Laura Maccormac is one the busiest musicians in Brisbane at the moment. For those of you who don’t know who she is, it is about time you do. Laura has played drums in a lot of great rock n roll bands over the past few years and currently she plays in three of my favourite Brisbane bands “Foxsmith,” “The Androgyny” and “Gunk. “She is an incredible drummer who is able to cross so many different styles.
Having played since she was 12 years old, Laura lists Travis Barker as one of her main influences for wanting to start playing drums. In the beginning she was a disciple of lots of different pop punk bands and I was absolutely thrilled when she listed Helmet as an early influence. As she grew and her taste expanded Laura drew on many other different influences. Playing in so many bands would require, I imagine an incredible discipline especially considering the different sounds of the three bands she plays in. When I ask Laura about this she maintains that for her it is a process of keeping things simple:
“For me it is a mix of both science and emotion. The fundamental rule of any drummer is of course making sure I listen to the bass player. That is the most important part. Once you lock into that then it becomes about emotion. When it comes to the bands I play in I am responsible solely for composing and coming up with the drum structures and patterns. I mean I love writing songs, I used to write songs and I’d love to do that again one day but primarily my focus is on playing drums these days. A good drummer to me is someone who doesn’t show off. They have to play to the song. The most important thing is to listen and to hear what everyone else is doing. All of the best drummers look comfortable when they perform.”
Being quite a passionate participant in the local Brisbane music scene Laura lists “The Boys” and “Horris” as two of her favourite local acts. Something I was interested to discuss with Laura was her views of playing in predominately all girl bands and if her experience with the scene has been a positive or negative experience in terms of the audience and the industry:
“In Gunk and The Androgyny we are very politically minded, and we don’t like it when people refer to what we do as being “all-girl “and you can get quite backhanded compliments predominately from male audience members who can’t understand or believe that girls can rock just as hard as boys. Overall it is positive and I can’t complain about it too much but I guess unless people make an issue of it we don’t really make a point pushing ourselves out to the public in that way. We’re just rock n roll bands at the end of the day. That all being said there is certainly a lot of Feminist and political references in the music that I’m a part of, again mainly with Gunk and The Androgyny. A lot of the songs deal with the way men treat woman. I think it is important to be active and aware of these issues but I also love just rocking the fuck out and getting the job done. I don’t let it distract me to much because it is such a supportive scene of bands that don’t focus on that kind of thing. At the end of the day it all comes back to being about music. I just love seeing people’s reaction to the music when I play. I love seeing something you’ve been a part of creating getting a reaction, to see people getting into it and feeling it. That is always amazing, to see your message get out there and change people, that is powerful stuff.”
Laura Maccormac is amazing. She is one of the best drummers going at the moment and listening to her play is such a joy. She understands the discipline and role of her instrument in helping to elevate the music she is presented. The evidence is clear every time I listen to any of the bands she is a part of. Do everything you can to make sure you catch her live and witness her skill and emotional power.
By: Dan Newton