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B-Grade University: A Chat with Alex Lahey

Chris Daniel chats to Alex Lahey, Australia’s next hottest musical export, about her newest EP and visit to Newcastle. 

B-Grade University, the authentic and extremely laid back EP from the Melbourne prodigy, is set to be the momentum behind one of the biggest gigs in Newcastle this year. Lahey will be playing a free show this Saturday night at Sydney Junction Hotel. And what better timing.

With the mid semester break finally settling in, SJ’s KICK ON party will finish at 5am the next morning, which is something we common folk never expected to happen due to our harsh lockout laws.

With Triple J Unearthed supports, Hot Spoke and Rachel Maria Cox, come and immerse yourself in musical history in the making. We managed to speak with Lahey in advance, getting a little bit of insight.


CD: Everything is moving so fast for you, how are you dealing with all the attention?
AL: Well it’s a dream come true really. The best part about it is that I get to play music for a living now, which has been a dream of mine for a long time. I think I’m handling it pretty well; I’m a hard worker by nature anyway. So, lately, I’ve just been working harder than ever. I’m definitely grateful for all the support.

CD: Now being thrown onto an international scale, within the music scene, are you at all surprised by this attention?
AL: I’m surprised at how quickly it happened, but at the same time, I’ve been making music and writing songs for over 10 years. So, perhaps it happened at the right time for me. What I’ve realized is that you don’t need to rely on big radio stations to get your name out there, but in saying that, it does make things a little bit easier.

CD: Just to provide a bit of insight, how much influence did the Melbourne music scene have on you while evolving as an artist?
AL: There’s no doubt that it had a huge influence on me. [Melbourne] is where I learnt how to tour and play gigs; it shaped me in to a musician. There is no way that I would be doing what I’m doing now if it weren’t for that music scene.

CD: From an outsiders perspective it looks as if its really independent, but then again, incredibly supportive.
AL: Its still the largest music city in Australia, but it is very much a community. It doesn’t matter what type of music you play, everyone is really supportive and backs you. There’s none of that competitive bullsh*t; I’ll tell you that, which is interesting.

Obviously amongst those who stick to the true nature of the creative output, the music industry does breed musicians bound by egotism, something Lahey steers clear from entirely.

AL: I play music because I really love writing it. I love getting out there and collaborating and being creative. I’m not in it for any other reason than that, and I think if you are in it for another reason, you really need to assess whether or not it’s actually worth it. I look at the artists that I like, and what makes them so unique is that they are doing their own thing. And, in doing that, there’s no one else like them. I look up to that; not so much in wanting to be that person, but reflecting those values and embracing individuality.  To be honest, at the end of the day, I’m just doing my own thing. It’s important to stay true to yourself.

CD: What was the theme behind the name of your EP B-Grade University?

AL: B-Grade University is actually a line from Ivy League. When I listened back to the EP, I realized there was a real cohesiveness between all the songs. It was quite obviously reflective of those few years in people’s lives between the age of about 20-23; that period where people are usually doing things for the first time, whether that is relationships, university, or whatever. So I realized there was a conceptual theme throughout the whole thing. I had to come up with a name that was reflective of that.

CD: What can we expect from your show on Saturday?
AL: We will obviously be playing the whole EP and a bunch of new stuff. I get to tour with three of my best friends who are in my band and we just have a blast. I’m hoping that comes through in our performance as well, so we just have a lot of fun.

So in short…

AL: A lot of movement, a lot of distortion, a lot of guitar, and a lot of me talking sh*t. I don’t go out of my way to put on a particular performance, so I just do what comes naturally and have a lot of fun.

Don’t miss out on this free event. Lockout still remains.

Want more live music?
The Jezabels
Where: Bar on the Hill, UoN
When: October 22nd, 6:30pm

Punks and Poets Festival
Where: The Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Wickham
When: November 27th, 12pm

Feature Image provided by Riot House Publicity 

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