Posts Tagged ‘Joey Walker’

The prolific Melbourne band played their biggest-ever headline show to date at the 10,000-capacity venue in the capital, with the promise of “a new set, new songs and a whole new visual experience” being made by the psych-rock troupe. This was an anomaly. An Australian psychedelic rock band, blessed with the kind of name a 14-year-old comes up with during a particularly boring double maths lesson, sells out the 10,000-capacity Alexandra Palace with little radio support and no hit records. What’s more, their latest of many albums since 2012 (they released five in 2017 alone) is a ferocious thrash metal concept piece about ecological disaster called Infest the Rat’s Nest. No focus group would come up with the King Gizzard approach to musical success.

The heady, inspired, confusing, and addictive path King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard set out on almost a decade ago has led to this point. Announcing – and then swiftly selling out – a headline date at Alexandra Palace, the Australian group took on one of North London’s most imposing venues. A historic landmark, thousands of fans descended on the people’s palace for the show, an indication of just how big these psychedelic outlaws actually are. Rampaging through their leviathan-like catalogue, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard pulled out all the stops for the biggest night of their lives.

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Released December 24th, 2020

Live at Alexandra Palace, London, England, October 5th 2019
Recorded by our sound crew: Sam Joseph, Stacey Wilson, Gaspard De Meulemeester

Drums: Michael Cavanagh
Guitar / Keys: Cook Craig
Harmonica / Vocals / Keys / Percussion: Ambrose Kenny-Smith
Vocals / Guitar / Keys: Stu Mackenzie
Drums: Eric Moore
Bass: Lucas Harwood
Guitar / Vocals: Joey Walker

Mixed by Stu Mackenzie

King Gizzard Lizard Wizard KG album microtonal interview Joey Walker Eric Moore leaves band

King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard return with new album K.G.”, their sixteenth since forming in 2010. In the wake of a global pandemic, it’s a collection of songs composed and recorded remotely after the six members of the band retreated to their own homes scattered around Melbourne, Australia.

“We’ve been busy… I think?”

King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard guitarist Joey Walker is underselling the freak rock band’s pandemic pivot – a year’s output that (so far) includes two concert films, two live albums, four soundboard show recordings slash charity fundraisers, and now their 16th studio album, ‘K.G.’. speaking from his home studio – a prim, soundproofed room with a bookshelf peppered with Penguin classics, and a print of Henri Matisse’s 1910 painting Dance, a once-controversial ode to ecstatic bacchanalia. The fine art is a far cry from the six-piece’s lysergic tour posters, usually made by Jason Galea, and Walker’s listening habits reflect this band-divergent attitude – he says he doesn’t listen to “rock music”, preferring techno, house and “I’m gonna sound like a fuckin’ wanker, but jazz and all that dumbass shit”.

Staring down the void left by the Gizzard’s cancelled tours this year, Walker sank thousands of dollars (“more than I’ve ever spent on any musical instrument”) into learning modular synthesis. He swivels his webcam around to show NME the mess of wires that he’s “just constantly fucking fiddling with”. That feverishness extends to the guitarist’s personality, who in conversation darts between ideas like a moth flitting from bulb to bulb. “My disposition is more traditional, neurotic and shattered as a musician. I question everything,” Walker says.

The room he sits in was one of six home studios in which Gizz recorded ‘K.G.’, thanks to Melbourne’s punishingly strict lockdown. Forced individual home recording scuttled an initial plan to develop the album out of live jams, exploring elements of Afrobeat with acoustic microtonal instruments. Walker and scraggly-haired frontman Stu Mackenzie both had cushy spaces in which the band had previously begun or finished material, but the others didn’t.

“It was definitely a challenge for them,” Walker says. “Cavs [drummer Michael Cavanagh], he’d always had to rely on Stu or myself to record him because he didn’t have the know-how. Forced isolation meant he got a studio going, worked out Ableton and started from zero, recording his drums. You can kind of hear it on the album – there are some songs where the drum takes are a bit ‘how-you-goin’, at least sonically.” ‘K.G.’ is subtitled ‘Explorations Into Microtonal Tuning, Volume 2’ – marking it as a sonic sequel to their first experiment with the notes between the notes, 2017’s ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’. The major change on the new record is the use of acoustic microtonal instruments (“just shitty acoustic guitars with modded frets”) on several songs, bending the record closer to its Turkish and Middle Eastern antecedents. But Walker is careful not to identify any specific point of reference.

