King Gizzard on the Melbourne scene, their upcoming albums + the perfect vegemite sandwich

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Cook + Eric enjoying cheesesteaks in Philly 
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King Gizzard at Johnny Brenda’s 9/13/2015 

Photos from Pooneh Ghana (@poonehghana)

Before their show at Johnny Brenda’s, DJs Kirsten and Shannen caught up with Lucas Skinner (bass) and Eric Moore (drums/manager) of King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard to talk about everything from poisonous spiders and the Melbourne DIY scene to their new album, Paper Maché Dream Balloon (out November 13th).


First question, cup of blood or shot of shit? 

Lucas: What?

If you had to drink one.

Eric: Is it my own or someone else’s?

Someone else’s.

E: I think definitely blood.

L: I think you’d get more sick if you eat shit.

E: If it was my own, I’d go with blood. I always just drink my own blood anyway, like when I get a cut.

Right, delicious. What are some of your favorite hair products?

E: I used to use Surf Paste in high school. That was a long time ago.

L: I use oils on my beard.

This is the second to last date of your US tour, which city has been your favorite?

L: We’ve done a few places we haven’t been before, New Orleans was one.

E: All the ones up the west coast were cool. Portland was my favorite place. The scenery is so beautiful and the drives are amazing up the coast.

Did you guys do any traveling before KGATLW?

L: We did a tour about three months ago in the states and Europe and most of us went home for a month but Stu and Ambrose and their girlfriends went traveling through Europe and Eric went to LA for a month.

E: Yeah I’ve been away for ages.

L: But before the band we did a US road trip up the east coast starting in Austin and going up to New York. That gave us a good idea of the landscape and how to get around.

What is your favorite thing to do on a date?

L: My girlfriend and I for our first date we went walking our dogs on the beach.

E: Luke is the sweetheart. Mine would just be something lame like going to a bar or a movie. But I haven’t been on a date in a very long time.

L: Eric’s the only one without a girlfriend in the band. Everyone else is kind of settled down. He’s the wild card.

 So you work a lot with artist Jason Galea and your shows have such a strong visual component, is he going to be involved in music videos in the future? 

E: Yeah Jason’s here on tour with us. He does the visuals and is working on heaps of stuff.

L: He’s the creative director, does all our visual stuff, artwork, t-shirts, videos. We’re actually making a video with another friend at the moment because Jason’s a bit busy, that’ll be the first one we’ve done without him.

Was he involved in the Cellophane video?

L: Yeah he did that in his house. Well half at the studio, half at his house.

E: That one’s like 90’s 3D.

L: You mean 60’s.

Nutella or Vegemite?

E: Definitely vegemite.

L: Nutella’s too sickly sweet. Vegemite is really bitter and salty. If you have it on buttered toast it’s the best thing. And a bit of feta if you want to get gourmet with it, avocado, tomato, all that.

We read somewhere that you guys toured with Girl Talk in 2012 I was really surprised by that, how did that happen?

L: Back then we were more of a party band and [Gregg Michael Gillis] just loves touring with bands. We got asked by a promoter if we wanted to do some shows with him. Obviously we’re really different he’s a dude with a laptop and we’re a seven piece band with a full setup but in some way the vibe was similar.

E: He listens to a lot of different music. It wasn’t completely out of place. Those were some of our biggest shows in really big theaters, we never played venues like that before.

Paper Maché Dream Balloon is your seventh album, do you guys ever fall into a writer’s block? With the amount of stuff you’re putting out how do you deal with that?

E: Stu always seems to come up with something. He’s the main songwriter. Everyone in the band writes music so there’s always ideas bouncing around. I think people are shocked by how much output we have but for us it never seems that hard, because everyone’s writing all the time and collaborating.

L: Stu writes most songs but he’s always really encouraging of everyone else to put their ideas on the table as well. I definitely have writer’s block, I’m kind of the opposite of him and take ages to write something but he’s good at helping me get it out.

E: If it was all of us in a room at the same time trying to write a song it would never work. There’s always an idea before it comes to the table. It depends on the type of record. Paper Mache was kind of done individually, all in combinations like 2 or 3 or 4 of us at a time.

L: Those songs were literally sketches of songs that we later fleshed out.

E: Other times, like on Mind Fuzz we fleshed it out in a different way, having everyone in a room jamming or they’d develop through playing live. The next record after Paper Mache is more live. We’re recording tomorrow when we go to NY. We want to wear them in a bit on this tour so we’re playing 3 or 4 of them each night.

How easy is it for bands to get started in Melbourne, what’s the scene like there?

E: It’s always hard when you’re starting out in anything. In the beginning it was hard to just get one gig but once that happened things got easier.

L: It all happened pretty easily for Gizzard because we were all in other bands, Stu and I had just moved up to Melbourne and were trying to get gigs in our current bands. That got the ball rolling.

E: When this band started we had more friends in bands and that sort of stuff. The actual scene in Melbourne is great, the opportunities are amazing and there’s lots of cool people doing parties and stuff. It’s not hard. There’s a pretty cool warehouse scene– there always shutting down and then a new one will pop up –but as far as the house party scene it’s not really that prominent. There are a lot of cool small venues.

What have been your favorite albums lately ?

L: We’re listening to the Ariel Pink record.

E: That was probably my favorite of last year, it came out late last year.

L: Mild High Club who did the first half of the tour. They’re releasing a record on September 18 and we’ve been playing that in the van.

E: Michael Rault, who’s playing tonight, that’s really sick.

This is a stereotype I guess, but is it true that in Australia you have to dump your shoes out before you put them on to check for poisonous spiders? 

L: People do that in the country.

E: I’m from the bush so yeah that happens, farmer will do that all the time. Even snakes and stuff they check for. But not in the cities. It’s more in the desert where nobody lives. I think that’s probably a massive exaggeration.

Paper Maché Dream Balloon is out 11/13 on ATO Records. Visit kinggizzardandthelizardwizard.com for more on the band.

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