On the back of the release of their fourth album Oddments, local psychedelic rock legends King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are off around the country. Kicking off with the WA leg of the tour, the tour winds its way around Australia before a couple of regional dates in Castlemaine, Ballarat and Geelong. A day or two before the tour kicked off, I got the opportunity to sit down with Stu Mackenzie from the band to chat about their rise to fame.
As any touring band would be, Stu is excited as we chat about the past couple of months of King Gizz. With extremely positive feedback from all around the world, it is interesting to hear that the process that the band took was completely different to anything that they had done before.
“With Oddments, we recorded each track separately as opposed to a couple of big recording sessions, and we would usually finish a track within a day or two. With the exception of Sleepwalker, most of the album was recorded by just one or two members of the band and I think the process this time around was a lot less stressful because we took up shop in bedrooms in people’s houses. It was really fun doing it this way because there were no time restrictions on the creative process,” Mackenzie said.
The catalyst behind piecing together Oddments was, to an extent, taking songs that the band had written for previous releases that never saw the light of day and giving them a voice on the new album, courtesy of some re-recording. Together with this new process comes a new sound than what we have heard on the likes of 12 Bar Bruise and Float Along – Fill Your Lungs. “I think these songs are lot more refined and relaxed than what we have done before; it’s kind of like a bunch of warped and bent pop songs. They still have the sixties vibe to them, but it’s definitely the most chilled out record we have ever done.”
One of the main influences on the band is the Brian Jonestown Massacre, one of the biggest psych rock bands of the last twenty years – and King Gizz are playing alongside them at Austin Psych Fest on their first American tour kicking off in May, which as you would expect is incredibly exciting.
“It’s amazing that we have been added to that bill because I have wanted to go for years. It’s pretty flattering that we have got the call up to play. We have an American tour lined up around that festival appearance, and hopefully Europe later in the year. It’s pretty simple really – you just write music and then play some shows. Psych Fest is our first show in America but it’s the one that I am most excited about playing. There are some really great bands on that line-up and I can’t wait to get amongst it.”
If you haven’t had the opportunity to see King Gizzard yet, you must do all that you can to catch their April 12th afternoon show at the Barwon Club, because it may be a while before they are headed back down this way.
“Playing in Geelong is great because it is definitely our spiritual home and we haven’t played there in so long. Expect to hear all your favourites as well as some new stuff off the next record, which we are working on at the moment.”
When&Where: The Bridge, Castlemaine – April 4; The Karova, Ballarat – April 5; and The Barwon Club, Geelong – April 6
Written by Zach Broadburst