King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – Soaking Up The Sunshine

On a steaming thirty-seven degree day where he “might go for a dip and chill out before the gig”, Stu Mackenzie, vocalist of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, took some time out a few hours before supporting Jeff the Brotherhood at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne. He talked about what we can look forward to through the eyes of the Wizard.

In a short time frame, the band have released their debut album, are about to release their second record Eyes Like the Sky, and already have plans for album number three. Stu told us about their upcoming album due for release. “We did a track on 12 Bar Bruise called Sam Cherry’s Last Shot, which ended up being an instrumental piece that we put together, but it didn’t quite sound finished so we put in a piece from an 1880’s western story, so that was the theme for the record. The record has nothing to do with Sam Cherry at all, but it’s kind of a big version. It has its own original story.”

He explained that it is not similar to its predecessor: “It is completely 100% different in every way. For one, there is no singing on it and every track is narrated. It is very much a collaboration as well. The album works as an album from start to finish. They are all my own little children (laughs). We recorded and mixed the album at home.”

For King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, 2012 could not have finished off any better. They performed in front of a sold-out Falls Festival crowd in Lorne, then two days later they played with Spiderbait and Something for Kate to bring in the new year at The Espy. Falls did bring Stu close to home though, “Growing up down the coast, Falls was a local gig, so it was a very nice compliment to be able to play that… Everything was good!”

Stu, a giver to community radio and ”volunteering every now and then” at PBS FM, said that the band will be back performing a rockin’ live set in the studio of the radio station. PBS has become part of Stu’s career in music. He tells us of it: “It is going to be great, I love PBS so much. I volunteer every now and then and I cannot endorse PBS any more highly.”

Stu says the upcoming live set will feature “a couple of instrumental tracks, but mostly 12 Bar Bruise and Willoughby’s Beach EP, along with some new stuff too.” King Gizzard also has a headline show at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne. He says it will be “a little bit daunting but will be a lot of fun. It will be exciting when the supports are put together.”

The seven-piece, hailing from a share house in Carlton, are all “best buddies” too. It makes for a great party, any time of day, wherever the boys are. Stu explains, “It is fun to have a big band. It is a very easy and friendly band to be in.”

If there were no King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, there may be King Gizzard and another animal of some sort. Stu, being a local boy, loves his music. He told us, “I’m just a guy soaking up the sunshine. If I didn’t do music, I would be doing something really shit… I’d be a sad person.”

Eyes Like the Sky is out February 8.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Tour Dates

Friday, 8 February

PBS Drive Live, Melbourne

Saturday, 23 February

Corner Hotel, Melbourne

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