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Interview with Antonia & The Lazy Susans

It hasn’t even been a year since Antonia & The Lazy Susans released their debut EP Closure, in that time the songs on the record have proven time and again to have resonance with a large and diverse audience in the music community. The strength of the songs on Closure, which received almost unanimous positive critical feedback from reviewers, has earned the young Blue Mountains band some swift recognition and amazing opportunities. Antonia (guitar/vox) & Ash (drums) were kind enough to answer some QUs about the inception and growth of the band.

Righty-o! The band has had just an incredible 12 months. From consistently amazing feedback on your record Closure, to some really cool shows and tours (which I’ll touch on a bit later). Firstly, I just want to know, what has it been like?

Honestly, it’s been amazing! We really didn’t expect anything like this when we started the band. We’ve gotten so many great opportunities – like meeting our musician idols, getting to play alongside people we’ve looked up to, and getting to meet a bunch of awesome people in the music scene who are so supportive and passionate about music. It’s such a surreal feeling for us to look down into the crowd and see so many people singing along to our songs. It’s been a wild ride and we’re excited to see what the future holds for us.

I remember seeing you promoting an opening spot at a tiny Sydney venue (The Record Crate) at the same time you were promo’ing being main support on the AJJ tour. Is that a weird place to be in?

It was a very weird place, to go from playing small shows with our friends where we were pretty much just hanging out with our mates, to playing a massive tour with a US band with a huge following such as AJJ. It was a huge and sudden change to go from that to much larger scale shows and venues. We enjoy the small and intimate DIY shows because they have a great sense of community and a positive vibe, and then the bigger shows are exhilarating and give you a bit of an adrenaline rush. We love both spaces for different reasons!

Another memory of the band that sticks with me is when you (Antonia) decided to move from being a solo artist to playing as a band all the time, was this always your hope or did the direct the music take make it sort of a necessity to team up with other people permanently?

I always dreamed of being in a band since I was little. I would always listen to Avril Lavigne and wanted to have a big, rock sound behind my songs. I tried starting a few bands throughout highschool but nothing stuck. So I just continued writing songs, for myself. I honestly never thought I’d end up on a stage singing my heart out the way we are now. Now I’ve found the perfect combination of people who I love as friends and who are amazing musicians.

Do you (Antonia) ever do the occasional solo set?

Yes, I still love playing solo sets. I think that will always be a part of me, as it was the organic way I would play. I recently supported Stella Donnelly in Sydney as a solo artist, and it was so much fun!

A thing I’ve been curious about, mainly because you’re on Rachel Maria Cox’s Sadgrrls label and have played a tooon of shows with them so assuming there’s a good friendship and possible influence there. RMC’s band goes under the name ‘Rachel Maria & The Cox’ your band is ‘Antonia & The Lazy Susans’ – please tell me y’all did this on purpose? Or am I just over thinking it? Haha.

Haha, there definitely is a great friendship and RMC has helped us a lot. My first solo tour was with them, and they played on the lineup of my first ever show at the Valve Bar. We didn’t do it on purpose, but we formed bands around the same time, so I see why you think that! My friend, Marina Mitchell, was helping me think of ideas for a name and she came up with the band name!

Something that’s happened in the past couple of years is this huge conversation and push for diversity in the music industry, and a real focus on elevating women, non-binary and queer folks. Some of you guys earliest shows were at renown queer events like Chicks with Picks, Pride Tide and Sad Grrls Fest – how important is being present and a part of this conversation and playing queer-focused shows for you?

It is very important to us! Antonia & Ash are both queer (GNC WOMEN) and have been a part of queer communities before starting a band, so it’s always been a priority for us as a band to stand for that kind of thing, and keep the conversation going for people who listen to our music and the people around us. During our AJJ tour was the time the plebiscite was happening, and it was an extremely hard time for the queer community, so we brought along “VOTE YES” stickers and would dedicate our song “I Don’t Like You” to the NO voters, and we would get an amazing response from the crowd.

We think it’s very important to use your platform, even if it’s not a big one, to spread a good and inclusive message, in hopes to reach more and more people. We’re inspired by all the amazing women, POC, non-binary (GNC), trans & queer people in music who take a stand and try to make line-ups more inclusive and create safe spaces for everyone. (RMC, Sports Bra & Camp Cope are great examples of this, and they’re extremely fundamental to the music industry today and moving forward)

You’re about to play a massive Melbourne show, the Pool House Party with some huge band, and then next month you’re off on tour with The Hard Aches! What are you most looking forward to about these shows?

We just played Pool House Party the weekend just gone, and it was one of the best and more surreal moments in our lives. We had never played a festival before, so we had a bunch of mixed emotions heading onto the stage. When we were playing, the crowd grew larger even though it was earlier on in the day, and so many people were singing along to our songs and swaying. It was a very beautiful moment and we will never forget it.

Our tour with The Hard Aches starts in a few weeks and we’re SO DAMN EXCITED. The Hard Aches have been one of our favourite bands for years, and it’s an honour to get to hang out with them and tour Australia. Hitting the road with us will be Sincerely Grizzly, they’re a really great band, super cool emo vibes which we love. We’re going to Perth for the first time, which should be really fun. We’ve also got an online UNO war which has already started between the bands, which we’re also quite excited to beat them at all tour. The supports have been announced and they’re all amazing too, so we’re excited to see all of them play and hang out with everyone!

It might be rude to ask, seeing as it hasn’t even been a year since your first release (actually 7 months to the day as I write this, according to Bandcamp), but lettuce know anyways, is there another record in the works? It’s no secret people are keen for more!

It’s not rude at all! We have been working hard on writing new material and are hoping to record an album before the end of the year. I have been writing songs like crazy, so it’s just a matter of finding an arrangement for them with the band and getting it down! We’ll be playing some of our new songs on our tour with the Hard Aches. If you’re wanting to catch some of them, we’d love to see you at a show!

Antonia & The Lazy Susans are on tour with The Hard Aches through April.