laserchrist is a new London based punk band started by some kids from Durban, South Africa. They have just released their first EP and it really kicks a load of ass. "Straight outta Crofton! Leatherface and Iron Chic meet The Smashing Pumpkins and Pixies through the door of Kukundu... Featuring members/ex-members of paperjets, crash island, bat wings, lowprofile, the tubby wilsons, the trees, fruits & veggies and car boot vendors." - Some info they posted on the internet.
The EP has kick ass fuzzed out driving guitars with catchy overtunes, solid thumping drums, Bobby's holy bass lines and a laid back grungy feel while being up tempo and genitals to the wall... basically everything I personally want from melodic hardcore.
So what's the origin story and gospel of laserchrist?
Daryn: I met Charlie at the New Cross Inn, which is like a south east London version of The Winston Pub. I was trying to start a band, Batwings, but we couldn’t find a drummer. And Charlie was like, “Yeah, I’ll play drums.” Turns out he’s a pretty good guitarist too.
Charlie: I think one day Daryn and I were hanging out in a friend's shed with a couple of guitars and just started jamming. We began meeting up outside Batwings for more jams, which turned into songs.
Bobby: I met Daryn and Yusuf when I was, like, 14, and just getting into the punk scene in Durban. Daryn played in Fruits & Veggies and would let me crash on his couch. Yusuf played in one of my favorite South African punk bands, The Tubby Wilsons, and worked for a skate and music magazine that was pretty much the reason I got into punk.
Daryn: When Yusuf moved to south London I knew we had a sick drummer available – we just needed to convince him. Then Bobby popped over to London to slap the bass and BOOM, laserchrist was born.
Bobby: I’d dreamt about moving to the U.K. and jamming with Daryn. And five years later, here I am, living in a house in south London and playing punk rock in a basement with my heterosexual life partner, a cockney stoner and the dude who introduced me to punk rock and Against Me!
Yusuf: I’m just in it for the Pot Noodles and San Miguels. Takes me back to a simpler time, which, luckily, is pretty easy to escape from on the 172 bus whenever I’ve had enough.
The song “Big Smoke City” comes off to me as very nostalgic. Miss Durban?
Daryn: It’s a bit of a nostalgic tune. But it’s more about hitting the road and moving from city to city. Basically, being a rolling stone and all the people you meet along the way. I miss the weather in Durban.
Bobby: I think I miss a certain time in Durban. The punk scene in the mid 2000s was a very special time and place to experience, and I like to think that the music we play today recreates that feeling – at least for me, personally. I miss bunny chows, Swazi weed and African wildlife a shitload, though.
Yusuf: Miss Durban, what year? I was never really a big beauty pageant fan. Can you tell? P.S., I’m head of dad jokes.
Any stories from the EP recording?
Daryn: There are stories, but I can’t talk about them because kids might read this.
Bobby: Yusuf is a fucking warlock when it comes to managing the band and recording. And the fact that we did it in our basement was cool, ‘cos I could just wear a robe and make myself a sandwich whenever I wanted, and it just felt really comfortable. I think Daryn and I only had, like, seven arguments, which is a really good week for us.
Yusuf: Warlock? I’ll take that. To be honest, though, some days I feel more like Papa Smurf, trying to stop Dopey, Clumsy and Grouchy running around with scissors or sticking their fingers in fire.
Any plans to try a South African tour at some point, for old times sake?
Daryn: We’ve spoken about it. I think it has to happen.
Bobby: I wanna tour S.A. more than I wanna tour Europe! I never got to experience proper touring when I lived in S.A., and I'd love to drive around my home country in a van with my homies, playing shows with all the amazing local musicians I'm friends with. I also wanna show Charlie an elephant.
Yusuf: Bobby. King of the sexual innuendo…
So Daryn mentioned The Winston. For those who don’t know, The Winston was a hub for the mid 2000s Durban punk scene. Can you guys recall a favourite show or memory from there? Charlie, you could answer by recalling a favourite show or memory from anywhere?
Daryn: When The Nomadic Orchestra played a surprise show at two in the morning and everyone lost their shit. It was just really surprising, and such a good show.
Bobby: My favorite pub memory is ‘Gospel Night,’ when a whole bunch of Durban bands played renditions of traditional religious folk songs and everyone took it VERY seriously and dressed up like they were going to church.
Yusuf: Life Below, Peasant and God Mother a couple weeks ago. So many old faces, and all the other shows are a blur anyway.
Charlie: My favourite show. Hmm… Alice In Chains in 2013! I was RIGHT at the front. They played the most perfect set list. And Jerry Cantrell, himself, made eye contact AND threw me his pick (which I still have safely in a tin). Close second has to be King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, who I saw earlier this year. It was the most mind-blowing show I have ever witnessed. Those guys are next level.
So Bobby... Amped on any British wildlife?
Bobby: I’m a lover of all things hairy and feathered, but my current favorites are Gold Finches, Badgers and Scottish Wildcats.
Daryn: Life is wild.
Yusuf: You sound like Joe Dirt. Life’s a garden. Dig it…
If Yusuf is head of dad jokes and Bobby is King of the sexual innuendo... Then what are Daryn and Charlie?
Daryn: I think I’m the starter of arguments. The “Firestarter,” if you will. Charlie’s the voice of reason… and the roller of blunts.
Yusuf: Daryn could start an argument in an empty room. As long as he has Whatsapp…
Questions by: Shaun Richards