“We actively don’t look too much to the microtonal world for reference, because I feel like then it would just be the same as that. At least to us, it’s not as interesting. It’s about using [microtones] as a tool to make music that you would already make,” he explains. Indeed, the result sounds more like the band aggregating their work of the last five years – polymetric rhythms, hard rock, funk and folk – rather than disappearing down a new stylistic hole. The guitarist is responsible for the album’s only step into truly foreign territory: ‘Intrasport’, a “dirty Bollywood” banger Walker fiddled into existence during the early weeks of March. He acknowledges that to some fans, this lack of reinvention is technically a disappointment.

“If we don’t do something different, people are like, ‘What are you doing?’ But that’s always gonna happen, which is cool. It’s cool how divisive Gizz is,” Walker says.

The band’s lyrics have also undergone a subtle shift. The sci-fi apocalypse at the core of their earlier music (think ‘Murder Of The Universe’) has slowly morphed into our real, multi-faceted armageddon: the climate crisis, ongoing impacts of colonisation, and now a global pandemic (“I think you can draw a line through those,” Walker says). It first became more apparent on 2019’s ‘Infest The Rat’s Nest’, which paired thrashy aggression with doom-laden warnings about rising temperatures.

But 2020’s downward force brings the band’s social consciousness to the forefront of ‘K.G.’: Walker’s own ‘Minimum Brain Size’, written following the Christchurch shootings, excoriates the right-wing radicalisation of men on the internet; keyboardist Ambrose Kenny Smith’s goofy ‘Straws In The Wind’ is a self-described ‘Sign ‘O’ The Times’ (“Straws in the wind, is it all ending?… I can hear hell’s kitchen and they’re singing hymns”).

“There’s definitely a social tip to the Gizz thing, and obviously climate change is a big part of it,” Walker says. “We try not to be too didactic in how we go about it, though there probably are times where it [could] be. We try to bury it in metaphor and other shit.” A glance at the band’s dedicated fan pages on Facebook and Reddit (populated by a total of 74,000 users) would suggest the metaphors have the desired obfuscating effect – it’s the science fiction “Gizzverse” fans tend to dissect, not so much the sociopolitical substance.

Gizz fans have earned comparisons to The Grateful Dead’s for their similar breathless devotion to the band’s prolificacy and relentless touring. The combination of both those things, Walker says, “creates two parallel universes whereby a fan of King Gizzard can like and love studio records – or not. For the nots, the notion of us as a live band is a completely different story”.

The band mythologised their own love of the road twice this year – once in the immersive concert film Chunky Shrapnel, and on ‘K.G.’’s ‘Oddlife’: “No concept of geography / I wake up and I’m still fatigued / I’m drinking ’til I’m dead asleep”. But inevitable burnout claimed its first victim this year in second drummer and manager Eric Moore, who stepped away from the band in August to focus on their label Flightless Records. Though vague on the details when pressed, Walker says it was “definitely a group decision” that had actually been made in late 2019.

“It was just the endpoint of a really good conversation we all had,” he says. “[Eric] felt like he was wearing too many hats. Who knows what will happen in the future or whatever. I think he felt that he needed to focus on less than three things that were directly related, but also cancel each other out in a weird way.”

Closing in on their 10th anniversary, the band had previously decided 2020 would mark a final touring push before committing to a couple of years of studio work – but because of the pandemic, they’re calling this year their “hiatus”. Yes, really. The Gizzard machine, as Walker calls it, will have a “big year of output” in 2021 – even by their standards – with what the guitarist believes will be their most divisive music yet.

“Part of me thinks it’s the best thing we’ve ever done. And part of me thinks it’s the worst,” he laughs.

Walker won’t dish on the details, though he uses 2020’s de facto word of the year to describe the material: unprecedented. A spiritual sequel to Chunky Shrapnel is also planned, set to present new versions of forthcoming material: “Everything’s been done in terms of a music documentary and live albums or whatever it’s going to be, but there’s a certain distilled thing we’re trying for that we really haven’t seen.”

Not everyone might love King Gizzard’s music, but the band’s work ethic – and their penchant to laugh in the face of the modern music industry’s highly ritualised album cycle – commands grudging respect. Theirs is an ethos that wouldn’t die with the project, even if the Gizzard machine broke underneath the weight of its own output.

