Three vocalists, two guitars, a keyboard, drums, bass and as of now, a vacant spot for a new saxophonist. This is LAKES, a vibey eight-piece from Auckland's North Shore (but don't hold that against them). With enough guys in the band to have a mini-party on stage, their shows host an electric feel; whether they came to see these boys or not, everybody's in tune as soon as the chords drop.
We've been lucky enough to recruit their talent for this Saturday's Kingsland Block Party at Citizen Park (amongst an allstar line up of local heavy-hitters, like Louie Knuxx, Mzwetwo, and Bryan Anderson x Hustle Profits), so we thought it due time to really get familiar.
What’s up guys. Could you introduce yourselves to our readers?
I’m Toby, 21, and I do some vocals and dance.
My name is Morgan, and I play bass.
Liam. I jam vocals and guitar.
How did LAKES come to be?
Morgan: Well, Liam and Toby started LAKES about two years ago, and we all knew each other from high school, so it's kinda grown from there.
Liam: It happened one dusty Friday morning, after organising it the night before... Then from just me and Toby vibing out it grew to include our friends we’d known since our days at Takapuna Grammar.
You've got a really distinct sound that doesn't seem to follow any specific genre; where did that come from?
Morgan: I guess that’s a byproduct of LAKES originally being an electronic hip-hop and production based group that is now playing entirely with live instruments. We’re a bunch of musicians with varying tastes, and it all kind of mashes together. Having three vocalists with different styles probably contributes as well.
When and how did the extension with the ‘Magic Band’ come about?
Liam: Me and Toby were keen to get more of the boys involved, to help communicate more human emotion through our music. Turns out it’s more fun gigging with seven of your core mates, too.
Morgan: I’d been helping with live sound stuff for LAKES before the live band setup, and it was an idea that was often talked about, but it just wasn’t until about June 2015 that Liam and Toby actually started putting it together and contacting people. Once it started working together it became pretty obvious that LAKES as a group was going to continue in that way.
Are you working on any new music at the moment?
Liam: Always, it never stops I guess. there’s always this drive to keep on creating new shit, to keep on pushing people’s expectations.
Morgan: We just finished recording a new single, so keep your earholes open.
What's your favourite part of making music?
Toby: Definitely the performance. Seeing how people react to shit that we have created, whether it’s negative or positive, that’s cool to me.
Liam: I love being able to express myself through music - it doesn’t need to be played to people for me to enjoy it, but when you see other people vibing out and in the zone to your shit, it’s dope. It feels like you helped elevate them for that split second. So yeah, I guess the performance is the most rewarding part.
What should punters expect from a live LAKES show?
Toby: A lot of energy, a lot of dancing, a lot of good vibes.
What's your favourite show you've played to date and why?
Liam: Galatos, where we had the full band together for the first time. It was packed out with old friends and acquaintances, the energy was crazy in there. We all just came away thinking, shit son, we’re on to something.
Toby: We played Mac’s Bar in Takapuna earlier this year and it was super cool. Packed out place, and everyone was just having a good time.