Garageband Superstar Lauran Hibberd makes music that sounds like the 2000s again
With her debut album Garageband Superstar, UK-based singer-songwriter Lauran Hibberd offers timeless, relatable anthems that serve as a soundtrack to growing up. After years of grinding it out on the road and making a name for herself with a series of singles and EPs, Hibberd enlisted producer Larry Hibbitt (Nothing But Thieves, Don Broco) to record a collection of songs written during lockdown that sound reminiscent of ‘90s alternative staples like Weezer and the Pixies, and encapsulates the energy of riot grrrl in the vein of Bikini Kill. The result, which dropped in August 2022, is an album that is entirely authentic to her own personal experiences, and a snapshot of what life can be like as a 25-year-old today. It also easily sounds like it could've been the soundtrack for a hit '00s movie.
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AltPress spoke with Hibberd about her debut, her influences, wanting to make music that plays like a soundtrack, and what's in store in the future.
“That Was A Joke” feels like it harkens back to early '00s pop-rock anthems that soundtracked coming-of-age comedies. Does that check out?
That is exactly what I was going for. [Laughs.] I grew up watching TV programs like Drake & Josh, and it never left my system. Still now at 25, I want to write songs that make me feel like I did when I was 7 watching those shows. For every song that I write, I want to make it fit in some sort of soundtrack-y way. I would love to be given an up-and-coming, weird indie film and write a ton of songs for it.
What influences were paramount in your early journey as a songwriter?
I definitely started out as a total Weezer head and I have been ever since. I loved Green Day and the Smashing Pumpkins growing up, and then I got into Liz Phair, Feist, and all of these amazing female musicians. I feel like it is this huge amalgamation mixed in with that Wheatus energy. I’m not too cool to have songs with Wheatus, I love them so much. [Laughs.]
With Garageband Superstar being your debut album, what was your headspace like when you were putting it together?
My headspace was just wanting to write about the small stuff. I’ll leave saving the world and all that to Coldplay, and I’ll stick with falling off roller coasters, weird sexual encounters, horrible boys, and the stuff that everyone goes through. There’s a song on the record called “Still Running” and I think that’s one of my favorites because, on paper, it’s how my mind works. The lyrics follow this weird path that makes no sense but it’s just how everyone’s brains work.
[Photo by Steve Glashier]
There’s the common saying that you have your whole life to write your first record, so why is now the time to finally release your first full-length after years of grinding it out as a songwriter?
During the lockdown, I had so much time and I thought it would be criminal to not use it to get a record together. I’ve always been so caught up in touring as much as possible, so having that forced upon me and so much time to get to every corner of my brain was so helpful for me.
What was the recording process like working with producer Larry Hibbitt on the record?
He’s honestly the nicest guy and we had so much fun making the record. I was really adamant about wanting to work with someone who 100 percent understood what I was trying to do. We played guitar all day, plugged in different pedals, and experimented. It was just my dream day every day for months.
You have been a part of several notable tours with artists ranging from Hippo Campus to the Regrettes. What did you learn from these experiences?
My first support tour was with Hippo Campus and I remember coming off that tour learning so much. I became obsessed with being a support artist because it’s such a good platform to watch another band work a room every night and you pick up all these new things. Lydia Night from the Regrettes is an amazing frontwoman and that was something that I never considered of myself before that tour. I watched her every night and started to develop certain things that she was doing and made it work for me I suppose. I feel like I owe my new stage presence to Lydia.
What would be your dream collaboration and tour lineup?
I would love to collaborate with Phoebe Bridgers. I mean, everyone and their dog is obsessed with her, but she’s so cool. My dream tour lineup was the  Hella Mega Tour [which featured Weezer, Fall Out Boy, and Green Day]. I wish I could have opened on that tour, it would have been the creme de la creme for me.
What’s next for you? Can we expect more touring and making the states more of a priority this time around?
I feel like everything that I do is so influenced by U.S. culture, so I am due to come out. I’ve never actually been to L.A/ and have so many weird online friends and artists who I want to meet and write with, so I’m gonna head out [soon]. Hopefully, I’ll be touring out there from the start of next year as well as another headline tour in the U.K. and Europe.