‘All killer, no filler’: Lipstereo want to be the future of Australian rock

Get the latest from Beat


‘All killer, no filler’: Lipstereo want to be the future of Australian rock

Words by Jacob McCormack

Lipstereo have exploded onto the scene, in Australia and globally after having just released their maiden EP on Friday November 11. Entitled Modern Mythology, the opening track Stop is as rampant as the impact they are having worldwide.

Having released Stop as a single, with an accompanying music video, the video has already been viewed 56,000 times on YouTube. Visually and sonically, it is evident the band has drawn inspiration from The Strokes and The Ramones, which is affirmed by band members Sam Stranges and Andrew Stainsby.

“[Stop] is 2 minutes long, which was certainly influenced by that ‘70s thing,” says Stranges. “Like the Ramones where it’s all killer no filler. I think we said [Stop] like 20 times throughout the song.”

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Despite the high-octane energy pulsating within Stop, Stranges outlines that the lyrics themselves are meaningless and rather act as an exportation of pent-up angst.

“When I was writing it, there was probably a lot of angst. If I look back at the words, they mean nothing. It’s not something you can release halfway through your career.”

Stainsby also adds that the short nature of the track ensures that audience members’ attention span isn’t tested or stretched to a point where they lose interest.

“[Stop] doesn’t take two minutes to get to the good bit of the song, which sometimes puts off listening to longer songs.”

The condensing of songs was largely impacted by the influence of renowned producer Mark Opitz AM who worked on the record with Lipstereo. His involvement meant that the band members were forced to adapt during their time spent in the studio.

“Before we went into the studio I was imagining playing with clean guitars,” says Stainsby. “Kind of like the first Arctic Monkeys album, which has a lot of clean guitar stuff on it. I started playing the song Feedback and I was like ‘I might turn off my dirt here’, and then Mark was like ‘don’t worry about that, put it back’.”

As a result of Opitz’ production the EP has been refined to highlight the musical quintessence that Opitz has become famous for.

“I think the EP has a distinct Mark Opitz sound,” says Stranges. “Identified in this prog-rock guitar tracking. We recorded all together, when we first tracked everything all together, we were a full band. We really had this live thing and we double-tracked all the guitars and the vocals to make it sound big. It’s definitely a lot of Mark’s influence on that.”

Throughout the recording it was the refrain of relating to how something felt when playing the songs, as opposed to the finished sound that saw the ultimate recordings mould into the EP.

“When we went into the studio, we thought we wanted to record it properly and make all the tracks right,” says Stranges. “But Mark kept saying ‘what does it feel like, what’s the feeling?’ and that’s super important, if it feels right, it doesn’t matter if it has the perfect tone.”

“A prime example of that is the solo in Take The Bus,” says Stainsby. “I did a bunch of takes of that and the one we ended up going with was the last one we did and I made a bunch of mistakes in it and I didn’t bend all the way, but it was just the nicest feeling within the take that I did. Which made it the best in other ways, not technical ways. It’s kind of the mistakes that end up on the album that I like listening to.”

As the bands following expands globally, the concept behind the EP’s artwork maintains a high level of importance. With the intention to depict a narrative that symbiotically includes visual art and the music on upcoming releases, the first EP uses a painting entitled ‘The Savage State’ to commence the story.

“You could tell a second story within your career,” says Stranges. “Tell the rise and fall of an empire with the things that are presented in different musical styles, lyrics and different motifs that will reappear throughout the different releases. In our heads we created a story out of it.”

Modern Mythology is available on CD and Vinyl at https://lipstereo.bandcamp.com/album/modern-mythology, and to stream via all the regular DSPs. Keep track of everything Lipstereo right here.