Lazerlips unpack the stories and inspirations behind their grunge tracks

Angst-dripping grunge artist Lazerlips kisses the sound waves with the tracks that have defined their pulsating sound.

Melbourne artist, Lazerlips, deep dives into the tracks that have pierced their stain-glass sound of grungy alt-rock.

As guitarist and vocalist Luke Pender currently hunts for a Drummer and Bassist to join his force, and Lazerlips gears for their next release, Mississippi, I Must Leave You, there is no better time to deep dive into this grunge ocean and enjoy the ride.

Photograph by Thomas McMahon (Instagram: @GoodKidFilmPics)

Turn Off The Lights

My goal with Turn Off The Lights was to make it a large step-up since our first two EPs in every aspect. I decided to get my talented friend and ex-bassist Thomas McMahon to help with the production/mixing/design, as he is very skilled and qualified, plus really understood the vibe of Lazerlips.

The song was born in a similar fashion to Bloody Mary, in that it took a while to settle on the arrangement and vocals. But I knew I really liked the guitar riffs, and drum beats in particular. It definitely harkens back to that ’90s grunge riffage, with even a bit of Joy Division-esque lead guitar lines.

If I had to sum up the theme and lyrics in one word it would be “perspective”. It’s about a large group of people that have renounced their prescriptions and medications in favour of seeing the world as it “truly” is, or at least how it’s presented to them. Whether or not this is the right move is entirely up to interpretation as both paths have their pros and cons.


Turn Off the Lights was quite a dark and gloomy tune, so I wanted to do a full 180 and release (in my mind) one of the most upbeat and catchy songs I’ve written yet. Instrumentally it has quite a fun and simple guitar chord progression/riff, combined with minimalistic monkey-brain drums. However, lyrically it isn’t as pleasant and happy.

It follows the narrative of a person who brings in a plant (specifically a succulent plant) from their own garden back to their bedroom and unfortunately neglects the poor plant. This plant then proceeds to change into some sort of monster and traps or kills their irresponsible caregiver. You can look at this as a metaphor for different kinds of real-life relationships – if you neglect and mistreat people enough they just might get their bitter revenge.

Bloody Mary 

I was reading a lot of Hellboy comics at the time, so I was greatly inspired by the great Mike Mignola for the lyrics and themes. I had a lot of fun recording the guitar solo with my dad (who often will oversee and produce my guitar solos). I had already written most of it but he came up with some really melodic ideas that were less fiddly and more memorable so I’m really happy with how that part came out. Thanks dad.

The Blood Factory // Charlotte’s Song (The Drained)

This one may be my favourite of everything I’ve released so far this year. The Blood Factory came together really quickly, all the parts flowed out very easily. I initially used the simple drum beat that’s in it just as a fun metronome while I recorded the other parts, then the plan was to get more complicated and detailed drums on top but once I listened back I really loved how minimal and dancey it sounded so I stuck with it.

Thematically it’s definitely the darkest song yet. It’s about a vampiric society that gets their blood from one central factory, and the song follows the man who is tasked with the grisly job of rounding up people to sacrifice to the factory so the rest of the town can live forever.

The second song on this double single came about from a bit of a fluke. I was testing out a new microphone with my classical guitar and then…Charlotte’s Song happened. I did it all in one sitting with very few takes. Very much like The Blood Factory it just flowed out. I originally wrote it for my Godmother Charlotte who lives in England but later on I realised these two songs connect together really well. If The Blood Factory is about the man who works for the factory, Charlotte’s Song is about its victims.

Mississippi, I Must Leave You

Basically, this song is what happens when a songwriter watches Brokeback Mountain and Mississippi Burning in a small time frame. I felt so moved by those films that I wanted to express similar themes in my music. I knew I wanted to have a song that instrumentally had a retro-waltzy feel to it anyway, so to me the lyrics fit really well with it.

It tells a tragic story of two young men who work on a farm in Mississippi (sometime in the ’50s). They fall in love with each other but the father of the main character finds out about the two of them and orders his son’s lover to be hanged. The main character then decides to get in a car and leave Mississippi for good (which is what you hear in the intro).

Mississippi, I Must Leave You will be released on October 9, pre-save the track here.