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Sporting a cropped top emblazoned with the word ‘Awesome’, patterned short shorts and signature coloured hair, Lizzy Plapinger takes to the stage and looks down across the thousands of excited faces peering up at her. The beat kicks in, with the lyrics soon to follow, and there’s not a face in the crowd that isn’t singing along.
“That’s exactly how it felt, I was like, ‘Oh my God, we’re famous here’,” Lizzy says reflecting on MS MR’s first set at Splendour in 2013, likening it to what Beyonce must feel like.
“That Splendour show for us was one of the best nights of our lives and definitely one of the best shows of all time. So we have incredibly high expectations for coming back due to how special that night was, but honestly Australia has never ever let us down.
“Australia was one of the first places to reach out and support our music and it has a really great group of music lovers. I think people are really hungry for music and are open minded to new music and new genres and I’m just excited to get back there.”
Known for being that ‘Tumblr band’ who managed to make it work, Lizzy and Max Hershenow credit the use of social media for enabling them to not only make the big time, but to stay so connected with their fans.
The social media site isn’t something that’s fallen by the wayside since their rise to fame, and it’s still a source for inspiration for Lizzy.
“For being such a public thing it feels so personal and private. It’s just me on my computer at 3 in the morning sort of seeing what I react to emotionally, visually and posting that on Tumblr – which I think is what most people do on Tumblr,” she says.
“I think that process is really therapeutic and inspirational and whether that’s inspiration for a song, a video or a photo shoot, I’m always collecting things and collaging pieces for the future.”
While Tumblr is an inspiration source for future content, Lizzy also gains it from what it happening in the world around her. A close experience with a serious hurricane in New York would inspire one of their biggest tracks, aptly named ‘Hurricane’.
“There was so much stress and anxiety around the event and then it didn’t even happen. I had sort of an interesting night with a man who, I don’t know, braved the storm to hag out with me when the storm hadn’t even come,” she says.
“For me it was sort of a tumultuous time, I was sort of at odds with myself and wasn’t feeling good about myself and so it was hard for me to think how someone could be interested in being with me romantically.
“I think I was just feeling contemplative and really the lyrics to that song came from what would have been a diary entry. What was beautiful was the next day Max had written music for something and he sent it to me. The storm was still on my mind and so I wrote the song and he put exactly what I wrote to the song and that was ‘Hurricane’. I think that it was beautiful that Max and I had different experiences that evening and directly inspired by whatever those experiences were, individually we could make it work together.”
Since those early days, Max and Lizzy have been making it work, not only through their song writing for new album How Does It Feel, but in their live performances and work with LGBTIQ charity Third Wave Fund – the band are donating a percentage of proceeds from their upcoming tour to the group.
The band have learned a lot in two years, and this year’s set at Splendour in the Grass is sure to give Beyonce a run for her money…
When & Where: Splendour in the Grass, Byron Bay – July 24-26 & 170 Russell, Melbourne – July 22
Written by Amanda Sherring