changed me, taught me some stuff I needed to learn. The song-writing process has helped to clarify what’s truly important to me, and what I can take from those experiences. It’s kind of a scary thing this time around. It’s tough to bear your soul for all to see, but I think that’s kind of what it’s about this time. In order for the music to be real, it all has to be real, and I think it’s making me care a lot more about what I’m singing.
So I guess I’m saying that for me, the key to breaking out of writer’s block is to really just channel what I’m feeling at the time. Wait until I’m really feeling it, and then in those moments, just take advantage and write.
16- Dream tour, 3 bands along with TLIFK. Go.
-Alright, well I guess if we’re talking dream tour, I’m gonna go real big. This tour would probably make absolutely no sense, but I’d go Radiohead, Deftones, and Brand New. Everyone would show up late so they wouldn’t have to see us.
Bonus: If Lakeside ever drops a hip-hop album, we’ll open with some white boy shit, followed by Cypress Hill and then Wu-Tang, and then Biggie would come back from the dead and headline. It could happen.
17- Every band has their favourite place for pre/post show eats. What restaraunt do you guys stop at the most eats?
-There’s an in-joke in our band that we should be sponsored by Subway. Jared could sell merch for us. We eat way too much of that shit.
18- Being in a band, In know this feeling. If there was one person in your band who you could take in a wrestling rig for 5 minutes to blow off some steam, who would it be?
-I’d fight Bob just cause I already do fight Bob. I just need to punch that kid sometimes. In like a loving way, ya know? A brotherly way. He’s got a bit of MMA training though, so maybe I shouldn’t be saying this cause he’ll come looking for me.
19- Most bands have a family dynamic. In TLIFK whos the dad, mom, etc.
-Lee’s the dad. He keeps shit in check, and tells it like it is when he needs to. And everyone respects the hell out of that. I’m probably the mom. That sucks for me cause it means I’m married to Lee, but I drive the family van for all the shows. So sorry, I’m not the mom, I’m the soccer mom.
20- If you described your band dynamic as a sitcom group (Friends, Big Bang Theory, Seinfeld etc) who would it be?
-What a rad question, seriously. Remember in That 70’s Show when they would chill and smoke weed in Foreman’s basement and be ridiculous, and the camera would go back and forth between each character? That’s probably the Lakeside dynamic.
These dudes, rule, and put on an insane live show. Go see them.