Oldenburg’s self-defined doomy psychedelic rockers Deaf Lizard have released a plethora of impressive projects lately, not least of all the uniquely intriguing No Man’s Sky.
We caught an interview with the band to find out more about their sound, what inspires them, and what they have planned for the future. Here’s how it went.
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Hi guys, thanks for the interview! For those who don’t know, how would you describe the music of Deaf Lizard?
Marc: Thanks for having us! Deaf Lizard’s sound is a cocktail of heavy fuzz rock paired with psychedelic ingredients that mingle in a romantic orgy that hits you like a velvet baseball bat. Just listen for yourself and you will know, ha!
How long have you been playing together, and has your sound changed at all over time?
Marc: The band started in 2016, I think. At first there were attempts to include a permanent singer. Unfortunately that didn’t last, so Paddy moved from drums to guitar shortly before I joined as their drummer in 2019. Since then, Paddy and Lars, our bassist, share vocal duties which works really well. I think the sound got more focused and strong due to that decision.
We work really well together in this line-up, so sound-wise it’s still the same but as I said, more distinct and heavy now.
In what ways has the lock-down of the past year affected you as a band, and how did you overcome the difficulties?
Marc: Before the lockdown we used to meet up every week at Paddy’s house. We were just preparing for shows and writing new music for 2020, when it all came to a sudden stop. Since then we’ve put everything on hold for now, but are very determined to continue as soon as possible. At the moment, we keep in touch through video calls, making plans for a non-Covid future and trying to do our part in defeating the spread of the virus. Wear masks!
What’s the rock scene generally like in Oldenburg, pre-Covid of course?
Paddy: The music scene, especially the rock scene in Oldenburg, is actually pretty healthy. There are many bands from within and outside of the city that rehearse and play here. Even the stoner genre has many friends and supporters in Oldenburg. Unfortunately, venues and opportunities to play live have become more rare over the last couple of years, so that local bands have to therefore switch to cities like Bremen or Hamburg for gigs.
Nonetheless, there is an old record store called MTS here, which brings more international bands of the genre here for concerts – nearly on a weekly basis! Let’s hope this keeps going after the pandemic is over!
What can you tell us about the project No Man’s Sky?
Paddy: No Man’s Sky is a mix of old and new songs. After our drummer Marc joined in 2019, we were determined to to nail down these songs and produce something as soon as possible. The ideas for songs usually emerge from classical jam sessions that, if found usable, get worked out into songs. That’s how No Man’s Sky happened. The album was recorded live in my garage. We treated the room acoustically as good as possible and recorded everything in frosty January of 2020 in about 15 hours. We’re very proud of our first record, which is definitely not going to be the last!
You have a brilliantly nostalgic rock sound and song-writing style, who or what would you say inspired you the most, and do you have any unexpected influences?
Paddy: Nostalgic Rock sound! Hm, we’re not too sure if we intended it to be like that, actually. I think, the genre does already kind of dictate a certain type of sound, which we love of course and have found our place in. Though, already the ideas we’ve had after the release of the album, showcase that we don’t stand still musically but progress in sound and song-writing. I guess, it’s not surprising that we can call bands like Black Sabbath, Kyuss, Sleep, Electric Wizard and many more our influences. But certainly there are also more individual influences in each of us as musicians, too!
What’s your plan creatively for the coming months?
Steffen: First of all, we are looking forward to playing together a lot! I think, for the first few rehearsals we’re going to jam a lot, test out new equipment and of course practice all our songs again!
We’re also planning on putting out an EP, with about 3 – 4 songs, that we want to record as soon as possible. There is certainly no lack of ideas, with some stuff being pretty concrete already. Of course, we also want to be back on stages and play live music again. Though, the planning is very uncertain and difficult at the moment, because we don’t know when such events will be possible again.
If you could perform at any venue or event in the world, which would it be, and why?
Steffen: Right now, I immediately can think of the Desert Fest in London. It would be such a rad experience, playing there, although the Desert Fest in Berlin is already really cool. We went there in the past but haven’t played there as a band, yet. The atmosphere is just incredible.
The best thing about such an opportunity would certainly be the new connections you’d make to other bands and people working behind the scenes at such a festival.
If you could sit down for a chat with anyone at all, past or present, who would you choose – and what would you ask them about?
Lars: Well, tough question at a time where it’s almost impossible to sit down and chat and have a drink with anyone at all. Of course Lemmy should be there at the table, because everyone could use godly advice now and then.
To make for interesting conversation Frank Zappa, Tony Iommi and Sleep would also sit down to talk about the creative process of making music. And maybe Nigel Tufnel could drop by to give some tips on amp settings.
Is there anything else we should know about Deaf Lizard?
Lars: As a band, we are more than the sum of the parts. With every member sharing an urge and ability to jam and just connect and react through the music we make together, we sometimes listen back to recordings of our rehearsals and are all equally surprised by what was going on and where it all came from. Being in a state where everything just connects and you completely clear your mind of thoughts and collectively go with the flow is the best part of playing music together. It’s therapeutic at times.
If we can manage to channel this feeling to anyone listening to our music for even just a split-second, we are doing something right. And then we can switch gears going to the next song part and just kick your ass back to reality…
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