Genre Not Defined

31 May 2012 | 12:53 pm | Cam Findlay

Why they've never come to Perth before.

Interviews can be tricky things. Especially when it comes to time differences between the east and west coast. Luckily, when Laura bassist Andrew Yardley calls a bit later than the scheduled time, he is more than accommodating of this scribe's confusion. “Oh, don't worry dude, it gets confusing every single time,” he chuckles down the line. Yardley effuses that charisma and friendliness that comes from developing such a unique band as Laura over the course of 10 years.

While being based in Melbourne for those years, Laura have never actually travelled to Perth as a full band before. But in their hometown they are well-known for their sweeping post-rock sound, which delves into some truly emotive and elegant arrangement. Of course, that time has given Laura the advantage of developing. “Back in those days, there were a lot of places in Melbourne who supported small bands, whether they could get crowds or not,” Yardley explains. “I think that's important for any band. But what was really important is the community that sprang up around the time that I started in the band.”

That community allowed Laura to evolve in their own way but, as Yardley explains, it wasn't simply a matter of following the trend. “We were in this really strange position of, like… We really appreciated hanging out and working with those guys, but we just didn't want to become too complacent, you know,” he asks. “We didn't want to think that it was the end of our evolution. The essence of what we try to do, really, is to just keep creating and to find different sounds. We keep pushing for that, and whether people see us as a post-rock band or an experimental band or whatever, it's not something that really has a bearing on us.”

While the whole 'not being defined by genre' is par for the course for musicians, Laura effectively took it to the next level, ensuring that the gigs they played and the crowds that saw them would always be varied. “I do remember discussing that we wanted to play with more different bands,” he says, “just for the sake of trying to get as many people as possible to listen to our music. Playing with the same bands, it would just be the same crowd coming every time, and that's not what we want. We really like it when different people get to hear it and then seeing how they respond to it. That's actually what we get a kick out of, if they like it. Looking back at it, our crowds have always been really diverse, and we take that as a major compliment because we all have such diverse tastes as well. It's just great to see that a lot of different people are enjoying our music.”

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So, you've read it there; when Laura finally stop by our little town next month, don't expect too much samey-ness. What you can expect, though, is some seriously great experimentalism – something that Yardley obviously relishes. When chatting a bit about experimenting on stage, the topic of the ever-evasive brown note comes up. Maybe he'll drop it for a little added excitement? “Yeah, I may just do that,” he laughs. “Make sure you're all wearing nappies.”