The Morning After Girls
By alexander laurence
THEY PERFORM AT SPACELAND ON MAY 3RD, 2006
The Morning After Girls started playing music about three years ago. They
have recently moved to Sydney. Sacha Lucashenko and Martin B. Sleeman conceived
the band. They released a few self-released EPs. This attracted a lot of
attention. They met the rest of the band in Sydney in 2004. Mark Gardener was
excited by the band enough to record a track with them. They traveled to the United
States for the first time in March 2005. They played at SXSW and a few
selected cities. This lead to their first American release: prelude: ep’s 1& 2. They
came back for some more American shows in Fall 2005. This lead to a major tour
supporting Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, which was mostly sold out. They plan
to play more shows in Europe, the UK, and Japan later this year. I spoke to
singer Sacha Lucashenko right before two great shows at the Henry Fonda Theater
a n t o n j a k o v l j e v i c - p e r c u s s i o n
s c o t t v o n r y p e r - b a s s g u i t a r / v o c a l s
a i m e´e n a s h - v o c a l s / g u i t a r / k e y s / p e r c
u s s i o n
m a r t i n b . s l e e m a n - v o c a l s / g u i t a r
s a c h a l u c a s h e n k o - v o c a l s / g u i t a r
AL: This is the first real big tour you guys have done?
Sasha: It’s been a big tour for us. We have been on the road for five weeks.
We have only had a few days off. I stopped feeling like a human being. I
haven’t been getting any sleep.
AL: What is it like in Australia?
Sasha: There are only three major cities in Australia. They are three
twelve-hour drives from each other. You just can’t play that much. It’s different in
America. Melbourne has some great bands.
AL: How did you meet the other guys in the band?
Sasha: I met Martin in Melbourne at a concert. We got into a garage and
jammed for two years. We wrote some songs. We had some friends around. They weren’t
really musicians but we taught them how to play bass guitar and drums. We met
Anton and moved to Sydney. That is where we met the others. That is what the
band is now.
AL: When did you write the songs that are on the album?
Sasha: When we started gigging we had a bunch of songs. I guess that when we w
ere back in the garage it was more free-form noise and jamming. Hours would
AL: When did the EPs come out?
Sasha: We came out with them in 2004 and 2005. We put them together for the
American release. It was always meant to be an album. We recorded it in
separate studios. The Australian record company wanted us to get five or six songs
out there, and see want the response was. We brought out some singles ourselves.
AL: How does the songwriting happen in the band?
Sasha: Martin or myself wrote all the songs on prelude. I will write a verse
and then he will take it and put a lead riff on it or a chorus. It happens
anywhere. We don’t say to ourselves: “We are going to write a song.” We live
together and we play guitars every day.
AL: What are your live sets like?
Sasha: We never play the same set twice. Some bands play the same set every
night. A band like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has a lot of songs. They can
switch it around every night. I just can’t play the same set every night. It’s
AL: How do you decide what you are going to play?
Sasha: We usually decide what we are going to do when we are onstage. We like
to seque-waying. We don’t like to have a lot of songs. We like our songs to
fade into each other.
AL: What is a good way to start? Some drone atmospheric song or some jamming
song right away?
Sasha: We either start with a drone and it builds up. Sometimes there is a
lot of feedback. There is also no way we commence our set.
AL: What are people to make out of all the feedback?
Sasha: Well, you have Psychocandy by the Jesus and Mary Chain. It’s all
feedback, but you have some great songs hiding in the feedback. Sometimes when you
are playing some hick town, and they are trying to heckle you, it’s good to
give them ten minutes of feedback. It quiets them down.
AL: Some of these shows you are doing now are only a half hour. Maybe when
you come back, you can expand the sound and let the songs breathe.
Sasha: The shows we did in the UK and the one show in New York were our own.
We played for an hour and a half.
AL: Did you play in other bands before?
Sasha: Yes. We have all been in other bands before. The bands that Martin and
I were in before weren’t really doing what we wanted to do.
AL: What bands were you into when you started?
Sasha: It hasn’t really changed. I was always into Spaceman 3, Ride,
Slowdive, and My Bloody Valentine.
AL: Is Steve Kilbey a big influence still on Australian band?
Sasha: We played with the Church like a year ago. They should be a lot bigger
than they are. I think a lot of new bands have to be successful overseas
before people will respect you in Australia.
AL: Many Australian bands go over to the UK first because it’s easier to go
Sasha: We have had a lot of support from American bands. That is why we have
been over her a lot. Everyone from Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Dandy
Warhols, and BRMC. It’s been good for us. After we finish this BRMC tour we are going
to Portland. We are going to record some songs in the Dandy Warhols’ studio.
They invited us to come over. I have known them for a while. They have come
over to Australia a few times. We have played with them a few times.
AL: What is the relationship to The Sky Parade?
Sasha: They are fantastic. I am a good friend with Tommy Dietrick. Whenever
we get a chance we jam together. We have played a few songs with Brian
AL: What were some of the jobs that people in your band had?
Sasha: I cannot hold a job to save my life. You can’t really survive on the
dole. You end up doing cash in hand jobs. There are hospitality jobs. We have
been waiters and worked in retail. Anything to do with catering.
AL: Do novels or certain poems inspire you when you write lyrics?
Sasha: We like to create a little imagery with our lyrics. I do write about
emotions and personal experiences. I like to tell a story. But I don’t think
it’s obvious. I think Lou Reed said “Just because I wrote the song doesn’t mean
I know what it’s about.” Some of the songs mean something complete different
to me now, from when we were writing them. When we start a song we will think
of a vocal melody. Martin and myself have pages of writing. We have short
stories and poetry. We just work that stuff into the melody. I think that people
who say they like a band because of their lyrics are liars. Lyrics come second
and melody comes first. You can have amazing lyrics but you are not going to
buy the song because there is no tune. Sometimes even one word in a song can
have so much meaning and emotion behind it.
AL: Your band is known for the loud volume you play at. Do you think it’s
important to be loud?
Sasha: Absolutely. We want to bombard ourselves on the audience. We aren’t
playing loud just for the sake of playing loud. There are so many layers
AL: What are you doing in Portland? What are you doing for the rest of the
Sasha: We are going to be recording there. We are going to tour again. We are
going to be in the US and the UK. We are playing a Festival in Ireland. We
won’t be in Australia for a while.
AL: Who does your website?
Sasha: I do a lot of the design. I took that logo from “Perfect
Prescription” by Spaceman 3. I asked Jason Pierce about it. He said: “You can do whatever
you want with it. We ripped it off of Otis Redding.”
AL: You have a Myspace page.
Sasha: It’s fantastic. I think it’s on the way out though. People are
creating these profiles and there are pedophiles out there. It only takes a few of
those people to fuck it up. We get a lot of other bands that want to contact
us, and that’s great.
AL: You can post a message “We need a Gibson 335 guitar….”
Sasha: Yeah. We will probably borrow one of the ones from BRMC.
AL: How many does Peter Hayes have?
Sasha: Quite a few. They are all tuned differently. His guitar tech gets a
workout. Our band also has different tunings. But I don’t trust anyone to tune
AL: It’s almost eight o’clock. You have to play pretty soon.
Sasha: Do we?
AL: What should people expect when they see you?
Sasha: They shouldn’t expect anything. If they hate it they hate it. If they
love it they love it. That’s great. We are more sonic live.
AL: Some people call this kind of music Shoegazer?
Sasha: Is it Shoegazer or New Gazer? I don’t think we are a Shoegazer band.
Some of the press labels us as that. There are elements of that stuff. We grew
up listening to all the bands on Creation Records. Record labels aren’t like that anymore.
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