We caught up with rising stars Pink Lizards and talked band names, Brighton and putting the past behind you.
Pink Lizards are Brighton’s latest group with a fast rising profile thanks to their heavy psych-rock sound and haunting, but ethereal, razor sharp vocals courtesy of 20-year old Daisy Coburn. That name may sound familiar, and bring you back to spring 2010, when, as Daisy Dares You, Miss Coburn released an infectious single that smashed its way into the UK chart following a deal with Sony’s Jive Records. Daisy was then a blonde fireball of raucous energy, but four years on, this is not the same Daisy.
Accompanied now by Ben Buckley, 20, on bass, who describes himself as “musically driven from a young age” and Martyn Nash, 22, on drums, a member of the Brighton music scene throughout his philosophy degree, Daisy looks and sounds like she is at home in Pink Lizards. Interviewing the trio at their Brighton base we probed to find out more before the release of their debut offering.
How did you all meet?
Martyn: Me and Daisy have known each other for half of our existence. We went to school together, had mutual friends, and went to mutual gatherings. After trying to find a third head to join our project and not having much success, we put an ad online and Ben got in touch. We knew after the first rehearsal that he was in it for the long haul.
Explain the band name choice.
Daisy: I used to have a studio in the middle of nowhere, where Martyn and I would have a jam, get some drinks in and listen to Syd Barrett on vinyl and throughout the summer of 2012 we just put words we liked in to a hat and eventually came up with something that we liked the sound of. We have a lot of reptile references in our music and lyrics, snakes, lizards etc, so we thought it made sense. Pink Floyd’s “Piper At The Gates Of Dawn” was a really influential record for us when we started out.
You’re based in Brighton. What is it about Brighton that made Pink Lizards settle there?
Daisy: Uni brought Ben and Martyn to Brighton, I turfed up a year later as it seemed a great place to start playing shows and bringing Pink Lizards to life. Also it’s an amazing city, with a vibrant musical pulse, great bars and good Mexican food!
You’ve been likened to PJ Harvey and Royal Trux, who has influenced Pink Lizards musically?
Daisy: That’s really hard to answer. Between us we are influenced by lots of different things. I think we can all agree on a few that stand out to us, the likes of Dead Combo, early Pink Floyd, The Entrance Band and Queens Of The Stone Age to name but a few.
How do you write together and what inspires your content?
Ben: We have a barn in Essex where we go to as much as possible to write. It’s super off the beaten track, gloomy, derelict and generally great for creativity.
Daisy: It changes every time a new idea comes around. It could be something I’ve come up with acoustically, or some music Ben has contributed or just jammin in the rehearsal room. Lyrically for me I think it varies, but most of the time the creativity flows when I’m emotionally charged.
So what are your thoughts on the personality led acts of today like Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry?
Martyn: There’s entertainment and then there’s music. We’re kind of detached from that side of the industry, sadly there is a divide and we don’t feel that it relates to what we do. Obviously there are amazing solo artists who are personalities because they are great at what they do, PJ Harvey is a perfect example of this.
Your album is in the pipeline, how is that going?
Daisy: Definitely. We have an album’s worth of material and more, we are just in the process of getting it all down.
Daisy, listening to Pink Lizards it’s hard to imagine that you were once at the helm of Daisy Dares You. What influenced your choice to give up industry parties and hanging out with Pixie Geldof in favour of a grungier lifestyle?
Daisy: Disillusioned is a good way of putting it. I was young, handed an opportunity and took it. The reality was short lived and something that eventually didn’t appeal to me anymore. As for industry parties, I enjoyed the free cocktails.
There are still fan pages for DDY all with a desire to still hear the album ‘Rush’. How do you feel about this?
Daisy: Honestly, it is something that I rarely think about, naturally, things have taken place in my life as well as Daisy Dares You. Things change and move forward. It’s flattering that people still want to hear it but it doesn’t define me musically, Pink Lizards will give you better idea of that.
What did you seek to do differently with Pink Lizards then?
Daisy: By the time I turned 16, I had a record player and was listening to everything from Nirvana to Billie Holliday. I was fascinated by the charm and character of these recordings, so I shut myself away and became very enthusiastic about analog recording. Starting with a tascam cassette 4 track and resulting in a 24 track MCI reel to reel machine. The demos on our Soundcloud were all recorded on the reels, but with our gear being a bit knackered and relocating the studio, it has been hard for us to get the recordings we want out of them. So we’ve just been in the studio with super talented producer, Jolyon Thomas, to get something out that represents everything we have evolved into as a band. Ultimately our dream is to record everything analog in our own studio, but it’s a labour of love and needs an injection of time, knowledge and money. Something we are all passionate about doing and will continue to contribute to.
You perform quite a lot already – any interesting band experiences so far?
Ben: Supporting the Entrance Band was a great experience, they are so inspiring and their show is incredible, it was a real pleasure to meet them.
Where are you playing next?
Martyn: Our next show is Late Night Lingerie at Sticky Mikes Frog Bar in Brighton on the 28th November. Then at the Green Door Store in Brighton on Dec 20th.
Words: Clarissa Waldron