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Interview with Luke from I Know Leopard

Sydney dream rockers I Know Leopard have had a busy year in 2015. While touring with the likes of Gang of Youths and Last Dinosaurs, they’ve also scored countless loyal fans through their success on Triple J.  I had a chat to vocalist Luke O’Loughlin during the band’s Another Life tour.

Bridie: You and Todd met in Adelaide at a record store in 2002. What music were you guys into at that point?

Luke: Todd was into the most brutal of metal and I was into sleepy, depressing alt rock.

Bridie: What inspired I Know Leopard to take on the 70s feel?

Luke: We tend to like the tonally warm rhythm section commonly found in a lot of 70s records. That being said, I for one as a songwriter am definitely influenced by my love for The Beach Boys, E.L.O and Hall & Oates. I’ve always connected with cheesy, romantic music and I have the tendency to write songs in the same vein. The challenge with I Know Leopard has been to try and dress that dorky tendency in cool clothes.

I’ve always connected with cheesy, romantic music and I have the tendency to write songs in the same vein.

Bridie: How was touring with Gang of Youths? 

Luke: We had such a ball. They are lovely humans and truly exceptional performers. We learned a lot from them.

Bridie: The Another Life tour has just kicked off. How is it going so far?

Luke: It’s been great! We have been absolutely blown away by seeing audience members actually knowing the lyrics to our songs. It’s so nice to to know that there’re people out there that seem to be enjoying what we do.

Bridie: What can the audience expect from your live shows?

Luke: We try to make the live experience a different beast to the recorded one. The sounds are bolder and we tend to jam more than our songs would suggest. Perfect Picture sometimes ends up being an eight minute song depending on how much fun we’re having.

We try to make the live experience a different beast to the recorded one. The sounds are bolder and we tend to jam more than our songs would suggest.

Bridie: You have three songs from your EP on full rotation on Triple J – describe the feeling you get when you hear yourself on the radio. 

Luke: It’s always pretty surreal, especially when you hear it played in between songs by your heroes. That’s when the whole Wayne’s World ‘we’re not worthy!’ scene plays in my head.

Bridie: You all come from different musical backgrounds. Who contributes to the writing process? 

Luke: We all contribute in different ways. I suppose most of the time I bring a verse and chorus to the group and then we all proceed to flesh it out together. Jen will launch into some blissful string lines, Rosie will drop the funk on the bass and Todd is Mr Subtle, he’ll add minimal, creamy guitar textures that give the songs the polish of cool that they need.

Bridie: If you had to choose another animal in the name of your band, what would it be?

Luke: ‘Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko’. Look it up. It’s a real animal. Horns up.

Bridie: What are your plans for the new year? 

Luke: We’re playing Lost Paradise festival for New Years which will be a blast, and then we plan to take a couple of months off. We’re going to rent a house somewhere on the South Coast, turn it into a studio and settle in to record our debut LP.

Bridie: Name three of your favourite local bands from Sydney.

Luke: Mossy, Big White and Sampa the Great.

 




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