King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

Mike Greenhaus on January 23, 2015

Mind Fuzz

“It was our outlet to just play weird music,” King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard guitarist Joe Walker says of his loose, punky, psych-rock band’s humble origins. “We just wanted to write simple songs because we didn’t want to practice. Our lineup would be anywhere from three to 12 members but, after a year or so of doing that jamband stuff, it solidified into the [seven-person ensemble] we have now.” When King Gizzard played their first show in late 2010, Walker thought of the band as a side-project distraction from his “two-chord, snottynoised garage-rock” group. Over time, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard grew into Walker’s primary musical outlet, and the band settled on a Krautrock-influenced sound that possesses both the hard-rock bite of Walker’s previous work and the improvisational spirit of the festival scene’s most exploratory bands. According to Walker, the group tweaks their live style depending on the night and audience. “I don’t really like writing setlists so we’ll feel the vibe of the audience,” he says with a laugh. “Sometimes we’ll stretch out the songs and play more instrumental—other times we’ll focus on our more pop songs.” The ensemble worked on their Heavenly Recordings full-length debut I’m in Your Mind Fuzz throughout 2014, laying down tracks in Melbourne, the New York soul palace Daptone studios and a remote home in Hunter, N.Y. King Gizzard made a splash during CMJ, too, playing 17 shows during a 14-day span this past October, and while in New York they returned to Daptone’s House of Soul studios to work on their next recording. “Our new stuff is jammy,” he says with a hint of pride, “but really chill and surfy.”

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