Sydney duo Bootleg Rascal are embracing a brand new musical chapter

Sydney duo Bootleg Rascal are embracing a brand new musical chapter

Words by Anna Rose

“I don’t like being at home,” says one half of Bootleg Rascal, Carlos Lara. “Maybe it’s the ADD in me, but I think if I stay in one spot too long I get restless.”

It’s a good thing the Sydney party-starters are heading out on tour pretty soon; a journey that includes five shows in five days throughout New Zealand. It’s a feat of which the very thought would floor most people, but this isn’t phasing Lara.

“It should be good,” he says. “Me and Jimmy [partner-in-tunes Jimmy Young] don’t have an issue with it – we’ve done enough touring in the past to know what it’s like but our new drummer, he kinda looked at those dates at went ‘Woah! What’s that going to be like?’ It’s a fun, interesting dynamic at the moment.”

New vibes, new dynamics means new kinds of adventures, and it’s the new meeting the old in a sense. Bootleg Rascal have had a few changes recently, not just in the lineup and their management, but their direction and what they want to do with their music. The latter is none so obvious as with their latest single ‘Get Over Myself’, in which Bootleg Rascal adopt a little rap and a little hip hop to, dare it be said, successfully marry with their already solid brand of indie.

A wild step away from traditional Bootleg Rascal – and yet, people went crazy for this new sound. “It’s really nice, it’s so humbling,” says Lara emphatically. “It’s daunting when you’re releasing music and you yourself know it sounds really different.

“A lot of the time you share music with your friends and you’ll be like ‘Yeah I’m writing a new song and it sounds different to my old stuff’, and they’ll be like ‘Yeah it’s different but it still sounds like Bootleg’.

“But the first time I showed people this song they were like, ‘Nah, this is completely different, the other side of the spectrum.’ Which is really cool, it’s really fun.”

Lara says he’s put more of a personal touch on the writing and production sides of the band’s latest music, which is perhaps why ‘Get Over Myself’ is so different – Bootleg Rascal have really given themselves permission to stretch themselves and grow in their creative confidence. This is where the yin and yang element comes into it.

“Essentially me and Jimmy are the two dudes in the band who are doing a lot of the writing and we have so many similarities,” Lara says. “We both love Snoop Dogg, we both love Dr Dre, some of those classic, iconic hip hop albums that are both favourites. But then we have other sides that are completely different.

“Jim comes from a rock background and I grew up singing jazz and salsa music – the two songs that we’ve released [from the new double A-side Yin & Yang] were very much my songs that I’d written a while ago, then we sat down and Jim brought his flavour into it.

“So the way we wrote the songs was yin and yang – it was kind of both of our worlds for the first time, properly meshing together and writing something really cool.”

Lara is constantly in a creative whirlwind, something which has brought about the hip hop in their sound. The left turn doesn’t have Lara concerned, rather excited about what the future holds.

“Honestly, I don’t know whether we’re getting away with it or not, all I know is that we’re doing what we want to do, and that’s what it should be. No pigeonholes, no expectations.

“If you’re not in a studio and worried or scared you’re doing something wrong – you want to be pushing that, worrying if you should be rapping or not, but doing it anyway because it feels good. That’s the approach Bootleg has always had with our writing.”

Bootleg Rascal’s new double A-side, Yin & Yang is out now. They’ll launch it at the Northcote Social Club on Saturday August 31. Head to the venue website for tickets.