ROCK AND BLUES TRIO PREMIERE NEW ALBUM
AND Q&A WITH FRONTMAN NATE BERGMAN
TODAY ON ARTIST DIRECT
OUT TODAY, FEBRUARY 18 ON WEATHERMAKER MUSIC
LIONIZE photo: http://www.msopr.com/n/client-roster/lionize/?cmd=downloads.
“Mixing ’70s-influenced hard rock with funky grinding dub into a rather intoxicating brew, DC outfit Lionize offers a surprisingly strong departure… guitar textures trade between fuzzy distorted riffs, wet drops of wah wah notes and piercing fret-jumping solos, thick bass and heavy organ create a robust bed of dub-laced grooves, and the tuneful sandpaper-chafed vocals of Nate Bergman wheels over top of it all. Lionize has earned much street cred in their eight-year tenure, serving as touring band for Lee “Scratch” Perry, warming up the stage on tour with such diverse and respected acts as Bad Brains and Galactic, playing both Bonnaroo and the Vans Warped Tour and issuing albums all throughout.”
–CREATIVE LOAFING (1/20/14)
Hailing from Silver Spring, MD–near the Washington, D.C. stomping ground of their hardcore idols–rock, soul and blues trio LIONIZE have unleashed their new album JETPACK SOUNDTRACK today, February 18. Co-produced by Jean-Paul Gaster, drummer of the rock group Clutch, and Machine (Fall Out Boy, Lamb of God, King Crimson) at the Machine Shop in Belleville, New Jersey, JETPACK SOUNDTRACK has been released on Weathermaker Music, the label owned and operated by Maryland rock group Clutch. Listen to the full album on ArtistDirect today and read the Q&A with LIONIZE frontman NATE BERGMAN here: http://tinyurl.com/matol3v.
On JETPACK SOUNDTRACK, LIONIZE create an 11-song journey through the group’s multi-faceted musical influences–spanning heavy rock, soul and blues–such as Deep Purple, O. V. Wright, Led Zeppelin and Solomon Burke. The album’s first single “Reality Check” showcases LIONIZE’s precise musicianship; they smoothly shift gears and smack you with a gargantuan hook at an exhilarating pace. Listen to “Reality Check” here: https://soundcloud.com/lionizemusic.
Currently in the midst of their U.S. tour, LIONIZE–NATE BERGMAN (vocals/guitar), HENRY UPTON (bass/vocal) and CHRIS BROOKS (keyboards & vocals)–will head out for headline shows as well as gigs supporting Clutch and Umphrey’s McGhee before hopping on a major festival this summer to be announced in early March. The current dates for LIONIZE are below.
Read the full ArtistDirect interview with LIONIZE vocalist and guitarist NATE BERGMAN: http://tinyurl.com/matol3v
What were the pivotal albums in your life, growing up?
A few albums shook me to the core growing up Creedence Clearwater Revivals’ Cosmo’s Factory, Led Zeppelin IV, Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks and Moondance, Bob Marley and the Wailers Uprising, Parliament’s Mothership Connection, The Beatles Rubber Soul and Sam Cooke Compilations. The list is too big, but when I was 10-years-old my parents gave me their turntable and speakers and about 200 vinyl albums ranging from Jazz, Classical, Folk and Reggae to Blues and Classic Rock. It was a treasure chest for me–and it’s still the cornerstone of my collection. My musical taste grew out from that point on. I’d hear Led Zeppelin and wonder who their influences were and so forth. That’s when Blues and Jazz comes into play, and where I still spend a lot of dollars of discovery at the record store in those sections.
On JETPACK SOUNDTRACK, you’ve diversified and it’s reflected in the music. It’s a mix of heavy rock, soul and even some blues. What inspired you to keep musically expanding?
At the core of our nature and most of the bands we admire is the need to explore and evolve. The second you’re happy with the sound and what you’re doing it’s the end of creativity and the life of the band. Touring with as many different types of bands as we have, like Steel Pulse, Bad Brains, Clutch–you get a sense of evolution and expansion with those bands from tour to tour and album to album. We are musical sponges in terms of being open by what we’re seeing live and listening to in the van. You wouldn’t believe how deep you get when you tour with a band and begin to share each others’ taste in late night sessions. You get a sense of what turns them on and you can turn them on to what influences you. It’s a continuously growing venture.
What would you like for people to take away from listening to JETPACK SOUNDTRACK?
I can’t decide what they should take away from it–I just hope it takes them somewhere. We wanted to create an interesting sonic journey, and hopefully it’s catchy and fun. I want people to have a good time with it.
LIONIZE is the only artist aside from renowned rockers Clutch signed to Weathermaker Music, describe how that happened.
