[Vez already tracking Vox for the NEXT record]
Lionizer are a name i hear more and more each week; The Perth band are making waves, even making it onto THE FAT MIX #5! I got to talk to drummer Bailey about the band changes and the new record "New Parts Of Me" which drops in just four short days, get the fuck behind it! BANDCAMP
//Can you give us a brief history of the band and releases?//
Lionizer started in late 2012, after Vez and I decided to leave the band we were in and strike off on our own. Originally we were a two-piece, and our first handful of releases (including both our EP's 'Come Home' and 'Be Alone') were built around this dynamic. Last year we decided to add a bass player, and wrote a whole bunch of new songs with fun and funky bass lines that have now become our debut album "New Parts of Me".
//What's the first band who made you love music?//
I can't even remember! However, the band that made Vez and I go "we can do this ourselves" originally was Brisbane two-piece An Horse. We were big fans already, but then we caught their set at the Rosemount and knew this was what we wanted to do.
//Who inspires you to make music now?//
This is a really hard question, i think we all pull inspiration and influence from so many different sources. For me, i usually draw inspiration from shit going on in my life or in the world, something i want to talk about or that i feel needs to be explored. I can't write a book or pen a poem, but i can write a song, so that's how i get those thoughts out.
//What are some of the most important things you have learned while being together?//
That no one will love your band like you do, so you have to be ready to put in the work yourself because no one will do anything for you.
//How do you view your band now as apposed to when you started?//
Lionizer is the longest relationship I've ever had - and like every relationship it's had its ups and downs. At the start is was like a whirlwind fling, we had no idea what we were doing and just tried everything. Now we have long-term plans and ideas that require months and months of planning. We put in more work behind the scenes now that's for sure!
//What's your favourite venue to play?//
I love 459, it's just cozy and intimate and easy to hang out at. We've played heaps of great shows there and seen some amazing bands on that stage.
//Can you explain what goes on during the writing process?//
It's different every time, but mostly it's a collaborative process. Someone will put forward an idea, a lyric, a riff, or a concept and we build it up from there. We demo out a lot of stuff, and pass it around and edit and refine and rewrite and add on new things all the time. Sometimes a song isn't working and we shelve it, only to bring it back out when a new idea presents itself. One of the songs on the album "Another night, another bed" was written like this. We originally had it ready to go on our first EP, but had to cut it due to cost constraints. We left it out for a few years, then brought it back with new lyrics, new bass and a few extra tweaks and now it's practically a whole new song. A veritable Song of Theseus.
//Can you explain the recording process you go through?//
We changed up the recording process dramatically for our debut album. Previously we've worked with Underground Studios, and they always get a super polished and professional sound. However, this time we wanted something gritty, something raw, and something that captured our underground DIY sound. So we went with our good friend Michael Strong of Brainiac studios, and really pushed that garage vibe while allowing us a lot more time to explore some experimental concepts and layers on the songs. It took a lot longer, and a few songs got rewritten over the course of recording, but the end result speaks for itself.
//What does this release mean to you?//
This is our first album, and it represents a maturity for us as a band. To me it means legitimacy in a way, like our first inter-state tour, it's one of those things that every band wants to do. And now that it's done, it's time to start working on the next one!
//What does the scene mean to you?//
The Perth scene is pretty ineffable, I've never really felt like a part of it. There's a punk scene, and we've seen so many bands come and go it starts to grind on you. There are some amazing bands out now though that shows are really fun to go to again, and there's a buzz and an energy in the room. I think the scene works best when its open and about being and making friends, but there seems to be a second, hidden layer there for industry/networking that kinda looks down it's nose at certain people/bands/genres. I try to avoid that stuff, and just hang out with my friends and watch cool bands.
//If you could change one thing about the scene, what would it be?//
Bigger bands playing more Perth shows. This is my latest pet peeve, when bands from Perth blow up they pretty much stop playing Perth on the regular. Sure there'll be a Perth stop on their tour, but they seem to move on to greener pastures in a way. I get it, Perth is hard to pull crowds in on the regular, so it's a chicken-or-the-egg situation, but i think that if those bigger bands were more active on the local scale we'd see some real growth in the music community, as they have the potential to bring new people into the scene rather than just their show.
//What song means the most to you?//
Of our songs- Maybe 'Song for a Cat Named Max' - the first real song we ever released - just for nostalgia. Of other peoples songs- The Weakerthans 'Plea from a Cat Named Virtute'. Can you guess our influences?
//What's your favourite song to play live?//
Bleach, Bunkbeds, Violent Delights, Fuck Everything.
//Why do you play music?//
Because you can say more with a shift from V to IV than you can in a whole book.
//Would you encourage people watching this to start bands?//
Yeh for sure! Hell, even just start writing or playing music. You can get going on your laptop for free these days! Making art gives you an outlet for your experiences, it lets you tell your story and make real connections with people all over the world. It's hard, and it's frustrating, but it can be incredibly rewarding.
//What advice do you have for new bands?//
DIY or die. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good and don't let anyone tell you what you cant do. Try to do everything yourself and for free before you try to pay someone for it.
//How important is it to network with other bands?//
If you want to play shows, it's crucial.