Cairns band The Medics peaked our interest back in 2010 on Triple J's unearthed. Now two years later and their debut album Foundations is now among some of the greats that have been featured on Triple J's album of the week. Drum basher and vocalist, Jhindu Lawrie, kindly gave some insight into the big release, festival adventures, the Brisbane music scene and creating music the organic way. Proving that despite their burgeoning success, that The Medics are all about being spontaneous on stage and just going with the flow.
So I hear that your debut album Foundations is being released on the 18th of May. Is this a new sound for you guys or a culmination of the last couple of years?
Half of it is old, Joseph is our oldest song that is on there, and then there is also stuff on there that we haven't even played live yet. It is a mixture of everything I guess, so from two years ago up until what we are writing now. As a whole it reflects where our sound is at the moment.
Do we have any big release parties do we have to look forward to?
Well we were thinking of doing other things in other cities but we have decided to keep it all here at home in Brisbane. It will be for our fans here. A close friends and family thing.
After relocating to Brisbane you guys obviously have become pretty involved in the music scene up North. Do you plan on staying in Brisbane?
For now I think it is great because it is close to home, Cairns, and a few of us are studying here. So yeah we will stick around here and just fly everywhere I guess.
I did notice that you guys have been on the line-up of heaps of great festivals recently, like Groovin' The Moo, Woodford, Big Day Out and now have been announced for this years Splendour in the Grass. What has it been like moving around and playing so many different shows?
It varies really, depending on what time of day you play or what festival it is. We actually had a really good response at the Big Day Out Show. It was great playing first on that stage and the amount of people that filled the space, waiting for us when we came out. It was crazy. Groovin' The Moo was great too, we just recently got back. We had all of our Cairns and Townsville fans, from before we moved to Brisbane, all came out and it was just really nice.
What is the best part about playing at a festival?
It is a different experience, especially when you have other bands by the stage watching you!
Have you gotten to meet any other muscians that you guys are fans of yourselves?
Yeah, I met Dallas Green and made friends with Big Scary, they are really nice people, and also Matt Corby and he was cool.
Do you find the crowd different depending on where you play?
Yeah definitely. Brisbane is awesome because they just love their rock around here and they just love to jump. I always found Melbourne weird, because they stand there and stare at you. But that just means that at every Melbourne gig we just play harder. Apart from that it is pretty similar.
Speaking of playing gigs, you guys are incredibly energetic live. What is the craziest set that you've ever played?
It's always different. It is always up to Charles, the bass player, and myself, and then it just kind of happens. Charles usually just jumps into the audience with his bass and plays, to get them started. It is really unpredictable, we never plan on doing anything, we just get up there and it happens. It is kind of dangerous. There was this one time that I jumped off of a three metre balcony at a gig. I sprained my ankle really bad and couldn't walk properly for two weeks.
Did you play the rest of the gig with a sprained ankle?
It was at the end of the set that night so I still ran back on stage and played the end of the song. But the next afternoon I had another gig, at the Powerhouse in Brisbane, and I had to play with a bandaged leg, and walked on the stage with crutches.
You guys have a great chemistry on stage. How long have you guys known each other?
A while now. Me and our singer, Kahl, are cousins so we have known each other all of our lives. And then the rest of us met in high school and started hanging out, doing Battle of the Bands at school and our pub gigs around town. And before that we would all go skating or go to the Cairns watering hole, have a swim. We have all been best friends for a long while.
How do you guys go about the song writing process together?
We are all write and then usually someone will bring the skeleton of a song, like some lyrics or chords, to the band and we all kind of fill it in and help out. We all collaborate and it all comes out in the end organically. It is weird because we don't talk about what we want, we just all play in a room and it kind of happens.
Do you guys still try to go skating or the watering hole, and keep that Cairns flavour alive in Brisbane?
Well it is hard to find a watering hole around Brisbane! We try and get to the beaches as much as possible though. We always have thought that Brisbane, in comparison to where we grew up, is similar, just bigger and more city-like. When we first moved it was a big change, but once we lived here longer we realised that a lot of people from Northern Queensland migrate down to Brisbane. So when you first meet someone, and you find that they are friends with your friends, and there is still that nice sense of community where everyone knows each other, like what we had in Cairns.
I have noticed you guys have supported Birds of Tokyo and played with lots of local talent. What are some of your favourite Australian bands right now?
At the moment, I have been liking Last Dinosaurs, and I am a fan of Children Collide so I have been listening to their new album. Also in Melbourne there is Drunk Mums, I am really looking forward to their new album coming out. We have been a little bit busy flying around so we don't get down to as many shows as we used to.
Some of your recent film clips, like the one for 'Beggars' or 'Griffin' are fairly intense in subject and have a real narrative. What kind of emotion do you guys like to explore with your video clips?
We originally get the directors pitching an idea of what they want to do for a film clip, and once we like a certain idea we go in and mess around with different stuff that we can do. We brainstorm what we would want creatively and what the song means for us.
What plans do you have for the future?
The next year or so we have an album tour planned, around September/October. We are rethinking it all though, and thinking of perhaps just doing the major cities. It all depends on when the album gets dropped really. Once it is dropped we can relax. And then it is into writing mode for album number two. In the years to come, I guess like all bands, we want world domination. But we will be happy just playing shows anywhere, to heaps of people that like our music.
Thank you so much for your time Jhindu, I look forward to coming to see you guys at Splendour. I want to jump in the crowd and see if you break your ankles!
Lets hope not, I need my ankles. Thanks for having me!
The Medics debut album Foundations is now available.