We have been touring on and off with Clutch for the better part of 7 or 8 years. We’ve gone from very low on the package to direct support, and on a personal and musical level we all get along. We are into the same stuff, and I believe at the end of the day we are similar in our attitude towards music. It’s no nonsense, no glitz or glam. It’s rock and roll and it’s funky and it’s working. We’ve always had an above average work ethic and when we met those guys it was a huge inspiration to see that hard work does pay off. They are the best Rock and Roll band in the world if you ask me. I guess since signing to the label you could think that’s lip service, but we are true Clutch fans and have been long before we even started touring with them. We have worked with Jean Paul Gaster in the studio for years now as well, along with jamming and recording with Tim Sult, who plays guitar on 3 of our previous albums. Over the years the studio work morphed into Jean Paul becoming a significant portion of the recording and pre-production process and finally a true producer on this album. We went in to record the album without the intention of signing to any label at all. We had a few labels we thought about, Weathermaker being at the top of the list, but it wasn’t even on the table-we just wanted to make an incredible record and go from there. No rush, no deadline-just a great album. Clutch and Weathermaker approached us and since they’ve done wonders for promoting Clutch, it was a natural fit. It’s without a doubt the best label experience we’ve ever had and I look forward to doing this for years to come. It’s a family thing to us.
Are there any new artists you’ve heard, that are sticking out?
There’s a few artists that are new to me, but certainly not new–as most bands that have a successful career put in a decade before anyone knows them, but I think some modern bands that get play in the van are Lucero, Ben Nichol’s solo stuff, Foxy Shazam, The Black Clouds, The Sword, Mastodon, Charles Bradley, Willy Tea Taylor, Larry and His Flask… Honestly mostly older artists in general, but we do love those bands. I guess it goes without saying we are enormous Clutch fans, but they’ve been around for a hot minute.
Describe your best night on tour, ever.
Two days come to mind that were incredible. Once we opened for Steel Pulse and Lee “Scratch” Perry at Red Rocks in Denver. It was just a surreal and beautiful experience. The second was an outdoor block party we did in Chicago for the anniversary of Kumas Corner, a famous heavy metal burger joint that shuts down a block or two and has a huge concert outdoors. It was spring time, Chicago, outside. After our set which went great, we listened to Clutch behind the stage and an Ice Cream man shows up on a little push cart. Someone pulled out a twenty and bought everyone backstage ice cream and we sat and enjoyed the music and had a treat. That was a perfect tour day.
What’s the single best piece of advice that you’ve been given?
Good stuff comes from Good Stuff.
What would be your ultimate dream bill?
A great tour would be Lionize and The Black Crowes. Eventually, it can make sense and we would be a nice direct support on that bill.
What has surprised you most in your career, so far?
Almost every single thing about it…
|LIONIZE with John Brown’s Body:|
|Weds||2/19||Carrboro, NC||Cat’s Cradle|
|LIONIZE Headline Dates:|
|Thurs||2/20||Washington, DC||U Street Music Hall|
|Fri||2/21||Pittsburgh, PA||The Smiling Moose|
|Thurs||3/13||Stroudsburg, PA||Sherman Livingroom|
|LIONIZE with Umphrey’s McGee:|
|Sun||4/16||Mobile, AL||Saenger Theatre|
|Mon||4/17||New Orleans, LA||Civic Theatre|
|Tues||4/18||Dallas, TX||House of Blues Dallas|
|Weds||4/19||Austin, TX||Stubb’s Wallar Creek Ampitheatre|
|LIONIZE UK Tour with Clutch:|
|LIONIZE at Temples Festival|
|Sun||5/4||Bristol||Temples Festival at Motion|
|LIONIZE UK Tour with Clutch:|
Cover artwork: http://msopr.com/files/jetpack_soundtrack_cover_art_low_res.jpeg.
The Maryland-based band LIONIZE formed in 2004, learning to play music by jamming and listening to each other. Now, ten years later, the band has matured into a much more powerful, unit. Whether touring extensively in the past on a limited budget, or playing to 10,000 people at the majestic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, LIONIZE always seems to look for a challenge. Space Pope And The Glass Machine (2008) revealed their affinity for reggae. Destruction Manual (2011) and their last album Superczar And The Vulture (2011) broadened into a more multifaceted musical direction by incorporating rock, soul and blues influences–such as Deep Purple, O. V. Wright, Led Zeppelin and Solomon Burke–that became the proverbial keys for taking the Weathermaker Music machine out for a late night joyride. LIONIZE first supported Clutch in 2006 and they found a shared regard of music as a sacred cultural and intellectual art form, particularly jazz and rock and roll. That bond endeared the younger band to their seasoned patrons. Weathermaker Music–the label established by Clutch–eventually signed the band and the forthcoming JETPACK SOUNDTRACK is their first release of a new artist on the label.
Watch the video for “Dr. Livingston” (off their previous Superczar and the Vulture album) featuring cameos from H.R. of Bad Brains, CKY’s Jess Margera, the Pietasters and the 9.30 Club Crew.
LIONIZE with H.R. of Bad Brains.
For LIONIZE publicity, contact: Libby Coffey