“The sheer fact that we wanted to put out heaps of music meant that we just didn’t work for heaps of people. Labels didn’t want to touch us. And if they did, they would try and put their label-y thing on it. We just operate outside of that,” Walker declares.

Another fantastic Australian band that has set the standard for work ethic in the studio over the past few years, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard kept their fans satisfied with two live albums released their year in Chunky Shrapnel and Live in San Francisco ’16. It was the surprise release of K.G. in late November, however, which reminded fans of how creative and innovative this band can be. The songs heard on K.G. made for a noticeable and enjoyable change-up from the more intense, hard-rock sounds and styles heard on their last few studio projects, thanks in large part to the band utilizing quarter-tone tuning and notation from microtonal scales often heard in Indian classical music. The combination of their psychedelic styles mixed with Eastern influences made K.G. quite the mesmerizing cyclone of peak rock and roll excellence.

“If Gizzard stopped tomorrow, each of us would just make music ourselves the very next day. It’s a full-time job, in a dope way.” King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard’s ‘K.G.’ out now

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – ‘Live in San Francisco ‘16’ limited deluxe double golden gate sunburst and bay fog vinyl LP with rainbow foil wide-spine jacket and packaged in a recycled brown paper bag.

King Gizzard recently made multiple announcements including their first studio album of 2020, Along with the announcement was the new single “Automation” The single release saw the band give full access to fans by providing a bunch of film and audio assets to make your own remix and clip.

 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard gave fans a preview of their upcoming “Live in San Francisco ’16″ release with a video of “Evil Death Roll”. The live 13-track, double album is set to arrive on November 20th via ATO Records along with a full concert film. Coming in as the band’s second official live release of 2020, behind April’s Chunky Shrapnel, it helps pad the stats on what has been a—comparatively—light year for the Australian-bred psych rockers. This year saw no studio releases from the group that usually puts out multiple a year, with King Gizzard largely exploring their archives with live releases—many of which the band used as fundraising initiatives for various causes.

In this black-and-white clip shot at The Independent, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard come in hot straight out of the gate with the song’s pounding rhythm. With Stu Mackenzie jumping around like a madman from the very start, one wonders how they can keep this up for the whole song—let alone an entire concert.

The answer comes with an instrumental breakdown in the middle of the tune, where the band is able to catch its breath and slow things down a bit. Meanwhile, repeated wah wah pedal-infused phrasings coming from somewhere in the trio of guitars featuring Joey Walker and Cook Craig in addition to Mackenzie. The style shifts around during the instrumental portion, as Walker’s harmonic-led lead brings the drums down and eventually to a full stop. As drummer Michael Cavanagh gently revives the rhythm, it abruptly turns into a fever pitch as the band comes back in at full velocity, and before you know it Stu is holding his guitar up to the mic to create hectic feedback. In short, this performance is raw energy for 7:31 minutes straight.

Just under a month after delivering their award-winning 2016 album Nonagon Infinity, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard took the stage at San Francisco’s The Independent for a set both wildly frenetic and meticulously executed. In one of their final club gigs before bursting onto the international scene—soon selling out amphitheaters and headlining festivals—the Melbourne septet laid down a breakneck performance that, in the words of SF Weekly, “made every organ ache just right.” Newly unearthed by ATO Records, Live in San Francisco ’16 captures an extraordinary moment in the band’s increasingly storied history, a 13-song spectacular likely to leave every listener awestruck and adrenalized.

Multi-tracked and impeccably mixed, Live in San Francisco ’16 simultaneously channels the massive energy of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s set while echoing the sweaty intimacy of the 500-capacity venue. Like Nonagon Infinity—the band’s eighth full-length and worldwide breakthrough—Live in San Francisco ’16 kicks off with “Robot Stop,” an immediately transportive track built on blistering riffs and bombastic rhythms. Reaching its majestic climax with a 22-minute rendition of fan favourite “Head On/Pill” (from 2013’s Float Along – Fill Your Lungs), the album rushes forward with a furious intensity as the band tears through the entire set without ever breaking—a feat that induces a sort of joyful delirium in anyone who bears witness.

