Lawrence "Laz" McLuskey is a Glasgow-based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, who currently plays in two C86-influenced bands, Strawberry Whiplash and Bubblegum Lemonade.

While Sandra sings and Laz plays the instruments in Strawberry Whiplash, Bubblegum Lemonade is primarily a solo project in which Laz provides the vocals as well.

Both Strawberry Whiplash and Bubblegum Lemonade released their debut records on Jimmy Tassos' Matinee Records earlier this year, Strawberry Whiplash with the 'Who's in Your Dreams CDEP' and Bubblegum Lemonade with 'Ten Years Younger CDEP'.

With more records promised for later this year, Pennyblackmusic spoke to Laz about both of his groups


PB : You have two bands, Bubblegum Lemonade and Strawberry Whiplash. Where did you find the names for the bands and which of the two groups came first ?

LM : Bubblegum Lemonade comes from the Mama Cass Elliot debut 1969 solo album, 'Bubblegum, Lemonade And Something For Mama'. When I first saw it the potential for a band name jumped out at me. Also being obscure, Bubblegum Lemonade gives me an almost unique Goggle search result. I have learned this the hard way having previously been in a band called the Search Engines. What was I thinking ? A great name, but impossible to find online.

Strawberry Whiplash have the cute vocals of Strawberry Switchblade combined with the fuzzy guitars of Meat Whiplash. They were both local bands. 'Since Yesterday' and 'Don't Slip Up' are two of my favourite songs. As Strawberry Whiplash we have been recording demos for some years now making them the oldest of the two bands.

PB : Both groups are very c-86 influenced. Were you around to witness the movement first time around ?

LM : I saw Talulah Gosh, the Razorcuts, Primal Scream and My Bloody Valentine in their heyday. Surprisingly it was Talulah Gosh who rocked the hardest.

PB : Is it true that Bubblegum Lemonade is more of a solo trip ?

LM : After my previous band fizzled out I began recording music on the PC, starting with a drum loop then adding other instruments on top. I love working with a band but it's so easy to put down some tracks when I've got a spare hour or two.

PB : How did you fall in love with indie pop and the whole 60s retro trip thing?

LM : The mid 80's Pop charts were truly awful and I was forced to look back (but not in anger). The indie pop bands had an intrinsic sense of melody countered with unusual guitar sounds. It was chalk mixing with cheese.

PB : What are you other influences. I can hear in your songs, the Jesus and mary chain, the Byrds and the Primitives. Are you fans of those bands ?

LM : Oh yes! When first getting into music, my favourites were the Velvets and the Byrds which of course led me towards the Mary Chain, Love, Rain Parade, the Kinks, Spacemen 3, My Bloody Valentine and so on.

During the recording sessions for Strawberry Whiplash's 'Who's in Your Dreams?' CD EP we were listening to a lot of the Primitives as they had just had a Greatest Hits released. Tracy Cattell has a beautiful voice, P J Court's guitar style perfectly contrasted the jangle of Johnny Marr and the fuzz of William Reid. It was produced to pop perfection by Paul Sampson. We were aiming to get something as good as the Primitives.

PB : How important has Myspace been in getting your name across to the indie folk of the world?

LM : It's been vital. No MySpace, no Bubblegum Lemonade or Strawberry Whiplash. I stuck some Bubblegum Lemonade songs up in 2006 not really expecting much of a response. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the Pop Kids of the world were interested. If I hear a great new band on the radio I'll have checked them out on MySpace before the song has ended.

PB : You have a 60s haircut. Have you had any hassle in your hometown for looking retro ?

LM : Yes, that sure is me on the 'Ten Years Younger' sleeve but I'm not overtly retro. The DIY Punk look is back big time in my area. Compared to those guys I'm practically invisible.

PB : Do you have any plans yet to play live ?

LM : I have a guitarist, bass player and drummer lined up for live Buublegum Lemonade shows but up 'till now I've been busy recording the album. I must get that rehearsal room booked. I miss the table tennis and chip shop dinners.

PB : What attracted you to the sound of The Rickenbacker guitar ?

LM : It wasn't the price, ha! It has a unique Clang sound that cuts through the audio mix. Many of my favourite guitarists played the Rickenbacker; Roger McGuinn, Marty Willson - Piper, Peter Buck, Susanna Hoffs, Paul Weller and Johnny Marr. Did you know that there is a Rickenbacker International Airport ? You couldn't land a Flying-V there. A Jefferson Airplane, maybe!

PB :Did you sign to Matinee because they understand indie pop and they are the new Creation records ?

LM : Matinee is the new Creation, Sarah and Factory. Jimmy Tassos has the ears of Alan McGee and the eyes of Peter Saville. I'm going to have to see what that would literally look like in Photoshop. Matinee is about making the best possible pop records but in their own uncompromising way.

PB : Have either you or Sandra been in other bands at all?

LM : We have both previously been in the West Coast Indie Pop Art Band. My previous bands have been the Sherbet Fountains with Allison Thomson from Heist, the Spaceheads with Dave from Tesco Chainstore Mascara, the Stepping Stones and the Search Engines.

PB : Is the band thing full time?

LM : No, we're part-time indie popsters as we both enjoy our jobs and we need the money.

PB : What are your future band plans ?

LM : Strawberry Whiplash will have another CD EP out on Matinee Recordings later in the year and Bubblegum Lemonade will be releasing a second CD EP 'Susan's In The Sky' in June quickly followed by a debut album.

PB : Thank you for your time.











Related Links:


http://www.last.fm/music/Strawberry+Whiplash
https://www.facebook.com/strawberrywhiplash
https://www.youtube.com/user/indiepop86


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