Image: Greta Robenstone

As published in Lot’s Wife Magazine Edition One, 2013

After a solid year of relentless gigging in 2012, Melbourne pop/funk seven piece Animaux have gone from strength to strength. We had a chat with the band’s singer, sax player and Monash music student, Alex Lahey about the Simpsons quoting, cat lovin’ group that is Animaux.

Who makes up Animaux? Animaux is a group of seven young individuals who share a passion for genre confused music and hummus. On the drums is Adam Engel, an avid aviation follower. When not beating and bashing his prized drums, he can be found taking photos of his cat, Austin. Will Base was born with Base in his name and a bass in his hands and with the nimblest fingers in the land, Base-o is a force to be reckoned with. On the guitar is Sam Jeffreys, a Kramer haired, and guitar wielding character. Sammo has a thirst for Top 40 bangers of any era that cannot be quenched.

The one and only female band member, Alex Lahey takes care of lead vocals and alto sax. When not with Animaux, she divides her time between quoting copious amounts of The Simpsons, consuming poached eggs and being a Sloth enthusiast. On the keys is Bill Black: The king of backing vocals and afterschool tutoring. Big Blacko has the capacity to unleash killer JT-style melodies, so you’d better watch your back!

Manning the tenor sax is Ollie Whitehead: Part-time fence builder, full-time sax man. There’s no crossing this guy when he’s armed with his trademark snap back, and a frothy in hand. Off stage, Animaux’s resident red head and trumpeter Alex Woolford, enjoys learning about the stock market and car insurance. On stage, he pulls moves to rival anyone’s aunt at their mother’s 50th.

You describe your sound as a mixture of funk and pop, but did you experiment with other genres before the Animaux sound was born? I don’t think that there was much experimentation with other genres, rather experimentation with song writing methods and styles. I believe the genre/s that come through in our music are more a product of the way we write and arrange our tunes, as opposed to sitting down and saying “let’s write a reggae tune,” or, “let’s write a deep funk song”. We formed after playing together for years in various big bands and jazz ensembles, playing little to no original music. So we’re exploring song writing as a group but it’s something we all really enjoy doing and feel we’re getting better at!

Three short years have passed since you formed and you’re now supporting The Cat Empire on March 22nd! Any special preparations for this show? When we first started Animaux we created a list of all of our ultimate goals as a band, and on the top of that list was to one day support The Cat Empire. The feeling of realising that collective goal is incredible! Preparations for that particular show will involve the usual Sunday arvo rehearsals in St Kilda, along with the plethora of shows we have booked before The Cat Empire gig. A Mighty Ducks-style pep-talk and band huddle will probably take place just before we take the stage too.

Apart from The Cat Empire gig, what’s Animaux looking forward to in 2013? We’re in the middle of a two month residency at the Evelyn Hotel in Fitzroy at the moment where we’ve been sharing the stage with some killer supports. We always have so much fun at the Ev – it feels like our home ground. We’re also super excited to be playing the Hills Are Alive festival in March alongside names like New Navy and Saskwatch.

Can we expect any new Animaux tunes soon? We’re currently in the pre-production phase of creating our upcoming EP, due in mid to late- 2013. We’re really excited to get an extended release out there that we’re all really proud of, and that will turns some heads.