Into the Minds of Experienced Dungeon Crawlers: Lizzard Wizzard Interview
It's September, and the countdown has begun for Australia's Stoner Doom quartet Lizzard Wizzard to be arriving in Japan for their tour! Starting on September 17th in Osaka at Bar Anarchy,they'll be then heading to Shiga, followed by two days in Tokyo and finally finishing off at the legendary El Puente in Yokohama.
In anticipation for their tour, we decided to pick the brains of these four brave adventurers a bit. Check out the full details for their tour here and keep reading for the full interview!
Hey guys, thanks for doing the interview! To give our readers here in Japan a brief history of Lizzard Wizzard, would you mind giving us the run down on how you guys got together?
Michael(Guitars and Vocals): Thank you! We hung out a lot at Stef's house together and it really just progressed from an excuse to hang out, to us jamming together. I think we answer this question the same every time we get it, mainly because there was no real pressure or funny story behind it; just four nice guys finishing last and hanging out a heap and deciding to hang out more.
You guys have a similar name to King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (Also from Australia). I understand this was quite the coincidence, wasn’t it?
We had the name pretty down when we started jamming(even with the mis-spelling), must be the Queensland air or something because we were recording stuff when we first heard of them and didn't really care enough to change it.
No idea when it will be but we're working on a covers album that we'll hopefully record when we get back from Japan, we're picking 2 songs each and doing gross shit to them and seeing what happens. We take a much more relaxed approach to writing and recording now compared to the Self-Titled and Dankrupt, we overthought the first album a fair bit which translated to a loss of cohesion in songs which irks us a fair bit listening back. You will always have that problem after finishing a recording of; "oh shit, I wish that riff went for 2 bars instead of 4" or; "I wish I recorded this drum part I've figured out now instead of what I recorded", and we're trying a lot harder when writing to be mindful of things that are maybe a bit too cheesey or sloppy and trying to make it as close to "done" as we can going into the studio.
Speaking of which, you guys have a lot of humor injected into the lyrics and presentation. What inspires these nerd-tastic and oddball antics?
The counter-intuitive thing about stoner music and trying to be funny with lyrics and art is that being serious about smoking buckets would probably be funnier to us than our poor attempt at humour about bongs and shitty social situations. The song "Medusa but she gets you stoned...etc" was written by Luke on a bus in his high-guy travel log/diary, originally being an outline for lyric ideas about a weed-medusa which just turned into the lyrics because everyone thought it was funnier that way.
(At this point in the interview, their other guitarist and vocalist, Nick takes over.)
I understand that most of you have spent time in Japan in the past. What were your impressions of the music scene in Japan? Can you draw any comparisons to Australia?
Nick: Yeah yeah! A lot of my close friends won’t stop raving about their trips and go back whenever they can. My now wife and I scrounged some money together and we came across in October last year to see what’s going on and I tell ya, it could not have been better. Had a blast, the hangovers were something else and I definitely puked into a sink trying to get to Disney Sea but that’s all my fault and not the beer’s, it was too delicious and didn’t know any better. Music-wise I was lucky enough to catch a couple shows which were insanely good. I really appreciate the underground, close-knit feel I got from them. Seems like people make the music they want to hear and have a very punk attitude which is something we definitely can relate to!
On your tour, you will be playing with some fantastic acts including Butcher ABC (Unfortunately, Butcher ABC had to cancel after this interview went out. But they were replaced with the notorious Anal Volcano - Editor), Nepenthes, Funeral Moth, Self Deconstruction and Lifeblood. Are there any that you are especially looking forward to seeing and performing with?
Dude, Nepenthes blew me away when I saw them. Cannot WAIT for that again. My friend Freeman got me into Self Deconstruction a while ago and their records sound so good, I am possibly going to go a bit wild at the show. Butcher ABC I hadn’t heard til last week but DAMN they are right up my bowel-movingly low-tuned Carcass loving alley. Black Market sound like they’re going to be loud enough to peel my skin off which is pretty ideal. Funeral Moth make me want to practice guitar and use more dynamics in songs, that is going to be a somber and beautiful time. I honestly think the quality of bands in Japan is higher overall so I’m just psyched to see everything and likely forget everyone’s names because my memory sucks, haha.
The obligatory question: Who are your favorite Japanese bands?
HOOOOOOO weeeeeeeeeeeell number one is always going to be Boris, they’re a huge inspiration on many levels. Loud, thick and beautiful sounds, they never repeat themselves and keep changing the game, I love it.
I’ve been a big fan of Guitar Wolf, Peelander Z, Shonen Knife and a lotta others for awhile because they make me feel so happy. I was lucky enough to catch Peelander and Abigail when I went to the states in I think…2011 for Maryland Deathfest and Chaos in Tejas, their energy was supreme and they were so sweet out in the crowd after, very spirit rousing. Definitely the most smiles in a moshpit I’ve ever seen.
On the grimmer side of things you’ll find that people in Australia are pretty wild for Sabbat, Corrupted, Coffins and such so I’ve been floating in that for ages. I could be having the shittiest day and put any of their records on and it’s wonderful. “Under The Stench” by Coffins is an ANTHEM. So, so glad to have caught them in Tokyo when they played “Slowly We Rot” by Obituary, I could have wept.
Also big shoutouts to Deathside, Bastard, Disclose, Framtid, Forward, Disturd, D-Clone and the many other teeth-grinding punk facemelters, those guys honestly got me into punk with their Burst City shows here in Brisbane. Begrabnis, GREENMACHiNE (!!!!), GUEVNNA, Unholy Grave…I’m forgetting a lot but these come to mind and my music hard drive recently crashed so I can’t check back, haha.
I’ve heard rumors that you guys are putting a little something special together for the tour? Any chance you’ll tell us what you have in store for Japanese fans?
WELL I’M GlAd yOu AsKeD!! Our good friend Aaron from the US is coming on tour with us and has put together a special tape of the Total War Power Bastard album with a bit of a surprise at the end. Hold on to your HATS. We’ve cooked up a demon dazzling set-list and have a pretty good variety of merch for you guys, I just hope you like it as much as I do, haha.
Well that about wraps this up for now, any last words for our readers?