Editor’s Note: It was a brisk night in Iowa as Lionize just completed their jaw-dropping set as they opened up for Pop Evil with Ded providing direct support. It was one of the more diverse tour packages that I’ve seen as Lionize absolutely brought the garage rock meets blues type of feel to the music. Nate Bergman, who sings and plays guitar for Lionize sat down with me at a picnic table to discuss the band! Thanks so much to Michelle and Nate for sitting down with Madness To Creation. Please check out Lionize and their latest record entitled “Nuclear Soul” at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: How was the tour with Ded and Pop Evil?
Nate: Very good! The crowds have been receptive to what we’re doing, and that we’re very different from the other bands on the bill, so we’re very improvised, we have a lot of amps, we don’t plan it out, we change the set every night, I think that’s bringing something kind of refreshing.
M.T.C.: That was the first thing that I’ve noticed in your band’s performance, is it certain licks or riffs in the songs or?
Nate: Oh yeah! Some of the parts that we are jamming are open ended, it can go anywhere.
M.T.C.: How does that work in your band in terms of the writing process?
Nate: We get into the rehearsal space, we have songs from the record, we might say, “this part before the bridge hits, this might be a really fun part”, we might let the keys take the solo and the bass kind of does its thing, we try to listen to each other and make something new happen. Sometimes it doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s really exciting for the audience and us. It keeps us on our toes and mentally sharp.
M.T.C.: Do you think the audience responds better when a song is improvised as opposed to a band playing a song through like one would hear it on the radio?
Nate: It depends, I think, if audiences can tell and it’s exciting and fresh for them and the band. We’re very fortunate to have fans come see us for multiple nights in a row, I would feel like I was ripping them off if I did the same thing, and personally for me after 30 nights of doing the same thing, I get bored. This is not an office job, we’re not putting in data, we’re creating art, we’re creating something in the moment, and that is exciting, and it should be exciting.
M.T.C.: Speaking of your art, talk about some of the bands/artists that you draw influence from.
Nate: We’re heavily influenced by a lot of classic rock, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, lot of funk like Parliament(Funkadelic), The Ohio Players, we’re influenced by newer bands such as Clutch and Mastodon, Clutch has brought us on tour a lot, and some hip-hop like A Tribe Called Quest, Notorious B.I.G., we listen to a lot of jazz, we’re all over the place, but at the core of it, we love rock music.
M.T.C.: I love the album “Nuclear Soul” and my readers need to pick up a copy of the album, what can fans expect from it if they haven’t picked it up?
Nate: Thanks! I think fans can expect, really it’s a fun record but it also shows you everything that we’re good at, there’s softer and slower stuff, there’s heavier and faster stuff, funky stuff, it tells a story the more you listen to it, I think it’s got a lot of replayability. I think it’s a really solid album.
M.T.C.: You have the single and music video out for “Blindness To Danger”, take us into that song and video.
Nate: The song is about the perils of touring and just being an artist in general, you’re throwing caution into the wind, and “Blindness To Danger” is the idea of that we know that this is a risk, we know that this is a gamble, it’s dangerous to drive on the highway for seven hours a day, that’s part of the excitement of doing what we do, you only live once.
“Blindness To Danger” Lionize
M.T.C.: You played Europe with CKY, is it different playing in front of European audiences as opposed to American audiences?
Nate: Very different. When we were over there with Clutch, for the first time in the mainland last December, we hit Germany, Spain, France, the audiences there are really open to new music, whereas here I think people have to be a little bit more conditioned, they have to hear the song on the radio a few times, it’s gotta be kind of spoonfed to you, I think people in Europe seek out new music, and go to festivals to discover new bands, and for us we’re kind of eclectic, we’re not the average run of the mill band. I think you’re going to find that Europe is more open and ready to accept us. U.S. audiences can be great, and tonight in Iowa was really good.
M.T.C.: Anything else you would like to add, in terms of a message to the fans?
Nate: Thank you for the continued years of support, we really, really, really would love to be back in Iowa soon, we’re going to try to come back to Iowa in the spring near Cedar Rapids. Thanks for taking the time to talk and cheers!
And there you have it! Next spring, Lionize and Planet Of Zeus will be touring Europe! There are also a couple of one-off shows to end 2017. Check out tour dates below!
Friday, December 29th- The Kingsland in Brooklyn, New York (w/ Skunk Daze, Thunderon, and Last Rites)
Sunday, December 31st- Villain & Saint in Bethesda, Maryland (w/ Caustic Casanova)
Wednesday, April 18th- Manchester Academy 3 in Manchester, United Kingdom
Thursday, April 19th- Corporation in Sheffield, United Kingdom
Saturday, April 21st- La Maroquinerie in Paris, France
Sunday, April 22nd- Keller Klub in Stuttgart, Germany
Tuesday, April 24th- Feierwerk/Kranhalle in Munchen, Germany
Wednesday, April 25th- Z-Bau in Nurnberg, Germany
Thursday, April 26th- Nachtleben in Frankfurt Am Main, Germany
Friday, April 27th- Bastard Club in Osnabruck, Germany
Saturday, April 29th- Patronaat in Haarlem, Netherlands
Tuesday, May 1st- Waterfront Norwich in Norwich, United Kingdom
Wednesday, May 2nd- Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Thursday, May 3rd- The Fleece in Bristol, United Kingdom
Saturday, May 5th- MTC in Cologne, Germany
For tickets and further information for any of the shows listed above, click here!