EMQ’s with Lamassu
Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Melbourne, Australia based Hard Rock band Lamassu! Huge thanks to Vocalist/Guitarist Chris Fisher for taking part!
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Hi I’m Chris, I play guitar and sing in Lamassu.
Everyone in Lamassu plays in at least one other band so we were all known to each from the local heavy stoner doom / psych scene here in Melbourne. Matt (Guitar) and I had played a few shows together in our other bands and were fans of each other (the man is a riff wizard!). He suggested we have a jam sometime and about 6 months later we ended up doing just that. It was immediately clear that we worked well together as riffs flowed pretty easily.
From there Matt asked Nick (Drums) who also plays in Motherslug, if he wanted to jam and then Ant (Bass) from Borrachero joined and what would become Lamassu was born.
We wrote around 15-20 tracks over the following 7-8 months, played a show and then went into the studio to record our album with Mike Deslandes (YLVA / High Tension) at the helm.
Ant has subsequently moved to The Netherlands and Al Cooke who plays bass in my other band Field, has joined bringing with him another heavy element to the band.
How did you come up with your band name?
Matt and I spent months trying to find a name, sending lists of potential candidates to each other almost daily. After a few false starts with other names, we all agreed that Lamassu was the right choice.
A Lamassu is a Sumerian protective deity, depicted as having a human head, the body of a lion and eagle wings. We love the imagery of this and the way the word looks when written.
What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We’re from Melbourne, Australia which has an incredible live music scene and a very healthy heavy / stoner / doom / psych scene. We’re pretty spoilt in Melbourne as it’s possible to go and see quality local bands pretty much 7 nights per week.
The heavy scene here is world class, hugely supportive and you’ll always see members of other awesome bands in the crowd supporting the scene. We also have a few local community radio stations that are huge supporters of local independent music.
What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)?
We release our debut album “Into The Empty” on 2nd September on digital download, CD and 12” Vinyl. It’s been described as being everything “from Dopesmoker to Superunknown” and we’re okay with that – pre-sales available via Bandcamp now.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Growing up I was heavily into Pantera, Sepultura, Van Halen blew my mind (DLR all the way!), Hendrix and Skid Row (how good is “Slave To The Grind”?!) to name a few. Later I developed a love of Sabbath, Zeppelin, Ozzy’s “No More Tears” album was killer, and then late one night the video for Soundgarden’s ‘Jesus Christ Pose’ came on TV and I was hooked.
I still find influence in a lot of music I hear; QOTSA, AIC, Sumac, Pallbearer, Soundgarden, Yob, they’ve all played a part in shaping how I play in Lamassu.
Vocally, influences are wide ranging but really it starts and ends with Chris Cornell.
What first got you into music?
My older brother Graeme played guitar and when I was very little I needed to do everything he did. I started on his 3/4 scale acoustic when I was 6 or 7 and went from there…I’m actually left handed yet play guitar right handed because I picked up his right handed guitar so young!
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
I’d have to say Pallbearer or Yob. Both bands are carving out their own sound and making incredible progressive steps forward in heavy music
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Duna Jam is an absolute bucket list item for me – can anyone hook us up?
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Whisky, beers or joints are the usual offerings and we’re fine with that!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Buy direct from artists instead of streaming, buy merch, share bands you love on FB and come to shows.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
John Bonham, just for that groove!
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love the challenge, pushing myself to sing better, to play better and the privilege of being able to perform in front of people. It’s also a great excuse to buy gear, I love amps and guitars.
What do I hate about it? Having the back of an old man and needing to lift all my gear!
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Fairer distribution of royalties from streaming providers to the artists!
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
“Badmotorfinger” by Soundgarden.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
They’re all amazing and what’s best is whatever is best for the listener. Personally I love the process of putting on vinyl at home. I love CD’s in the car and digital files on my phone for the commute to work.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Our debut Lamassu show in August last year was killer. Big stage, full stacks, great crowd. I ended up inviting everyone back to my place afterwards and sat around drinking whisky all night.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I work full time and play music outside of that. I guess if I weren’t a musician I’d be doing the same but with a less cool hobby.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Serj Tankian (SOAD singer / activist), Jacinda Ardern (Prime Minister, NZ), Bill Ward (Drums, Black Sabbath), Mike Scheidt (Guitar & Vocals, Yob) and Brian May (Guitar, Queen / Astrophysicist).
What’s next for the band?
We can’t wait for everyone to hear our debut album “Into The Empty” on 2nd September. After that we’re hitting the road here in Australia in support of the album, playing shows through Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney and Hobart, with more dates to be added.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
No idea, we’re Australian! You need to try a Tim Tam slam though.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Praise the riff!
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