Those Lethals‘ singer Liz Cameron and guitarist Lane Twigden have been playing together since 2015 – when a friend set them up on a musical blind date. The two amalgamated their songwriting into an indie-folk sound, joined by Raj Bakker shortly after on drums, jazz graduate Guy Harrison on trumpet and keys (Troy Kingi, Balu Brigada, Avantdale Bowling Club), and classically trained Tim Shacklock (Mice on Stilts, Pachucos) on bass. Now that Liz has finished her medical imaging degree, Those Lethals are ready to go full noise, following up songwriting and recording sessions with a tour around the North Island this spring to showcase their new direction: less folk and more indie-pop/art rock-influenced.
‘Those Lethals’ was part of a long list of word combinations that Lane and I put together with a deadline in mind before our first gig. I think Lane was gunning for a slightly more fun name, but selfishly I liked how some of the connotations of the word ‘Lethal’ matched up with my lyrical point of view i.e. words and phrases which are fat with potential interpretations.
The Latin roots of ‘lethal’ relate to ideas of death, mortality and potency. FUN. Plus, there’s a whole lot of Greek mythology tied into the word. ‘Lethe’ is both the goddess of forgetfulness and oblivion (um, GREAT title), as well as it being a river which flowed through the underworld and made people forget their past lives when they drank it. Drinking to forget? Uh, yeah, I can relate to that. My favourite songwriters tackle these kinds of heavy ideas in a way where intelligence meets fun so I think in naming the band, I wanted to set that kind of intention.
In saying that, I cannot count how many times I wished I have a simpler meaning behind a band name. You can imagine that moment after shows in a crowded bar when people come up and ask me what the name means, and I’m like, “Yeah, you know like death and existence and the nature of human consciousness? Kind of that?” *Blank stare*. I might just start saying we are all just really big fans of the Lethal Weapon movie…
The Jam Factory has the best ratio of crystal chandeliers to band members of any place I have played, which is to say that the space is absolutely stunning to take in visually with its murals, cosy couches and high ceilings. The vibe was a really attentive crowd who were there because they really love hearing new music. We played with local Ash Laforteza who has this way of writing really pretty and emotive acoustic guitar parts which blend with her raspy singing voice in a really memorable way.
We just try to adapt it to the individual characteristics of each venue with a bit of flexibility in the setlist. Preparing for an acoustic show with dedicated folk listeners at The Devonport Folk club, we pare it back and make it a bit more personal, versus amping it up with more dancey stuff for Whammy in Auckland or Caroline in Wellington.
We do have a pretty natural split of responsibilities between Lane, Raj, and I. Raj is currently living in London but impressively still actively manages a pretty hefty spreadsheet which keeps us all in line.
Lane is usually asking some kind of left-field philosophical question which sparks heated debate. Liz is providing solicited and unsolicited life advice like the band’s personal Dr Phil. Raj, running two hours early, will be the most polarising with his music selection, mercilessly switching from Chelsea Jade to Lamb of God at the drop of a hat. In a haze of vape plumes, Tim has been known to blast guilty pleasure show tunes, dueting the male and female parts with Liz. And you can count on Guy to blast the classic rock throwbacks, a personal fave being The Boys Are Back in Town.
Avantdale Bowling Club
Putting out the sophomore EP in 2019 and getting to work on a music video for our upcoming single Thrill Of The Hunt.
September 21, Hamilton
September 23, Auckland
October 10, Auckland
October 11, Whangarei
October 19, Wellington