“Early 2020 we were like, ‘Let’s go, let’s go!’ And then COVID hit and it was just like, ‘What do we do here?’”
Starting a new journey in any sense of the word can be a daunting and often perplexing experience for anyone – but for Adelaide’s Lickity Split, the involuntary downtime brought on by the pandemic posed an opportunity to take the band’s career launch with more calculated steps.
Guitarists and songwriters of the four-piece Connor and Jamie sat with us over a Zoom and a cuppa to delve into how the band came to be as they kicked off their career in a period of imposed hibernation, which actually ended up affording them ample time to reflect on what they wanted to present to the world.
“We tried to use that time to our advantage to one, tighten up on our live performance even though we hadn’t even had a live performance at this stage other than our recitals for uni and two, really figure out what songs we wanted on our first official release to the world,” says Connor with a smile. Jamie adds: “Looking back now, I don’t think we would have been ready to hit the live scene with what we had so it was a blessing in disguise – as horrible as it was, the whole situation.”
Coming together after meeting through their Bachelor of Popular Music at the University of Adelaide, the group discovered they had a strong mutual love for fast, loud and ’90s inspired tunes. “We just found a good combination and we liked each other, which is always good, and we thought: ‘Nah let’s give it a go.’ But then by the time we got started obviously the pandemic hit,” Jamie caveats.
Lickity Split wear their heart on their sleeve in demonstrating their heavy inspiration from ’90s punk, which Jamie adds is partly owing to the band’s individual upbringings around the genre. “We started writing songs and I guess both of our musical influences – especially with [Connor’s] dad, his musical father – he loves all those bands like your Offspring, Blink, Green Day and Nirvana, all those classics. And me being just a bit older than these boys, I had a childhood in the ’90s and I discovered music in that beautiful era with those bands,” Jamie says. “I was born in it!” Connor chimes in.
Familiar is definitely the word that comes to mind in listening to ‘Go Fuck Yourself’ – a song reminiscent of a NOFX-meets-Pennywise attitude with a sprinkle of Aussie flair. “I mean, they’re some of my biggest heroes, musically,” Jamie admits. “All those bands you mentioned with their attitude but with musical sort of abilities like your harmonies and really catchy melodies.” On the subject matter of the aforementioned track, it appears that the lads aren’t overly partial to sharing the road. “I had an experience with a cyclist and it sort of inspired the attitude behind this song,” Jamie laughs. Connor adds: “We’re hoping it’s going to be timeless in the fact that we hope you can relate it to anyone that’s pissed you off.”
We know who in the world is equivalent to shit under Lickity Split’s shoe – but what of the opposite? “Who makes our day? Each other!” offers Connor. “I mean I guess some of our heroes. I’m a massive fan of The Offspring, so I would love to do a shoutout to Dexter and Noodles. Dave Grohl. Probably my mum as well.”
Another unexpected positive to come out of a bleak situation, the band agree that the lack of interstate and international touring has given local artists “a lot more opportunity” and is not at all the “cut-throat” experience that they were anticipating. Thinking back to their first live show as a band – at their debut EP launch – Jamie and Connor reflect on how different the live scene was then in comparison to now. “There was no dancing, everyone had to be distanced. It was kind of weird to play to people standing still,” comments Jamie. “But it’s definitely evolved since then. Like on Friday, we played at The Arkaba and people were jumping around and going crazy.”
It’s a definite light at the end of the dark, COVID tunnel and for Lickity Split, positive things are forecast from here on out. “We’ve got new music; we’re planning on doing some kind of tour at some point but that’s still in the planning process. We’re in the middle of organising something else that’s under wraps at the moment that will come out soon,” Jamie vaguely comments.
How soon are we talking, you ask? “Probably later in the year,” Jamie continues with a smile. “There’s lots happening in Lickity Land!” And that’s a promise.