With nearly half the setlist made up of Nonagon Infinity tracks, Live in San Francisco ’16 unfolds with the same exquisitely controlled chaos King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard brought to that arguable masterpiece—a nine-song body of work crafted as the world’s first infinitely looping LP (i.e., each track flowing seamlessly into the next, with the album-closing “Road Train” linking straight back into the opener). “2016 was peak tightness for Gizz,” notes frontman Stu Mackenzie. “Around this time we were really into tightly composed sets, and the show was like one long song—everything linked, everything planned. We threw that idea out the window later on, but this live record is a great document of that moment in our collective psyche.”

An unequivocal turning point for King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Nonagon Infinity arrived in April 2016 and drew major critical acclaim, with NPR hailing it as “masterfully bizarro” and Pitchfork stating that the album “yields some of the most outrageous, exhilarating rock ‘n’ roll in recent memory.” Not only a critical success, Nonagon Infinity won Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal album at the 2016 ARIA Music Awards, while eternally zeitgeisty director Edgar Wright named it among his favourite records of all time. Two years in the making, the album marked a drastic departure from the folk-and-Tropicalia-tinged psych-pop of its 2015 predecessor Paper Mache Dream Balloon, with the band taking a bold creative leap in its structure. “I wanted to have an album where all these riffs and grooves just kept coming in and out the whole time, so a song wasn’t just a song, it was part of a loop, part of this whole experience where it feels like it doesn’t end and doesn’t need to end,” Mackenzie explained back in 2016. When replicated live, that effect is doubly mesmerizing, as frenzied and transcendent as a glorious fever dream.

The vinyl product will be available in 2 formats;
1) The deluxe double LP on “Golden Gate Sunburst” & “Bay Fog” coloured vinyl with rainbow foil wide-spine jacket, printed on recycled board. Custom inner-sleeves, printed on recycled board. The product will be packaged in recycled brown paper bag in lieu of plastic shrink wrap
2) The standard double LP on recycled, randomly coloured, eco-wax vinyl with wide-spine jacket and custom inner-sleeves printed on recycled board. The product will be packaged in recycled brown paper bag in lieu of plastic shrink wrap

Live In San Francisco 16′ Double Disc. Glow in the dark embossed sleeve.
Both out everywhere November 20th

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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have dropped two new live albums on their BandCamp. The records, Live in Paris ‘19andLive in Adelaide ‘19, are the first live albums released by the band, with all proceeds going towards Wildlife Victoria and Animals Australia in the wake of the Australian wildfires that nearly a billion animals have died from.

Both records were mixed by frontman Stu Mackenzie.

The recordings draw a majority of their sets from the band’s recent “Fishing For Fishies” and “Infest The Rats Nest” albums (one is psych-pop, one is heavy metal – go figure), with both clocking in at 18 and 19 tracks respectively.

The band is set to kick off their 2020 with a huge North American tour that will see them performing three-hour sets, including two nights at the acclaimed Red Rocks Amphitheater. Not bad for a group of genre schizophrenic rockers.

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Live at L’Olympia, Paris, France, October 14, 2019.

100% OF PROCEEDS GO TO WILDLIFE VICTORIA

released January 10th, 2020

The Band:
Drums: Michael Cavanagh
Guitar / Keys: Cook Craig
Harmonica / Vocals / Keys / Percussion: Ambrose Kenny-Smith
Vocals / Guitar / Keys: Stu Mackenzie
Drums: Eric Moore
Bass: Lucas Harwood
Guitar / Vocals: Joey Walker

Mixed by Stu Mackenzie

King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard have released a third live album to raise funds for Australian wildlife charities.

All proceeds from the new Brussels live album go to WIRES Wildlife Rescue, while proceeds from the Adelaide album go to Animals Australia, and proceeds from the Paris album go to Wildlife Victoria. Bandcamp has also agreed to donate its share of the revenue from the releases to fire relief charities.

This third recording of two Brussels concerts, captured October 8th-9th, 2019 at Ancienne Belgique, joins the two live albums the prolific psych rock group released on January 10th in their first fundraising effort. Those were recordings of their July 12th, 2019 concert at Adelaide’s The Barton Theatre and their October 14th, 2019 show at Paris’ L’Olympia.

