Interview with Lakes

Interview with Lakes

Lakes are an eclectic and constantly evolving act. In this digital age of music, finding a way to set yourselves apart can be a little difficult. Lakes have had no trouble finding their own musical niche. From the early days with the debut release Reflections of the Night Before, Lakes created an intriguing sound - a hybrid of hip hop inspired beats with the jangly chords and riffs of indie rock. The sophomore Summer EP was a more polished release. The production on the EP was impressive, blending layered synths, rolling 808’s and a healthy dose of low end bass, while Toby and Liam added their own unique rhymes, melodies and harmonies. 

As their music has gone from strength to strength, Lakes have kept their fans wondering what would be next. Throw in live drums, another MC, another guitar, saxophone, bass, keys, and bass and you have the Lakes Magic Band. The Magic Band is a musical interpretation of the Lakes music, a high-energy live twist on the sound Lakes have built for themselves. Sam Fraser-Baxter caught up with Liam and Toby, the founding members of Lakes in anticipation of the Magic Band’s show at Refuel on Saturday, 30th April.

Hey guys, can you introduce Lakes for the readers?
T: We are an eight piece hip hop / funk band with three vocalists, two guitarists, bass, drums, keys, and sax.

So how did the Lakes Magic Band come about?
T: LAKES started as just me and Liam, with a lot more of an electronic sound. We realised we needed to take it to the next level and introduce the band when we started playing live.

L: We wanted to get more of our mates in on the buzz! We knew all these dudes who were tight at what they did, and we happened to be really tight with all of them.

What kind of musical backgrounds does the Magic Band’s members come from and does it shape the band’s sound?
L: Everyone brings their own drinks to the party so to speak - but there’s one common denominator, that being hip-hop. It ranges from genres like, funk, soul, jazz, psychedelic, indie, and electronic, but everyone in the band vibes rap music in a general sense of the term.

What influences Lakes music and the Magic Band?
L: 1. Bangers 2. Crazy Shit 3. Soul

The concept of writing and recording hip hop music with a live band only has been explored by a handful of musicians, namely The Roots. Has the magic band written and recorded together?
T: Oooooo yeah, we are half way through the process of making a music video for our first song both written and recorded with the full band.

What do you guys enjoy more: writing music or performing it?
L: It’s hard to say, they’re almost so different. You can’t perform a song that hasn’t been written, but then again you can’t say a song has fulfilled its purpose until it’s been performed… it’s a balance between the two I guess.

Outside of Lakes and the Magic Band, what other projects have you guys been involved in?
L: Zac Fraser Baxter and I have Apostles going on, bit of a heavier rap buzz. There’s Lucid Falls too. Toby and Fynn [Lakes third vocalist] have been working together, as have me, Lij, and Fynn, and an up and comer named Wallace…

How did you find playing the Melocasa Festival and Melocasa II last year in Dunedin?
L: So loose. Hands down best party buzz I’ve experienced to date. I’m frothing for the next one that’s for sure.

What can the audience expect from the Lakes Magic Band this Saturday at Refuel?
 L: a) hype b) hype c) a whole lot of new shit to touch your soul, peace famo haha x

T: Good vibes, and a lot of energy.v


Catch Lakes and the Magic Band along with The Violet Oh’s, DJ Fuzz, Lij, Apostles and DJ Danny V at Refuel this Saturday from 9.30pm, brought to you by Melocasa Promotions. Tickets online at

This article first appeared in Issue 8, 2016.
Posted 12:51pm Sunday 24th April 2016 by Sam Fraser-Baxter.