With a string of highly-praised offerings already under their belt these last few months, Liverpool-based indie-rock fusion outfit L/zard now return with their latest jazz-infused single 'Colour Blind'.
Mixing up the convention indie-rock sound with a distinctively smooth and soulful aesthetic, 'Colour Blind' looks to set the outfit apart from many other acts working the scene today. With its loungy yet uplifting direction, their newest release is a fresh and vibrant delight that clashes genres together in effortless style.
So with their new cut doing the rounds right now, we sat down with them to find out more about their first musical obsessions and what kicked off their passion for this art.
What were the first instruments you fell in love with?
Noah: Probably the voice. I come from a really musical family, and the whole of my mum’s side of the family have amazing voices, so when it’s that side of the family all in one room it’s like a choir. I have many memories of hearing my mum singing around the house, making me want to sing as well.
Jack: Growing up listening to so much rock music I thought the guitar was amazing. Hearing how visceral and expressive it was in that setting that made me want to play for ages. Then my Dad eventually got me one and that was it.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
Noah: Musically, jazz has had a massive influence on me, and I try and weave it into everything. It’s harmony and language can add a whole other dimension to music. Artists like Funkadelic, Prince and Freddie Mercury really inspire me as well, not just for their incredible music but for their performances and stage presence.
What kind of music did you love as teenagers?
Jack: My Dad used to put on everything from AC/DC to Rory Gallagher in the car on the way to school and that got me hooked on blues and rock music. When I started going to gigs and seeing blues bands and stuff that really did it and got me hooked on it.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
Jack: Definitely Buddy Holly ‘That’ll be the day’. My school put on the Buddy Holly Story musical and I played all the lead guitar parts that Buddy was meant to play. My character was only meant to play two songs and had one line and they put me in the entire thing because they needed someone to play the guitar parts. First night seeing all the people who had come to the show and then something clicked for me.
When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?
Noah: I’m going through a bit of a junglist bender at the moment so Congo Natty is probably getting whacked on at some point.
Jack: I’m non-stop listening to Charlie Hunter at the moment I just can’t get over the groove that he lays down for Pat Metheny at the moment.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
Noah: Most songs I write are about people (either myself or not) or things that involve other people, like different scenarios, mindsets or events. I’m personally not really one for lakes and rivers and spirituality, mainly because I write as an outlet a lot so it’s a lot of personal things getting off your chest.
What have been the most memorable moments in your career so far?
Noah: We sometimes like to put on our own evenings, and one particularly sticks in my mind. We organised our own evening for us and a couple of other bands to play at a venue on Smithdown Road in Liverpool – a place where a lot of people we know live close to. It was one of the most crammed gigs we’ve done. People were packed in wall to wall, the bar ran out of glasses, everyone singing along. There was such an incredible energy there and I don’t think that gig is gonna be one I’ll ever forget.
Outside of music, what are your biggest passions?
Jack: I love running and swimming and I spend a lot of time doing that. It’s nice to be able to switch off and blow off a little steam in another way. It makes you feel fresher coming back to the music things.
If you weren’t musicians, what other path do you think you might have taken?
Noah: I’d have gone down the STEM route. Probably either biology or chemistry, I actually nearly went to University for medicine. Don’t think I would’ve enjoyed that.
Jack: I was planning on doing Biochemistry but just before I had to do the UCAS form I started doing the show and I did a complete 180 on my choices. Definitely made the right decision.
And what advice would you give to those looking to stay productive during the current crisis?
Noah: First, don’t feel too under pressure from anyone who says that now you can be insanely productive and an absolute workhorse. It’s a nationwide lockdown! Nobody is expecting anyone to cope with it perfectly. What I’ve found good is to pace yourself and set small tasks for each day, whether that’s write a new chord progression, go for a run, or send an email you keep forgetting about. Just little things like that to get you through each day.
Jack: Exactly as Noah said, don’t give yourself too much to do and set little bits. I found being able to switch off for an hour or two before bed really helps and getting up early. It’s easy to have a free day and give yourself too much to do but it’s also okay to take an easy day.
L/zard's new single 'Colour Blind' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in the player below.