by Dave Sharp on Dec 13th, 2011
My timeline with Lionize is as follows:
The first time I caught the name Lionize was on a Streetlight Manifesto tour in 2010. They were originally billed to play that show at Exit/In, but as the date grew closer, the were dropped from the bill. They surfaced weeks later on a bill with DC’s Clutch.
They next surfaced when I heard their full-length Destruction Manual on Hardline Entertainment and first started to comprehend the intricacies of their sound.
The first time I caught their live show was the night of this interview at the brand spanking new Marathon Music Works. They played with Streetlught Manifesto and Reel Big Fish – a purely 3rd wave (give or take a wave or two) ska bill.
Days before I had heard they were releasing a second full-length in 10 months, this time on the Pentimento Music, the flagship label of – you guessed it – Streetlight Manifesto.
This visible closeness to Streetlight caused me to mistakenly pigeon-hole these versatile dudes from DC as band playing ska-ish music. And what a mistake that was.
Employing keys, heavy guitar riffs, a rambunctious bass and drum beat and, most importantly, a groovy attitude, these guys put out one of the more unique takes on stoner-jam-rock sounds around. And they’re doing their best to break down barriers, touring with the likes of Streetlight, Lucero, Sublime with Rome, CKY, Clutch and, on occasion, as Lee “Scratch” Perry’s backing band.
Chris, the band’s keyboardist, and Mel, the bands drummer, sat down with Sinizine.net to discuss their new album on Pentimento, songwriting, influences and their wide ranging tours backstage at Marathon Music Works.