Live at Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium, October 8th and 9th 2019

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The Band:

Drums: Michael Cavanagh
Guitar / Keys / Vocals: Cook Craig
Harmonica / Vocals / Keys / Percussion: Ambrose Kenny-Smith
Vocals / Guitar / Keys: Stu Mackenzie
Drums: Eric Moore
Bass: Lucas Harwood
Guitar / Vocals: Joey Walker

Mixed by Stu Mackenzie

Tracks 1-9 recorded on October 8th
Tracks 10-17 recorded on October 9th

King Gizzard Lizard Wizard live albums Adelaide Paris fundraise

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard drop live albums in support of bush fire effort,  the group, highly regarded for their incredible live performances, have yet to grace us with a live album – until now, and they’ve gifted us one, but two! live albums all available on their Bandcamp site.

The band has dropped Live In Adelaide ’19 and Live In Paris ’19to help with raising money for animals affected by bush fire’s, the former of which’s proceeds will go to Animals Australia and the latter to Wildlife Victoria.

East of Melbourne, everything shrouded by smoke… bushfires have been destroying some of my most treasured sacred spots,  An amazing encapsulation of the genius that is King Gizzard. With so much music in their catalouge you never know what to expect from their live sets and it keeps things fresh and invigorating. These guys are truly a treasure and I love that these live album sales are going towards Australia in their time of need.

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Live at The Barton Theatre, Adelaide, Australia, July 12th 2019
released January 10th, 2020
The Band:
Drums: Michael Cavanagh
Guitar / Keys: Cook Craig
Harmonica / Vocals / Keys / Percussion: Ambrose Kenny-Smith
Vocals / Guitar / Keys: Stu Mackenzie
Drums: Eric Moore
Bass: Lucas Harwood
Guitar / Vocals: Joey WalkerAdam Halliwell (Mildlife): Flute on Hot Water and Head On/Pill

Mixed by Stu Mackenzie

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have announced their 15th studio album (!) in the past 7 years. Infest The Rats’ Nest will be released on Flightless Records on August 16th, 2019 with pre-order for the album going live on June 25th, Infest The Rats’ Nest features the band’s two recent singles Self-Immolate and Planet B, both of which were accompanied by dark, violent John Angus Stewart-directed videos.

The new tracks are evidence that Infest the Rat’s Nest will take a distinctly different track to the band’s recently released album, Fishing For Fishies, which came out on Flightless in late April 2019. That album ended up at #1 on ARIA vinyl charts.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard released a whopping five new albums last year. The Melbourne psych-rock outfit shared their latest LP, Fishing For Fishies, back in April, and now they’ve announced their second album of 2019. Infest The Rats’ Nest will be King Gizzard’s 15th album in the past seven years.

Infest The Rats’ Nest sees the band embracing thrash metal. The press release says it’s their “hardest and heaviest album to date. How metal is it? Very Metal. Maybe even more.” The album was recorded with three of the seven band members. Frontman Stu Mackenzie and guitarist Joey Walker share guitar and bass duty while Michael Cavanagh handles the drums.

“The A-side of the album is set in the near future and is about real shit going on right now – especially ecological disaster,” Mackenzie explains in a statement. “We’ve got a lot of things to fear. The B-side tells the story of a group of rebels who are forced to leave Planet Earth and try to settle on Venus. I spend a lot of time thinking about the future of humanity and the future of Planet Earth. Naturally these thoughts seep into the lyrics.”

Infest The Rats’ Nest is out 8/16 via Flightless/ATO.

King Gizz will embark on a massive world tour . These shows are not to be missed.

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Sit back and strap yourself in as the seven-headed Aussie rock beast King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard return with Fishing for Fishies”, perhaps their most perfectly-realised album to date. Here is a world where the organic meets the automated; where the rustic meets the robotic. Where the past and future collide in the beautiful present.

The thirteenth album since their 2012 debut – and their first following the release of five vastly different albums in 2017 – Fishing for Fishies is a blues-infused blast of sonic boogie that struts and shimmies through several moods and terrains. From the soft shuffle Outback country of the opening title track through the sunny easy listening of ‘The Bird Song’ (think the lysergically-soaked Laurel Canyon circa 1973) and on through the party funk of ‘Plastic Boogie’ (which somehow summons the spirit of Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions) the road-trucking, Doors-like highway rock of ‘The Cruel Millennial’ and ‘Real Is Real’ – what The Carpenters might have sounded like had they existed entirely on vegemite and weed – it’s a dizzying, dazzling display.

Hell, The Gizz make it look so easy.

