Interstate highways, brown suits and the age of narcissism
Huddled in the booth of some seedy looking pub not far down the road from tonight’s scheduled show, I’ve barely sat down with our drinks before Lazarus Kane takes his chance to exhibit his new kimono. “This one’s custom made,” he says with a grin stretched wide across his face. “I decided to get brown on brown because it’s the colour people find most ugly. I thought why not get something to compliment my face.” The embroidered paisley is only partially visible behind its matching silk brown liner. Much like his adorning garment, Kane blends in seamlessly to our skewed and haphazard surroundings.
A self-proclaimed ‘anglophile’ and a proud graduate of Speedy Wunderground’s class of ’19, he’s known respectably by fans across social media as ‘Mr. Kane’. Though his mannerly reputation precedes him, he sits slumped across the velvet sofa, dimly recounting his all-American upbringing. “I grew up in a time where you had to call your father ‘sir’. Because of that, I like to think there’s a few artefacts of formality left in my approach to things.” Born in Arizona and raised into a religious travelling community, Kane spent the majority of his formative years travelling up and down interstate highways. Speaking hurriedly in his thick cowboy twang, he makes no secret of his attempts to escape the subject. Adding with a grim expression, he says, “it’s a period of my life that I tend not to look back on too fondly.”
Opting out of his contract with God and deciding to redirect his faith into making music, he spent years circuiting small-town venues, playing to practically any passing trucker or hillbilly who’d listen. “Back then, it was just me. I didn’t have the whole ensemble,” he explains. “I used to get really nervous performing too. I had a whole bunch of cassettes tapes that I used to listen to just to calm myself down.” Having suffered decades of limited success, it wasn’t until his triumphant arrival in Britain and an encounter with Speedy Wunderground poster boys Squid that his current project, Lazarus Kane, was born.