Swapping notes with a Lizard
Dunedin band Alizarin Lizard play at the Appleby Tavern Blues Bar tonight, with their new album, Do You Just Want Me To Watch You? Chris Chilton shoots the breeze with drummer Ben Sargeant.
Q: How long did the band spend working on the album?
A: Technically this album is a bit Frankenstein. It has been in the making since before our EP Oh, Colour (2010). It features songs that Paul Cathro wrote and recorded by himself in his flat before our current incarnation. Usually we like to flesh out the tracks a bit more but we all agreed they were fantastic the way they were. Don't fix what's not broken kinda thing. There are songs which were demoed at the SIT in Invercargill but the majority were recorded at The Attic (an artist space in the heart of Dunedin CBD) over a couple of early morning sessions which were governed by surrounding shops opening hours) so, three years? Good things take time.
Q: Does being based in Dunedin define the band's sound in terms of scarfie support and the musical pedigree of the place?
A: I'm not sure about "scarfie support". The majority of the rugby heads tend to keep to themselves and that's fine with us.
We (along with most Dunedin bands) tend to look at each other for influence and support. Everyone's friends. There's a lot of respect and appreciation among everyone.
Q: The song Forty is based on the premise of a sad old fart lusting after an 18-year-old girl. Dodgy, but funny material for a song. Where did the idea come from?
A: Long story short: Fat groove, interesting subject matter. Best not go into it. Let's just say it's about Rolf Harris.
Q: Is being in this band hard work or fun?
A: A mixture of both. We've worked very hard to get to where we are at the moment, to the point of being able to go play different cities and being excited about catching up with people who attend the gigs. Logan's from Invercargill so in a way it's our second home. We've always enjoyed playing Invercargill. People actually give a shit about the music as opposed to being seen at the gig. We love that and we wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't as fun as it is.
Q: Are the band members all studying and/or working as well as playing in the band?
A: Bugs runs a lettuce farm in Katikati, which keeps him busy up in the North Island. Logan plays regular gigs around the South Island for a living and runs a small lighting business. Paul builds houses/garages and pretty much anything that needs to be done with his father and I sometimes play in a covers band in Dunedin.
Q: Are Alizarin Lizard likely to get any industry support or are you destined to a life of DIY?
A: Of course like any band any helping hand is appreciated. Along the way we've secured a distribution deal (digital and physical) and have support from our label Banished from the Universe, but we're also very proud of being DIY. With that comes complete freedom, which I believe is very important. We're proud of our accomplishments to date. In the way of major industry support we'll cross that bridge if we get to it. We know we're not dependant on one!
Q: Which song on the album is the most fun to play live?
A: Coke Man is one of my personal favourites, a seven-minute epic which takes you on a very psychedelic almost Black Sabbath/ Yes-influenced journey. I think a crowd favourite would be Forty.
Q: What's the dream objective for Alizarin Lizard?
A: We've ticked off being able to comfortably tour and release albums in New Zealand. We'd love to tick the European and American boxes too.
* Alizarin Lizard perform at the Appleby Tavern Blues Bar tonight, with support from Russian Blue and Iron Mammoth. Entry is $10.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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