Locked in Lummo

Sydney based Locked in Lummo have released their debut single Two Shoes with a little help from Birds of Tokyo’s Ian Berney. With its instantly catchy hooks and uplifting lyrics the boys have created something described as Indie-Rock perfection. Vocalist Hayden Smith had a chat to HiFi Way about the new single and all things Locked in Lummo.

Two Shoes is your new single, tell us what the song is about?
Its about dealing with anxiety from not really being where you thought you would at a certain stage of your life. Then watching other people making a start in getting where they want to go and you just feeling like your being left behind.

Was the song a collaborative effort or an individual process?
They way we write is usually I come up with an idea for a song and then get the whole form down kind of loosely in regards to the music side then I bring it into the guys Jake, Robbie and Stew and we jam it out and flush out the song for the music of it. Then I take it home a recording of that and I write a few different versions of the lyrics. Two Shoes took four different versions of lyrics to get right. That’s not because I’m some really deep thinking guy who wants to have all these ideas on paper and get it perfect. It’s just that I feel like it takes me a long time to get it right.

You worked with Birds of Tokyo bassist Ian Berney, what was that like?
He is just an absolute legend. We worked with him on Two Shoes and did about two or three days in the studio with him and he was just a God-send to us. The way he takes all his knowledge, experiences and talent and applies it to everything he does without any ego attached to it. It was really amazing to have someone like that to work with people like us.

Are there any more songs or an album in the works?
We’ve just recording another single. We finished that two weeks ago and that was another song that took a few twists and turns to get to the full finished product. We started in before all this COVID-19/isolation period happened and now we have to go back in to finish it. So, it was just me and Ian going back into the studio working to finish the song. I feel the whole isolation stuff has changed the song and taken it into a new direction. It’s going to be a bit funny for us to release it because we know how it was supposed to sound before everything happened and then what was happening in the world changed the song a little bit. But we are looking forward to putting out soon.

How long has the band been together?
Locked in Lummo has been around for a while. It started as a fun thing between myself and the guitarist Jake that we were doing with a few different people that played in different bands around Sydney. It was just a muck around kind of thing until we found Robbie and Stew Macpherson, two brothers who now play drums and bass in the band. Once we got them on board they were super keen so we found them who were just as invested in vision of Locked in Lummo like myself and Jake had been from the start. The current line up has been going for around a year.

What does the name Locked in Lummo mean? How did you come up with the name?
I used to work through a drive-thru bottle shop near where I lived in southern Sydney and this guy came in one day, he was an old battler and he asked me “Do you surf or play in a band?” because I had quite long hair and it was all over the place. I told him I play in a band and he said “Well I surf.” His last name is actually Lum so asked him “Are you a good surfer?” (taking the mickey out of him) and he said “I was a great surfer mate. I used to go in so deep in the barrel they used to call me Locked in Lummo.” So, I was like to him “that’s a cool name for a band!” That was years ago now but he still doesn’t believe me that I named the band that.

How would you describe the sound of the band?
Our sound is being inspired and trying to sound like artists that we love but it always sounding like us. Its just trying to create sounds that we don’t really know how to make and get there.

So, were Birds of Tokyo an influence? I can hear a bit of their sound, not exact or a distinct Birds of Tokyo sound but it’s slightly there.
Obviously I grew up listening to Birds of Tokyo but not a maniac fan. I loved their songs but I think the influence came from Ian Berney himself, working with him in the studio and his sensibilities of writing for his band and then suggesting things with us in production. So, I’m not surprised there’s some similarities in the song.

Who have been your musical influences?
I love anyone that tells a story in their songs. I love Paul Kelly, Andrew McMahon, Glen Hansard (Irish Folk singer) and classic Aussie bands like Cold Chisel. I think Two Shoes came from Dakota by Stereophonics where we wanted to write a song that had that kind of energy.

What’s in store for the future for Locked in Lummo?
Our plans although very loosely because of isolation, we want to release our new song that we’ve finished recording in a few weeks’ time. So just release a few more songs and hopefully a live track EP and keep having fun, writing music and just get to do what we get to do!

Interview by Anastasia Lambis

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