Lavers members Sebastian Lavers, Matt Barnes and Dominic Lavers will be playing at the Oh Yeah! Beach Party at the University of Canberra. Photo: Elesa Lee
Going to university was meant to be a back-up plan for Dom Lavers.
But, as he gets set to return as part of O Week celebrations, he concedes the back-up plan was probably one of his better ideas.
''I keep telling myself that my degree was something to fall back on and that the music is going to take off. We're still waiting for it to take off, so I'm glad I've got a back-up plan,'' he says with a laugh.
''We're kind of like weekend rock stars at the moment. We're still paying for the dream … rather than living it.''
Dom, his brother Seb and drummer Matt Barnes make up indie-rock outfit Lavers, who are starting to make waves in the local music scene.
Since forming three years ago, the band has released two EPs - The Street is a Symphony and Endless Corridor - and their single, Our Little Empire, was a finalist in the Song of the Year category at the MusicACT Annual Music Awards 2012.
But Dom admits the rock star thing is starting to pick up speed.
''The music's been something that's really accelerated over the last year or two,'' he says.
''I mean I've always fiddled around on the guitar … [but] we've sort of been getting more and more serious and kept the wheels turning.''
Lavers will start work on EP number three in February, employing the talent of Sydney producer Simon Todkill, whose credits include Kanye West, the Griswolds and Tim and Jean.
''It's great going up there and working with the best because … at least then we know it's our fault if the songs don't turn out,'' Dom says. ''We've only really got one shot at this so we've really got to put everything into it. We don't want to wake up and be old men and think; 'What if?' We want to be able to say we gave it a crack, we put the money in and we put the time in.''
After recording their last EP in the basement of their family home, Dom hopes upping the ante will pay off professionally.
''[The last EP] didn't have the same sort of production value that we're going for with our next single,'' he says. ''We want something that's a bit bigger, that will make people get up and move around.
''Basically the key to growing is getting a few songs on the radio and we want to get something that jumps out of the radio and makes people take notice.''
Lavers' sound has been likened to anything from City and Colour to Snow Patrol. But one of Dom's favourite descriptions is that of Canberra blogger Party By Jake, who said, ''If Freddie Mercury and Noel Gallagher had a commitment ceremony and adopted a child, that child would be Lavers''.
''It's always hard to describe your own music, so I prefer to let other people do it,'' Dom says. ''The funny thing is, when people do describe your music, they always liken it to something that fits in their music collection. We don't mind, because they obviously connect to it through something they already like.''
Lavers hope to start making a name for themselves outside of Canberra, following gigs alongside Owen Campbell, Ashleigh Mannix and Julia Stone.
Dom says opening for Stone was one of the band's career highlights.
''It was a sold-out show and it was just incredible to meet her backstage … it was our first taste of meeting someone who was kind of like Australian music royalty,'' he says. ''She turned up a bit late, she apologised for that. I just said; 'No worries Julia, as long as you can take us on your next European tour'. She's got my card and I'm just waiting by the phone. It's been a few months now but you never know!''
FEATURING: Safia, Lavers, Dahrnoir, Sammy Soundslike, Luke Jaimes + Chief
WHEN: Friday, February 1 from 3pm
WHERE: Zierholz @ UC
THEME: Beach party