And that’s all before we even get to ‘Acarine’, a futurist blues tune which heads off into previously unchartered territories of shimmering Eno-esque ambient and dark John Carpenter-style electro, and the electro squelch of album-closing single ‘Cyboogie’, on which five of the seven King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard members play synths. It’s a stomping vocoder-lead anthem akin to Georgio Moroder or Trans-era Neil Young and a triumphant conclusion to an album that is as surprising as it is thrilling, as unexpected as it is effortless.

“We tried to make a blues record,” says frontman Stu Mackenzie. “A blues-boogie-shuffle-kinda-thing, but the songs kept fighting it – or maybe it was us fighting them. Ultimately though we let the songs guide us this time; we let them have their own personalities and forge their own path. Paths of light, paths of darkness. This is a collection of songs that went on wild journeys of transformation.”

“I didn’t really know who I was by the end of 2017,” continues Stu, of the band’s never-to-be-repeated year, which concluded with the fifth album being released on New Years Eve 2017. “It was a good kind of spent feeling though, as I like being busy. For most of the holiday period I was in the studio doing the last of the recording and mixing on Gumboot Soup. And as soon as it clicked over to 2018 I stopped worrying about recording for a while and started living instead.”

Out of this period came Fishing for Fishies, an album in which musical motifs recur: lush piano, mellotron and synth flourishes (the bulk of the album was written on piano); Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s distinctive harmonica, which brings to mind sidewinders crossing dusty widescreen vistas; a generous dose of vocoder; and a plethora of creative U-turns that conspire to create a general overall sense of man and machine melding together in a thrilling chrome-covered hybrid.

Because Fishing for Fishies is an album looking out across the horizon through mirrored sunglasses while twenty-tonne juggernauts thunder past. Here, perhaps, is a place where the spirit of two key songs released in the same year – Ram Jam’s ‘Black Betty’ and Kraftwerk’s ‘Trans-Europe Express’ – linger somewhere in the mix. And what may sound absurd on paper is actually the genius work of a band of musicians entirely simpatico with one another after nearly a decade of constant evolution.

“We have travelled a lot – we’ve seen the world – but it all still feels like discovery,” says Stu, in trademark self-effacing style. “We’re still essentially naive kids tinkering around with toys we don’t know how to use in the studio.”

Newcomers to King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard will find an entire self-contained universe awaits them in a thrilling body of work. Here are grand concepts where albums overlap, riffs resurface, circular songs chase their own tails, grand narratives are told, cryptic lyrics endlessly analysed and a whole army of fans regurgitate the band’s output via a deluge of remixes, memes, visual loops, mind-melting cut-ups and just generally pontificate wildly about everything in The Gizzverse, much of it available on Youtube and internet forums.

“I am aware that it exists,” laughs Stu, of the alternative world that exists in their honour. “But I’m completely social media-less and pretty stone-age really. Good on ‘em for digging deep though.”

Because King Gizzard are no longer a band, they are a cult, a youth movement, an exploration, a double-drumming trip, a cottage industry centred around their own Flightless Records. Many milestones have been ticked off along the way: a headline slot at the UK’s Green Man Festival; a huge sold-out US tour; playing to five thousand people at a sold-out Brixton Academy one day…and then 100 people in the Yorkshire hill town of Hebden Bridge the next. Meanwhile their Gizzfest gathering in Melbourne is now in its fourth year. They are a band to give your life to. Perhaps more than anything they provide transportive fun, a valuable and often-overlooked commodity in an increasingly fraught world.

Best of all, anyone can step into The Gizzverse – anytime, anywhere. No prior understanding is necessary. So whether it’s psyche rock played with breakneck precision (2014’s I’m In Your Mind Fuzz), life-giving acoustic folk and Tropicalia (2015’s Paper Mâché Dream Balloon), a three-part sci-fi/prog album (2017’s Murder Of The Universeor an album uploaded on an open license so that budding labels worldwide could press their own copies, which they duly did, currently 240 different pressings according to Discogs (2017’s, Polygondwanaland), King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard provide it. As Pitchfork noted, they have waged war against two tired clichés: “One, that rock is dead; and two, that the album is dead.” More than that, they have staked their claim as one of the most innovative, exciting and productive bands of the 21st century.

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are: Stu Mackenzie (vocals/guitar/flute), Ambrose Kenny-Smith (harmonica/vocals), Cook Craig (guitar/vocals), Joey Walker (guitar), Lucas Skinner (bass), Eric Moore (drums) and Michael Cavanagh (drums).