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From ‘Crying At The Tote’ to surprise Tinder dates – Lazertits aren’t taking themselves too seriously

We still don’t really take ourselves that seriously, and we try not to over complicate things these days.”

In true punk style, Lazertits started as a random thought. Well, maybe not completely random, but there wasn’t any strategic plan, exact science or philosophical quest when they first took to the stage at a house party a few years ago. “Our guitarist Vicki was all wistful one day and asked one of her friends what she regretted in her life, and the answer was ‘I wish I’d started a band earlier,’ so that planted the seed,” says Lazertits vocalist and occasional bass player Amy Pettifer.
 
So when the opportunity presented itself at a local New Year’s festival which the members of Lazertits and a bunch of friends, including members of local band Mighty Boys, were organising, Lazertits was born.  “We realised there were no all-girl bands on the bill, so we decided we’d start a Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover band,” Pettifer laughs. Lazertits’ first show was expected to be a one-off, immediately consigned to the dustbin of ephemeral punk history. “We covered a Mighty Boys song, an Arcade Fire song and we had one original song,” Pettifer recalls. “But Dumb Punts were there, and they said, ‘You have to keep playing,’ so they invited us to play their Australia Day house party a month later.”
 
From there everything “snowballed naturally,” Pettifer says. “One of our first songs was this sick blues song, which was informed by our drummer, who’s really versatile, and our guitarist Vicki, who’s a blues and flamenco guitarist. And the rest of us were just trying to work it all out as we went along,” Pettifer says. A second new song, ‘Gender Studies’, a three-chord punk track inspired by tertiary feminist texts, came soon after, as well as another original, ‘PMS’, a deliberately offensive, albeit tongue-in-cheek repost to the masturbatory lyrics of Lazertits’ friends in Mighty Boys.”We’re sick of hearing about them wanking or whatever, so we’re going to make you feel gross by talking about our periods.”
 
Offensive lyrical content aside, Lazertits was always intended to be a “bit silly and funny,” as rock’n’roll should always be. “We still don’t really take ourselves that seriously, and we try not to over complicate things these days,” Pettifer says. Early on writing sessions comprised the band sitting around together “coming up with dumb ideas.” Sometimes real events can inspire a dumb idea that becomes a catchy song.
 
“‘Nice Guys’ on the new album was actually about a guy from Tinder who came to one of our gigs, and forced me to be on a date with him, and I was so freaked out,” Pettifer laughs. “I had a panic attack, though I’m not usually an anxious person. He’s like ‘Hey, it’s me from Tinder.’ I told him to go away, and then I felt so bad because I’d been rude to him. So it’s about trying to tell people to fuck off because you don’t owe them anything, but then feeling guilty afterwards, because they’re probably really nice. That internal tension between trying to be a nice person, but also getting them to leave you alone.”
 
Crying at the Tote’ stemmed from an emotional moment at the aforementioned Johnston Street venue in the aftermath of a relationship break-up. The delayed outburst of tears wasn’t especially significant, at least to inspire a song. The fact that Pettifer was soon surrounded by supportive friends who empathised with her emotional pain was worthy of celebrating in a catchy punk rock track. “I was standing in the courtyard bawling my eyes out, and all my mates were saying, ‘Dude, I cried at the Tote because of this, and then they’d tell me a story. So it turned out that everyone had cried at The Tote.”
 
Lazertits has evolved from a one-off event to a band that’s released an EP and now a debut album, Not Punk Per Se. Lazertits’ first ‘real’ tour will happen early next year. But before that there’s an album launch and an acoustic live-to-air on Triple R’s Breakfasters. “That’s going to be really weird,” Pettifer laughs. “We’re going to use acoustic guitars and see how it goes. It seems so wrong, but we’re going to go for it.”

Lazertits will launch Not Punk, Per Se at the John Curtin Hotel on Saturday November 25, with Bitch Diesel, Hexdebt, and Face Face. Their debut album is out now.